With less than two weeks left to redeem the remaining $137 million worth of Stay NSW and Parents NSW vouchers before they expire on October 09, Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) CEO, Michael Johnson said he sees an opportunity to extend the use by date and help those that really need it most – hotels in the Sydney CBD.
Mr Johnson said the CBD hotels are still 20 percent down on pre-pandemic levels, mainly due to a lack of international arrivals.
“This time of year occupancy is usually 85 to 90 percent, at the moment we are looking at 65 percent,” he said.
“Only 30 percent of the original funds set aside for the scheme have been used so let’s extend the date to January next year and try and funnel more visitors into our biggest city.”
Meanwhile, Accommodation Australia (AA) CEO, Richard Munro is encouraging all members to remind their guests that the voucher cut-off date is due.
“The school holidays are the perfect time for a family getaway, from hotels to caravan parks and cabins. Stay NSW vouchers can be pooled, so parents can share the cost of a getaway with friends or family for even better value,” he said.
“I encourage all our members to remind their guests through every channel available, from social media to EDMs and websites, to ensure that money flows to our member businesses who desperately need it as they continue to work hard rebuilding their operations post-pandemic.”
Mr Munro thanked the government and NSW Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government, Victor Dominello for recognising the important role NSW accommodation providers play in propping up the wider tourism industry.
“Encouraging individuals and families to book accommodation has a flow on economic effect for businesses across the state as tourism spend circulates through local communities and supports hotels and hotel jobs,” he said.
Minister Dominello said almost $282 million has been injected into the NSW economy since the $50 voucher program launch, with the average spend tracking above $100.
The vouchers were part of a $106 million dollar ‘Stay NSW’ initiative to support accommodation providers and by extension the wider NSW tourism industry in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Stay NSW voucher scheme gave NSW residents aged 18 and older the ability to apply for one $50 voucher to use towards the cost of bookings.
The Parents NSW voucher scheme provided one person from each eligible household the ability to apply for five $50 vouchers, worth $250 total.
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.