GAPDL CEO, Gus Stedman.
GAPDL CEO, Gus Stedman.

Tourism numbers not yet impacted by coronavirus

GLADSTONE'S tourism figures have not yet been affected by the Coronavirus outbreak, due to its limited exposure to markets in China and Asia.

There has been no significant decline in visitor numbers to the area, but Gladstone's promotional body expects all regions to be affected if the outbreak continues.

"While the Gladstone region does not have significant exposure to the Asian market any reduction in visitor numbers to our region has an effect on our economy," Gladstone Area Promotion and Development CEO Gus Stedman said.

The State Government is spending $7 million on international promotion as part of a $27.25 million coronavirus aid package.

The majority of the money will be spent promoting the Tropical Far North and Gold Coast, which are considered particularly reliant on Chinese tourism.

An overall drop in international tourists to the state is likely to increase competition for operators across Queensland.

The State Government is also taking measures to stem the impact the outbreak is having on Queensland's agriculture, fishing and education sectors.

"The overnight downturn in Chinese tourists, students and export markets is having enormous impact," Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

She called on the Federal Government to match the funding commitment "dollar for dollar".

"Federal support would allow us to provide a $2000 resilience grant for up to 6000 small business owners and it would trigger $700,000 in export grants for small to medium enterprises allowing them to travel to China and reconnect with partners once borders re-open," Ms Palaszczuk said.