Extension to COVID fee waivers a welcome relief for tourism operators
Published Wednesday, 29 July, 2020 at 09:58 AM
Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Leeanne Enoch
The Palaszczuk Government is extending support for tourism operators conducting commercial activities in National Parks until September 30, under its Immediate Industry Recovery Package.
Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said the COVID fee waivers extension will assist tourism operators who have been economically impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Economies around the world have been impacted by COVID-19, and Queensland’s continued health response means that we are progressing our plan for economic recovery,” Minister Enoch said.
“Encouraging visitors and Queenslanders to experience nature-based tourism is helping to boost local jobs and create opportunities for skills and training.
“The extension of the COVID fee waivers will assist tourism and commercial operators as they seek to re-establish their operations and share our state’s beautiful environmental assets with holiday-makers.”
Tourism operators in Queensland are required to pay daily site fees based on visitor numbers when a tour is conducted on national parks, recreational and protected areas and State Forests under a commercial activity permit.
Managing Director of Southern Cross 4WD Tours Darran Wallace said COVID-19 has been a challenging time for day touring businesses that are heavily reliant on interstate and overseas visitors to the Gold Coast and Brisbane.
“The waiving of the fees has been welcomed in assisting with saving costs related to our touring products,” Mr Wallace said.
“There is a long road back to normal for tourism experiences, especially those that get limited bookings from the drive market and rely on planes arriving from others states and countries.”
On February 18, the Palaszczuk Government introduced the Immediate Industry Recovery Package to assist local government, business and industry to mitigate impacts of COVID-19.
The extension was initially planned to conclude on July 31 but has been extended for an additional two months to support tourism operators and keep Queenslanders in jobs.
More information can be found at: https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/management/ecotourism/support
Media Contact: Bridget Druery 0435 221 246