COMPILED BY RODERICK EIME
As we’ve seen so vividly on the almost continuous news telecasts, fellow Australians have turned out in tens of thousands to help both their neighbours and strangers stricken by the devastating floods. Queensland hoteliers and accommodation providers have also put their shoulder to the wheel. Here is a summary of some of their efforts.
North Queensland $1M ‘Bed Bank’
Coordinated by Tourism Queensland and the State Government with the support of the Regional Tourism Organisations in Townsville, Mackay, The Whitsundays and Cairns, local providers have set a target of $1M worth of room nights for displaced families.
“The idea was put forward to have $1million worth of beds set aside between Mackay and Cairns so that people displaced by flooding in Queensland have a clean, dry alternative accommodation,” said Townsville Enterprise General Manager of Destination Marketing and Development, Scott Waters.
“Some of our smaller operators like Balgal Beach Holiday Units and Marcol Place opened their doors as soon as they heard about the “bed bank” and we’ve also had a great response from some of the bigger accommodation houses like Jupiters Townsville and Rydges as well as some on the Island. There’s even been a few from Bowen who have offered beds.”
“Qantas and Virgin Blue have also come to the party with offers of free travel and the response from our operators here in North Queensland has been amazing.”
Any operators wishing to add to the “bed bank” could do so by contacting Townsville Enterprise on 07 4726 2753. www.townsvilleenterprise.com.au
Hayman supports flood victims
Hayman Island will donate $50 from every new accommodation booking made during January to the Queensland Government Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal.
“The Hayman team would like to extend deepest sympathies and support to our fellow Queenslanders who have been affected by the recent floods,” said Hayman General Manager, Shane Green.
Whitsundays donates AUD$100,000 to the ‘bed bank’… so far
Generous Whitsundays accommodation providers have pledged over $100,000 worth of rooms to the Queensland flood appeal.
If you would like to donate accommodation for flood-affected victims, please call Tourism Whitsundays on 07 4948 5900.
The announcement of the donation to the flood appeal would also be an opportunity to spread the message that North Queensland was not affected by flooding.
“Unfortunately there is a misconception that all of Queensland is flooded and that is wreaking havoc for tourism operators across North Queensland,” Tourism Whitsundays Chief Executive Officer Peter O’Reilly said.
Victorian restaurants serve up relief
The restaurant industry is rallying to help support colleagues who have had their businesses affected by the Queensland floods by joining forces to host a series of dining events around the state on Australia Day. Each participating restaurant is pledging to donate a percentage of its takings on the day.
A dedicated website — victorianrestaurantsunite.com.au — is a central point for restaurants, staff and suppliers wishing to participate.
The website will also serve as a portal for consumers with the list of participating venues as it expands.
Ubid4rooms.com Donates to Appeal and Supports Unaffected Operators
Despite the reports of 75 per cent of Queensland being flooded, the Gold Coast, Cairns, Port Douglas, Sunshine Coast, Noosa, Great Barrier Reef and Islands and many other areas are all either unaffected or back to normal operations.
“While donating to the flood appeals is excellent ( link: qld.gov.au/floods) it is also important to help out the tourism operators, which in turn helps small business and the wider community in general,” said Gary Berman, Managing Director, Ubid4rooms.com
“We want to help as well so we will donate $5.00 from every booking we receive until the end of January to the flood appeal.”