Photo: Chris Griffin, CEO, Tourism Northern Tasmania and Shona Markham, GM, Bell Bay Aluminium
Northern Tasmania’s hard-hit tourism industry will receive free coaching to become ‘COVID safe’ through a partnership between Tourism Northern Tasmania and Rio Tinto’s Bell Bay Aluminium smelter.
To help local tourism businesses meet WorkSafe compliance regulations, Bell Bay Aluminium will provide $100,000 to fund a new region-wide coaching program, COVID Gold Standard.
With intrastate travel restrictions removed from this Friday, hundreds of tourism-related businesses in the region will be required to comply with the Tasmanian Government’s COVID-19 Safe Workplaces Framework encompassing Safe Workplaces Guidelines and minimum standards.
With the sector valued in 2019 at more than half a billion dollars, a safe approach that will see tourism return to scale is critical to the region’s recovery, says Tourism Northern Tasmania CEO Chris Griffin.
“Our priority is making sure Northern Tasmanian tourism operators have assistance and coaching in meeting COVID Safe guidelines and incorporating them into their business practices,” Chris said.
The region’s tourism industry spans hospitality, accommodation, transport, attractions, wine and food outlets, and events, with compliance guidelines varying between sectors, and a primary concern of businesses is being compliant, according to feedback provided to Tourism Northern Tasmania.
“We saw a need to develop a one-on-one, tailored business coaching program we’re calling the COVID Gold Standard, to help businesses meet WorkSafe compliance guidelines as part of their recovery plans and help them get back on their feet,” Chris said.
“The vast majority of these tourism businesses are small to micro-sized companies that often seek support in navigating the system. Our business coaches will be on hand to work with them, and to help them make the necessary adjustments to what they offer in a post-pandemic world.”
The A$100,000 partnership between Bell Bay Aluminium and Tourism Northern Tasmania is the first major investment announced in Tasmania as part of a US$25 million commitment Rio Tinto has made to support communities around the globe during the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery, through its Partnership to Progress program.
Bell Bay Aluminium general manager Shona Markham said the region’s economic diversity and health had never been more important.
“We had the privilege of operating throughout this pandemic and, while no industry has been spared its impacts, we felt it was important to support industries outside of our own,” Shona said.
“Being resilient and adaptive to change is what makes us proud Tasmanians. It’s our pleasure to help out.”
Businesses interested in this free support are invited to complete an expression of interest form, which can be found on the region’s destination website