More financial support for Melbourne’s struggling hotel sector

Victoria's voucher program disappoints - must address consistency gaps!

Victoria’s tourism accommodation body has welcomed the Victorian Government’s $32.2m Regional Tourism Support Package funding announcement but contends additional travel vouchers are needed to encourage intrastate travel to Melbourne once the State’s latest ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown ends.

This announcement included 10,000 new vouchers, that add to an existing 70,000 regional travel voucher allocation.

Tourism Accommodation Australia (Victoria) General Manager Dougal Hollis welcomed the Victorian Government’s announcement of further support for regional Victorian businesses but expressed disappointment that Metropolitan Melbourne hotels have missed out on being included in an extension of the popular voucher program.

“Deloitte Access Economics data confirms that Melbourne’s hotel sector is typically heavily reliant on revenue from interstate and international guests, with up to 70 per cent of tourist spending derived from these sources,” Hollis says.

“Given on-going international border closures and continued uncertainty regarding freedom of movement into and out of Victoria more travel vouchers, to add to the previous 40,000 metropolitan voucher allotment, are sorely needed. This would encourage Victorians to travel to and around Melbourne and address the apparent imbalance in voucher allocations between regional Victoria and Metropolitan Melbourne.”

QT Hotels and Resorts (Victoria) General Manager, Lee Davey reiterated the importance of further government assistance to help Melbourne hotels rebound, once lockdown trading restrictions are eased.

“Lockdown announcements for Melbourne coincide with a wave of booking cancellations from interstate corporate and leisure guests. It will take time for their travel confidence to return, hence the allocation of more metropolitan travel vouchers would be a welcome ‘shot in the arm’ for Melbourne’s hotel network.

“The movement of people enjoying Melbourne’s renowned hospitality offers would also inject some much-needed vibrancy back into our city and surrounds,” Davey adds.

Hollis concludes, “Hotel occupancies and rates achieved in many parts of regional Victoria since February’s circuit breaker lockdowns have been encouraging. STR reported monthly occupancies in April were 8.4 per cent higher regionally, with a positive $30 differential in Average Daily Rate, compared to Melbourne equivalents. The numbers reinforce the need for more travel vouchers for Melbourne.”

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