20 December: Scenic Rim Regional Council welcomes the announcement today of a $2 million tourism recovery package.
Scenic Rim Regional Council welcomes the announcement today of a $2 million tourism recovery package to be jointly funded by the Federal and Queensland governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding arrangement.
Mayor Greg Christensen said the funds will be used to help attract visitors back to the region so money can flow back in to local tourism operators and townships.
"The exact details of the package and initiatives will be finalised in the new year, however $1.5 million of the funds are to be allocated towards tourism marketing and $500,000 toward industry recovery officers.
"In addition, the region will also be allocated $1 million to restore trails in Lamington National Park, said Cr Christensen.
Scenic Rim Regional Council has been working hard behind the scenes, with a range of parties including the Queensland Reconstruction Authority, Department of Innovation and Tourism Industry Development, Department of Small Business, Education and Training and many of the region's hundreds of tourism and hospitality businesses, to capture the impact of the fires on the local economy and advocate for support where it is most sorely needed.
"Off the back of the prolonged drought, the September and then November bushfires, as well as current fires and national park closures, Council's tourism team has calculated current impacts to be in excess of $10 million, with annualised impacts several times that," said Cr Christensen.
"Though only 2% of the region was directly affected, tourism operators continue to suffer effects in the wake of the fires, with a perception that the region is unsafe to visit prompting numerous cancellations and discontinuation of bookings.
In addition to this, those businesses which service the region's tourism operators with a range of goods and services have also been impacted by the fires.
"Many operators have reported that phones stopping ringing, bookings dried up and cancellations flowed in, meaning they face a Christmas and school holiday period with only a fraction of the bookings they would normally have for this crucial time of year.
"People often ask what they can do to help people and businesses impacted by bushfires and the drought, and the best advice is to come out to our beautiful region and spend your money.
"This funding from the State and Federal governments is critical to help address this current situation, encourage visitors back to the region and turn around perceptions," said Cr Christensen.
Published: 20 December 2019