Port Dou­glas stands out

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Nick Dal­ton

AUS­TRALIANS hol­i­day­ing at home have driven growth in the Far North’s ho­tel ac­com­mo­da­tion sec­tor with Port Dou­glas de­scribed as ‘‘a stand out.’’

The lat­est TTF-HOSTPLUS Na­tional Ac­com­mo­da­tion Barom­e­ter shows that Port Dou­glas was the ‘‘ stand- out desti­na­tion’’ of the coun­try’s four pop­u­lar beach get­aways (Whit­sun­days, Coffs Har­bour, Port Mac­quarie) while Cairns con­tin­ued to show con­sis­tent growth.

The re­port said Port Dou­glas oc­cu­pancy was hold­ing ‘‘steady’’ against a strong in­crease in rates, driv­ing up the rev­enue per avail­able room by 24 per cent for the June quar­ter.

It said oc­cu­pancy was slightly down to 44.8 per cent (a -3 per cent fall) but up 3.6 per cent for the year while the av­er­age room rate had climbed by nearly 25 per cent to $168.16 for the quar­ter and 13.5 per cent for the year. Rev­enue per avail­able room was up 24 per cent to $75.34 and 22 per cent for the year.

The re­port said in Cairns im­proved oc­cu­pancy and in­creased rates re­sulted in rev­enue per avail­able room growth of 3.3 per cent.

‘‘This rep­re­sented the 10th con­sec­u­tive quar­ter of growth in oc­cu­pancy and rev­enue per avail­able room for the mar­ket,’’ it said.

Oc­cu­pancy had in­creased by half a per cent to 62.6 per cent, a rise of 2.8 per cent for the year, the av­er­age room rate grew by 2.5 per cent to $109.93, an in­crease of 4.5 per cent for the year and rev­enue per avail­able room was $68.82, a 3.3 per cent rise and 9.1 per cent for the year.

TTF ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Adele Labine-Ro­main said Aus­tralians de­cid­ing tb stay at home to hol­i­day was be­hind the resur­gence.

She said there was a strong do­mes­tic trav­eller mar­ket.

‘‘There has been sig­nif­i­cant in­ter­est from Mel­bourne and Syd­ney with peo­ple want­ing to travel to warmer cli­mates,’’ Ms Labine-Ro­main said.

‘‘More im­por­tantly there are peo­ple within Queens­land trav­el­ling to Far North Queens­land.

‘‘It’s good to see Queens­lan­ders want­ing to visit north Queens­land, their own back­yard.’’

But Ms Labine-Ro­main warned that the re­gion’s tourism in­dus­try needed to learn from putting their eggs in one bas­ket.

She said the fall in in­ter­na­tional num­bers over the past five to seven years was be­cause the in­dus­try was ‘‘geared to­wards Ja­pan’’.

‘‘There was too much em­pha­sis on the one mar­ket at the ex­pense of oth­ers, leav­ing Far North Queens­land very vul­ner­a­ble,’’ Ms LabineRo­main said.

She said while China was grow­ing rapidly, it was vi­tal to di­ver­sify and not rely on one source.

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