Plenty of hotel capacity remains in Australia’s capital cities to facilitate higher numbers of returned travellers for their mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine, says Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA).
The association this week welcomed the increase in the arrivals cap by many states as the Australian Government attempts to repatriate thousands of Aussies who remain overseas and have expressed a desire to return home.
The increase in the cap will see up to 6,000 Australians able to return per week – up from the previous 4,000. Of this, NSW handles the vast majority with around 500 each accepted by Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia. Melbourne remains closed to international flights for the time being while it continues its fight against COVID-19.
TAA National CEO, Michael Johnson, welcomed the increase in the arrivals cap, saying CBD hotels were basically at a standstill due to no international tourists and no corporate or major events.
“While regional hotels in some states are starting to see some slight recovery, plenty of capacity remains in capital city hotels like Sydney, but there does need to be strong support from State Governments when it comes to policing and security to ensure quarantining remains effective,” he said.
“Hotels have done a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to the quarantine program, however, some hotels have been unfairly caught up in criticism of the scheme, when external security matters are actually out of their hands.
“Despite this, most accommodation venues are ready to continue to help in the fight against the pandemic and we welcome today’s announcement – which will bring Australians home from overseas safely, while at the same time helping jobs in our struggling sector.”