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Tourism industry support

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

Joint Queensland and Australian Government support package for Queensland businesses

A joint Queensland and Australian Government support package for Queensland businesses was announced in August 2021 to support non-employing sole traders and expand on support for eligible small and medium businesses, and large tourism and hospitality businesses.

Successful applicants will receive the COVID19 Business Support Grants ranging from $1,000 to $30,000 depending on their business or not-for-profit organisation.

The $110 million Tourism and Hospitality Sector Hardship Program will provide grants to both eligible tourism and hospitality businesses, and major tourism attractions and experiences facing significant financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 travel restrictions and interstate lockdowns.

Tourism and Hospitality Sector COVID-19 Lockdown Support Package

The $47.75 million Tourism and Hospitality Sector COVID-19 Lockdown Support Package is providing a range of rebates, fee and payroll tax relief measures to provide immediate support for tourism and hospitality businesses impacted by the recent COVID-19 lockdowns.

The $47.75 million package includes:

Queensland tourism and hospitality businesses can visit the Business Queensland website to access all of the assistance on offer under the Tourism and Hospitality Sector COVID-19 Lockdown Support Package, as well as the COVID-19 Business Support Grants and the Queensland COVID-19 cleaning rebate – providing small, medium and not-for-profit businesses with a rebate of up to 80% of the cost of professional cleaning (up to $10,000 ex GST), if the business is a confirmed COVID-19 exposure site.

Queensland Tourism Business Financial Counselling Service

We are supporting tourism businesses with valuable financial counselling services as they navigate through the impacts of COVID-19.

The Queensland Tourism Business Financial Counselling Service provides free financial counselling support to help tourism operators who have been severely financially impacted as a result of COVID-19 resize or change their business model, and offers a rebate for businesses needing additional expert advice.

Other support delivered for Queensland’s tourism industry

  • 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.
  • Queensland’s tourism businesses will be supported to pivot to a domestic market or hibernate until international markets reopen.

    The COVID-19 International Tourism Adaptation Grant program was a key element of the Queensland Economic Recovery Strategy: Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs to help accelerate the State’s recovery from COVID-19.

    The program provided financial assistance to regional Queensland tourism businesses with headquarters located in Queensland and primarily operating outside the Greater Brisbane Area of Brisbane City Council, Redlands City Council, Logan City Council, Ipswich City Council and Moreton Bay Regional Council local government areas.

    It directly supported tourism businesses who have suffered losses of income because of the COVID-19 travel restrictions. It was designed to assist eligible applicants in the above local government areas pivot their product, service and/or marketing to a domestic tourism market and meet operating costs while the business hibernated until international markets reopen.

    The assistance available under this program was a grant from a minimum of $2,000 to a maximum of $10,000 (excluding GST) per applicant.

    The COVID-19 International Tourism Adaption Grant is now closed.

  • 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.

More information

If you are a tourism business and have any questions about COVID Safe planning or applying the Public Health Directions to your business, you can contact the COVID-19 Tourism Response Team by emailing tourismresponse@dtis.qld.gov.au.

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

Last updated: 14 Sep 2021