Queensland travel bubbles will rupture already damaged tourism industry
Posted on May 26th, 2020
Capricorn Enterprise CEO, Mary Carroll is appealing to the Premier to consider the serious implications to the Capricorn Coast and broader Capricorn region, should an additional Northern Queensland ‘travel bubble’ be approved (in addition to the outback travel bubble). The bubble would squeeze an already limited visitor footprint, increase community confusion, and shine absolutely no light on the months of darkness already faced by our local tourism industry.
“Now is not the time for Queenslanders to be working against each other and competing for limited regional markets in an already decimated industry,” Mary said.
The outback ‘bubble’, which has excluded travel from Central Highlands and Banana Shires (Emerald, Blackwater, Biloela and Bowen Basin mining towns) to Rockhampton and the Capricorn Coast, has already caused immense confusion and disadvantage across our very important Central Queensland footprint.
“If the Northern Queensland bubble were to succeed, our traditional western Central Queensland markets would be able to holiday in Mackay, Whitsundays, Townsville and Cairns, but not allowed to visit the Capricorn Coast, Town of 1770/Agnes Water, and our stunning islands on the Southern Great Barrier Reef (Great Keppel Island, Pumpkin Island, Heron Island, Wilson Island).”
“Dividing the state yet again is not the answer and it is essential that the whole of Queensland opens for intrastate (within QLD) travel as soon as possible to enable our local businesses to survive.”
“We have moved well past imaginary borders after months now of lobbying to government, on behalf of our industry, to provide relief to ALL regions across Queensland.”
“As we currently stand, we are being denied the opportunity to market to our core greater Central Queensland neighbours, which will be detrimental to our economic recovery,” Mary said.
“We simply do not have the combined population across the Capricorn Coast, Rockhampton, Gladstone and Bundaberg regions to sustain our tourism industry alone. By not being able to actively promote travel to and from our Bowen Basin towns, we are missing out on our core CQ market, putting our region in dire straits.”
While the South East corner has the benefit of sharing their dense local populations within Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Fraser Coast, regional Queensland is now being placed in a position to fight over what is left.
While we can’t blame our Northern neighbours for fighting for their own regions, Queenslanders backing Queenslanders is essential for us to kickstart our economy. Re-launching Queensland for intrastate travel will go a long way to supporting our recovery and get the crippled tourism industry back on track.
“We are pleading with the Premier to help save struggling businesses in all regions and have the discussion now to open Queensland as a whole.”
“Many weeks ago, we addressed fears surrounding infection from the South East corner and advocated for the ‘bubble’ to be compressed around our Southern neighbours, enabling the remainder of Queensland to reopen.”
Capricorn Enterprise does not support the option of placing further ‘bubbles’ around the North in addition to the outback because we believe it is a band aid approach and ultimately will not solve the issue.
The upcoming June/July holiday period is traditionally a strong driver of economic activity from both our Queensland and interstate markets so before the debate rages about the interstate borders, we need to first see our own State re-open.
“Supporting more division within the regions is not the answer to business survival and we urge the Premier to consider greater harmony and equity so that Queenslanders can truly back Queenslanders,” Mary said.
Queensland supporting Queensland is strongly supported by Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) and other chambers of commerce around the State.