Accommodation providers in Victoria are on a “highway to hell” if the state government’s plan to emerge from lockdown is not modified to better suit industries and businesses, says the Accommodation Association.
The association’s CEO, Dean Long, has labelled the slow and cautious emergence from lockdown as a road to business closures and economic ruin. He has pleaded with the government to engage more closely with industry and to provide sector-specific financial support.
“The Victorian Government has a moral responsibility to support accommodation businesses with a $1,000 per room monthly payment to help offset fixed costs such as electricity, water, insurance while they continue to enforce a close down on our sector,” Long said.
Tourism Accommodation Australia said hotels should be considered highly among the first tranche of businesses allowed to reopen in adherence to a new ‘COVID-normal’ environment.
TAA Victoria General Manager, Dougal Hollis, said if hotels were not included in the early phases of reopening, Victorians would simply return to gathering in homes and other private settings which is what led to the state’s second wave which began in June and July.
“Strict infection control and related operational practices, in place in a hotel setting, ensure that they will be able to do so in a regulated, safe and sustainable manner,” Hollis said.
TAA National CEO, Michael Johnson, said it was imperative Victoria was able to learn from other states and hotels in other capitals which were already well-advanced with its reopening strategies.
“Hotels across Adelaide, Sydney and Queensland provide a valuable reference point for Victorian
hotels, in terms of COVID-safe operation, and provide further proof of the industry’s ability to operate
in a safe and sustainable manner,” Johnson said.