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‘Dramatic and definitive’: Tourism responds to PCR test dumping

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While Queensland holiday bookings have been strong throughout December and into January, images of hours-long lines at Covid testing centres, both in Queensland and interstate, have taken some shine off the results, sparking fears potential tourists would be turned off.However, with the decision to relax entry requirements for visitors, it is hoped tourists will continue flocking to Queensland throughout the summer.Queensland Tourism Industry Council CEO Daniel Gschwind said the decision “removes a huge inconvenience” for people wanting to come to Queensland.“It’s a very dramatic and definitive step towards the long-term recovery of our industry,” he said.“It will make people more confident in coming here and more confident that they can enjoy their stay while they are here.”Destination Gold Coast CEO Patricia O’Callaghan said the decision, coupled with the move to scrap tests on day five of their stay for Queensland visitors, was a double win for the sector.“It means tourists can spend more time visiting our beautiful attractions instead of lining up at Covid testing centres,” she said.“This is a really big step forward.“We know the pent-up demand is there so this gives us some confidence that we can deliver a $280 million summer for the Gold Coast after losing some $3.6 billion over the past 18 months.”At the other end of the state, Tourism Tropical North Queensland CEO Mark Olsen said removing the obstacle of requiring a PCR test before travelling to Queensland would make the idea of a holiday more appealing.Cairns has been one of the hardest hit regions of the tourism industry, with many favouring drive market holiday options rather than risk being declared a close contact or prevented from flying due to positive Covid cases.“It’s a really good start,” said Mr Olsen.“Hopefully it convinces people who had been second-guessing to not only come here, but to stay for longer.”



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