Hotels across the country are being inundated with mass booking cancellations following the return to higher Covid-19 alert levels.
The accommodation sector was already struggling after the borders closed and lockdown, with significant staff losses, hotels being mothballed or running with single-digit occupancies.
New Zealand Hotel Owners Association executive director Amy Robens said hoteliers were fielding thousands of cancellation calls.
It was beyond grim for an already struggling sector, she said.
"Auckland is a big market for hoteliers throughout New Zealand when there is no international visitation and booking cancellations for domestic leisure and conferences, even just through to the end of August, is costing the hotel sector many millions of dollars.
"While we support the government's decisive action to tackle Covid-19 community transmission, urgent financial relief including a targeted extension to the wage subsidy must go beyond Auckland with hotels throughout the country feeling the full impacts of the region's Level 3 lockdown."
The hotel sector employed approximately 20,000 people at its peak, but that had more than halved and would likely continue to drop as hoteliers faced record low occupancies, low margins and virtually no profit, she said.
Robens called for urgent financial relief to support the industry, and said a targeted extension of the wage subsidy could make a difference.
"Accommodation providers feel we have been side-stepped in the government's $400 million Tourism Recovery Package. Now is the time to support the sector by allocating some of the $14 billion dollars from the Covid Response and Recovery Fund."