21 December 2020

Minister for Tourism Industry Development and Innovation and Minister for Sport
The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

Sydneysiders now unable to use their holiday accommodation in Queensland are being asked to contact their provider and cancel their bookings as soon as possible.

Acting Tourism Minister Scott Stewart said Queensland had put in place a hard border excluding arrivals from Greater Sydney until at least 8 January 2021 following the growing number of COVID-19 community transmissions there.

“Queensland is acting on expert medical advice as we always have to keep Queenslanders safe from the global COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Stewart said.

“The border announcement provides certainty for Sydneysiders, the Illawarra and the NSW Central Coast who had planned to travel to Queensland for the Christmas and New Year break.

“We know many holidaymakers from Greater Sydney have booked a Queensland holiday with accommodation in some destinations now hard to find.

“After our Good to Go tourism campaign, demand for a Queensland holiday has been strong this summer with many holidaymakers still looking for accommodation in their favourite destinations.

“Swift cancellations by Greater Sydney travellers will mean those who have missed out will be able to secure bookings and accommodation providers are less likely to be left out of pocket.

“We’re expecting strong interest from interstate and Queensland holidaymakers in snapping up cancelled bookings from Greater Sydney.

“Right now, there has never been a better time for Queenslanders to take a break in their own state for a world-class holiday experience.

“These are extraordinary circumstances nobody could have predicted, so I ask tourist operators, where possible, to exercise flexibility on their refund policies.”

Mr Stewart said Greater Sydney had traditionally accounted for approximately 10 per cent of summer holidaymakers in Queensland.

“We’re ready to welcome Greater Sydney to Queensland for a great visitor experience when the timing is right,” Mr Stewart said.

“From today, we expect there will be additional bookings available for local and interstate holidaymakers who act quickly.”

The Queensland border remains open to regional NSW and other states.