Gold coast tourism jobs cut by 20pc during pandemic, hotelier makes vaccination mandatory

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One in five jobs in the Gold Coast tourism industry have been cut in a year, according to data from the Tourism and Transport Forum.

Data shows 20,094 full-time and part-time direct tourism jobs have been lost in 12 months to June 2021 and more cuts are expected.

Destination Gold Coast CEO Patricia O’Callaghan said the figures were heartbreaking for the industry.

“With half of Australia’s population currently in lockdown, we are expecting another 4,000 jobs to be lost before Christmas, so an industry that’s really hanging on by a thread at the moment,” Ms O’Callaghan said.

A $600 million package was announced for the industry last month but the Gold Coast tourism body was calling for further support.

“We are staring into an abyss from now until Christmas,” Ms O’Callaghan said.

“So as this crisis unfolds, further support measures [are needed] such as business hardship grants, wage subsidies, and anything that will help our businesses keep their doors open until the vaccination rollout is complete.”

Sarah Gardiner from Griffith Institute for Tourism said the Gold Coast was one of the locations most affected by international closures.

“A lot of destinations such as the Gold Coast, Cairns in Tropical North Queensland, and Brisbane have been most heavily impacted,” she said.

Ms Gardiner said domestic visitor numbers were down 37 per cent and expenditure was down 47 per cent.

“It’s getting pretty tough now, they’ve burnt through any cash reserves. Psychologically, it’s pretty tough to stay in the game,” she said.

Vaccines mandatory at Gold Coast hotel

A Gold Coast hotelier is making COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for his staff.

Jerry Schwartz, who owns Paradise Resort in Surfers Paradise, said any staff who refused to be vaccinated would be given alternative jobs that did not deal with other staff or guests.

“First of all, I’m a doctor so I wanted to do the right medical issue. Second of all, I’m in the hospitality business and I want it to be safe not only for our staff but also our guests,” Dr Schwartz said.

“I’ve communicated very strong letters with my staff coercing them to have vaccines, and now we’re at the stage forcing them to have vaccines.”

He said there had been very little pushback, with only 2 per cent of staff opposed to being vaccinated.

Hopes of a tourism boom

Ms O’Callaghan said she expected visitors to flock back to the Gold Coast after borders reopened.

“We’re watching what’s happening across the world at the moment. We know as soon as restrictions ease, people are getting out and about and travelling,” she said.

“From now until that point though, here in Australia, we need to ensure that our industry is supported so we can open with a bang and the Gold Coast will once again be the tourism capital of this country.

“But until then, a helping had to get our industry through is going to be the message.”

(Original ABC Article)