A surprise last-minute decision by Queensland to encourage travel within the state means the entire east coast of mainland Australia including NSW, ACT and Victoria is open for tourism as of today, June 1. More
Dransfield Hotels and Resorts believes increased Australian domestic travel due to closed borders could more than compensate for the dearth of international tourists caused by COVID-19 travel restrictions.
“Estimated domestic replacement in hotels could be considerably higher than the loss of international nights in both the cities in both the cities and regions – by some margin,” the company said. More
STR reports that April 2020 was the worst month ever in terms of performance for Australian hotels. “The absolute occupancy, ADR and RevPAR levels were the lowest for any month in STR’s Australia database,” the company said.
- Occupancy: -72.7% to 19.9%
- ADR: -33.1% to AUD119.87
- RevPAR: -81.7% to AUD23.85
“Melbourne and Sydney saw year-over-year occupancy declines of 65.0% and 73.7%, respectively.” Occupancy is being supported by returning travelers forced to quarantine for 14 days.
The spectacular and sudden immolation of CEO Jayson Westbury’s career speaks to bigger issues at the Australian Federation of Travel Agents, which looks badly out of touch with the modern world.
Westbury resigned yesterday after saying TV host Tracy Grimshaw “needs to be given a firm uppercut or a slap across the face” for negative coverage of the intransigent stance many agents are taking on the enforcement of cancellation fees. More
How can you offer refunds when you’ve already spent the money or need every available dollar just to survive? That appears to be the dilemma facing some of Australia’s leading travel companies with the industry coming under sustained attack for its “read the fine print” approach to clients during the worst pandemic in 100 years.
Two companies – Flight Centre and Intrepid Travel – have hugged recent headlines and encapsulate the brand risk in putting business cash flow first and customer needs second, especially when recent history shows that this strategy is doomed to failure in the court of public opinion. There is no way you can hold back the tide. More
Time to take a short break from writing stories on TravelTrends.biz. Too much happening too fast. Like many others, I’ll be lying low for the next few weeks and will hopefully emerge into a bright new world. I’m still consulting, though, so if you need help please get in touch.
Accommodation operators around the world are getting hit hard by cancellations from consumers who either can’t travel because of government restrictions or simply want to stay close to home because they’re anxious about catching COVID-19. More
Qantas Group will cut international capacity by 90 per cent and domestic capacity 60 per cent until at least the end of May due to the severe restrictions on travel wrought by the COVID-19. Here is a summary of today’s announcement. More
Flight Centre Travel Group today announced it will close up to 100 “under-performing stores” and withdrew its profit forecast due to the uncertain impact of coronavirus, which is now hitting bookings hard. More
Qantas Group has taken decisive action to reduce costs because of slumping passenger demand caused by the coronavirus. In a major strategic shift, Qantas today announced it is withdrawing eight of its largest aircraft, the Airbus A380, from service and deploying smaller aircraft on less frequent schedules to maintain connectivity through the crisis.
“The biggest reductions remain focussed on Asia (now down 31 per cent compared with the same period last year),” the airline said. “Capacity reductions to the United States (down 19 per cent), the UK (down 17 per cent) and Trans-Tasman (down 10 per cent) will also be made in line with forward booking trends.”
It will cut domestic capacity by 5 per cent while senior staff have taken pay cuts of 30 per cent for the rest of this financial year. CEO Alan Joyce will take no wage for this period. See release.
Airbnb, Booking, Expedia Group and TripAdvisor have agreed to share their short-term accommodation booking and guest data with the European Union (EU).
Commissioner Thierry Breton said the data will help with “evidence-based policy” planning and transparency for the short-term leasing sector, critics including local government claim is destroying the social fabric of key tourism destinations.
The EU has been heavily lobbied to provide leadership on short-term traveller rentals and this agreement will go some way to appeasing the call for transparency from major European cities such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Bordeaux, Brussels, Krakow, Munich, Paris, Valencia and Vienna. More
Google’s “have your cake and eat it too” approach to business – selling ads to companies while operating competing products – has been blamed by two leading online travel companies, Trivago and TripAdvisor, for significant revenue drops.
Both companies said current industry dynamics, including increased competition from new player Trip.com and Airbnb, have flowed through to 2020, which has got off to a sluggish start.
TripAdvisor CEO Steve Kaufer said its hotel auction results had been hardest hit as Google diverts high quality hotel traffic to its own sales channels with weakness flowing through to 2020. More
Australian hotels have been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and related bans on Chinese travellers. More
Here’s the lift queue at Vail last week after a powder dump. At US$209 for a day ticket, not exactly value for money. But odds are that many of these punters would have bought the annual Epic Pass, which covers all 37 mountains and urban ski parks owned by parent company Vail Resorts Inc. The Epic Pass has been revolutionary but lines like this beg the question: is it being properly managed?
Kudos to South Australia for its bush fire recovery and clarification campaign #BookThemOut, which kicked off more than two weeks ago. Still waiting for my home state of NSW – which has actually suffered more damage – to do something. What’s happening Destination NSW? Update: on Feb 8 Destination NSW launched a social media campaign, #LoveNSW, asking people to holiday in NSW and “post imagery of the experience on social media framed by hands in the shape of a love heart.”
A lot of people rave about skiing in Japan. I won’t be one of them. More
Qantas today announced engine reliability was a major factor in choosing the Airbus 350-1000 over the Boeing 777X for Project Sunrise – regular, non-stop commercial flights from the east coast of Australia (Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne) to London and New York – should it proceed. More
Researching this story for The Hotel Network was a real eye opener. I learned of one Road Warrior who booked an incredible 168 stays last financial year – that’s more than three a week. Meanwhile, there’s generational change with Millennials on the charge and hotels rolling out new accommodation models as a result. See full story.
We punch above our weight. That was the underdog mantra underpinning last week’s Tourism Australia briefing in Sydney. More
Now that Expedia Group Chairman Barry Diller (pictured) has sacked CEO Mark Okerstrom and CFO Alan Pickerill, taking control of the company, what will be the first thing he does? I think it will be to cut costs. More
Call it the Airbnb or Uber moment for holiday parks. Disruption has finally arrived in the sector – but with a twist. Established operators are facing increased competition from lightly or unregulated competitors, that are often free and operated by the councils they pay rates to. As you can imagine, there is friction. More
WTF is going on at Virgin Australia? Lovely staff, erratic product. For mine, VA is the Forrest Gump of airlines – as in, life’s like a box of chocolates “because you never know what you’re gonna get”.
If all you’ve got is price, what do you do to soften your image? More
It’s annual results season. Australian business travel giants Corporate Travel Management and Flight Centre have reported strong market share gains in a sector that Qantas, the nation’s dominant airline, today described as flat. Who are they taking share from? Full story.
This week the Australian dollar crashed to a 10-year low against the US dollar and there’s no bounce in sight as Donald Trump and Xi Jinping go head to head in a damaging trade war. What does this mean for travel and how can you prepare for the turmoil ahead? Full Story.
Business travellers wear smart clothes, travel in planes, stay in hotels with marble lobbies and have important meetings in glass-encased towers. Don’t they? More
When will it end? That’s the question some are asking about the global boom in serviced apartments, but the sector’s steep growth trajectory shows no sign of slowing with development pipelines in key markets such as Europe expanding, invigorated by the arrival of new brands and concepts. More