Victoria re-opens: But where is the support for Melbourne?

Industry body warns that Melbourne accommodation businesses need urgent help and support

Although the Accommodation Association welcomes the easing of restrictions in Victoria, it warns that additional, ongoing support for Melbourne hotels is urgently required.

While the ability to once again travel within Victoria will help the regions, Melbourne hotels and accommodation providers which are so reliant on the international and Sydney markets will only begin to recover when Sydney is out of lockdown.

Until then, tailored and ongoing support is key.

Accommodation Association CEO Dean Long said: “While border closures and COVID restrictions have been necessary to constrain community transmission, the ongoing domino effect for Melbourne’s hotels is massive.”

He said: “With Victoria’s border restrictions, our sector is now reliant solely on leisure travel from within the state. Those hotels in Melbourne who rely on international and corporate travel out of Sydney were already really doing it tough before the Delta lockdowns. The 1 person per 4 sqm for hospitality coupled with the cancellation of major events has obvious implications.”

“Put simply, Melbourne’s hotels need help. There are some immediate steps that the State Government can and should take including the expansion of the Metro Travel Voucher scheme with money left over from the previous program rolled over and supplemented; the waiver of Government charges on payroll tax and land tax relief for the Accommodation Industry; and sector-targeted moratorium on tenant evictions and amendments to the Mandatory Tenancy Code.”

“We also join the push for the re-introduction of JobKeeper and a similar support measure which anchors job protection to businesses. Our hotels and accommodation sector are at the heart of Australia’s important travel and tourism sector. They are also among the hardest hit and need support until that recovery is possible.”

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Kristyn Slattery
2 years ago

It’s a sad state of affairs (pun intended!). It’s not just metro suffering in the accommodation sector. Our regional motels are hurting still too. We don’t come out of lockdown to full motels that’s for sure. In Bendigo, our motels are bleeding cancellations from all the cancelled events unable to proceed under current restrictions.
Add in the restrictions on tourism attractions and the like, and apart from trading their four walls for ours, we’re not seeing a massive spike in leisure bookings as of yet.
The accommodation sector is much like the Bakery, our rooms are only good for one day, just like the loaf of bread the bakery sells. Each day is a new room/loaf, we can’t work longer hours to catch up on lost revenue opportunities, we only have the rooms we have per day.
Accommodation, Events and Tourism both regionally and metro are in definite need of ongoing support.
The promised travel vouchers are yet to be released, the Bendigo Motel Association (of which I am president) has been calling, thus far unsuccessfully for a change to the booking terms on the vouchers. This is would make a big difference, up to 15-20% difference to what the vouchers will do for individual motels. However, this model alone is NOT enough. We need a clear and strong “roadmap” out of these yoyo lockdowns so that events can plan and book, groups and functions can plan with confidence, thus generating a steady stream of travellers throughout the state. Open up tourism and attractions so people are inspired to explore their own backyards and our state of Victoria. Our industry doesn’t feed off local support unfortunately, we need people to move around.

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