If you want a school holiday break in your own back yard free from full accommodation venues and crowded beaches, now is the perfect time for anyone living south of Shellharbour.
That is the message from tourism operators who would traditionally be very busy during the mid-year break.
Many were just starting to get back on their feet after good Christmas, New Year, Easter and May school holiday seasons.
But the latest lockdown for Great Sydney including Wollongong and Shellharbour has changed all that.
At BIG4 Easts Beach Holiday Park director Jenny Drummond said they would normally be 70 per cent full this week but they would be lucky to be at 10 per cent now after so many cancellations on the weekend.
"This has had a big impact," Ms Drummond said.
"We have had around 200 cancellations.
"We only have a hand full of people in at the moment.
"They are from Canberra, the Southern Highlands and a few from Victoria. And we are getting a few from Nowra.
"Usually we get a lot of last minute bookings. We have cancelled 200 bookings but that would equate to 300 with people thinking at the last minute they would like to get away."
Ms Drummond said the weekend was challenging for everyone.
"We had people literally checking in on Saturday who had to turn around and go back in when they heard the news and they had to go back home," she said.
"It was not a nice thing to have to tell them that."
Usually summer and Easter are the busiest holiday seasons for the South Coast.
But after the last 18 months operations were expecting this winter break to be busier than most with people eager to travel domestically again.
"These holidays were going to be a lot busier than previous years," Ms Drummond said.
"This snap lockdown certainly hasn't helped. But what do you do? You have to ride it out."
At Huskisson Beach Motel owner John Nixon said after the recent scare when a Victorian family visited the holiday town, operators were looking forward to things to start turning around this week.
But instead it is like a ghost town when it would usually be bustling tourism spot.
Mr Nixon said it was not just the businesses being impacted but their employees and many people were starting to think enough-is-enough.
"Everyone is suffering," he said.
Mr Nixon said he was grateful for any government support and welcomed the announcements this week but is fearful many operators and employees are going to leave the industry and not want to return.
He said it was really important now for the Federal and State Government to do something for workers as well as businesses.
"Every time something like this happens, and it has happened a lot, the hospitality industry is the one that has really been hit hardest.
"Hospitality is always the first to close down.
"How many times are people in this industry going to take that hit each time a lockdown occurs.
"I think a lot of them are going to say 'stuff this"."
Mr Nixon said the sooner a large percentage of Australians are vaccinated and the borders can reopen with confidence, the better off everyone will be.
At Coolangatta Estate vigneron Greg Bishop said it felt like Shoalhaven Heads was in lockdown.
"Everyone has cancelled," he said.
"We have lost conferences.
"Luckily we didn't have any weddings booked these two weeks but accommodation was fully booked and that has all been cancelled.
"So we are just running with a skeleton staff at the moment.
Mr Bishop said nothing surprises him anymore but after the 2020 lockdown business was really strong and cellar door manager Ben Bishop expects that to happen again.
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