Advocacy Alert: Recovery framework to guide industry through COVID-19

Townsville Enterprise is today releasing its three phase North Queensland Tourism, Events and Hospitality Recovery Framework to support the industry that has been hit first and hardest get back on its feet.

  • Coordinated with industry and the Townsville COVID-19 Coordination Taskforce
  • Framework remains agile to adapt to change, and uses the strengths of the region strategically to apply a targeted marketing approach, as restrictions are eased

The tourism, events and hospitality industry sector, which supports over 7,000 local jobs and contributes more than $1.2B annually to the region’s economy, need assistance to immediately move forward and a path that will lay the foundations for a stronger future for the sector in North Queensland.

We have been working on this framework for some time with a number of activities already in place to support our local tourism industry during the pandemic, such as the Buy Now Holiday Later campaign and the Virtual Staycation Series, and we will work with the Townsville COVID-19 Coordination Taskforce to promote the implementation of this framework.

The Recovery Framework is broken into three phases – Phase 1: Remain (Defend and Maintain), Phase 2: Re-emerge (Building Destination Demand), Phase 3: Re-imagine (Entering New Markets). The implementation of the framework will also be coordinated through the Townsville COVID-19 Coordination Taskforce which has been set up to coordinate and accelerate the long-term recovery of the Townsville region from the Health, Social and Economic impacts of COVID-19.

Phase 1: Remain - The current environment and the situation we have faced in the past eight weeks during the COVID-19 Level 3 social distancing restrictions.
The focus here is on keeping the industry alive and engaged, ensuring the destination is top-of-mind, and building a database of future travellers. Importantly, this phase also includes strongly advocating for tourism businesses to secure the support measures necessary to keep their heads above water.

Phase 2: Re-emerge - Triggered as Level 3 social distancing restrictions begin to be eased.
Focused upon building visitor demand, encouraging travel, supporting businesses to reopen and promoting local tourism products. Significant industry engagement and development will occur during this phase, re-establishing our airline partnerships, assisting businesses in reopening to be ‘COVID Safe’, turbo-charging our destination marketing, and launching a strategic and highly targeted recovery campaign to drive visitation and rebuild the industry. It is this phase we will also work with our five regional councils to leverage their revised events calendars.

Phase 3: Re-imagine - Start to launch new product opportunities long-term.
'Re-magine' kicks in when we start to look to opportunities in the 'Trans-Tasman bubble' and connections into New Zealand and longer term as we will rebuild international markets. It is this phase that we can commence strategies for introducing new markets (both domestic and international).

We’ve ensured our framework is flexible to pivot the messaging, at the right time, and to the right audience based on emerging demands – as we’re entering a whole new world. The framework can also adapt as situations change, social distancing restrictions begin to be eased, and as we work through the regional, state and national road-map to recovery.

Australian’s usually take over nine million trips abroad each year and spend in excess of $60 billion on international travel. Given they aren’t able to travel overseas at the moment, this is a big opportunity for our region, but it also has its challenges since the entire nation will also be targeting domestic travellers.

Townsville and North Queensland has historically attracted a strong regional market and is less dependent on international visitation. We have strengths in the domestic market which we will use strategically and apply a targeted marketing approach as social distancing restrictions begin to be eased and geographic boundaries reopen to assist the industry in bouncing back faster.

We have a comprehensive understanding of our region’s tourism and hospitality businesses and we will continue to work closely with our local operators, industry and government at all levels to get through the challenges that lay ahead of us. We look forward to working with the Townsville COVID-19 Coordination Taskforce to implement this framework and help our local businesses get back on their feet.


Townsville Enterprise Director -Tourism & Events, Lisa Woolfe will provide an update on the three phased North Queensland Tourism, Events and Hospitality Recovery Framework, designed to support industry through COVID-19.

Learn about the next steps in our regional tourism recovery, and join us on the journey to rebuilding a stronger North Queensland.


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