More tourism operators open as restrictions eased
MORE tourism businesses are reopening following the latest easing of restrictions, with Whitsunday Segway Tours the latest operator to throw open its doors.
The award-winning operator - the business won gold awards for both Excellence in Sustainable Tourism and the Steve Irwin Award for Eco Tourism at the 2019 Whitsunday Tourism Awards - will resume tour operations this Tuesday, May 12.
The move comes as the Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) - the peak, membership-based industry body for tourism in Queensland - said the clarity offered by Friday's announcement was what the industry had "desperately sought" from governments.
"The tourism industry welcomed Friday's announcement by the Prime Minister and the Queensland Premier, mapping out the easing of COVID-19 restrictions," QTIC chief executive Daniel Gschwind said.
"We met with the Queensland Premier and the Queensland Tourism Minister as late as Thursday, to stress the importance of providing clear stepping stones and timelines for tourism operators to prepare for a return to business. Today's announcements have delivered just that.
"The only viable, long-term strategy is for businesses, importantly in tourism, to be allowed to get back to business and generate income for regional communities and safeguard jobs.
"We will continue to work closely with the Queensland Government to reassure health officials and the travelling public that our Queensland operators are committed to providing COVID-safe tourism services and safe workplaces."
Whitsunday Segway Tours owner Zak Kelly said it was "amazing news".
"With Stage One starting soon in the reduction of restrictions, larger groups are able to gather outdoors," he said.
"This is amazing news as it means that our tours can operate up to capacity, whilst following social distancing rules. We have also introduced strict and rigorous cleaning procedures to ensure the health and safety of each and every client that attends our tour."
Mr Kelly said with beautiful Whitsunday winter weather on the way, it was the perfect time to get out with the family to get some fresh air and explore "our own backyard".
"We offer tours either along the Airlie Beach Whitsunday Bicentennial Boardwalk or in the pristine Conway National Park," he said.
"We also offer discounts for our locals in the region of $20 off per person for our morning Segway Rainforest Discovery Tour, and $30 off per person for our afternoon Segway Sunset and Boardwalk tour."
Whitsunday Segway Tours joins several other tourist businesses to have reopened recently as coronavirus restrictions are eased, including Whitsunday Jetski Tours, Airlie Boat Hire and Cumberland Charter Yachts.
Some operators have said, however, that it would not be viable for them to reopen until social distancing regulations are relaxed and they can take more people out on each tour.