Coral Cove Apartment managers Kate Lindsay and Patrick Riordan.
Coral Cove Apartment managers Kate Lindsay and Patrick Riordan.

Parks ‘still hurting’ despite easing travel restrictions

INTRASTATE travel restrictions may have been eased, but opinions are mixed on whether it is the 'light at the end of the tunnel' for Bowen's accommodation providers.

Travel restrictions have now been eased to allow Queenslanders to travel within the state, which has resulted in the phone at Coral Cove Apartments "ringing hot".

It's not, however, the 'light at the end of the tunnel' that some of Bowen's Caravan Parks had been hoping for, saying that without the Grey Nomads they will still face a difficult year.

Bowen Holiday Park manager Darren Lewis said that many businesses here were "still hurting" and without the borders opening they didn't expect much to change.

"We haven't seen a spike at all, we've had one call for a new booking," he said.

"We need the interstate borders to open. All the Grey Nomads are itching to get up here, and we need them to."

Coral Cove Apartment manager Kate Lindsay agreed that many accommodation providers in the state were "hurting", and said because of the style of accommodation they offer they were lucky to be in a unique position.

"We've been open the whole time because we have apartments and we were able to offer accommodation to a lot of essential workers," she said.

"We were also able to take in people who were stuck, we had a lovely Irish couple who couldn't go back to Ireland and stayed for a couple of weeks.

"We are in a unique position because of the apartments and we've also got a lot of regulars who come every year and they've held their bookings. A lot of people did cancel, but a lot of people actually just deferred their bookings."

Ms Lindsay said the latest announcement opening the state to travellers had boosted bookings but they had also been steadily picking up bookings since the initial stages of eased travel restrictions.

"In recent times it's been more steady as the restrictions have eased," she said.

"And then since the announcement in the last couple of days, it's been really good, we're nearly booked out for the school holidays."

Ms Lindsay said there was no doubt that people were still feeling the effects of travel restrictions, and said the latest announcement was a "positive" move.

"At the beginning it was tough, but we've been able to survive. And now this is a chance for locals to explore the state and their area more," she said.

"It would be great if they could reopen the borders, others are really hurting a lot, but so far it (the latest announcement) is positive.

"Now we just need to work together to get more tourists up here."