NEW TOURISM TASKFORCE LAUNCHED

Written on the 17 January 2011

NEW TOURISM TASKFORCE LAUNCHED

CRISIS talks between tourism and industry leaders facilitated by the Employment and Economic Development, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) have resulted in the formation of the Tourism Industry Recovery Group to save Queensland's $9.2 billion tourism industry.

The group, part of the Flood Recovery Task Force, is committed to getting the tourism industry back on track in Queensland, says Tourism Minister Peter Lawlor. Lawlor says tourism operators in flood affected areas had been hit hard by the natural disaster and needed assistance to bounce back.

“The floods that have devastated large areas of Queensland have left a serious mark on many of our state’s key industries, including the tourism industry,” he says.

“The Flood Recovery Task Force has been assigned to provide leadership, coordination and direction to drive a successful recovery for flood affected areas, and it’s important that tourism is singled out as an important part of this recovery. “The dedicated tourism sub group will work with local communities on recovery initiatives and develop a communications strategy to get the industry back on its feet as soon as possible.

“Tourism contributes $9.2 billion per annum to the state, directly employing 122,000 people and indirectly employing 100,000 more. We need to make sure tourists still view Queensland as a first-rate holiday destination and keep coming here to provide a boost for recovering businesses and help protect those businesses that haven’t been affected by the floods.”

The tourism sub group of the Flood Recovery Task Force will consist of representatives from:
• Tourism Queensland
• Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC)
• Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI)
• Local tourism representatives
Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) CEO Daniel Gschwind welcomed the announcement of the tourism focused sub-group and the concentration it will have on tourism recovery.

“I’m pleased that representatives from key tourism organisations will be able to work together to develop ways to counter the negative impact of the floods on our tourism industry," says Lawlor.

“This means that the experts in this area will be contributing directly to the recovery process for the tourism sector.”

Chair of the Economic Committee of the Flood Recovery Task Force, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) Director-General Ian Fletcher, toured flood-affected areas last week.

“Seeing the devastation first hand really brings home how massive the recovery effort will be,” says Fletcher.

“Talking with tourism operators on the ground revealed that even those not directly impacted by the floods are doing it tough with concerns that many interstate and international tourists are thinking about turning away because of the flooding reports.”


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