What is the future of restauranting and cafes in Airlie Beach? Kevin Collins, Fish D'Vine

Thu 28 May 2020

Podcast Audio

John Nayler from Deja.vu Magazine talks to Kevin Collins, the owner of Fish D'Vine Restaurant, about the future of restaurants and cafes in Airlie Beach.

Kevin explains that ultimately the restaurants and cafes in a tourist town like Airlie Beach are a service industry to the wider Tourism Industry. The population of Airlie Beach is around 7,000, with 77 restaurants operating prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. In reality, per capita this small town is enormously oversupplied - without the tourist trade. Airlie Beach realistically needs about 7 restaurants. However, as a mainstream tourist destination, it cannot possibly survive without tourists. Until the tourists return there has to be a consolidation of the restaurants and cafes that are there.

Unfortunately, 10% of the restaurants have closed and the ‘FOR LEASE' signs have gone up. There are also a large number that are sitting idle receiving Jobkeeper payments while accruing massive debts in rental and overheads. When things do get back to normal it will be very difficult for these restaurants to get back on track, hence consolidation will be the only way forward.

As a tourist destination, Airlie Beach offers the whole holiday package of accommodation, restaurants, cafes, cruises and tours of the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef. When Airlie Beach is at capacity these 77 Restaurants would be full of customers. Statistics show that 400,000 Queenslanders visit each year, there are 250,000 interstate visitors making up the bulk of the dollars spent. The town had also geared up for the Chinese tourism market however, there is no prospect of them returning in the medium term. The talk is that the International travel industry will not recover from this until 2023.

Kevin said, "Yes we heavily invested in the Chinese market which was strong and around 20% of our business". "If there is a single spark of hope, it is that Australians love to travel, so if Australian's thirst for travel continues and it is not unabated within Australia, which at this stage we are in the dark about, then the various industries here in Airlie Beach will potentially survive". "We need the intrastate and interstate visitors!". "We need the planes back in the air, we have to find a way". "This is a sustainable industry if the tourists come". "It is ridiculous that the borders of Sydney and Melbourne are open and they can visit each other however, we can't have a person come from Tweed Heads and cross the border into Queensland". "We acknowledge and respect that the Australian and Queensland Governments have done a fabulous job controlling the COVID-19 pandemic plus supporting the economics of the Nation but, it is time for us to get back to operating normal business practices".

"One of the major impacts that we are now facing, is the Mental Health challenges that are prominent across Australia, particularly from business owners who have gone broke or are heading towards going broke". "They have not just lost their business, they most likely mortgaged their house to get the money to open the business, have a long lease agreement, had to do a shop fitout, have obligations to their staff…..so it is a domino effect that continues to fall across every spectrum of their lives". "A small business failure is someone's life being absolutely ruined and possibly they will never recover from it!"

Airlie Beach is the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef. The town relies on the tourist trade. There is nothing else to keep it afloat. Annastasia Palaszczuk please work out a way to get the planes in the air and open up the Queensland borders, before we have no Airlie Beach tourist industry left. Opening Queensland is the way to retain the popular vote.Airlie Beach restaurants on the menu

_Other Stories

Other Stories
 How was a Tesla 3 tour of New Zealand
 Tesla Road Kill - Will the Model 3 stop in time?
 Tesla Model 3 leaving Invercargill, New Zealand
 The Tesla Driving Experience in New Zealand
 How to drive a Tesla 101
 Driving New Zealand in a Tesla
 How to charge a Tesla in New Zealand
 BlazeAid - Restoring farm fencing at Moruya, NSW
 What is bareboating? - Edward, Charter Yachts Australia
 Robertson Caine 40 - Dolce Vita walkthru
 Come bareboating with Charter Yachts Australia
 Queensland open for tourism - Speaking with Annie Judd, CYA
 Where are the grey nomads this year? Greg McKinnon
 What's the flow-on effect of lack of tourists in the Whitsundays? - Woody, Whitsunday Ocean Services
 What is the future of restauranting and cafes in Airlie Beach? Kevin Collins, Fish D'Vine
 What's the state of the Whitsunday bareboat industry? - Interview with Trevor Rees
 How is business in Airlie Beach? Interview with Lyn Gregson
 Why are tourism operators in Airlie Beach so devastated right now? - Sharon Smallwood
 Honkers - freedom camping New Zealand
 Greek Sail 27th August - 10 September 2016
 How to working holiday backpack in Australia with 100+ great tips
 Last minute bareboat charter sailing in Greece via Athens.
 Bodrum, the Turkish Riveria
 Coming ashore at Gallipoli 99 years on - Anzac Tourist
 Pergamon ruins, Bergama, Turkey
 Pamukkale, Turkey itinerary and accommodation recommendation
 Kilic Ali Pasa Hamam - Turkish cleanse and massage
 Mikla, Roof Top Dining in Istanbul, Turkey
 East Coast Australia's 9 Best Surf Spots For Newbie's
 Top 10 Cologne Karneval Do's and Don'ts
 10 Reasons To Visit Hong Kong
 Hidemyass VPN review for using Gumtree.com.au from overseas
 Okinawa - Gold Coast, Great Barrier Reef, Japan
 Internet access in Japan with Rental 3G WIFI
 Swisscom Pocket Connect Wifi internet 3g rental test report
 Montpellier - Southern France imagined
 San Fermin, Pamplona - The celebration of Stupidity.
 Costa Brava Cruising, Catalunya
 6 ways to enjoy Barcelona without being pick pocketed
 Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain
 Traveling light by Adrian Cahill
 Montseny, Top of the world, Cataluna, Spain
 Barcelona Breakfast on the Rambla de Cataluna
 Shanghai 72
 Toscana Village Resort, Airlie Beach, Whitsundays
 Best Travel Websites
 Volunteering around the world
 Top gadgets to travel with
 Free Accomodation
 Hostels and the future of them!
 Cheap Airfares: How to get low fares?
 Does getting the Israel Passport Stamp scare you?
 Cool undiscovered city: Sofia, Bulgaria
 Freedom Bar, Chiang Mai, Thailand