Hunter’s hospitality, tourism businesses feel the impact of COVID-19 cluster

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Hunter hospitality and tourism businesses are feeling the impacts of the emerging COVID-19 situation stemming from Sydney’s Northern Beaches.

That’s according to the Hunter Business Chamber, which has urged businesses and the community to heed health advice to help contain the current outbreak.

Accommodation operators across the region reported a flurry of inquiries about cancellations or postponements over the weekend as uncertainty about the extent of the outbreak grew, with some operators saying up to 20% of bookings had already been affected.

Similarly, some restaurants and hospitality venues were reporting cancellations of Christmas bookings, with many planned family gatherings curtailed by the restrictions and people again becoming wary of venturing out.

Hunter Business Chamber chief executive Bob Hawes said, while the response from customers was understandable, it was highly frustrating for visitor economy businesses that were banking on a busy holiday period.

“We were all hoping this Christmas would be an opportunity for families and communities to come together and put the dramas of 2020 behind us,” he said.

“However, it is important at this time that businesses and the community take the necessary precautions to avoid another sustained period of restrictions, or worse, another widespread and prolonged lockdown.

“As disappointing as it is for businesses to have to accept cancellations and scale back their activity at this  time, we need to do what we can to ensure the situation does not escalate.”

However, the chamber encouraged people to continue supporting embattled local businesses, in accordance with health advice.

Visit NSW Health’s website for more information.