Queensland tourism contributes overA$8 billion to Queensland’s economy. Tourism exports are often second to only coal exports (Dlgrma.qld.gov.au, n.d.). The main activities include restaurant visits, visiting friends and relatives and visiting zoos and rainforests. Natural attractions and resorts are key components in tourist attractions and activities, especially in the Douglas and Malanda areas. A major portion of international travellers backpacked through the region (Ipalawatte 2004), and has had great effect on local housing composition, among other things. Sightseeing is prominent, with the help of over 20000 available cars, for tourist (Dlgrma.qld.gov.au, n.d.). Other than resorts presenting a perfect holiday vacation, beaches, shopping, cafes and markets are extremely common among tourists. There are special, dedicated residential units for backpackers alone, as international tourists make up for the change in domestic tourists due to seasonal changes. Queensland tourism accounts for about 5 percent of the state employees and 3 percent of state product, employing over 55,000 smaller businesses, in housing, food and transportation services that Queensland expects to attract 79 to 83 million domestic tourists and 40 to 60 million international tourists (Queensland Treasury 2008). Plans to further doubling down on tourist attractions out of natural, existing biodiversity is on the table, although climate changes make it harder to maintain (Pierce 2017).
Lately, climate change has led to problems in the region, making tourism harder, which in turn harms the income and economy of the area. One identified issue in the face of such disaster is the lack of proper regulation for housing in Bowen, among other areas. The number of pre-regulation buildings are huge, which generally end up collapsing instead of providing shelter. Owning to Queensland’s continuous experience with, with smaller yet consistent cyclones, the Disaster Management unit’s work has been less than efficient, with outright failing to take necessary preparatory steps in Hamilton and some places places, over a type 3(later 4) cyclone. Shelters occupying up to 700 people each when people in groups of north of 25000, later 3000 and 2000 at once have been asked to move and have joined in later(McMah 2017). Insufficiently planned exits, lack of safe houses and drainage had notmade indoors extremely dangerous. The points stated in the Disaster Management Plan, including preparedness, prevention, government capacity and capability, weren’t acted upon and a complete reliance was put on community capacity and capability and relying on measures for smaller disasters, which isn’t proper after 2011’s Cyclone Yasi (Travel Weekly, 2018). Since Queensland accounts for such a huge portion of tourism revenue, both government and private sector money has gone into rebranding a post-cyclone Queensland without enforcing proper regulation(in case of building, roads, shelters and so) for a safer Queensland, in case of another such incident. Recently, an investment of mere A$ 300,000 was made in the effort to rescue the scene post disaster (Ausleisure.com.au 2018). There is little that can be done with that amount of money for an area of 1.8 km2 and what was done was a marketing campaign which didn’t exactly generate much to help. The planning in multiple places is extremely outdated and no efforts were taken to reform or revamp the areas, mostly because the place, even at its worst seems like a lucrative revenue generator to be slowly and carefully repurposed into something with a longer longevity. Incidentally, not only were many places not evacuated, there was no proper warning given in some places due to outdated modes to studying and predicting cyclones, these were also the places were the cyclone hit the place worse.
The policy objectives are as follows:
The stakeholders in the proposal include:
Department of Housing and Public Works, Queensland,
Department of Transportation and Main Roads,
Australian Hotels Association,
Department of Premier and Cabinet,
Queensland Tourism Industry Council,
Drainage Division, Queensland,
Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning,
Local Housing Businesses,
Public School System, and Public Halls,
Domestic/International engineering firms(Melbourne Waters and Smith Engineering),
Queensland Police Department.
Something that has to be understood is that Queensland, while being a major source of income, hasn’t been put money into by the government outside of advertising. Around A$ 300,000 has gone into post Debbie recovery and efforts are more on using the small money to market the place and hoping others donate than actual ground level recovery (Pierce 2017). Considering Queensland’s multiple experience with such disaster, a sustainable, long term, low damage taking solution is necessary. If the entire money is spent on marketing the place, it not only leaves the locals to recover on their own, it tests the limits of small businesses to do so repeatedly. Considering the value of Queensland as a tourist attraction, undermining the need for rapid and sophisticated checks and measures will take a hit on the economy in the long run, or even short, if the damage is as consistent and timely as it has been for so long. The damage to smaller hotels and restaurants due to flooding and lack of strict regulation, could potentially affect tourism income to north of over A$500 million alone, let alone the unavoidable loss of A$250 million from sugar industry and winter crops.Renovating and repurposing existing buildings and businesses cuts out cost for the most parts in long term, to monetarily invest more in satellite systems, specialised on-site crew on shores, and a revamped drainage system. A certification from government for private housing incentives the corporation because it adds to better marketing and PR, while post disaster tax deductions helps them keep in live with the program. Redistribution and reallocation of assets is crucial to make sure that a great generator of revenue doesn’t become an unsalvageable scenario every few years, after only a few more disasters waiting to happen.
Ausleisure.com.au. (2018). Queensland tourism industry rallies following Cyclone Debbie - Australasian Leisure Management. [online] Available at: https://www.ausleisure.com.au/news/queensland-tourism-industry-rallies-following-cyclone-debbie/ [Accessed 15 Sep. 2018].
Australian Bureau of Statistics, Tourist accommodation, Small Area Data, Queensland, Cat No 8635.3.
Campos, M., Drake, L. and Anaman, K. (1999). Impact of Tropical Cyclone Warning Information on Incomes of Commercial Tourist Accommodation Operators Along the Queensland Coast. Economic Analysis and Policy, 29(2), pp.207-215.
Dlgrma.qld.gov.au. (n.d.). The economic and social impacts of tourism in the Far North Queensland planning region. [online] Available at: https://www.dlgrma.qld.gov.au/resources/plan/far-north-queensland/background/tourism-report.pdf [Accessed 15 Sep. 2018].
Gorlay, C. and Liddy, M. (2017). Up to 263kph: Cyclone Debbie's wind speeds visualised. [online] ABC News. Available at: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-28/cyclone-debbie-wind-speed-tracker/8392288 [Accessed 15 Sep. 2018].
Ipalawatte, C (2004): TRA niche market report number 4, Backpackers in Australia, 2003, Tourism Research Australia, Tourism Australia, Canberra.
McMah, L. (2017). Tourists forced to abandon holiday plans as Cyclone Debbie intensifies off Qld coast. [online] NewsComAu. Available at: https://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/incidents/tourists-forced-to-abandon-holiday-plans-as-cyclone-debbie-intensifies-off-qld-coast/news-story/f5d8e4f63d1169b6d75c7b7b54190c35 [Accessed 15 Sep. 2018].
Pierce, J. (2017). Tourism boost after Debbie. [online] NewsComAu. Available at: https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/home/outdoors/tourism-australia-tourism-and-events-queensland-to-deliver-major-marketing-campaign-for-state/news-story/4f080be76467c7fde57411576725e070 [Accessed 15 Sep. 2018].
Queensland Treasury, Office of Economic and Social Research, FNQ 2025 Planning area economic profile 2008.
Tourism Research Australia (2008), Tourism profiles for Local Government Areas in regional Australia—Queensland.
Travel Weekly. (2017). Cyclone Debbie's impact on tourism - Travel Weekly. [online] Available at: https://www.travelweekly.com.au/article/cyclone-debbies-impact-on-tourism/ [Accessed 15 Sep. 2018].
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