The easing of NSW travel restrictions has provided regional tourism industries a chance to recover following a two-month stand still, according to the Illawarra’s peak tourism body.
From the start of June, museums, galleries, and libraries are allowed to reopen and domestic travel within the state restart.
Destination Wollongong Special Projects Manager Jeremy Wilshire welcomed the news and said any steps toward normality were good.
“The great thing about Wollongong is that it has space and diversity,” Mr Wilshire said.
“Being a regional destination close to Sydney this is great news but we have to do it as part of a gradual and responsible process.”
Destination Wollongong urged businesses and visitors to respect social distancing measures to reduce the risk of community spread of COVID-19.
“The restrictions are eased but it’s not a full-blown recovery,” Mr Wilshire said.
“We are getting back to closer to normal but we should remain a little wary of that if a venue can only host 10 people, and that’s often hosting 10 locals, then there’s no use having a huge influx of visitors here.
“Each business needs to look at their own situation in regard to what they can physically accommodate that are in line with the government restrictions.
“So that has to be the first priority, to make sure that they are trading legally and from there taking steps to accommodate the easing of restrictions.”
Mr Wilshire said he was confident tourism would pick up before the end of the year.
“As we get more into Spring, I think visitation will increase in terms of day trippers and those visiting friends and relatives and from there on hopefully more domestic travel as we move into summer,” Mr Wilshire said.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian urged travellers this morning to respect social distancing measures.
“We want people to enjoy themselves, to feel free, but at the same time please know that nothing we do is the same during a pandemic,” she said.
“Leave a record if you’re visiting one of those places so that if something happens expectantly if there is a case, we can follow up very quickly.”