Concerns about Qld tourism industry amid disaster recovery

Bargara gets slammed by a vicious storm, uprooting trees, downing powerlines and ripping roofs off houses.
Bargara gets slammed by a vicious storm, uprooting trees, downing powerlines and ripping roofs off houses. Max Fleet

AS IMAGES of a flood-ravaged Queensland flash across news updates around the globe, the state's tourism operators are anxiously trying to get the real message out - Queensland is open to tourists.

Trying to prevent the consequences of widespread disaster coverage following the 2011 flood disaster, tourism agencies - including the Queensland Tourism Industry Council and Tourism Queensland - are drafting initiatives to push through a positive image of holidaying in the Sunshine State.

QTIC chief executive Daniel Gschwind hopes balanced reporting on the natural disasters will ensue.

"There is a genuine suffering and damage in places like Bundaberg...but by the same token most of the state is up and running again," he said.

"I do hope that we will see the disaster pictures in the near future replaced by hope, rebuilding and community spirit..."

Mr Gschwind said many tourism operators would be concerned about the impact on the tourism industry.

"They have worked so very hard over the past two years to rebuild and reconstruct their businesses," he said.

"For many of them it's discouraging to face the up hill battle again."

Some potential and stuck holiday makers have taken to Twitter to vent their disdain for the recent devastating weather.

One man tweeted: "Aunty went on holiday with her husband and kids to Queensland. A roof fell on their car, they won't be able to come home today".

Another tweeter posted: "Go to Queensland for a holiday hoping to tan by the beach all week. But instead cop non-stop rain, floods and tornadoes. Take me home!!!"

But as the flood water recedes, Mr Gschwind is confident the industry will bounce back.

"I think it will blow over and we will continue what has been over the past 12 months a very upward trend for the tourism industry," he said.

Tourism Minister Jan Stuckey is singing a similar tune.

"Some tourism operators in places like Capricornia, Bundaberg and the Lockyer Valley have been more affected than others by the past week, and we are working with them and our Regional Tourist Organisations to help them recover as quickly as possible," she said.

"For other premier tourist destinations from the Gold Coast to Tropical North Queensland and in the Outback, it's business as usual."

Topics:  floods tourism twitter

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