21,000 Empty Rooms For Queensland Possible This Summer

Accor has warned that more than 21,000 Queensland hotel rooms could sit empty this summer


Key points:

  • Queensland occupancy hovering at just 30%

  • "It's not good enough for the Queensland government to say 'we will make a decision in November or December'" - Simon McGrath, Accor

  • Tourism contributes $25 billion to the Queensland economy annually


Accor has warned that more than 21,000 Queensland hotel rooms could sit empty this summer and billions of dollars of tourism revenue be lost if the state government does not provide clarity soon on when border restrictions will ease.


With Queensland occupancy hovering at just 30%, Accor predicts more than 70% of Queensland's 30,000 hotel rooms and serviced apartments could sit empty through the coming months if the border uncertainty persists.


"It's not good enough for the Queensland government to say 'we will make a decision in November or December'. People are making their bookings now, they are not going to sit around and wait," said Mr McGrath, Pacific head of Accor.


"They are looking at places like Northern NSW or finding other destinations intrastate – the pace of bookings into Queensland has slowed quite dramatically."


NSW and Victoria residents are banned from visiting Queensland due to the state declaring them COVID-19 hotspots. No decision has been made about when these restrictions will ease.


Tourism contributes $25 billion to the Queensland economy annually and employs 217,000 Queenslanders, Accor said, quoting Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland and Queensland government figures.


"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," Mr McGrath said.

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