Accommodation hasn't been through a situation like this for a long time.
Accommodation hasn’t been through a situation like this for a long time.

Continuing to utilise hotels as quarantine facilities and host frontline healthcare workers dominated discussions at an emergency Tourism Accommodation Australia NSW board meeting this week, said TAA NSW CEO, Michael Johnson.

The emergency meeting, led by TAA NSW Chair and Sydney Harbour Marriott GM, Antony Page, discussed ways in which further government initiatives could be supported by the accommodation sector as arrivals continue into Australia, albeit at levels far smaller than that of weeks past.

Despite the efforts of hotels acting in these ways, combined with the federal government subsidies including the JobKeeper program, as many as 300 hotels nationwide are understood to have shut their doors entirely for the duration of the pandemic and associated lockdown period.

Tourism Accommodation Australia CEO, Michael Johnson.

Efforts to host health workers and quarantined arrivals in regional and suburban hotels was discussed as a measure of providing a helping hand to properties outside CBD locations which have been utilised in recent weeks. City hotels are beginning to empty once again as these arrivals complete their mandatory 14 nights and begin the process of returning to their homes.

Johnson said discussing ways to help businesses remain connected to employees formed a major part of the meeting.

“Staff health and wellbeing are our key priority and we need to keep our links to valued employees wherever possible so we are all there as part of the recovery.

“The sad fact is hotels around Australia are continuing to close whilst travel restrictions continue and we will be doing all we can to support them in this difficult time,” Johnson added.

The meeting also included discussion on the topic of short-term rentals and legislation expected to be tabled to the NSW parliaments later this year.