Accor chief warns Qld’s border uncertainty will lead to hotel closures into 2021

With estimates that border closures are costing Queensland $17 million a day, Accor’s Pacific chief Simon McGrath is calling for urgent action to save the state’s tourism sector.

“The current border restrictions mean that Queensland will miss out on the summer dollar, a crucial period for local businesses, the economy and jobs,” he said.

“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.

“Queensland could go from leadership to last in the race for tourism.”

McGrath warned that once JobKeeper winds back some hotels will close for the first six months of next year.

Queensland has around 30,000 hotel rooms and apartments across the state, with Accor predicting that over 70 per cent could sit unoccupied through the coming months if the border uncertainty continues.

“The livelihoods of small business owners, from café owners, to restaurants to taxi drivers are at stake,” he said.

“We are urging the State Government to use common sense, provide clarity and safely open up borders, which will set Queensland up for a stronger 2021 and save jobs. We all want to see local businesses thriving and workers return to work.”