‘Keep it coming’: Bay hotel boss wants JobKeeper extension
PETER Beard, manager of Hervey Bay's Ramada, said the past couple of months had been "tough" and without JobKeeper he wouldn't have been able to stay open.
"It's been a huge benefit for us - we'd like it to never end," he said.
JobKeeper payments, he said, had also enabled the restaurant at the Ramada to remain viable.
"If we can continue to get the payments longer, that would be great, and if not, we will just have to get to the end of September and see where we're at," Mr Beard said.
He said he had been able to continue to employ about 25 staff members, or 90 per cent of his employees.
"We had to let a few go because they weren't eligible, but if we get busy enough we will bring them back," he said.
Occupancy at the resort, he said, was "climbing every day".
"We're at about 40 per cent just now, and will be up at over 50 per cent on the weekend.
"It's very difficult to judge. We have a good day, then a bad one, but the weekend is looking good," he said.
He said the benefits of people "moving around" as Queensland's drive tourism market was given the go-ahead with eased restrictions were becoming noticeable.
"It's definitely picking up again, so we're going along all right," Mr Beard said.
"If they open the borders, I'm sure the southerners will want to escape the weather down there and they'll be looking for somewhere quiet and safe and I think Hervey Bay is a good destination.
"I think we're getting a lot of people wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city."
He said the start of the whale season also made Hervey Bay an attractive option for travellers.
The restaurant was open, and live music was starting again on Saturday night.