Applications opened on Monday, 11th October for the new “Major Tourism Experiences Hardship Grant,” an initiative by the Queensland Government to support businesses in the hospitality and tourism sectors affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This program aims to help businesses prepare for an influx of tourists when borders reopen.

The grant will provide up to $4 million to eligible major tourism attractions and experiences in Queensland with a turnover of $25 million or more, significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Providing the Major Tourism Experiences Hardship Grant is crucial for the Queensland Government. These attractions and experiences draw travelers from interstate and overseas, boosting employment opportunities for many Queensland residents.

The program aims to support the economic recovery of Queensland, enabling major tourism businesses to continue operations, retain staff, and prepare for border reopening.

Businesses receiving the Major Tourism Experiences Hardship Grant are ineligible for the Tourism and Hospitality Sector Hardship Grant, and vice versa.

To qualify, applicants must have a turnover of at least $25 million during the 2018-19, 2019-20, or 2020-21 financial year. New businesses, operational for less than 12 months, must demonstrate a similar turnover for their Queensland-based operations during the 2021-22 financial year.

Eligible applicants include businesses, business collections, or non-profit organizations with an Australian Business Number (ABN) held continuously since 30 June 2021, registered for GST, operating from Queensland premises since at least 30 June 2021, and not insolvent or under receivership or liquidation.

For businesses with associated entities in a business collection, only one application will be accepted. Applicants must demonstrate a decrease of at least 50% in annual turnover for their Queensland operations between 1st July and 30th September 2021.

Successful applicants will receive two equal payments, with eligibility for the second payment confirmed between 11th November and 6th December. Conditions for the second payment include employing at least one person in Queensland operations, remaining solvent, and trading from a Queensland-based premises as of 8th November 2021.

Applications must be submitted electronically, with no physical forms accepted. They can be filed via the Queensland Government’s Department of Tourism, Innovation, and Sport (DTIS). The application period closes on Monday, 22nd November 2021.