One of Australia’s largest hotel owners, Thakral Holdings, said it expects hotel room rates to keep rising in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne but is bearish on regional markets. Average rate across its seven properties grew 3.8% to $189 in the six months to Dec 31, 2011, although overall occupancy dipped slightly to 74.8% due to regional softness.

“The hotel markets are divided with CBD hotels performing well due to conferencing and business,” the company said. “Regional hotels, which primarily rely on leisure, are however weak.” Thakral’s hotel division increased profit by 2% to $31.3m in the second half of 2011.

Thakral has two Sofitel properties, three Novotels, one Hilton and the Menzies Hotel in Sydney.

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