Accommodation sector needs the border open

By Andrew Johnston

EARLY booking numbers for accommodation in Echuca have been solid since the changes to regional restrictions.

But the local accommodation industry will continue to hurt as long as border restrictions remain in place.

Echuca-Moama Accommodation Association president Grant Casbolt said early signs were positive, but there remained multiple issues.

“We've seen a fair few bookings on the Echuca side,” he said.

“The number we have early are really positive, but there are still a number of issues caused by the border closure. As long as people aren't able to travel into NSW, the full extent of what they can do within the community is limited.

“It also stops our businesses on the NSW side of the river from being able to take bookings and start their recovery from the crisis. A lot of businesses continue to suffer, and the only way we will be able to see them begin their road to recovery is to get the border open and allow these businesses to resume.”

Echuca Moama Tourism chief executive Kathryn Mackenzie said the river would remain a serious issue until the border was opened.

“The businesses on the NSW side of the river continue to suffer due to the border closure,” she said.

“We want to see all business within our community returning to work and have some success in the coming months after a tough year, and the best way to achieve that is to allow businesses in Moama to resume business by opening the border to more than just regional Victorians in the border zone.”