'Tourism shouldn't wait for an end to Covid-19': Crisafulli
BUNDABERG'S tourism industry shows early signs of movement, but has "all fingers and toes crossed" for clear weather to lure southeast tourists.
But LNP politicians including the opposition's tourism spokesman David Crisafulli said the industry needs the state government has to strike a balance between health and the economic survival by opening the border.
Mr Crisafulli visited Burnett Heads yesterday, where he urged the government to be clear on its initial plan to open the border on July 10.
"When we started this journey the balance was about flattening the curve," Mr Crisafulli said.
"To change the goalpost now, that it's about eradication of the disease, we'll never emerge."
Bundaberg Aqua Scuba owner Julian Negri said his business was "starting to pick up again" with the easing of pandemic restrictions.
He said the business would have suffered a downturn due to social distancing policies even if the borders had remained open.
Mr Negri said the improvement was partly due to international visitors that remained in Queensland, who were now seeking new things to do.
"I wouldn't say it's back to normal but it's starting to gradually build up a little bit," Mr Negri said.
"Obviously I'm hoping it just keeps picking up from here.
It probably won't completely, obviously, until people can move interstate and then getting the international people coming through as well.
"But those were a reasonable percentage of my business but not the largest part."
Bundaberg Tourism chief executive Katherine Reid said the area had several advantages including beauty and geography, but that the industry needed "people power".
"We're already a strong player in the Queensland market and obviously with the Queensland border closed it means that all of the destinations across all the regions in Queensland are now competing for the same market," Ms Reid said.
"That Queensland drive market is our immediate focus."
She said the industry needed to know three weeks before the border opened to cater for the NSW and Victorian markets.
Lady Musgrave Experience's managing director Brett Lakey said it will resume its tours on Saturday, which will be the first time in four months. He said it might fill up to a third of its capacity of 150 people.
"It's obviously very weather dependent," he said.
"If we get a good run of weather I think we'll see the local markets support it.
"I think once we have a few out and see how it's running with our slightly amended procedures in place to suit the current climate, I'm hoping for a steady flow and prosperous couple of months."