Tourism industry support
We are listening and understand that the COVID-19 crisis is impacting our tourism industry.
$200 million international aviation investment
We have partnered with the private sector in a nation-leading deal, investing $100 million matched dollar-for-dollar by the state's four largest airports to secure more direct international flights to Queensland.
The agreement will enable Queensland international airports to negotiate with airlines and fast-track more direct flights into Queensland once international borders re-open on 21 February 2022.
The combined $200 million investment is predicted to deliver more than 5.3 million airline seats per year, generating almost $4 billion.
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.
Work in Paradise initiative
Work in Paradise is a $7.5 million initiative to attract workers to take a tourism job in regional Queensland.
This initiative has been created with the tourism industry, for the tourism industry.
The Work in Paradise Incentive Scheme includes a $1,500 cash incentive and $250 travel bonus to eligible employees to take up a job in regional Queensland. Funding for the Incentive Scheme is exhausted and the scheme is closed to new applicants.
The initiative also includes a dedicated Work in Paradise Tourism and Hospitality Jobs website which is designed to be a pathway to paradise for people who want a job in Queensland tourism.
It makes it easier for job seekers to find a job, relocate for a job and do their job by being a one stop shop connecting jobseekers with jobs right across Queensland and connecting employers to prospective candidates across Australia.
Employers can upload jobs to the website at no cost and the site has information on training opportunities, accommodation options and living in Queensland’s regions.
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:
- COVID-19 Marine Tourism Assistance Scheme Round 2 - 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022
Reimbursement of the berthing fees for marine tourism vessel operators at privately-owned or privately-operated marinas in regional Queensland.
- Payroll tax deferral
Eligible tourism and hospitality businesses that lodge payroll tax returns monthly can apply to defer paying their payroll tax liability due in August 2021 for 6 months.
- 12-month state land rent deferral for tourism operators
Rent deferral is available for eligible tourism operators on state land for the period 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022.
- Fee waiver and refunds for commercial tourism daily passenger fees
Tourism businesses that operate in a national park, conservation park, recreation area or state forest, including whale watching operations, may have fees waived or refunded between 1 July 2021 and 30 June 2022.
- 12-month fee waiver or refund of inbound tour operator fees
This support is available to inbound tour operators for fee renewals up until 30 June 2022.
- Liquor licensing fees waived for 2021-22
Tourism and hospitality businesses can have their licensing fees for 2021–22 waived or refunded if they were licensed under the Liquor Act or Wine Industry Acts as at 30 June 2021.
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 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.
Other support delivered for Queensland’s tourism industry
The $110 million Tourism and Hospitality Sector Hardship Program provided 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.
The program was part of the joint $600 million Australian and Queensland Government support package for Queensland businesses.
Applications opened 11 October 2021 and closed 22 November 2021 and grants were provided in two equal payments to approved applicants.
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.
- Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) is available to support you and they understand what you are going through. Contact QTIC on 3236 1445 for general financial advice, business and personal distress support, general insurance advice and HR advice.
- Tourism and Events Queensland regularly publishes updates for tourism operators.
- The Queensland Government Business Assistance Finder tool will help you understand the support that may be available for your business.
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 email@example.com.
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Last updated: 18 May 2022