Struggling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, hotels and accommodation providers are calling for help from state and federal governments.
In New South Wales, the latest COVID-19 outbreak has left many tourism and accommodation businesses out of work. Now Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) has called on the NSW state government to provide business support.
“NSW hotels have operated under restricted trading conditions for 17 months, and most hotels have been closed or operating at sub 2 percent occupancy since 26 June,” said Michael Johnson, CEO of TAA NSW.
According to Mr Johnson, current circumstances aren’t sustainable, and without business support, Sydney hotels will soon begin to see mass staff redundancies.
“Greater Sydney members have suffered a decline in revenue of between 70 percent and 90 percent compared to July 2019, yet 37 percent of these businesses are ineligible for any government assistance due to eligibility criteria which does not take into account international ownership arrangements,” Mr Johnson said, citing a recent survey by TAA NSW.
While Mr Johnson said that hotel and accommodation providers were grateful for the business support already offered by state and federal governments, existing support measures just weren’t enough to keep many businesses afloat.
“The reality is, while the rooms sit empty, the bills keep piling up,” he said.
In addition to calling for new business support packages to improve financial stability of the accommodation sector, TAA is also asking the NSW state government to allow hotels to set their own staff vaccination mandates. The organisation said that such measures would provide assurance of COVID-19 safety.
“A recent survey of TAA NSW general managers and their staff found more than 80 percent believe a vaccinated workforce is vital for the safety and well-being of employees and guests,” Mr Johnson said, reporting that 81 percent of respondents thought vaccination should be a requirement for all hotel staff.
As hospitality and accommodation operators continue to navigate the effects of ongoing lockdowns, it is hoped that new business support measures will soon be introduced to help the sector look towards post-pandemic recovery.