Qld's tourism industry is appealing to the premier to reopen the borders to ease economic losses. Image by PR HANDOUT IMAGE PHOTO

Tourism and Leisure

Qld tourism ‘hanging on for dear life’

2020-05-22 14:47:02

Queensland is losing $53 million a day in tourism revenue, adding to mounting pressure on the government to open its state borders.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is holding firm on comments she made earlier this week that the Sunshine State may not reopen to people from NSW and Victoria until September.

But Queensland Tourism Industry Council chief executive Daniel Gschwind is urging her to stick to the recovery roadmap she released a fortnight ago, which allowed for intra and interstate travel from July 10.

“That would give our industry an opportunity to save a part of our winter season,” he told AAP on Thursday.

“Right now communities are hanging on for dear life to see those dollars rolling into their economies to keep jobs alive.”

Mr Gschwind said the shutdown of domestic tourism was costing the state $53 million a day, or $1.6 billion a month.

“I know we’re managing a health crisis…but we have to put that kind of evidence on the scale as well,” he said.

“The curve has well and truly flattened. That was the goal. It is flat.”

Ms Palaszczuk is facing pressure from the tourism industry, NSW government and Senator Pauline Hanson to open Queensland’s borders.

But the premier has repeatedly said travel to and from the southern states will not be allowed until “they get their community transmission under control”.

On Thursday Ms Palaszczuk instead urged Queenslanders to get behind their local tourism operators by booking a winter holiday.

From next month, residents will be able to travel up to 250 kilometres from their homes and stay overnight.

Mr Gschwind said tourism operators across Queensland were already working with the government and health professionals to ensure the safety of customers and staff once restrictions eased.