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August 10, 2020
In this issue
Accommodation industry welcomes JobKeeper expansion
Festival delivers positive news to in-person hotelier gathering
Mixed fortunes for Macau MICE industry
New executive chef for Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley
Accommodation industry welcomes JobKeeper expansion
The federal government has announced a $15 billion expansion of the JobKeeper program to assist industries affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Eligible businesses will now only need to show that their GST has fallen over one quarter instead of multiple, and workers will qualify if they were unemployed on July 1, rather than March 1.
Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) has welcomed the changes, with CEO Michael Johnson saying they will help boost confidence within the accommodation industry.
“These are reasonably minor adjustments that will deliver major benefits and we commend the Federal Government for their ongoing agility in responding to COVID-19,” he said.
While commending the changes, Mr Johnson admitted that the next few months will remain highly precarious for the sector.
Festival delivers positive news to in-person hotelier gathering
By Brad Foster
The Queensland Hotels Association (QHA) recently gathered a small group of its Brisbane accommodation members together to review the current state-of-play of the industry and to hear some positive news from Charlie Cush, CEO of the Brisbane Festival that is planning to go ahead in September.
This was the first time since February that the quarterly forum could be staged. It was held in an appropriately-distanced mode in the spacious QHA Boardroom and provided a welcome opportunity for many local directors of sales & marketing to meet with each other in person, exchange information and share thoughts on the way forward.
Continue reading here. 
Mixed fortunes for Macau MICE industry
By Gerardine Donough-Tan
Macau climbed from 17th to 12th among Asia Pacific cities in 2019 in the International Congress and Convention Association annual rankings, logging 54 international conferences, a 38-per cent increase over 2018.
But for the first quarter of 2020, the Statistics and Census Service reported a 69.8-per cent year-on-year decline in MICE to 114, comprising 109 meetings and conferences, three exhibitions and two incentives. The number of events postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19 in subsequent months has not been officially announced yet.
Macao International Environmental Co-operation Forum & Exhibition was among the casualties. G2E (Global Gaming Expo) Asia 2020, another major event, was re-scheduled from mid-May to late July and is now postponed to December. Some small events are still listed on the calendar through December.
New executive chef for Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley
Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley has announced the appointment of James Viles as executive chef. James is one of Australia’s most acclaimed regional restaurateurs, best known for his imaginative modern food and commitment to locally-sourced produce.
Some of James’ career highlights have included receiving a Good Food Guide chef’s hat at just 23 years old, and opening Biota Dining in Bowral, which was named the Good Food Guide’s Regional Restaurant of the Year in 2014 and 2015.
Commenting on his new role, James said: “I’m overjoyed to be doing what I love, which is creating beautiful, authentic food and exciting dining experiences for guests. The resort’s passion for sustainability is something that I share, and I’m looking forward to working with some of Australia’s best regional producers and artisans in and around the Blue Mountains.”
We welcome your news and input on our sector. Email brad@btp.net.au, helen@btp.net.au, jenny@btp.net.au, or digital1@btp.net.au.
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