Support for Victoria’s tourism businesses a necessary relief

Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

The Victorian Chamber is pleased that Victoria’s embattled regional accommodation businesses will receive compensation for cancellations from residents in locked down postcodes.

Victoria’s visitor economy has taken a huge hit during the Covid-19 crisis, and during these school holidays many accommodation providers were hoping to start generating revenues from jobs once again.

The $5 million fund announced by the Victorian Government today will ensure regional businesses, including motels, caravan parks and short-term rentals will be eligible for up to $225 per night for cancelled bookings, with no cancellation fees charged to residents forced to stay home.

More than 300,000 residents in the 10 affected postcodes are now required to stay home, meaning many will be forced to cancel their holidays booked across the state.

The Victorian Chamber believes the reintroduction of strict restrictions for 10 postcodes beginning today is justified if it means the recent spike in infections can be brought under control and businesses can reopen quickly in unaffected areas.

We also recognise the significant impact the restrictions will have on businesses in hot spot suburbs forced to close down once more for four weeks.

To be attributed to Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Paul Guerra:

“We are pleased that this fund is available to minimise the flow on effect of the localised lockdowns onto regional businesses in the tourism sector.

“Many accommodation businesses had already reported cancellations and are not in a position to be taking more financial hits after an incredibly difficult year.

“Many of these businesses have been impacted by drought, bushfires and then coronavirus. This means they missed out on summer peak bookings, then school holidays, then were forced to close during the statewide lockdown. For many tentatively reopening for the first time, last minute cancellations will be a further blow.

“We know that businesses in the affected postcodes will be eligible for $5000 one off payments but will still be severely impacted. Our support for the localised lockdowns is because we want to see regional Victoria able to reopen where there are no cases in the community.

“The Victorian Chamber stands ready to help any business affected by the shutdowns and invites them to contact us to access support.”

/Public Release.