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Two milky drinks with straws sit on a table in front of a green park with many people
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5 February 2024

A three-year project led by ͼ and the tourism industry has delivered a roadmap to help one of the state’s most important sectors develop resilience and recover from disaster.

The is a toolkit for employees, operators and other stakeholders based on research led by of ͼ’s in collaboration with .

Resource sheets provide practical insights on building resilience in 5 key regions – the Gold Coast, Tropical North Queensland, Outback Queensland, Queensland Country and the Whitsundays.

The suggested actions include offering support networks and flexible work arrangements to employees, facilitating knowledge sharing between staff, investing in staff coaching, mentoring and training programs, and collaboration across all levels of government to increase housing affordability and availability.

Dr Robinson said the plan addressed the profound impact of COVID-19 on Queensland's tourism industry.

“When COVID hit, there was talk of doom and gloom and the end of tourism, but history tells us that tourism has an extremely resilient demand and supply cycle,” Dr Robinson said.

“The overarching objective of our research was to cultivate an attitude in the industry of being prepared and proactively planning to navigate and withstand future adversities – it’s called ‘presilience’.”

Dr Robinson talked to employees, operators, policymakers, peak bodies, destination managers and related industry sectors throughout the 3-year project to identify emerging challenges and develop targeted actions for a more sustainable workforce.

He said disruptions to the industry over the past 3 years had led to a critical shortage of effectively trained and skilled workers.

“After signs of recovery in 2022, employee and organisational resilience decreased by 2023, with indications of operator exhaustion highlighting the need for targeted interventions,” Dr Robinson said.

“Strong learning and change cultures in tourism businesses are highly predictive of resilient organisations, with positive flow-on effects for communities and destinations.

“We hope this accessible and user-friendly resource, which complements higher-level strategies, is both a timely and enduring support for a sustainable Queensland tourism workforce.”

QTIC CEO Brett Fraser said the organisation was proud to partner with ͼ to develop a vital plan.

“Evidence-based, industry-led commentary must guide our future efforts in tackling tourism’s workforce challenges,” Mr Fraser said.

“I encourage all those connected with the tourism industry to take the opportunity to use the invaluable resources that have emerged from this project.”

The research was funded by the Queensland Government's Advance Queensland scheme.

Media: Associate Professor Richard Robinson, richard.robinson@business.uq.edu.au, +61 434 072 049; BEL Communications, communications@bel.uq.edu.au, +61 7 3346 9349.