Owners of the Mineral Sands Motel, (L) John and Tricia Barounis. Photo: Stuart Fast
Owners of the Mineral Sands Motel, (L) John and Tricia Barounis. Photo: Stuart Fast

Motel owners tell of 'shocking impact' of border closure

OWNERS of the Mineral Sands Motel, Tricia and John Barounis, are calling on the State Government to open Queensland's borders to support the state's tourism industry.

The couple said the coronavirus crisis had a "shocking impact," and business was down 80 per cent for March and April.

Mrs Barounis said the business had "no real income for two months."

The motel relies on southern tourists, grey nomads and travellers from New Zealand coming into Queensland, with the autumn and winter seasons being the busiest.

She said opening the state would be a big boost for businesses across the state.

"We can't be in lockdown forever."

Mr Barounis said when tourists stayed at motels such as the Mineral Sands, they spent money at rural cafes and takeaway shops benefiting the local economy.

He said opening borders would also give potential tourists the time to plan their travel, especially regarding the upcoming school holidays.

While the lifting of travel restrictions within Queensland offers a ray of hope for the couple, Mrs Barounis was, however, concerned a possible second coronavirus wave would force borders to be closed for longer.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Queensland borders would remain closed and the situation evaluated at the end of June.

"Please open the borders as soon as we can," Mrs Barounis pleaded to the state's leaders.