Industry leaders were delighted by news last week that the Queensland/NSW border will open to boost tourism accommodation areas on both sides.
The news is especially welcome as providers hope to see a boost during the last week of school holidays
Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) CEO Michael Johnson said the border opening will make a real difference to the struggling accommodation industry in NSW and QLD.
The border opening comes at the perfect time to allow NSW holiday makers in particular to head north into the sunshine state for the last week of school holidays.
The opening up of interstate travel will boost areas in Queensland heavily reliant on tourism such as Cairns, the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. It will also provide a welcome boost to tourism areas in NSW like Byron Bay and Ballina.
“These areas have been doing it tough in the last few months and staff in both states are keen to welcome travellers from over the border. This really is a state of origin with two winners.”
The border opening will also go a long way towards freeing up the important business travel market between Sydney and Brisbane.
“Business travel will now start to flow freely between those two capitals for the first time in months,” he said.While absolutely necessary to protect public health, the extended closure of the NSW/Victoria border will obviously have a negative impact on visitor numbers to QLD and NSW.
Johnson said: “Victoria represents 16 percent of domestic visitor nights for Queensland and as such recovery for tourism and the accommodation sector is still going to be slower with the COVID crisis in Victoria. It goes to show how fast-moving and dangerous this situation is. It also shows the real need to extend JobKeeper into next year to ensure our struggling hospitality and accommodation sector can hold onto as many of our valuable staff as possible, as long as possible, while we deal with the health impact of COVID-19.
The industry has a long and uncertain future ahead and that is why JobKeeper needs to be retained and extended.