'Zero income': Essential to Coast but not on paper
TOUR boat operators have had "zero" business since COVID-19 restrictions were implemented two months ago and accommodation places aren't faring much better with guests limited to essential travellers.
A survey released this week by Fraser Coast Regional Council shows almost three quarters of local businesses have felt the economic impacts of COVID-19 but the effects have not been uniform across the region.
Peter Lynch of Blue Dolphin Marine Tours is one of the region's tour operators who, in being defined as unessential travel, had been unable to operate at all due to the restrictions.
Mr Lynch has had to refund bookings for tours that were unable to go ahead and has only this week begun to receive bookings for future tours.
He said the small operator was able to retain its one employee due to the Queensland Government's Jobkeeper payment.
With restrictions easing on June 12 they are working on preparations to begin operating within prescribed guidelines such as providing 4 sqm of space per person.
"It's a big learning curve," he said.
Whalesong Cruises general manager Rebecca Greenshields said her business was in the same situation and they made the most of their forced closure by updating their safety plan, introducing a COVID-19 plan and taking the opportunity to have a rare break.
Ms Greenshields said the operator had to work out different ways to deliver their buffet meals to meet the restrictions and were waiting for Queensland Health approval they hoped would enable their boat, which is surveyed to carry 100 people, to take 40 passengers.
The Bay Apartments have had cancellations from all corporate and sporting groups as well as tourists after restrictions enabled them to only even Brisbane guests had cancelled due to being outside the 250km limit on travel as allowed in stage 2 restrictions.
(Articles contributed by Margie Maccoll have been supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas.)