Ripple effect: Whitsunday operators hit by cancellations


Whitsunday operators are already feeling the ripple effect of the Brisbane lockdown as cancellations start rolling in from both Queensland and interstate travellers.

Tourism Whitsundays CEO Tash Wheeler said operators had started to report cancellations after the lockdown announcement was made on Monday. 

“Queensland is a significantly large state and it is important for us to continue to communicate to visitors where the Whitsundays is placed in comparison to Brisbane and that we do not have any active COVID cases,” she said.

“Our operators continue to work with COVID Safe Practices to ensure visitors can make the most of their holiday.”

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The Greater Brisbane lockdown came just one day after the plug was pulled on the JobKeeper program, which was tipped to impact operators in the Whitsundays that relied heavily on international tourists.

This includes those in the backpacking, overnight crewed charter and day trip markets.

“With JobKeeper ending, this will have further impacts on parts of our tourism business community that are reliant on international visitation and have been unable to pivot to a domestic market,” Mrs Wheeler said.

Travellers have started cancelling trips to the Whitsundays because of the Brisbane lockdown. Photo: Brooke Miles for Riptide Creative

Mrs Wheeler said it was important to work together, support one another and stay focused – like the Whitsundays is known to do when challenges arise.

“The Whitsundays is world class and a destination that punches well above its weight,” she said.

“If everyone follows the guidelines, we are working hard to ensure that the pick up come Friday when the lockdown ends, is strong.

“If you have any last-minute offers, please send through to our team so that we can help promote these.

“Also, keeping us informed on any impacts your business incurs is important.”

Mrs Wheeler said Tourism Whitsundays would continue to advocate for operators and deliver marketing campaigns to fill in gaps when they arose.

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