To help those impacted by this year, the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (BMIHMS) and Torrens University Australia provided a series of free short courses to the public throughout 2020 valued at over $2 million.

“This has allowed many members of the accommodation industry with the opportunity to upskill and set themselves up for future success,” BMIHMS general manager, Jerome Casteigt said.

BMIHMS general manager, Jerome Casteigt

“With over 18,000 courses and 23,000 hours of learning completed we have been proud to play our part in supporting the hospitality community as well as the broader public,” he said.

From late March, when the initial nationwide lockdown and border closures began, entertainment supplier Foxtel Business moved immediately to suspend all services and billing for accommodation hotel customers.

“From 1 April all hotels were provided the option of continuation of the service suspension or contact us to resume the service at their discretion,” said Foxtel Business group sector manager – accommodation, Iain Nelson.

Foxtel Business group sector manager – accommodation, Iain Nelson

“From 1 April virtually all hotels that were accommodating quarantine guests requested the service to be resumed which was immediately supported, with the subscription fee in line with their business levels.

“In the months since, hotels have been resuming their service, supported by reductions and concessions in line with trading conditions in various parts of the country.

“In particular, the Victorian hotel community has been afforded extended and additional support to see out the second wave of the Covid 19 impacts in that State, and which is still in place now.

“Overwhelmingly, the message from our customers, especially for those housing guests in quarantine, has been how beneficial and valuable having the content available to guests. It was a distraction from boredom and stress, kept guests informed via news services and entertained, and the commercial support to reflect the challenging times has been greatly appreciated,” Nelson said.

Industry superannuation specialist, Intrust Super, supported hotels throughout the uncertainty and into recovery.

“We ran a #supportyourlocal campaign on our social media platforms during the peak of the crisis. The campaign supported businesses who were offering innovative covid-safe takeaway and delivery options, and isolation accommodation packages,” Intrust Super CEO Brendan O’Farrell said.

Intrust Super CEO Brendan O’Farrell

“Once restrictions began to ease, it was important for the hotel industry to spend less time on administration and more time rebuilding their core business.

“Our Relationship Managers offered free Super Health Checks to businesses and their staff during the COVID-19 recovery period. For businesses, these checks helped streamline administration, identify super pain points and review payroll processes.

“The staff Super Health Checks helped those whose balances had been impacted by market volatility and Early Release of Super arrangements. These one-on-one sessions provided staff with strategies that can help rebuild their super balances and get their super back on track.

“Finally, we made arrangements with our income protection insurer to ensure members receiving JobKeeper payments would continue to be covered under PayGuard, even if they were not currently receiving super contributions.”