Warwick tourism operator ‘devastated’ by Easter threat
With less than three days to go until Good Friday Warwick tourism providers have been left “devastated” by the possibility they could see their second Easter in a row decimated by coronavirus cancellations.
At Bestbrook Farmstay, owner Ray Vincent had been inundated with confused phone calls from guests.
He said it he was left feeling like he had been “punched and hit” with Monday’s news of the Brisbane lockdown.
“I’m just gobsmacked,” he said.
“We’re already had NSW people cancel because if they came up they’d have to go into quarantine.
“You usually go, ‘How could you ever have a vacancy at Easter?’ and now we do.”
Almost a year since Mr Vincent had been forced to “put a chain across the gate and not let anyone in the property” the tourism provider fears he could face deja vu if the lockdown was extended.
“It’s frightening,” he said.
“I’ve got $4000 to $5000 worth of food ready for Easter. What happens when on Friday they’re still locked in Brisbane?
“This probably would have been our lifesaver. We been through drought, fires and Covid, and went about under water last week.
“Our customers are from the North Coast, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, we don’t get people from Toowoomba and Warwick.”
Lake Leslie Tourist Park owner Adam Bennett was more optimistic, expecting a range of visitors from across the state.
“We’ve had a few inquires but no cancellation as of yet, most are waiting for that Thursday cut-off,” he said.
Mr Bennett said 2021 Easter trade was a chance to regain last year’s losses.
“Numbers wise, we are looking really good, one of the best years we’ve had,” he said.
“Last year was just absolutely pathetic, pathetic not just for the tourism industry but for everyone.
“Easter is that time to get away and last year was really disappointing so we’re hoping we don’t see a repeat.”