Closures in Australia reduce hotel bookings
Major markets across Australia have seen significantly lower occupancy levels in the books for the coming weeks due to recent Covid-19 outbreaks and lockdowns, according to data from STR’s Forward STAR.
Most notably, Sydney’s occupancy in books is down 13.8% on average when comparing the June 28 data update with the June 21 data release. Occupancy for the week ending July 3 is not expected to exceed the 20% mark, down 50% from previous weeks.
“Since the second week of June, the delta strain of the virus has emerged in the community, and lockdowns in Victoria followed by New South Wales, Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia have weighed on the community. ‘occupation,” said Matthew Burke, regional director of STR. for the Pacific region, said in a July 2 press release.
“The closures were particularly damaging to what was expected to be an increase in demand coming into a strong leisure period with the winter school holidays.”
Australia was one of the best performers in 2021, with improving midweek demand and continued strength at weekends. Year-to-date to May, Australia’s revenue per available room (RevPAR), the main performance indicator, is up 74% of 2019 levels.
“The Gold Coast was not yet in lockdown at the time we processed this latest forward-looking data, but as the Sydney Basin is a large source market, the Gold Coast has also seen more cancellations than new bookings for both coming weeks,” Burke said. noted. “North Queensland has been hit for three consecutive weeks, with cancellations outweighing new bookings, even though it is high season when people escape north to find the warmer weather. Expected occupancy for July is currently at 77%, but is unlikely to be as strong as expected a month ago due to cancellations.
The typical booking pace for the month ahead has slowed significantly across all Australian markets, resulting in a delayed but sustained impact on discounted occupations. For example, on a weekly basis, Adelaide averaged 11.4% overnight pick-ups (variation in bookings from one data collection to another). In last week’s update, pickup was just 3.4%.
“Although Adelaide is not in lockdown, the uncertainty and lockdowns in other parts of the country have affected all markets,” Burke said. “The bright side of the data so far is that cancellations at this point appear to be isolated for the next two weeks. At the moment, if there are any bookings beyond the next two weeks, consumers seem to be the hold back, hoping their travel won’t be affected. But if the restrictions are extended, it will mean more cancellations. The immediate impact is clear but there’s a queue.