Coronavirus

Tourism industry & local updates for the Great Ocean Road region

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 Updates & Advice

Government Relief Packages

Webinars & Support

What’s Happening Locally

 

Visitor Information Centres (VIC) have started to reopen. Please get in touch with your local VIC directly for the latest info. 

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What happens if my domestic clients choose to cancel due to COVID-19? Can I claim cancellation costs?

– 20 March 2020

This advice has been approved by Consumer Affairs Victoria.

To answer this question, it is useful to think of two scenarios. In the first example, the health authorities have issued explicit advice, under the State of Emergency declaration, restricting non-essential travel to your area. Such an instance would trigger a ‘frustrated contract’ under the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012, which means it is impossible to perform or carry out a contract due to events beyond all parties’ control.

In this scenario, the customer would be entitled to a refund of any payments already made. However, the law may also entitle you to any reasonable expenses you incurred before the customer cancelled.

If there are no restrictions on domestic travel and your business is still operating, the contract is still valid and your cancellation policy can be applied.

The best solution in both these circumstances is to talk to the customer to negotiate alternative arrangements. For example, hold the deposit over to be used at a different time. This is a frequently used strategy by tourism operators who have been through a crisis – a postponement or a deferment of a booking means you can hold onto the deposit at a time when every dollar counts.

This advice should be read in conjunction with Consumer Affairs Victoria’s online factsheet “When customers cancel – guidance for tourism businesses” https://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/products-and-services/business-practices/contracts/guidance-for-tourism-businesses

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Government Relief Packages 

 

Tourism Accommodation Support Program – Direct financial support of $225 per booking per night to support tourism operators affected by temporary coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdowns.

Information on Business Support Fund & Job Keeper Package and more

JobKeeper Payment Employer Guide – Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

 

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Webinars & Support 

We have put together a free Resource Hub, created for businesses like you within our Great Ocean Road region. We want to help support you through this downtime as best we can. Access the Business Resource Hub

  

Weekly Tourism Webinar  – Fridays at 2pm AEST – run by Tourism Australia.
Register here (places limited)

Free weekly coaching:  Surviving COVID-19 for Hospitality Businesses – run by AVTES
Register here

Build Back Better Webinars & Road to Recovery Tourism Tutorials – run by ATEC
Find out more and register here

 

Businesses across the state can now access information on dealing with coronavirus (COVID-19) by calling the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15.
More info here

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How to keep informed via official sources

 

Latest news: You can keep up-to-date with the latest news on the Coronavirus from the Australian Government’s Department of Health, including updated health warnings at: health.gov.au/health-topics/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov

Latest travel advice: The latest travel advice being provided by the WHO can be read here: who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/travel-advice

Phone for more info: For more information call the Public Health Information Line on 1800 044 599 or contact your state public health agency  1300 651 160

 

 

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Need to talk to someone?

Our General Manager, Liz Price, is available during these challenging times and welcomes you to get in touch if needed at liz@gort.com.au or on 0448 385 176