Surge for Far North ho­tels

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - NICK DAL­TON

THE Far North’s ho­tel sec­tor is on a high as fig­ures show a vast im­prove­ment in per­for­mance and a solid start to 2016.

Ac­cord­ing to STR Global data, oc­cu­pancy at the re­gion’s ho­tels av­er­aged 68.2 per cent last year, a 5.3 per cent in­crease, with Cairns ho­tels lead­ing the way at 83.5 per cent (up 6.9 per cent), one of the best in­creases in the coun­try.

The av­er­age daily room rate in the Far North rose 7.7 per cent to $181.07, nearly $13 more than in 2014. The rev­enue per avail­able room rate (REVPar) was $123.51, up $14.60 or 13.4 per cent.

Mantra Group mar­ket­ing ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Ken David­son said the in­dus­try’s North­ern Beaches prop­er­ties were per­form­ing very well in the cur­rent fi­nan­cial year with strong oc­cu­pan­cies, “giv­ing oper­a­tors the con­fi­dence to drive rate”.

He said the 13.4 per cent REVPar growth was “well in ex­cess of the mod­er­ate growth achieved over the last two years of circa 3-4 per cent” with stronger over­all yield in the peak sea­son and stronger oc­cu­pan­cies in the shoul­der sea­son.

Mr David­son said there was emerg­ing di­ver­sity in the Cairns mar­ket with new in­ter­na­tional mar­kets, a de­vel­op­ing cor­po­rate base and a resur­gence of Trop­i­cal North Queens­land as one of Aus­tralia’s favourite leisure play­grounds.

“This is now play­ing out in the num­bers. Again we are see­ing bur­geon­ing oc­cu­pan­cies and si­mul­ta­ne­ous rate growth, al­beit more con­strained. Th­ese num­bers show that there is more op­por­tu­nity for rate growth in high sea­son,” he said. “It is great to see all oper­a­tors driv­ing yield. It shows a col­lec­tive con­fi­dence in the re­gion’s high qual­ity tourism prod­uct and the lead­ers of our in­dus­try.”

Ac­corHo­tels Pa­cific chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Si­mon McGrath said Ac­cor echoed the STR Global 2015 ver­dict, with the group’s ho­tels in Cairns fin­ish­ing the year with an im­prove­ment in oc­cu­pan­cies.

“Per­for­mance in Cairns re­mained re­silient in 2015 in the face of shift­ing mar­ket con­di­tions across Asia and a lower Aus­tralian dol­lar,” he said.

“Our four ho­tels (Pull­man Reef Casino, Pull­man Cairns In­ter­na­tional, Novo­tel Cairns Oa­sis and Cairns Har­bour Lights) had a strong fin­ish to the year, achiev­ing 84.8 per cent oc­cu­pancy which is up by al­most 2 per cent.

“Pleas­ingly, the Cairns mar­ket is off to a ro­bust start over Jan­uary and is primed to re­main a favourable desti­na­tion in 2016 par­tic­u­larly for the China, Ja­pan and US mar­kets.”

Hil­ton Cairns gen­eral man­ager John Lu­cas said the re­gion was “cer­tainly see­ing a solid re­turn to strong trad­ing with oc­cu­pancy and the all im­por­tant yield grow­ing across all sec­tors of the mar­ket”.

“Re­cent ar­rival num­bers from the Cairns Air­port sup­port the in­crease in busi­ness from key mar­kets of China, Ja­pan, UK/Europe and the US,” he said.

“The fore­casts for the com­ing three months look ro­bust with the pend­ing Chi­nese New Year hav­ing been sold out some months ago.”

Mantra Port­Sea, Port Dou­glas.

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