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Tourism industry support

We are listening and understand that the COVID-19 crisis is impacting our tourism industry.

The Queensland Government’s Economic Recovery Plan lays the foundation for our longer-term recovery, with a strong focus on partnerships to deliver the best possible outcomes for the state.

To stay up-to-date with the latest information about support and recovery packages, subscribe to Tourism Industry News.

Recovery packages

  • The $11.3 million Far North Queensland Tourism Industry Economic Recovery page will deliver immediate benefits and provide cash flow relief to help tourism and events businesses to survive and revive.

    The package will support tourism business in targeted areas in Far North Queensland, and includes:

    • $3 million North Queensland Events Recovery Package
    • $1.82 million to extend the existing rental rebate and fee relief arrangement by Ports North, provided to its commercial tourism operators and other port customers for a further three months from 30 September 2020 to 31 December 2020. This will assist Reef Fleet Operators with commercial berths and property leases; Cityport Food & Beverage and Retail Outlets; Commercial Fishermen; Shipyards and/or Industrial Land Tenants.
    • $6.5 million for 4 shovel-ready projects, delivered as part of the Growing Tourism Infrastructure 2020/21 Fund, creating 127 construction jobs and more than 50 ongoing jobs.
  • The COVID-19 Marine Tourism Rebate program directly supported North Queensland based marine tourism businesses operating vessels in the Livingstone, Townsville, Douglas and Whitsunday local government areas.

    The program supported tourism vessel operators who had suffered losses of income because of the COVID-19 travel restrictions, and was designed to assist eligible applicants by offsetting the cost of privately owned marina berthing fees. The COVID-19 Marine Tourism Rebate has been fully subscribed and is now closed.

  • The COVID-19 International Tourism Adaptation Grant program will support regional Queensland tourism businesses that have suffered losses of income because of the international travel restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The tourism business headquarters must be located in Queensland and primarily operate outside the Greater Brisbane Area of Brisbane City Council, Redlands City Council, Logan City Council, Ipswich City Council and Moreton Bay Regional Council boundaries.

    The funds are to be used to assist tourism businesses to pivot to a domestic market, or hibernate until international markets reopen. Applications opened on 2 October 2020 and the program will close once all funding has been allocated.

  • The $25 million Growing Tourism Infrastructure Fund 2020/21 will fast-track the development of new and enhanced tourism infrastructure projects that will strengthen Queensland’s tourism industry and deliver economic benefits to Queensland. Registrations are now closed.

  • Icons are the backbone of Queensland’s tourism industry and support thousands of jobs across the state. The $25 million Queensland Tourism Icons Program 2020 (QTIP) will support the tourism enterprises and experiences that are considered to be essential as key marketing ‘demand-drivers’ to support the resilience of the broader industry during the industry’s recovery from COVID-19.

  • This program will invest $5 million to support 15 regional airports and Brisbane airport to negotiate with airlines to establish new routes or reopen pre-COVID19 services in regional Queensland and into Brisbane.

  • This program will invest $10 million for key regional airports and Brisbane airport to work in partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland to secure aviation routes into regional Queensland and into Brisbane from interstate and other markets. With the growing likelihood of interstate borders opening, this funding will help swell tourism numbers to the state from intrastate and interstate and support local jobs to benefit all Queenslanders.

  • The Queensland Government is supporting the recommencement of flights direct from the Gold Coast to Cairns, through Jetstar Airways, to boost the region’s tourism industry. The service has been suspended since March as a result of the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, but will resume with the services doubled to 19 flights a week. The recommencement of these flights is a great boost for Queensland's intrastate travel and will bring much needed visitors to the region and support jobs for Queensland.

  • The Queensland Government is supporting new flights direct from Brisbane to the Whitsundays, through Alliance Airlines, to boost the region’s tourism industry. The partnership with Whitsundays Regional Council will see Alliance Airlines fly four times a week from Brisbane to Whitsunday Coast Airport. The new service will encourage travel to the region with increased flights and convenience.

    The Queensland Government is also supporting new flights between the Sunshine Coast and Cairns, through Alliance Airlines. These flights will be a great boost for Queensland's intrastate travel with three return services per week expected to start in mid-July 2020. These four flights will bring much needed visitors to these regional centres and support jobs for Queensland.

  • The Queensland Government is waiving the annual commercial whale watching fee for the 2020 season for operators affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Whale watching is an important tourism driver for the state and this support will help whale watching operators as they recover for the annual whale migration.

Queensland is Good to Go

Tourism and Events Queensland's Good to Go campaign aims to inspire visitors to explore the very best of their own backyard and reconnect with friends and family now that travel restrictions are easing.

The campaign, while initially targeted at Queenslanders and intrastate travel, extends interstate to areas not impacted by travel restrictions. Visitors are encouraged to get outside again, immerse themselves in our natural wonders, and reconnect with those closest to them.

A core message of the campaign is built on the premise that Queensland's tourism industry is open, ready to welcome visitors and is following COVID Safe practices. Businesses can display the 'Good to Go' stamp in their marketing if they have the required COVID Safe documentation in place, to help assure visitors you are offering a safe travel experience.

Fees, levies and rent relief

Find relief for Queensland tourism businesses including:

  • supporting exhibiting zoos and aquariums with fixed operational costs
  • state land rent relief for farmers, businesses, tourism operators, and community and sports clubs
  • waiving application fees for some variations to liquor licences
  • waiving registration renewal fees for Inbound Tour Operators
  • waiving of daily fees for commercial activity agreements and permits
  • rebate on Marina Charges and Passenger Levies
  • deferral of Tourism Lease Rent Payments.

Queensland Tourism Industry Council

The Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) is available to support you and they understand what you are going through. QTIC is focusing on cash support, grants, interest-free loans, wage subsidies and local government fee relief.

The QTIC helplines are open and we encourage you to make contact if you need support for:

  • general financial advice on
  • business and personal distress support on 0407 133 690
  • general insurance advice on 07 3002 3051
  • HR advice on 02 9083 0033.

Public health directions

It is important to know and understand the public health directions and how it affects your tourism business. Tourism Events Queensland offers clarity and guidance including the latest advice for accommodation providers.

Business support and wellbeing

Queenslanders are uniting in the fight against COVID-19 and we all have a part in keeping our state safe and supporting each other to recovery. Find industry updates, support and mental wellbeing information on our business support page.

Last updated: 16 Mar 2021