Strong outlook for hotels in Sydney and Perth

Hotel performance in Sydney and Perth is likely to be optimised by continuing high occupancy and limited upcoming supply, according to Colliers International's analysis of the latest ABS Tourism Accommodation Data released this week for the March 2008 quarter.

Colliers International's National Director – Hotels & Leisure Michael Thomson said the figures showed Perth had the highest occupancy in Australia and in the 12 month period to March 2008, also exhibited the strongest Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) growth, increasing by 17.1% to $114.03.

Sydney once again achieved the highest room rates in Australia, with the average room rate increasing by 4.9% over 12 months to $182.30.

"Sydney and Perth are experiencing record high occupancy and there is a minimal amount of hotel development planned for these cities for the short to medium term," said Mr Thomson.

At the other end of the spectrum, Mr Thomson said the Cairns hotel market had seen a quiet period partly due to unfavourable seasonal weather and a slowing Japanese tourist market.

Colliers International's analysis found the Cairns hotel market was characterised by declining occupancy, decreasing by 4.9 percentage points to 65.3% compared to the year prior and consequently RevPAR also decreased by 4.1% to $79.76.

Mr Thomson said the figures showed limited supply growth in most major city markets over the 12 months leading up to March 2008.

Brisbane has experienced the largest growth in room supply, rising by 6.7%, followed by the Cairns hotel market which experienced notable growth of 3.67%.

The Adelaide and Darwin city markets experienced a decrease in room supply, decreasing by 1.9% and 1.4% respectively in the 12 month period to March 2008.

The figures for demand levels showed solid growth in most capital cities in the 12 month period to March 2008.

"Most notable is Perth, with demand for accommodation increasing by 4.8%," said Mr Thomson.

"Brisbane and Hobart also experienced significant demand growth, increasing in each city by 4.6%". 

The Canberra and Cairns markets experienced reduced demand, decreasing by 4.2% and 3.6% respectively.

In reviewing occupancy levels, Mr Thomson said Sydney and Melbourne experienced steady growth in occupancy, improving by 1.5 percentage points in each city over the course of the year to March 2008.

Sydney's occupancy was at 81.5%, while in Melbourne it was at 80.9%. On the other hand, Cairns experienced a notable decrease in occupancy, reducing by 4.9 percentage points to 65.3%.

The data showed room rates increased in all markets across the board, with Perth experiencing the most significant increase at 14.5% to $138.69 in the 12 month period to March 2008.

Canberra hotels also experienced strong room rate growth, increasing by 10.4% to $134.31 over the year.

Mr Thomson said by comparison, room rate growth in Hobart and Cairns remained relatively flat, increasing by 2.2% to $125.48 and 3.1% to $122.13 respectively. 

Sydney hotels achieved the highest room rates in the country at $182.30.  In the same period, Melbourne hotels achieved the second highest room rates at $165.17.

RevPAR growth was evident in all major city markets, with the exception of Cairns, where accommodation providers in Cairns experienced a decrease in RevPAR of 4.1% falling to $79.76 in the 12 month period to March 2008.

The strongest RevPAR growth was in Perth, increasing by 17.1% to $114.03 while strong RevPAR growth was also evident in the Darwin market, increasing by 13.9% to $95.78.