Slow trickle increase for CQ accommodation
AFTER being decimated during COVID health restrictions, Gladstone’s accommodation sector has struggled through a slow recovery during school holidays, and was hopeful of a great southern invasion.
The Queensland border opened today and there were lines of cars waiting to cross from NSW, but Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has stressed Victorians aren’t welcome.
Kin Kora Village Caravan Park Owner Monte Olsen said he got a trickle of holidayers during the school holidays in a time he would usually be full.
“Gladstone is a really popular holiday town with Queenslanders,” he said.
“I had five vans leave a couple of days ago and there are a couple there now.”
Mr Olsen said with the New South Wales school holidays starting and the borders opening he was hoping for an influx of tourists, but he had received few bookings.
“Usually the caravaners book a day or two before they get here,” he said.
“In July we are usually 100 per cent full with travellers from NSW and Victoria.
“We’ll have to see what the next couple of weeks bring.”
Park View Hotel Manager ‘David’ echoed Mr Olsen’s comments.
“Gladstone isn’t really a big tourist town, its more a workers town,” he said.
“We get the workers staying here regularly, but no so many holiday travellers.
“There were a few that trickled in over the school holidays but not many.”
Harbour Sails Motor Inn manager David Morgan said the motel was almost “down for the count” during COVID, but they are now “up off the canvas” and doing almost pre-COVID trade.
Mr Morgan said there were definitely more Queenslander’s holidaying locally than previous years
“I just looked back through the history and we seemed to have had more holiday makers than normal, than in past years” he said.
“We have always dealt with the corporate traveller and its nice to see those guys are back on the road and supporting us too.”
There were times, Mr Morgan said, during the peak of COVID restrictions, where he feared the worst.
“There were days where I thought we might have to turn the electricity off,” he said.
“Then other days a few people came in, and kept us going, just.”
He remained hopeful, with today’s border opening, that business will pick up and NSW people hit the roads north.
“People usually don’t book too far ahead, so hopefully we get a few booking in the day or two before they come to stay,” he said.
“A person down at Gympie in a motel tells me he’s getting bookings as well as another Motel at Maryborough.
“So hopefully they make their way here and stay in Gladstone for a while.”