CEO-Board Updates

March 2020 CEO Update

Mark Olsen

Tourism Tropical North Queensland is taking action to ensure your business is supported through these unprecedented times. We are lobbying for business support funding to be made available for our region, while still pushing on with our local and drive campaigns with television and digital advertising targeting the regional Queensland drive market.

The local and drive campaigns aim to encourage people to jump in their cars and explore the region’s many drives and find great local and friends deals which will take them north to Cooktown, west along the Savannah Way, onto the Tablelands and south to the Cassowary Coast.

With the rapidly evolving changes to travel and events, we are focusing on encouraging people to travel close to home and take the break they have been needing with their family and friends. The 100 person indoor mass gatherings travel warning will have a significant impact on our region and we are advocating for common sense to prevail to allow the tourism industry to best manage the health and safety of our customers as we have done for decades.

We are fortunate to have wide open spaces and a low population so people can travel around the Cairns & Great Barrier Reef region without the crowds.

Working alongside the drive campaign, TTNQ is partnering with News Corporation and The Cairns Post to showcase TTNQ’s members to locals who have friends or family visiting them and want to explore our region by car. This campaign will be promoted digitally with links back to the participating member’s website and the best of these deals will be featured in the newspaper.

Our partnership with News Corp to roll out a series of travel articles in Escape magazine and The Weekend Australian Magazine begins next month to encourage people to dream about a Cairns & Great Barrier Reef holiday.

The desire to travel to our destination remains strong and we will continue to work with our trade partners to ensure they are trained in our products and kept up to date on what is happening in the region.

Internationally we are finding very positive engagement with our social media, especially in China and Japan where people have been confined to their homes. We are using this opportunity to post dream content so people can think about where they might like to visit once normal travel resumes.

While destination marketing is TTNQ’s core role, in times like these advocacy becomes paramount. Our team has been gathering data to demonstrate how our region is being affected by this unprecedented crisis and using it to ensure we can effectively lobby government for support.

The Queensland Government has announced a new $500 million loan facility, interest-free for the first year, to support businesses and retain jobs and extended the payroll tax deferral to all businesses across the state. We are seeking further support in the way of wage subsidies, access to grants, GST relief and further payroll tax concessions from the State and Federal Government along with support for marketing, events and industry travel into key markets.

We are awaiting the Federal Government’s decision on the initiatives we put forward to Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham on Monday. These included a clear message on allowable travel, and strategies for the short-term support for staff, to retain talent, to maintain the diversity of businesses in the region and to drive future demand.

We urge all businesses to look closely at their operations and develop a strategy for survival so we can all work together on the recovery process when that time comes. We will also be continuing our push online to share amazing images and video content and would love to see more remarkable content from industry.

TTNQ is with you, aiming to support every job and every business. If you need assistance please reach out, or visit our website for more information on the support that is available.

>> View TTNQ Coronavirus industry impact page

Cheers

Mark Olsen
Chief Executive Officer

18 March 2020