Sydney remained the number one ranked destination for international travellers, with average prices paid up 4% in 2017 ($232), and a whopping 13% increase from 2014, no doubt linked to the investment interest in Sydney’s hotel market and the $1 billion worth of planned new hotels in the CBD.
- Natural wonders and adventure playgrounds such as Exmouth, Townsville, and Kangaroo Island recorded steepest increase in Australian accommodation prices in 2017
- Key markets, the Whitsunday Islands and Melbourne, record declines in average prices paid, while Sydney prospers
According to the Hotels.com Hotel Price Index, Exmouth – the Range to Reef eco-adventure capital of Western Australia – showed the highest percentage price rise of the top 50 destinations analysed for international travellers. Prices paid in Exmouth rose by 12% to $213 per night in 2017, as travellers flocked to the area to experience the iconic Cape Range National Park, and Ningaloo Marine Park, famous for the whale sharks found close to the
Other gateways to natural wonders, Townsville and Kangaroo Island, also recorded steep rises in accommodation prices, increasing 11% and 9% respectively. The steep increase in prices paid in Townsville last year follows a 13% fall in 2016, demonstrating growth in the region and the strength of reef tourism.
Meanwhile, the Whitsunday Islands recorded the steepest decline in accommodation prices, falling 14% in 2017 after bearing the brunt of Cyclone Debbie. Intense recovery operations and community involvement worked wonders however, with the islands holding on to their top ten position, and their premium pricing at $222 per night.
International travellers throw money down; China dominates market
The HPI reported Yulara ($360), the gateway to Uluru, as the most expensive destination of the top 50 analysed – with a 15% lift since 2015 – following heavy promotion of the Northern Territory’s Field of Light exhibition.
Of the top 50 destinations analysed, places in Queensland and the Northern Territory dominated for bargains. Townsville ($124) took out the top spot for most affordable night stay for international travellers, while Alice Springs ($125), Mackay ($126) and Darwin ($132)
also provided great deals for visitors.
The influx of Chinese travellers were of particular note as they became the largest source of international travellers for Australia in 2017 after years of New Zealand holding the top spot.
Mr. Spasovic said: “The successful ‘Australia-China Year of Tourism’ saw Chinese arrivals up 12% in 2017, driving tourism dollars into their favoured destinations – Sydney, Melbourne, and the Gold Coast – according to the HPI data.”
South East Asia continues to deliver for Aussies
South East Asia was again a firm favourite for Aussie travellers, with 31 spots in the top 100 list and five in the top 10. Bali took out the number one spot for Australian travellers in 2017, but the eruption of Mount Agung in December may have contributed to its 3% price fall.
Kathu in Thailand was revealed as the most affordable holiday destination among those analysed, at $55 per night. Pattaya ($66), Phnom Penh ($72), and Chiang Mai ($76) were the other top Southeast Asian favourites that offered Aussies the best bang-for-your-buck hotel breaks.