Tourism businesses on the Gold Coast are to get a further $70-million in funds from the State and Federal Governments. This in an effort to help save the region’s most iconic tourist attractions and hospitality businesses that are suffering due to ongoing border closures and lockdowns.
Grants of up to $4-million will be available to ensure that major tourism enterprises remain viable and are ready to scale up as visitation returns.
Eligibility criteria for the ‘Iconic’ tourism grants will include the businesses being key drivers of significant interstate and/or international tourism, as well as being major employers. Or they must be nationally significant tourism operators and attractions, such as major theme parks and major reef tourism operators.
Applicants must be able to demonstrate a 50% reduction in turnover and visitation over the three-month period from 1 July to 30 September 2021, compared to pre-Covid. In addition, the businesses must maintain their staff levels throughout the assistance period, which concludes at the end of 2021.
Second round of grants also available
A second round of grants of $15,000, $25,000 and $50,000 will be available for small, medium and large-employing businesses across the State that have experienced a reduction in turnover of at least 70 percent for at least seven consecutive days between 1 July and 30 September.
Major tourism enterprises that receive an ‘Iconic’ tourism grant will not be eligible to receive a further grant under the Second Round of the Tourism and Hospitality Sector Hardship Program.
Karen Andrews, Federal MP for McPherson, which includes much of the Cold Coast, said the targeted support would go where it was most desperately needed.
“I know how tough things are right now. That’s why I’ve been advocating – alongside my Gold Coast LNP colleagues – for more support for our local businesses,” she stated.
Operators must be able to scale up
“It has been devastating to see our hotels, attractions, restaurants and shops suffer through another school holiday period – when they should be overrun with interstate tourists.
“We know visitors – from Sydney, Melbourne and beyond – will head straight for the Gold Coast when borders re-open. This targeted support will ensure they’re ready to scale up as we move through the National Plan and visitors return.”
Stuart Robert, MP for Fadden, welcomed the $70-million rescue package saying it would save some of Australia’s most iconic and loved attractions. But he called for greater certainty for the community.
“This package will help save some of our most iconic attractions from certain ruin. It is welcome support for the many businesses facing difficult days and will save Gold Coast jobs.
“But the Gold Coast needs certainty, we want this to be the last package needed to save the Gold Coast from collapse, and with the Queensland Government seemingly ruling out opened borders for Christmas we need to know when vaccinated tourists will be able to safely spend money in our businesses.”