Accommodation on hold as hospitality industry partially reopens

TAA (Vic) welcomes the first steps toward Victoria’s hospitality sector opening up, but contends Melbourne’s accommodation hotels have been unnecessarily delayed.  

Easing of trading restrictions for food and beverage operations is a good ‘first step,’ that has been confirmed in the release of updated Restricted Activity Directions (Melbourne), under trading conditions outlined in Clause 12: “Food and drink facilities.” However, TAA (Vic) remain very concerned that accommodation facilities will not be permitted to reopen, other than for restricted permitted purposes, essentially until Monday 9 November, after initially being earmarked to do so from Monday 2 November.  

This reality has come despite significant advocacy from AHA (Vic) at senior levels across multiple government departments, in recent days. TAA (Vic) appreciate that many across our hotel network will be frustrated by these developments. TAA (Vic) is mindful food, beverage and accommodation-related trading restrictions were lifted simultaneously in regional Victoria. There has been no explanation as to why this is not the case in metropolitan Melbourne, particularly given we’re not aware of any heightened risks apparent with our service delivery model.  

Our recent member survey indicated that up to one third of the workforce of some city hotels had lost their jobs and that 35 per cent of CBD and surrounds accommodation hotels remain closed. We are acutely aware that it simply won’t be viable for many accommodation hotels to reopen solely for the provision of a restricted food and beverage service.  

TAA (Vic) are focused on gaining certainty that accommodation hotels will be permitted to reopen without restriction from Monday 9 November. AHA (Vic) is also actively engaged in discussions with government regarding the easing of restrictions in other areas of hotel operation, including pools and gyms; gaining more flexibility on the way indoor patron limits are applied, and is pushing hard to see a government sponsored hospitality industry voucher system implemented to further stimulate Victoria’s visitor economy.    

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