NSW compensating hotels for school holiday bookings lost to lockdown

Hotels across NSW that saw bookings for the July school holidays wiped out virtually overnight due to the current government restrictions will be partially compensated for the lost revenue, the NSW Government has announced.

The AUD$26 million initiative will offer targeted support to around 38,000 registered accommodation providers in Sydney and regional centres, with identical grants paid based on room nights lost over the school holiday period from 25 June to 11 July inclusive, irrespective of the hotel’s location.

The government says this approach is fair as NSW residents across the state had travel plans in both city and regional centres disrupted by the restrictions imposed.

NSW Tourism Minister, Stuart Ayres.

NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres, said the grant was critically important for hotel owners based on occupancy rates plummeting over the past month down as low as 2% in some cases.

“It is heartbreaking that this recent outbreak of COVID-19 occurred right on the cusp of the winter school holidays, meaning Sydneysiders, NSW residents and interstate visitors were not able to fulfil their travel plans across the State,” Minister Ayres said.

“This program is for all eligible accommodation premises across NSW, as the current restrictions not only affect Greater Sydney operators but also those in regional NSW who lost their main source market from metropolitan Sydney or interstate.

“Now it is up to all of us to stop the spread of the virus so we can get back to travelling and enjoying our state’s experiences and attractions as soon as possible, which is what businesses really need,” Ayres added.

The Powerhouse Tamworth by Rydges

Hotels can take advantage of two tiers of government assistance, with an AUD$2,000 grant paid to a property that lost 10 room nights or less, while AUD$5,000 will be paid to properties which lost 11 room nights or more over the 16-day period. Owners of multiple properties will be able to claim the grant for each hotel in NSW, identified by different street addresses.

Hotels must be registered for GST and/or hold an ABN and must be a standalone and entire property, meaning the grant cannot go to holiday lettings consisting of spare rooms in a household or private residence.

Further details, including eligibility criteria, is available from the Service NSW website.