The launch today of a study to assess the care and support needs of tourists travelling to Tropical North Queensland will make the region’s world-renowned sites more accessible and inclusive.
Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said tourists who were elderly or had a disability had previously been unable to experience the unique sites of the tropics without dedicated care and support.
He said this project received $60,000 in federal government support towards a feasibility study under the Regional Jobs and Investment Package.
“This study will identify service gaps that prevent the aged or people with a disability from exploring our beautiful part of the world,” Mr Entsch said.
“This study will deliver more inclusive tourism by crunching the numbers and conducting interviews with peak tourist and hospitality bodies, in addition to health and other service providers.”
Ten Years Younger Home Care CEO Kevin Fields said the results of the feasibility study have identified an opportunity for the organisation to progress towards a business case in providing care and support to elderly and disabled tourists wishing a Tropical North Queensland holiday experience.
“The surveys conducted across Australia indicated that the current market size for domestic “assisted care” for travellers to TNQ could employ around 50 full-time additional staff at full capacity,” Mr Fields said.
“The market propensity to visit TNQ was also substantiated with 76 per cent stating that they considered a TNQ holiday as an appealing or very appealing destination.
“In additional to the domestic traveller, if you then apply the same modelling to the 880,000 international tourists and cruise travellers who visit TNQ annually then the demand for TYYHC services will be significant.
“It is anticipated that the inclusion of proposed care services will not only complement our existing tourism services, but may well increase tourism numbers to our region because of the services being available.”
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the study will benefit both tourists and local businesses and suppliers through improved access and higher visitor spending.
“Planning ahead is vital to maintaining an industry’s relevance and competitiveness, so this study has consulted a range of educational and training institutions along with the local tourism industry to ensure staff have the necessary training,” Mr McCormack said.
“This will have flow-on effects to the local economy, with most recent estimates from the study indicating up to 50 new jobs will be created as a result of this expanded marketplace – a great result for everybody involved.”