The head of the Taxi Council of Queensland hopes that the upcoming ‘Destination Q Forum” in Cairns will not be a ‘talkfest’ but will proactively address issues like violent crime.
Pointing to ongoing publicity of violent incidents on the Gold Coast and in other areas across the state, Taxi Council CEO Benjamin Wash said Queensland’s image was worth protecting.

“You cannot separate law and order and tourism because tourists see the news too,” he said.
Mr Wash, who is attending the forum, said the taxi industry was a vital part of the tourism industry because visitors rely on taxis as a primary mode of transportation while in the state.

“When tourism is down people across so many industries are affected, so we all must ensure this forum achieves real results.”

He explained that taxi drivers, owners, operators and booking companies all benefit from increased tourism and want to play their part in giving visitors a memorable experience.
However he said the taxi industry knows all about violence, with drivers and vehicles regularly targeted.

“Just as the taxi industry is working hard to ensure measures are implemented to protect current drivers and attract new drivers, we must all come together to ensure that Queensland remains a safe and attractive destination.

“If potential visitors decide there are safer travel options, no slick marketing campaign will change this perception.”

Mr Wash said that while there are many subjects that could be discussed at the forum, he hoped it would focus on the current challenges, solutions and the way forward.

“We have a great state with great people. I hope this forum can provide all tourism operators and stakeholders with hope for the future.

“Tourism is extremely important to our economy and must be given priority.”
The Destination Q Forum, which will be attended by delegates from across the tourism sector and government, will be held at the Pullman Reef Hotel Casino in Cairns on June 25 and 26.