Tourist operators look locally to fill gaps in trade
THE tourism industry will take another major hit as flooding hits the headlines nationally and internationally and already the Discovery Coast's industry is bracing for more pain.
While tourism operators in Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy know they got off lightly in terms of property loss and damage compared to Bundaberg, Baffle Creek, Lowmead and other destinations, the repercussions will be felt for a long time.
"It took us about eight months at trade shows and tourism conventions and the like to convince people to return to Seventeen Seventy after the last floods," Lady Musgrave Tours' Rob Moore said.
"Obviously we lost a few trips during the time we were cut off, but people overseas don't realise how big Australia is and they see flooding or bushfires on the TV and think it is everywhere.
"We get a lot of international tourists from China and Europe - and it does affect us."
Discovery Coast Tourism and Commerce's Cheryl Wickes said she was concerned a number of businesses on the Discovery Coast would struggle to keep their doors open after a triple whammy of the 2010-2011 floods, the economic downturn and the latest floods and road cuts.
Tourism Queensland CEO Daniel Gschwind said businesses were preparing to rebuild for the second time in two years.
"Many of them did struggle through the events of 2011, put a lot of effort into rebuilding since then and some of them, those of them who have been affected again, now would certainly be pushed very much to the edge and would be disheartened if nothing else and that's sometimes very difficult to recover from," he said.
Lady Musgrave Tours spokeswoman Carolyn Clayton said they would be looking to replace some of the lost business by promoting more day tours to the reef for residents and LNG workers in Gladstone.