A decision by the NSW Government this week to extend the current COVID-19 restrictions by a further month has frustrated many business owners in the tourism and accommodation sector.

Peak industry bodies, Tourism Accommodation Australia and the Accommodation Association, say government support is critical, as many accommodation hotels are struggling to stay open.  

“It is going to be another difficult month with the recommendation for people to work from home, no dancing or singing, no night clubs and the 2 square metre rule for indoors,” said Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) chief executive, Michael Johnson.

“This will ensure Sydney stays very quiet for another month with hotels already running at less than 30% occupancy and hemorrhaging money each week.”

A poll by Tourism Accommodation Australia, conducted last week, found that 82% of NSW members have been forced to limit their services, including capping occupancy and closing bars and restaurants.

Just under 80% of businesses faced chronic labour shortages and 69.7% reported extremely low occupancy rates at 39%.

Accommodation Association CEO Richard Munro said while the industry understands that tough decisions must be made in a crisis, they come at a cost.

“We understand the decision, but these decisions come with consequences,” he said. “A hit to consumer sentiment is a direct hit to our members business and there is literally little to no support.”