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Omicron rules “crippling” NSW hotels

TAA liaising with government for guideline changes

Further to coverage carried in Accom News on January 17, the final results of a Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) survey of its New South Wales membership reveal the Omicron outbreak is having major impact on the state’s accommodation sector.

TAA CEO, Michael Johnson said it was clear from the final results of the ‘Impact of COVID/Omicron on Hotel Operations’ snapshot survey that the Omicron outbreak has exacerbated issues accommodation providers were already struggling to cope with.    

As an indicator, the survey showed a total of 70 percent of the accommodation providers canvassed answered yes when asked if their properties were affected by supply chain shortcomings due to isolating either with COVID or as a close contact.

“Our member hotels were facing a chronic staff shortage, due to a lack of Working Holiday Makers and International Students, and the Omicron outbreak has robbed them of what little staff they had,” Mr Johnson said.    

“In the nation’s CBD hotels, the latest outbreak has fractured fragile consumer confidence and reduced occupancy down to less than half of what it should be at this time of year.   

“Occupancy numbers are better in the regions, but the lack of staff in those areas means many hotels have had to reduce services, close rooms and turn away much needed revenue.    

“Accommodation hotels are being crippled by rules around isolating of close contacts which could revert to “monitor for symptoms” to allow them to work”.    

Mr Johnson said TAA is liaising with government about changing some of the guidelines, particularly for back of house staff that do not come into regular contact with the public.    

“We are also seeking other financial support to help hotels navigate yet another dark period caused by Covid.”

 

Mike Parker-Brown

Mike Parker-Brown is a UK-trained and qualified journalist and an award-winning travel communicator with more than 30 years experience. Since 2002, Mike has worked as a freelance writer and PR consultant providing his services to major organisations in Australia and internationally in the tourism, aviation, hospitality, recruitment and export marketing sectors.

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