Shoalhaven City Council tourism manager and chair of Australian Regional Tourism Coralie Bell says local tourism operators can't seem to catch a break with news of a Sydney COVID outbreak.
Mrs Bell said operators were beyond exhausted from dealing with business impacts due to bushfires, floods and earlier COVID outbreaks and exposures.
"Anyone who lives down here can vouch for the fact we've been run off our feet," she said.
"We're all small business down here - they're not big multinationals or huge hotels.
Mrs Bell said operators were encouraging people to reschedule whenever they could.
"But when's the next school holidays? Everyone's got different availabilities so we're doing the best we can to keep money in regions," she said.
She said the industry was already facing other external challenges before they received this bad news.
"We've got housing shortages and now skills shortages because we can't even get people to move to the area to fill jobs," said Mrs Bell.
"So what that means practically is our business operators have been working really long hours and they just keep working because they're worried when the next shutdown will be."
She said Shoalhaven tourism campaigns like the Winter Wine and Whales campaign have not been pulled.
"The market and the feedback from our operators and the industry as well as what the future has in store will determine what we could pull from campaign," said Mrs Bell.
"But I think what we've learned thus far is that things can change very quickly so let's just hold a beat before we change our full campaign structure."
From an Australian regional tourism perspective, Mrs Bell said the state border closures and the impact that has had on border towns and the industry is significant and the rollout of vaccinations has never been more important.
We would like federal rollout pretty quickly but also state agreement on travel passes for vaccinated people so we don't keep seeing such a huge rate of cancellations.Coralie Bell
"We need to have more coordination within the states when they willy-nilly decide to open and close borders," she said.
"We know that JobKeeper is done from the federal perspective but it might be time for states to support small business when they make the decision to close borders."
Shoalhaven City Council Mayor Amanda Findley said "The recent COVID-19 situation reminds us all that health is of the utmost importance. For those outside of the affected areas in Sydney and who are permitted to travel, we look forward to welcoming you and showing you everything the Shoalhaven has to offer. By visiting the region, you are helping to support countless local businesses and helping our communities to thrive".