Wednesday, 11 August 2021
COVID-19: Hospitality and Tourism Industries
Today we've seen lockdowns further extended in Victoria and we're seeing extended lockdowns across basically the eastern seaboard, and perhaps during these times there are no businesses more affected than those in hospitality and tourism. Pubs, bars, clubs, restaurants and hotels—all are shut down; no patrons are coming through the door. But, unlike many industries, many of these businesses are fortunate to receive substantial support and guidance from their industry representatives—none more so than the Australian Hotels Association, the AHA. Whilst the AHA remains grateful and supportive of the way the Morrison government has worked with them, I also want to acknowledge some of the companies who have gone over and above for their staff, to maintain engagement and support them through these lockdowns. The Australian Venue Co., AVC—which owns pubs all across this country but is particularly suffering in New South Wales at the moment—has been providing seven-day food packages for all of its hospitality workers from Bungalow 8 for the past few weeks, and not only supporting their own staff but in fact all of us in the community. We've seen the Drinks Group, via Lewis Land Group, providing two days leave for their staff getting the jab. Then we've got the Iris hotel group. They've established a staff wellbeing initiative—a program for staff to be able to engage and maintain mental health throughout this lockdown. But what's been particularly great about this initiative is that it's not just for their staff; they've actually actively engaged with the AHA and asked them to distribute it to their members. So, whilst this is a really tough time for everyone, it is great to see industries who've supported themselves and supported each other.