Illawarra Newsroom

Calls to address South Coast tourism crisis

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Labor has urged the NSW Government to take immediate action to support struggling South Coast and Southern NSW tourism operators as they face another major economic hit due to the Victorian border lockdown and the possibility of tighter restrictions.

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The tourism sector across the South Coast and Southern NSW is struggling to survive following six months of lost trade in the wake of devastating bushfires, COVID-19 restrictions and several years of drought.

It was hoped the July school holidays would bring a desperately needed reprieve but the closure of the Victorian border has hindered any chance of economic activity.

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The Shadow Minister for Investment and Tourism Jenny Aitchison has warned the Government must step in before it’s too late.  

"First the busy summer trade was lost because of bushfires, then COVID-19 restrictions kept tourists away at Easter," she said.

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"I’m worried the necessary closure of the Victorian border could be the final nail in the coffin for many tourism operators and the towns that rely on them. 

"This is an economic crisis that can’t be ignored.

"Labor has previously called for an intensive marketing campaign but that won’t be enough anymore.

"Tourism operators need a financial lifeline to survive, especially if tighter restrictions are reinstated to help stop the spread. "Labor supports the Premier’s decision to close the border but she must not forget those who are most impacted by this decision," Aitchison said.

Images: Travis Winks, Adam Straney and NSW Police