Business Hunter says COVID lockdowns in Sydney will have an impact on local business as restrictions cancel school holiday trips.

CEO Bob Hawes says that cancellations open up more opportunity for Hunter residents to book a trip in our own region and keep affected businesses afloat.

“We imagine some people in the Hunter may have changed their plans from wanting to travel outside the region and for those people we are really encouraging them to have a look at what is in our own backyard”

Cancellations of accommodation, dining and event tickets from visitors to the Hunter opens up an opportunity for residents to support business that have been impacted by the restrictions.

“We are encouraging people to take advantage of those (cancellations) and see what this region has to offer,” Mr Hawes said.

Hunter businesses are seeing similar comparisons in booking trends to those in late 2020, with pre-emptive cancellations and deferments on the rise according to Business Hunter.

Mr Hawes says Business Hunter is supportive of the NSW Government’s precautionary approach to the recent outbreak and has confidence in the contact tracing abilities of NSW Health.

“We are hoping people in the region get out there and spend, spend, spend and school holidays is always a period that we would like to see activity around our fantastic attractions and we might have to dig deep locally to see that come to par.

“The best thing we can all do is obey the regulations that have been put in place and get vaccinated as soon as we can,” Mr Hawes said.

Mr Hawes suggests Hunter residents take advantage of their Dine and Discover vouchers.

New South Wales residents have until July 31st to use their vouchers, which total to $100 of funds to be spent on dining in at restaurants, cafés, bars, wineries, pubs or clubs or entertainment and recreation, including cultural institutions, live music, and arts venues.