The Queensland Government is hoping that a brand new $7.5 million campaign will be able to persuade thousands of workers from around Australia to relocate to Queensland in order to help rebuild its struggling tourism sector.

Launched on Thursday 20th May, the “Work in Paradise” campaign intends to offer eligible workers $1500 in cash, travel vouchers worth up to $250 and low-cost accommodation in exchange for taking up a tourism job in regional Queensland.

The Queensland Government contends that this package aims to address the shortage of workers in the tourism industry, which has been badly impacted by the covid-19 pandemic.

This proposal will give chefs, bartenders, waiters, tour guides and deckhands an exciting opportunity to work on the Great Barrier Reef and other popular tourism destinations located across Queensland.

The incentives will be on offer for jobs in region north from Mackay as well as regions located inland west of Toowoomba.

Over the duration of the covid-19 pandemic, the Queensland Government has spent over $800 million to support the tourism industry. The sector is slowly recovering but there is still thousands of available job positions which desperately need to be filled to keep up with the influx of interstate tourists.

Destinations such as Port Douglas have the potential to benefit significantly from the government’s new incentives. Tourism Port Douglas has said in a statement to the media, that the region has been suffering from a serious shortage of staffing issues since November 2020.

In a world prior to covid-19, venues in Port Douglas were heavily reliant on hiring working holidaymakers every year to fill the required number of job positions.

As a result of the staff shortages and inability to access working holidaymakers, some restaurants in Port Douglas have been forced to operate at 80 percent and on top of this are deciding to close one or two days a week just so they can look after their permanent workforce and give their current employees a break.

Some of tourism operators in North Queensland also believe that $1,500 isn’t enough to cover the costs of relocating to work in regional Queensland. One employee revealed that it costs them $3000 to move from Mackay to Cairns.

In southern Queensland, Stanthorpe’s tourism businesses have also welcomed the announcement and are desperate for staff due to the ongoing spike in tourists visiting the region.

Spring 2020 was one of the busiest tourist seasons in history for the Granite Belt. As a result of this, the majority of accommodation in the region was booked to capacity months in advance following the easing of covid-19 restrictions.

As the number of restaurants booking continued to rise it was hard to capitalise on the large number of people interested in travelling to the region as most restaurants didn’t have enough staff employed to keep up with the customers’ demands and public interest.

Another problem which is making it difficult for hospitality venues in regional Queensland is the lack of rental properties available to house the employees who are planning to relocate to the region for work under the government’s new incentive.

Despite receiving plenty of job applications from potential new employees many of the employees have a hard time finding a place to live in the region.