Fires drive down stays
PRELIMINARY accommodation data for Dec 2019 shows the Sydney drive regional market has been significantly impacted by the ongoing bushfire crisis, according to real estate analytics company STR.
The sub-market, defined as the two-hour drive radius from Greater Sydney, showed yearon-year, double-digit declines in three key performance metrics, including a 14.7% drop in room nights sold, a 14.5% decline in occupancy rates to 52.2%, and an 18.4% slump in the average daily rate to $194.74.
Hotels in city metropolitan areas have not suffered the same sharp decline, which STR believes is attributable to the regional location of most bushfires.
“Because the physical impact of the bushfires has been predominantly across the Great Dividing Range of New South
Wales and Victoria, we’ve not yet seen significant demand decreases in the major city areas of Australia,” said STR Regional Manager - Pacific Matthew Burke.
“However, these regional locations are popular tourist spots for family holidays in vacation homes, hotels and holiday parks, and the post-Christmas period to the end of Jan is peak season,” he added.
Hotel occupancy in South Australia is also expected to be hit hard by the fires, STR has indicated, with the destruction to property on Kangaroo Island expected to have a direct impact on tourism in the short-term.
“The focus is on the wellbeing of those dealing with incredible devastation around the country... but we also want to do our part to keep the industry informed of hotel performance developments,” Burke said.