Australia’s largest hotel operator, Accor, will push for room rate rises of up to 10% in 2014, its intentions flagged in a press release aimed at the corporate travel buyers in the midst of annual negotiations. “It is expected that rates will rise between 7%-10% in Sydney, around 7% in Melbourne and Perth, with rates in Adelaide, Canberra and Brisbane to rise between 3%-5%, ” said regional Chief Operating Officer, Simon McGrath.

Mr McGrath’s views contradict those of leading corporate negotiators, who believe rates will remain flat despite high occupancies.

“It’s a buyer’s market right now,” Craig Southee, Head of Consulting at HRG Australia, told delegates at the Best Western conference in early September.

Philip Hand from the Commonwealth Bank agreed and said that some previously bullish hoteliers had reduced their rate expectations.

Mr Southee said he expected rate rises in 2015.

The latest STR Global figures for August 2013 show that average room rates in Australia rose 1.8% compared with the previous year while revenue per available room increased 4.1%.

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