A Townsville marine tourism operator says local visitation has kept them going, but they aren’t the only ones impacted by the support.
Paul Crocombe, owner and operator of Adrenalin Snorkel and Dive says without locals going on snorkelling and scuba diving trips to the reef his business wouldn’t be able to stay afloat, and the flow on effects impact many other businesses he works with.
“A lot of people don’t realise how connected the marine tourism industry is and how interconnected we are with non-tourism businesses,” Mr Crocombe said.
“We work with mechanical workshops and fitters, marine suppliers, the Breakwater Marina for our fuel and place to park the boat.”
“Those relationships have been built over time, 30 years of business to be exact, and the people you work with become like family, they are just a phone call away when you need a hand,” he said.
Scott Marshall, General Manager Breakwater Marina, says on a month-to-month basis commercial vessels and operators account for 30% of the fuel sold, and when tourism operators need to cancel trips, it significantly impacts the marina.
“We certainly see a significant downturn in the fuel consumption side of our business if the commercial operators don’t have the numbers to operate,” Mr Marshall said.
“I think anything that spotlights the connectivity the tourism industry has to members of our community is absolutely essential,” Mr Marshall said.
Townsville Enterprise Director – Visitor Economy and Marketing Lisa Woolfe says these personal stories are the reason the region’s peak tourism body has launched a new ‘Together in Tourism’ campaign, encouraging locals to show how they support the industry by using the hashtag #togetherintourism.
“This campaign is all about sharing with locals how their business isn’t felt by just one operator. If they go out to experience the reef, it’s the crew, the fuel suppliers, the mechanical engineers who maintain the vessels that are all kept in a job because of their support,” Mrs Woolfe said.
“It’s been an arduous 18 months for tourism operators who saw their main customers all but disappear in the blink of an eye. And now as our major interstate markets from New South Wales and Victoria are unable to travel to our region we’re calling on Queenslanders to continue to support our region.”
“We need to get behind operators now if we want our region to have exceptional tourism experiences to attract interstate and international visitors back when borders reopen,” she said.