New Tourism and hospitality support

Published Wednesday, 15 September, 2021 at 12:29 PM

Minister for Tourism Industry Development and Innovation and Minister for Sport
The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

Tourist industry leaders have welcomed $40 million in additional support for Queensland tourism and hospitality businesses hardest hit by a major loss of trade because of Covid-19 lockdowns.

Queensland tourism and hospitality businesses may be eligible for grants of up to $50,000 to support jobs for the Palaszczuk Government’s Economic Recovery Plan.

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the new $40 million Tourism and Hospitality Sector Hardship Program was part of the $600 million Covid-19 Business Support package, jointly funded by the Palaszczuk and Australian Governments.

“This program builds on existing support available to tourism operators around the state who are doing it tough with a significant loss of loss trade because of interstate lockdowns,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“Up to 85 per cent of Queensland’s interstate visitors come from New South Wales and Victoria. 

“With the Federal Government, we’ve designed financial assistance to help tourism and hospitality operators retain skills and stay in business once vaccinations are in arms and the lockdowns end.”

The $40 million Tourism and Hospitality Sector Hardship Program has been welcomed by industry leaders.

“Industry’s calls for government support are being heard,” Destination Gold Coast CEO Patricia O’Callaghan said.

“We know this measure is a significant step forward in financially supporting our 4,600 tourism businesses whose bottom line is hurting right now.

“As this crisis continues to unfold, it’s initiatives like this make all the difference.”

Tourism Tropical North Queensland Chair Ken Chapman said the Far North was facing its worst school holiday bookings since the pandemic began.

“Without travellers from New South Wales and Victoria , and with consumer confidence at an all-time low, this will give employers and employees a much-needed temporary reprieve from a dire financial situation,” Mr Chapman said. 

“This collaboration between the State and Federal Government is to be applauded as the industry faces its darkest hour.” 

And Queensland Tourism Industry Council CEO Daniel Gschwind said Tourism and hospitality was critical for the recovery of the Queensland economy.

“This urgently needed support will help us to keep vital businesses and their staff going through the current uncertainty,” he said.

Eligible small, medium, and large tourism and hospitality businesses include:

  • Accommodation providers
  • Zoos, aquariums and wildlife parks
  • Theme parks and water parks
  • Tour operations such as marine tourism
  • Adventure activities like bungy jumping, abseiling, go-karting, whitewater rafting
  • Travel agents
  • Cafés
  • Restaurants.

There are three levels of support for employing sole traders and small businesses (with a payroll under $1.3 million), small to medium businesses (payroll of $1.3m to $10m inclusive) and medium to large businesses (payroll over $10M).

Support will increase with payroll size from $15,000 for small business to $25,000 and $50,000 for the medium to large businesses.

The program is expected to be open for three months for businesses experiencing hardship, with eligibility criteria including:

  • The businesses must be open, located and operate in Queensland 
  • The business and owners/directors are solvent and employs at least one full time employee
  • The business is able to demonstrate at least a 70 per cent loss in turnover for seven consecutive days between 1 July 2021 to 30 September 2021 compared to the same period in 2018-19, 2019-20 or 2020-21.

“I’ve seen the heartbreak of tourism operators who’ve risked everything through no fault of their own.” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures and I thank the Federal Government for their recognition of the Queensland tourism and hospitality industry’s desperate need for further help through the pandemic.

“As vaccination levels continue to improve in coming months, we’re hoping for fewer restrictions on domestic travel and perhaps a gradual return of overseas visitors, when it’s safe to reopen the international border.”

For more information on the program go to: Tourism and Hospitality Sector Hardship Program | Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport (

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