Quest Ipswich owner Adam French has welcomed the state's new tourism campaign after facing tough times during coronavirus restrictions. Picture: Cordell Richardson
Quest Ipswich owner Adam French has welcomed the state's new tourism campaign after facing tough times during coronavirus restrictions. Picture: Cordell Richardson

Hotels and motels ready and waiting for visitors

HARD hit tourism operators have welcomed the State Government's new campaign encouraging people to explore different parts of the state.

Quest Apartments Ipswich owner Adam French said things started to take a turn for the worse when CMC Rocks music festival was cancelled in March.

"We've been down 80 to 85 per cent on the equivalent prior months, up to this point," he said.

"March was down 60 per cent on prior March 2019 and that just got worse through April and May."

Mr French said their core business came with corporate travel and it would be a while until they would be back operating at their usual capacity.

 

Quest Ipswich owner Adam French has welcomed the state's new tourism campaign after facing tough times during coronavirus restrictions. Picture: Cordell Richardson
Quest Ipswich owner Adam French has welcomed the state's new tourism campaign after facing tough times during coronavirus restrictions. Picture: Cordell Richardson

Despite the major impacts on revenue, Mr French said he was hopeful the new tourism campaign, Queensland - You're Good to Go, would encourage people to explore our corner of the state.

"The fact that she's (the Premier) encouraging people to travel within the state, we have seen some green shoots come through which is promising," he said.

"We partner with quite a number of the local restaurants in Ipswich, whereby we recommend (them) through giving all of our guests a printout of all the restaurants.

"We've created a relationship with them whereby our guests can go and dine locally and have their bills charged back to their accounts."

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said the decline in business for tourism operators was a tough pill to swallow after significant tourism growth last year.

In 2019, Ipswich received more than two million visitor arrivals and had a visitor spend of up to $290 million.

 

New Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding.
New Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding.

"From a council perspective, we'll be increasing our destination marketing as we move into this next new phase," Cr Harding said.

"In particular, we'll be targeting day trips as well as overnight visitations, particularly for people from South East Queensland.

"In that we'll be really focusing on our regional key attractions and dining and nature-based adventure, hiking and mountain biking, to bring people back."

The State Government's tourism campaign will run from June to August.

"Because Queenslanders have done such a great job flattening the curve, we were able to open up intrastate travel two weeks earlier," Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

Every year, 3.2 million Queenslanders spend nearly $10 billion holidaying interstate and overseas.

"This campaign will help us to tap into that market to support our tourism operators," Ms Palaszcuk said.

Read more stories by Paige Ashby