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Tom Elliott urges regional Victoria to stick to a decision on Melbourne tourists

Some Melburnians have today been told their bookings at regional Victorian caravan parks have been cancelled because they live in COVID-19 ‘hot spots’.

While the Foreshore Caravan Park chain, which operates parks in Lorne, Torquay and Anglesea, has reversed its decision to cancel bookings made from residents in the council areas identified as coronavirus hot spots, 3AW has heard from holidaymakers who say their booking at other regional Victorian locations are still cancelled.

Tom Elliott said regional Victorian tourism operators need to make a decision about whether or not they want city tourism, and stick with it.

“I get very confused. Do tourism operators in regional and rural parts of the state want Melburnians to come and visit them or not?,” the 3AW Drive host said.

“Straight after the bushfires they said ‘Please come back and have a holiday in Gippsland because we need your money’.

“Then coronavirus breaks out and they say ‘No, we don’t want city people coming here and buying all the stuff in the supermarket’.

“Then we’re emerging out of lockdown, people are booking holidays … now, all of a sudden, you’ve got … caravan parks saying ‘We don’t want visitors from Melbourne’.

“So which is it?”

Victorian Caravan Parks Association CEO Scott Parker said tourism operators are facing a tough choice.

“None of them want to cancel or refuse a booking. It’s against their commercial interest, but they know the priority has to be the safety of themselves, their staff and other guests, and in some cases residents who live there permanently,” he told Tom Elliott.

“You can’t blame some operators for saying ‘I just won’t take that risk’.

“The vast majority of parks, they’re just mum’s and dad’s who want to do the right thing. They’re obviously confused.”

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Caravan parks backflip on ban on Melburnians from coronavirus ‘hot spots’