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Queenland’s Sydney ban will cost tourism operators millions

BROOKE CORTE

Queensland premier Annastacia Palaczczuk’s sudden decision to declare all of Greater Sydney a coronavirus hotspot and ban residents from visiting the state will deliver another crushing blow to the state’s struggling tourism sector.

The decision to close the border to Australia’s most populous city comes after two returning teenage travellers tested positive for coronavirus after lying at the border about visiting Melbourne to avoid spending two weeks in mandatory quarantine.

Queensland’s tourism sector employs around 250,000 people and generates roughly $26 billion in annual revenue. The industry is still reeling after losing more than $5 billion last quarter due to COVID-19.

Former Tourism Australia CEO John O’Sullivan, now the CEO of ASX listed adventure business Experience Co, says the risk of extended and expanded lockdown could force some business owners to consider closing permanently.

“Through the latter part of the year, there’ll be some operators that will be thinking do I want to keep doing this, or do I want to sell my business, or do I want to close my business?”

“There’ll probably be some more movement on that front as we go through the rest of the year.”

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BROOKE CORTE
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