Perth the big loser in accom landscape

Perth is the worst performing capital for hotel occupancy in a disheartening picture for WA, new research shows.

According to an Australian accommodation summary report, released this week by Tourism Research Australia and based on 2016-17 figures, national occupancy rates and revenue per available room are up slightly on the previous year.

But while most states are performing strongly, with an average occupancy rate of almost 80 per cent for state and territory capitals, the picture is significantly less rosy for Western Australia.

[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”27469″ align=”left” padding=”10″]Half of all hotel rooms in parts of WA are empty, with the North West showing an average annual occupancy of just 49 per cent. The Coral Coast shows an average occupancy of 52 percent, the South West sits at 57 percent and the Golden Outback 59 percent.

While Perth records the highest occupancy rate in WA at 75 per cent, the report declares it to be the worst performing of all the nation’s capitals, with revenue down 12 per cent against an upwards national trend.

Asked why Perth’s occupancy is so low in the light of numerous infrastructure improvements, building developments and new flight routes, Tourism Accommodation Australia CEO Carol Giuseppi said the impact of those ‘demand drivers’ has yet to be felt.

Among them she lists new direct flights between the city and Singapore, London and Doha.

“Other tourism drivers will be the new Optus Stadium and the WA government increased investment in marketing and the creation of new tourism precincts,” she said.

“However, there has been the correction because of the resource transition.”

Ms Giuseppi said the market was struggling to absorb an additional supply of thousands of new rooms, despite an 8.5 percent increase in visitor nights across Perth’s hotels, motels and serviced apartments.

“There has been a big increase in supply in the market,” she said.

“Some 710 rooms were added to Perth’s hotel supply in 2017, with four major hotel developments coming online. 

“There are 3140 rooms across 17 hotel/serviced apartment projects currently under construction or significantly committed – which refers to projects that have received final development approvals and/or the WA Government is actively involved in the project.

“There are an additional 4265 rooms across 33 hotels/serviced apartments projects currently proposed or in the early stages of planning.”

The swathe of new accommodation means revenue per available room, occupancy and average daily rates all show a significant decline for 2017.

The report records WA to be the worst performing state nationally, and the only one except the Northern Territory not to increase revenue.

State tourism minister Paul Papalia concedes the industry has been doing it tough, but says Tourism WA is working hard to convince travellers to take advantage of a wide choice of hotels at reasonable rates.

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