CANCELLED: Many families have been forced to cancel holiday plans to the Southern Downs this weekend. Pic Mark/Calleja
CANCELLED: Many families have been forced to cancel holiday plans to the Southern Downs this weekend. Pic Mark/Calleja

Lockdown another blow for Southern Downs tourism

STRUGGLING Southern Downs tourist providers have woken up to cancelled bookings and closed doors in light of the Brisbane lockdown with experts fearing it may last longer than a weekend.

At The Springs Camping and Adventure Park, a commitment to wider wellbeing had led owner Carolyn Taylor to close completely over the two day period.

“It was just a safety decision. Our parks are community minded and we didn’t want to people coming in from the lockdown area,” she said.

“We didn’t have to but it was our decision personally to close.”

In the light of ongoing NSW lockouts, Greater Brisbane residents made up a growing portion of the park’s visitors and Mrs Taylor said she had been preparing for the bad news.

“For us, our clientele is in those areas. The majority come from Brisbane, Gold Coast and Ipswich,” she said.

“If you were following the news, you realise it is inevitable, Covid is not going away anytime soon and it will likely be another year of ups and downs.”

Closed for three months last year in the peak of lockdown which left a significant “financial burden” on the park, Mrs Taylor said the waiting game had already begun

“Who knows what's going to happen, we don’t have a crystal ball,” she said.

“Obviously other places are feeling the pinch and so do we but our community is the number one priority.

“If we close for six months so be it. No one wants to be a Covid hotspot.”

Queensland Tourism Industry Council CEO Daniel Gschwind hoped the short term pain would be worth a “long term gain” for the industry.

“It’s a significant disruption,” he told NCA NewsWire.

“There will be cancellations as a result, there’s no doubt about that, but we share the same hope that it’s just one weekend and it’s not a catastrophic impact.”

It comes as Greater Brisbane residents were sent into a three-day lockdown after a cleaner at a Brisbane quarantine hotel tested positive for the mutant UK strain of COVID-19.

The lockdown also applies to anyone who has been in Greater Brisbane “even briefly” since January 2.



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