THE travel industry has taken a battering during the COVID-19 crisis but local agents still have much to offer Queenslanders looking to explore their own backyards.
For Maryborough Cruising and Travel agents Edyta Brummell and Merv Hastings, their message is simple – they’re still open and ready for business.
They spoke to the Chronicle as News Corp Australia launched Travel Fightback, a new campaign designed to support the tourism industry and encourage Australians to plan trips to see all our country has to offer.
While international travel was off the cards for some time, she said local idyllic destinations like Fraser and Elliot Islands were popular, as were North Queensland destinations including the Whitsundays, Cairns and surrounding areas.
Hervey Bay’s whale watching tours were also well sought after.
“We are still booking domestic travel such as rail trips to the Queensland outback. Shuttles or Queensland Rail trips to Brisbane,” Ms Brummell said.
“Every booking helps and we need our valued clients’ continued support.”
Ms Brummell also said cruise bookings still proved to be a popular travel option, despite the pandemic. The pair believes cruising will likely be within an Australia/South Pacific bubble for the foreseeable future.
“There are a number of our clients who love cruising and are looking forward to their next cruise,” she said.
“Some have re-booked for 2021 to New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. We are starting to get inquiries for any specials to the South Pacific or around the Australia.”
Ms Brummell hoped she’d see the travel industry return to pre-COVID levels but in the meantime, wanted the Federal Government to support the industry by extending Jobkeeper, at least until international travel returned.
Last week’s Federal Budget included $250 million for a Regional Tourism Recovery Package and $50 million for destinations most affected by the closure of Australia’s international border, but also revealed the government’s expectation that international travel “would remain low through the latter part of 2021”.
Maryborough Cruising and Travel is located at 401 Kent St.
Phone 4123 4355.