Gympie tourism says no to May Labour Day
THE proposal to return the Labour Day holiday to May could cause mayhem for Gympie tourism and hospitality operators.
New Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she would reverse the changes made by Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie in 2013, which pushed the holiday to October.
But while the government was entitled to make changes, Gympie Cooloola Tourism chairman Jan Watt said the impact on local businesses was too great.
She said it would create chaos because businesses, individuals and families have already booked events in advance of the 2015 long weekend.
Many events were already advertised and payed for, so to change the holiday could have a negative financial impact.
Instead, Ms Watt said there should be 12 months notice so bookings could be deferred in 2016.
"People I work with directly are concerned," she said.
"There will be losses and a lack of confidence in organisation (if changes are made this year).
"We need to plan ahead."
Ms Watt has worked in the tourism and hospitality sector for around 15 years and found the October day was more beneficial for Gympie region businesses.
For operators, she said, spaces between holidays created a balance in the calendar and last year many reported full bookings for the Labour Day weekend.
"To have them spread out across the calendar provides financial security for the tourism industry," she said.
Gympie Chamber of Commerce president Ben Ellingsen said public holidays also resulted in a decrease in business productivity and less economic output.
He said business owners coped better with losses when holidays were spread apart.
"In the first six months, that's when all our public holidays are crammed," Mr Ellingsen said.
"Quite often businesses would say the lost production in those first six months is quite significant."
Queensland Tourism Industry Council CEO Daniel Gschwind will represent Gympie Cooloola Tourism when he meets Ms Palaszczuk to discuss the Labour Day proposal.