Our members right across the state must seriously consider who they believe can lead Queensland forward at the end of October. Whilst Queensland has undeniably done well to contain most outbreaks of COVID-19, we must have a solution to get our patron numbers up in hotels, attract international tourists and promote our state in earnest over the next few years.
Back when we were first learning about what exactly the COVID-19 pandemic meant to us all, I recall seeing a news headline that seemed to give us the impression there was a roadmap or pathway that would lead us all to safety.
Despite all of the well-intentioned precautions, the excellent preparations and the efforts of the hotel industry to keep the doors open, it is becoming more and more obvious that there is no clear plan to return our industry, and indeed our state economy, back to even 2019 levels. Whilst it is understandable there is no playbook or instruction manual to pandemics, business confidence is looking shaky right across our hospitality and tourism industry.
Queensland has been a tourism state for years, we cannot and should not forget that every publican and hotelier are the lifeblood of the industry. Currently limits on capacity and mobility within venues will continue to hamper the recovery of the Queensland economy. Put simply – there is no point having AFL games or tourism campaigns if patrons cannot fit into venues nor attend a stand-up event.
As we continue to see good health results, the QHA look forward to seeing a sensible response that will allow patrons to get back to venues and enjoy hospitality as only Queensland can provide.