Accor Pacific boss Simon McGrath has signalled a significant push into the serviced apartment sector for the regional hotel giant. Mr McGrath floated the possibility that the Sebel brand, which Accor now owns as part of the Mirvac acquisition, and Grand Mercure Apartments “could go together”. He added: “We have a very strong apartment strategy out of the Mirvac acquisition”.

Meanwhile Mr McGrath, speaking at the World of Accor, said Australia’s CBD hotel markets remain strong but rates are starting to come off. He said the 7-14 day leisure market is still under “enormous threat” from outbound travel and was uncertain whether it would ever rebound. However, the short-break market has never been stronger, especially for easy to access destinations such as the Gold Coast.

He said short breaks are being driven by “leisure commuter travellers” – twenty somethings now making a habit of getting away three or four times a year. This is a market that didn’t exist several years ago and is likely to be resilient long term.

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