Health small business | July 09, 2020

Tourism accommodation support no longer hitting the mark

Member for Lowan Emma Kealy has urged the Andrews Labor Government to review its support for tourism accommodation businesses who have been dealt another round of cancelled bookings.

Ms Kealy said while reintroducing stage 3 restrictions in metropolitan areas was absolutely necessary to control COVID-19, it came with a heavy price for many businesses, including tourism operators in Lowan.

“Coronavirus outbreaks in Melbourne have led to metropolitan areas reverting back to “stay-at-home” restrictions, and all other Australian states closing their borders to Victorians. While regional areas such as ours have been spared going back to stage 3 restrictions, which we are grateful for, we are still feeling the pain.

“Businesses have reported mass cancellations, representing thousands of dollars in lost income at a time when many are more desperate for it than ever.

“The government’s Tourism Accommodation Support Program is now grossly out of step with the massive impact of lockdowns and border closures we’re facing in Victoria, and I am calling for an urgent review to ensure our tourism businesses receive the level of support they need.”

Ms Kealy said the current fund provided payments of up to $225 per booking per night for each cancelled booking from people in ten Melbourne postcodes, where lockdowns were introduced at the end of June.

The fund only applies to bookings between July 1 and July 29.

“All of Melbourne is now under “stay at home” restrictions until at least the middle of August, and residents in other states have been advised not to travel to Victoria unless for essential reasons. This means there are a huge amount of other bookings that have been cancelled but that are not covered by the support program,” she said.

“The criteria needs to be reviewed to ensure any accommodation provider that has been impacted by the new restrictions is eligible for this much-needed support.”


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