MORE BUSINESS: The Swagsman has been operating at 60 per cent less capacity.
MORE BUSINESS: The Swagsman has been operating at 60 per cent less capacity.

Accommodation providers welcome easing of restrictions

USUALLY bursting at the seams with travellers admiring the creek views and ready to explore the southwest, the Swagsman Motor Inn in Miles has experienced a tough couple of months.

Holiday-makers have been given strict travel orders to stay home to help stop the spread of coronavirus, which meant many businesses in the Western Downs have ground to a halt.

Motor Inn owner Tracy Gillon, said times have been tough since the restrictions were introduced.

“The motel is down 60 per cent occupancy because of the travelling restrictions,” she said.

“Trade was good up until the day it happened, and every time that phone rang it was a cancellation.

“It’s been hard, and everything seemed to stop.

“People ring up now and say ‘Can I book a room?’ and I ask how many you would like.

“We have heaps of rooms.”

However, despite the challenging times, Ms Gillon is looking at the positives.

She was fortunate enough to keep all her staff with some coming over from her sister business, Hotel Australia in Miles, while it is closed.

Even though her bookings are down, she is thankful they have not had a single night with no guests at all.

“I did expect that, but that’s never happened, which is a bonus.”

With the announcement of restrictions easing coming yesterday, Ms Gillon is looking forward to what comes next, but it also hesitant.

She has been missing out on guests because there are fewer cars on the road; however, she wants to see our roads opened safely.

“I don’t want everything to reopen only for it have to shut again,” she said.

“You want health first.”

“I’d rather them do it a safe way than rush.”

Eager to see what happens over the next four weeks and for the businesses in Miles to reopen again, Ms Gillon said the fewer travel restrictions in the place, the better off the business would be.

“Other things opening like nail salons and clothing stores will help as well because they have a reason to travel,” she said.

“There’s no reason to travel now.

“In the meantime, we have to focus on the good news.

“Going back to normal is happening sooner than we thought so that is what I look at most.

“As long as we don’t go backwards, we should survive.”