Hotels

Accor’s Simon McGrath urges Queensland to set hard border opening date

Christian Fleetwood

Christian Fleetwood

Queensland’s largest hotelier has warned the state faces a pitfall in occupancy rates without a hard border opening date.

Accor Pacific’s chief operating officer, Simon McGrath (pictured), said Queensland’s current border restrictions mean the state “will miss out on the summer dollar”, over a period he said was crucial for local businesses, the economy and jobs.

Accor operates around 100 properties across Queensland, with the company’s occupancy rates in the state hovering at around 30 per cent.

The hospitality giant believes more than 70 per cent of Queensland’s 30,000 hotel rooms and serviced apartments could sit unoccupied through the coming months, with the possibility Accor will be forced to close some of its hotels for the first half of 2021.

“Now is when people are booking visits for the next three to six months, and if they don’t have certainty that Queensland will be open, then Queensland will miss the surge in travel and fall behind other states,” McGrath said.

“Queensland could go from leadership to last in the race for tourism … If Queensland misses this crucial booking window and JobKeeper falls away, then some hotels will close for the first six months of 2021.

“This will significantly impair the state’s ability to bounce back. Certainty is required now.”

Based on current Google Trends data, 69 per cent of the 105 Queensland hotels listed by Google, at the time of writing, have availability.

The news comes as Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the state did not record any new coronavirus cases overnight, with the state down to just five active cases.

In the past week, Queensland has recorded just two new local cases, both of whom were already in quarantine, Palaszczuk said, adding that another good day for the state will see a review occur on restrictions in South East Queensland.

As it stands, travellers arriving in Queensland are required to provide a valid Border Declaration Pass to enter the state, while travellers arriving from declared COVID-19 hotspots – NSW, Victoria, and the ACT – must go into 14 days of quarantine.

However, from Friday, the ACT will no longer be considered a COVID-19 hotspot, as long as there are no confirmed cases between 18 September and then.

Queensland is also set to shift its border zone, bringing in five NSW local government areas: Byron, Ballina, Lismore, Richmond Valley, and Glen Innes.

Residents from these areas will be able to travel to Queensland, while Queenslanders will be allowed to freely travel into those NSW areas. However, Queenslanders will still need to apply for a border pass.

In added good news, The Sydney Morning Herald reported Queensland could reopen the border to all of NSW on 6 October, provided NSW Health authorities are able to trace every new COVID-19 case acquired until then.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian welcomed the partial reopening of Queensland to the five local government areas, but urged Premier Palaszczuk to “dispense with half-measures”, according to the outlet.

“We are always only a few days from another outbreak, but so is Queensland … it is time for the Queensland government to bring down the whole border,” Berejiklian said, according to SMH.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Wholesalers

Wendy Wu is slinging free flights to Japan!

Who doesn’t love free airfares? Seriously though, point them out to us, we’d like to have a chat with them and find out what their problem is.

Share

CommentComments

Events

Travel DAZE 2020 is just around the corner! Have you registered?

Is your diary looking pretty empty in the first week of November? Well, consider it full now thanks to the only industry event of its scale in Australia this year: Travel DAZE 2020!

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

AFTA’s Resilient Mind program yields huge results

The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) has shared results from its Resilient Mind Program, revealing huge improvements in mental […]

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Queensland brewing company creates ‘The Big Slab’ attraction to boost state’s tourism industry

This bizarre new attraction has already drawn the likes of surfing legend Mick Fanning and his baby boy, and we have photographic evidence to prove it.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Club Med gets into the gift card game

This Christmas, your clients can treat friends and family with the gift of a much-needed holiday AND give you a tidy commission in one go!

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Bombshells emerge over Western Sydney Airport land deal, as AFP investigates

The stench around the ‘Leppington Triangle’ deal, which saw taxpayers fork out 10 times what the land was valued as, is getting worse by the day.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Australia’s incoming passenger cards to get the chop

Are you one of those people who never seems to have a pen handy to fill out the incoming passenger card post-flight? Rejoice here.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Airline embroiled in website scam duping travellers with fake tickets

Have you purchased some too-good-to-be-true-airfares for your clients recently? You might want to read this.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Tourism Fiji’s CEO to exit

After four-and-a-half years at the helm, Matt Stoeckel is saying ‘ni sa moce’ to Tourism Fiji.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Financial reporting and AGM pressure eases for Virgin Australia

The embattled airline has also launched a 20th birthday sale, with fares from just $69, along with a bunch of cheap tickets to and from Melbourne.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Canadian tourist sends “cursed” artefacts back to Pompeii

by Ali Coulton

A travel agent in Italy has received a peculiar package containing “cursed” ancient ruins and a letter of confession.

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

New data reveals most popular rental car brands around the world

Ever wondered what the most popular rental car brand is in Latvia? Well, today is your lucky day because we’ve got the answer right here.

Share

CommentComments