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A three-year project led by The University of Queensland and the tourism industry has delivered a roadmap to help one of the state’s most important sectors develop resilience and recover from disaster.

The Queensland Tourism Workforce Crisis Resilience and Recovery Strategy is a toolkit for employees, operators and other stakeholders based on research led by Associate Professor Richard Robinson of UQ’s Business School in collaboration with Queensland Tourism Industry Council.

Resource sheets provide practical insights on building resilience in 5 key regions – the Gold Coast, Tropical North Queensland, Outback Queensland, Queensland Country and the Whitsundays.

The suggested actions include offering support networks and flexible work arrangements to employees, facilitating knowledge sharing between staff, investing in staff coaching, mentoring and training programs, and collaboration across all levels of government to increase housing affordability and availability.

Dr Robinson said the plan addressed the profound impact of COVID-19 on Queensland’s tourism industry.

“When COVID hit, there was talk of doom and gloom and the end of tourism, but history tells us that tourism has an extremely resilient demand and supply cycle,” Dr Robinson said.

“The overarching objective of our research was to cultivate an attitude in the industry of being prepared and proactively planning to navigate and withstand future adversities – it’s called ‘presilience’.”

Dr Robinson talked to employees, operators, policymakers, peak bodies, destination managers and related industry sectors throughout the 3-year project to identify emerging challenges and develop targeted actions for a more sustainable workforce.

He said disruptions to the industry over the past 3 years had led to a critical shortage of effectively trained and skilled workers.

“After signs of recovery in 2022, employee and organisational resilience decreased by 2023, with indications of operator exhaustion highlighting the need for targeted interventions,” Dr Robinson said.

“Strong learning and change cultures in tourism businesses are highly predictive of resilient organisations, with positive flow-on effects for communities and destinations.

“We hope this accessible and user-friendly resource, which complements higher-level strategies, is both a timely and enduring support for a sustainable Queensland tourism workforce.”

The research was funded by the Queensland Government’s Advance Queensland scheme.

Tourism and Events Queensland is also promoting a series of “Unmissable Holiday Deals In Queensland.”

$100* OFF flights to Cairns: is this week offering up to $100* OFF flights to Cairns.

The limited-time sale, delivered in partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland encourages Aussies to support the tourism industry and the thousands of locals employed in the Cairns region impacted by recent weather events.

“As North Queensland is ready to welcome back visitors with open arms, Webjet are proud to be supporting the region by discounting flights into Cairns to help stimulate the visitor economy,” David Galt, CEO of Webjet OTA said.

“At a time when the cost of living is top of mind for everyone, these cheap airfares not only make the journey affordable but also extend a warm hand of support to locals and businesses by bringing more people to Cairns.

“We urge Aussies to support the region during this time and be part of its recovery following a difficult start to the year for tourism operators and residents.

“The sun is shining, the rainforests are thriving, and Cairns is brimming with activities to give Aussie visitors a dose of unforgettable adventure,” he said.