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COVID-19 industry support

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

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.

  • 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.

More information

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Last updated: 13 Sep 2022