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Analysing the impact of the 2011 natural disasters on the Central Queensland tourism industry
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Scott Richardson, Roger March, Marilyn Lewis, Kylie Radel
The past decade has been particularly difficult for the tourism industry worldwide, and in Asia/Australasia in particular, as crises have followed in rapid succession, starting with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Severe flooding in Central Queensland in early 2011, was followed soon after by Cyclone Yasi, again revealing the vulnerability of communities to the forces of nature. The tourism industry, due to the discretionary nature of the consumption activity, is particularly vulnerable to crises and the fragmented nature of the industry can make it difficult to prepare for and quickly respond to crises. This paper investigates the impacts of the 2011 flooding and Cyclone Yasi on Central Queensland tourism operators and the degree of implementation and effectiveness of the Tourism Queensland Crisis Management Plan Template to prepare regional tourism organisations and businesses for crises such as these. This research has found that whilst only a small number of Central Queensland tourism operators were directly affected by Cyclone Yasi and the flooding, the impacts and outcomes appear very similar for both those directly and indirectly affected: (i) loss of business revenue, downsizing the operation due to the decrease in the number of tourists; (ii) medium term impacts due toongoing negative media coverage; and (iii) lack of compensation from insurance companies and the Queensland Government. All these have led to a very slow recovery for the tourism industry within Central Queensland.