The world’s first industry-led climate change response plan has been launched in a bid to build a more resilient future for Queensland’s tourism industry.
The Building a resilient tourism industry: Queensland tourism climate change response plan aims to help the tourism industry promote building business resilience and reduce its footprint, as well as lead the way in supporting and driving a successful transition to a low carbon economy.
The plan is the culmination for more than six months work by QTIC, in partnership with Griffith Institute for Tourism and the Department of Environment and Science.
QTIC Chief Executive Officer Daniel Gschwind said the release of the plan couldn’t be better timed after the past few years saw extreme weather events cause havoc for tourism businesses.
“Now, more than ever, we need to future-proof our industry and prepare ourselves to better manage the ever-increasing number of climate risks thrown at our Sunshine State,” Mr Gschwind said.
“As one of the most vulnerable industry in Australia and the least prepared to manage climate risks, it is critical that the tourism industry adapts and matures to ensure long-term success for all involved.
“This is an ambitious plan that sees businesses and the State Government join together to build resilience and show the world that we understand the value of the natural assets we have and that we are willing to fight to protect it.
“For local tourism businesses, it is all about efficiencies, reducing waste and acting as stewards of the environment that we all very much depend on.”
Guided by input from more than 150 stakeholders from across the Queensland tourism industry, the plan outlines six key priority areas to help build a more resilient industry. They are:
- Resilient businesses, destinations and communities
- Stewardship and education for healthy natural assets
- Green tourism leading the way towards carbon neutrality
- Diversified products for quality visitor experiences
- Sustainable branding and marketing
- A united tourism industry working together with government and communities.
“With the launch of the plan, we expect to see the industry take on a stronger stewardship role, enhancing efficiencies and building resilience within our industry. We are also looking forward to seeing the integration of action across other policies and strategies that influence the sector,” said Mr Gschwind.
With the Mary Cairncross Reserve as the backdrop, tourism industry stalwarts, government officials and champions for sustainability gathered for Friday’s plan launch.
Key take-home messages from the day included:
- Climate change presents both opportunities and challenges for the tourism industry.
- Sustainability isn’t just about the environment – it’s also about the economic and social aspects of a business/the industry.
- The linear economy is dead. It is time to promote a circular economy.
- Sustainability takes genuine commitment and needs to be a part of your company’s ethos.
Download a copy of the Plan.
WATCH: 7 News’ coverage of the launch.
PHOTO: Brisbane Airport Corporation's Andrew Masci, The Circular Experiment's Jaine and Ashleigh Morris, Assistant Minister for Tourism Industy Development Meaghan Scanlon, Griffith Institute for Tourism's Rob Hales, Deputy Direct General of Department of Environment and Science Tony Roberts, Spicers Retreats' Kira Klein and QTIC's Daniel Gschwind.