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Why tourism operators are ‘petrified’ as Melburnians rush to book Christmas getaways

Victorian tourism operators have been inundated by Christmas bookings from Melburnians who hope to be free of lockdown by summer, but many are ‘petrified’ by the situation.

Victorian Tourism Industry Council CEO, Felicia Mariani, said bookings began to surge right after the announcement that regional Victoria was open for business.

“The bookings are up on operators in regional Victoria, particularly our caravan and camping sector,” she told Ross and Russel.

“They’re seeing huge numbers.”

But Ms Mariani said many tourism operators are “petrified they’re going to have to start cancelling again”.

“I know operators who have lost tens of thousands of dollars this year because they’ve had to refund bookings so many times,” she said.

Even if restrictions are lifted, a social change needs to happen so regional Victorians welcome city-dwellers.

“Social licence is one of the biggest issues that we’re confronting at the moment” Ms Mariani said.

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