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Managers, hoteliers unite over occupancy struggle

Amid news Sydney's accom industry must break 35 percent occupancy rate...

This week, Sydney’s top accommodation hotel general managers and industry insiders gathered at the QT Sydney to be told the highly disappointing but not unexpected news that occupancy rates across the CBD are still hovering around 35 percent mark.

The industry event was organised by Tourism Accommodation Australia NSW and CEO Michael Johnson who said no one in the industry would be impressed with occupancy rates in the CBD, those hotels that remain open are struggling to break the 35 percent mark.

He said: “I don’t need to remind you many NSW hotels, particularly Sydney hotels, had a terrible 2020 and if the first few months of this year are any indication, things are not going to get better in a hurry.

“I don’t need to remind you many NSW hotels, particularly Sydney hotels, had a terrible 2020 and if the first few months of this year are any indication, things are not going to get better in a hurry.

“Rest assured we have been working closely with Government, sending weekly stats, reiterating the need for on-going support as recovery is slow – particularly with on-going CBD shutdowns and domestic border closures, and of course, no international tourists.”

A number of Sydney GMs and director of sales managers attended the function, hosted by Mr Johnson and featuring keynote speakers’ City of Sydney CEO Monica Barone and Carnival Cruise Line Australia VP and GM Jennifer Vandekreeke.

TAA CEO Michael Johnson & Monica Barone

Ms Barone praised the group for the “great contribution you make” during the “difficult time you are facing.

She said the industry was resilient and broadly outlined the City of Sydney’s vision for the CBD as the heart of Australia’s international city.

Ms Vandekreeke, Australasian vice president for the world’s biggest cruise line, outlined the challenges facing the cruising sector, which she said was normally worth $4.7b to the national economy.

She said the industry would come back strongly from the challenges of COVID, and also made the point that a third cruise terminal in Sydney would see a big increase in the number of passenger days, saying “we are definitely pushing for that.”

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