Australia’s urban hotel markets will remain in the doldrums until at least early 2021, according to industry datya company STR, which says the recent pattern of regional properties faring much better than their city counterparts should continue for the foreseeable future.

“Parallel to other countries across the world, higher occupancy in regional areas is especially pronounced on weekends, and occupancy-on-the-books data for the next 90 days (as of 5 October) shows a similar pattern,” STR data shows.

“Data for Saturday, 17 October, for example, shows Regional Australia’s occupancy on the books at 46%, while the capital cities show 26% in the metric.

“November and December data follows suit, with Regional Australia data sitting between 14-32% and capital cities between 8-17%.

Matthew Burke, STR’s regional manager, Asia Pacific, says regional Australia has benefited from intrastate travel with Australians taking weekend breaks family school holidays in easy to access areas.

“Airline capacity remains low as corporate travel is restricted, and even as state borders reopen, our capital city markets will see limited midweek travel.

“To date, as reflected by the occupancy on the books for the capital cities, corporate travel has not recommenced, and it looks more unlikely that it will before the end of 2020.”

Overall, performance data remains well below historical averages.

Preliminary September data for Australia shows occupancy of 43.1% (-42.3% year over year). Average daily rate (ADR) was down 17.9% to AUD147.50, while revenue per available room (RevPAR) fell 52.6% to AUD63.51.

The only way is up.


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