WHILST the inbound tourism sector of Port Stephens is left reeling from the effects of COVID-19, domestic based tourism is still proving a strong economic driver in some areas.
Or CLICK FOR ADVERT QUOTE
Local cafes and short-stay accommodation on the Tomaree Peninsula have yet to feel the pinch of the pandemic and are reporting that it’s business as usual as holidaymakers are staying closer to home.
Mel Vassalio from The Home Interior, Nelson Bay said that the usual downturn in post-summer trade has yet to hit and that it’s not all doom and gloom.
“We’ve been really busy for this time of year, especially with having some fairly lousy weekend weather,” said Ms Vassalio.
“It seems as if a lot of people have perhaps changed travel plans and are deciding it’s safer to holiday not too far away at the moment.”
With Chinese and South Korean travellers still restricted from Australian shores due to the virus the Port Stephens Tourist Information Centre is still reporting “very busy weekends” leading into the NSW school holidays.
Lydia Madden at Ingenia Holidays One Mile Beach has seen bookings for recent weekend stays close to full occupancy with the Easter break on course to match previous years.
“At this stage reservations for accommodation through Easter and the holidays are solid and very similar to 2019 rates,” said Ms Madden.
Even though future bookings are strong the recent restrictions on public events over 500 people and the rolling health advice by the federal and state governments could see this change.
At the time of publication non-essential travel is being advised against as over 300 CoronaVirus cases have been confirmed nationally.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has ordered all international arrivals to self-isolate for 14 days as Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy pointed to the possibility of locking down cities and regional centres.
Cruise ships have also been banned from entering Australian ports for 30-days.
For the latest advice on the illness head to https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert.
By Mitch LEES