Labor must act on CBD accommodation crisis

The Liberal Nationals are calling for urgent support for Melbourne’s CBD accommodation sector, as hotels struggle to stay afloat.  

Once booming hotels have had 80 per cent of their business eliminated according to the Accommodation Association. The CBD hotel sector has been decimated, losing millions of dollars and making hundreds of people turn to JobKeeper. Some hotels are forced to stay open at their own cost as business insurance demands constant operation, even with no guests.

The Accommodation Association estimates CBD hotel guests consist of 38 per cent international travellers, 42 per cent corporate stays and 20 per cent leisure guests. Unlike international travel, corporate and leisure trips can still be taken, but travellers are lacking confidence. Daniel Andrews’ rash decisions to shut borders at a moment’s notice has devastated the accommodation industry, impacting local jobs and livelihoods.

The Liberal Nationals are calling for tourism vouchers to be made available to encourage people living in regional Victoria to visit and stay in Melbourne’s CBD over the summer period. This would give CBD accommodation a much needed boost. 

The Liberal Nationals’ plan to get Victoria Back to Work and Back in Business called for the establishment of a ‘Road Trip for Victoria’ voucher program across Victoria to stimulate Victorian tourism. To date, Labor has chosen to only adopt a smaller scale version of this program, restricted to regional areas.

The Andrews Labor Government must work on breathing life back into the CBD and promoting Melbourne’s great attractions, tours and restaurants as well.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Tourism, Major Events and Sport, Cindy McLeish:

“Until there is consistency in our borders and people have confidence to travel, the sector is going to struggle. That’s why we are calling on the Andrews Labor Government to support the accommodation sector.

“We need to get the heartbeat of the CBD’s vibrancy back. Having workers return to the CBD is part of it but now we need to support the accommodation sector to prevent it from going under.

“The Andrews Labor Government needs to step up by providing support and tourism travel vouchers to the many accommodation establishments are that struggling to stay afloat.”

Comments attributable to Accommodation Association CEO, Dean Long:

“The combination of the stop-start border closures plus the international travel ban has severely impacted hotels in Melbourne’s CBD. While JobKeeper has been a desperately needed lifeline, the cumulative effect of a year of empty rooms is starting to take its toll.

“We urgently need government action to make sure those properties hardest hit survive. The sudden closures of state borders has eroded consumer confidence in booking travel and the fear of being stranded or forced into quarantine has amplified that fear.

“We have unfortunately already seen a number of hotels make the devastating decision to close. Melbourne’s CBD and the state’s economy cannot afford for that trend to continue or worse, escalate.”

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