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English Premier League and Rugby Union kicking goals for Aussie hotels

Brisbane and Perth look to emulate Melbourne and Sydney’s events-driven benefits

Bearing out comments made recently by Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) CEO, Michael Johnson, while traditional markets have yet to fully recover, major events are having an impact on occupancy numbers for hotels in Australian cities.

That impact was clearly evidenced during two recent major events, Melbourne’s hosting of the Australian Grand Prix and Sydney’s staging of its first Vivid Festival for three years which saw both cities achieve their highest occupancy levels since the outbreak of COVID-19.

Melbourne’s hotel occupancy levels during the Grand Prix rose to 65.1 percent, the highest since February 2020, while in Sydney, occupancy peaked at 82.8 percent on the event’s first Saturday.

And now its Perth and Brisbane’s turn with both cities having hosted or about to host English Premier League sides, Wallabies versus England Rugby Union matches and State of Origin clashes.

Image of Suncorp Stadium by Carles Rabada on Unsplash

Queensland Hotel Association (QHA) Accommodation Division Manager, Judy Hill said Brisbane accommodation hotel operators have long understood the benefits a substantial major event calendar can bring to the city.

“All travel and tourism businesses benefit from the increase in visitor numbers to a destination,” Ms Hill said.

“This will definitely be seen across the city and surrounding regions as Brisbane hosts a super week of sports events in July including Wallabies versus England, State of Origin game three at Suncorp Stadium and the inaugural Queensland Champions Cup featuring Brisbane Roar and two of England’s renowned Premier League teams, Aston Villa and Leeds United.

“What a great opportunity to showcase Brisbane both internationally and locally with this world class program of sporting events.”

Chair of the QHA Accommodation Division, General Manager Hilton Brisbane, Chris Partridge said hoteliers appreciate the increased demand for hotel rooms these events bring, further aiding the recovery from the depths of the COVID pandemic.

Image of Optus Stadium by Nathan Hurst on Unsplash

Perth, which hosted State of Origin game two on 26 June and the first of the three Wallabies versus England clashes on July 2, is now bracing itself for the arrival of Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Leeds United and Manchester United.

Leeds United will play Crystal Palace in a friendly match on July 22 and the following day, Manchester United will take on Aston Villa with all matches to be played at the Optus Stadium.

Australian Hotels Association (WA) CEO, Bradley Woods AHA WA said the events sector is playing a key role in the post-COVID recovery for WA hotels.

“However, we still have a long road ahead,” he said.

“The WA Government, through Tourism WA, has worked hard to secure a series of blockbuster events throughout winter, which is driving interest in WA from interstate and abroad.

 “These events provide an immediate injection to WA’s hotels and hospitality venues, as well as provide outstanding exposure of WA to global audiences.”

Mr Woods said Optus Stadium was helping showcase WA as a modern city with a wealth of attractions and an exciting schedule of major events.

“There are promising indications that the line-up of winter events is not just a one-off this year, but is instead a long-term proposition that will encourage travellers to WA in what are traditionally quieter months,” he said.


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