Mary Carrol from Capricorn Enterprise in central Queensland says media coverage of Cyclone Marcia last month could have a lasting damaging effect on tourism in the area.
She said the tourism industry usually went into a downturn after a natural disaster but recent media coverage could leave a lasting impression that this area has been wiped out. This is not the case.
“National media has their full attention when there is a disaster but we need that same national media for the recovery period and it just doesn’t happen. We learnt after the flood in 2011 that the perception that the whole state was under water and the area had been affected more than it had – that perception takes a long time to dissolve.”
Tourism minister Kate Jones said the state government would support a media campaign to start on Sunday to overcome the problem. She said it was important for tourists not to cancel their holidays because of the cyclone. “Taking a holiday in the region is one of the best ways to help the region get back and recover,” she said. “People have worked so hard in the last eight to nine days to get the region back on its feet and tourism operators really want us to say that the southern Great Barrier Reef is a very special part of Queensland and we really are ready to welcome visitors back to the area.”