Hotel reservations, revenues rebound after lockdown

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The pick-up in bookings across Marriott’s portfolio – one of the largest in the country – is reflected in improved performance in major hotel markets in October, following the end of long lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne and the removal travel restrictions in regional areas.

Following the end of intra-state travel restrictions in Victoria on Friday, October 29, allowing Melburnians to travel to the regions, STR figures show that the daily occupancy rate in Victoria jumped to 57% the next day, after having been as low as 23% six days ago.

Regional markets surrounding Sydney, such as Hunter Valley and Blue Mountains, also saw a strong rebound in demand as Sydney residents headed for the countryside. STR recorded an occupancy rate of 48% at the end of October in this market, against only 11% at the start of the month.

Likewise, Sydney and Melbourne also saw higher CBD occupancy rates – 37% and 34% respectively – at the end of October, compared to a range of 15-25% in early October, although lagging behind the recovery. that occurs in the regions.

After four “extremely difficult” months, Matthew Burke, STR’s regional director for the Pacific region, said a phased approach to vaccinations and the easing of restrictions had led to an increase in the number of travelers and demand for hotels, holidaymakers optimizing performance.

“Based on our forward-looking data and the experience of the first Australian recovery, we will likely see leisure demand dominate the recovery for the remainder of 2021,” said Mr Burke.

Shantha de Silva, operations manager at Pro-invest Hotels, which will open Australia’s first Kimpton hotel in Sydney’s CBD in January, said she sees green shoots of recovery in her portfolio, which includes a number of Holiday Inn Express hotels.

“We expect the enterprise market to rebound to 80% of the pre-May 2021 foreclosure figures, with infrastructure, essential services and defense contracts making up a large part of the recovery,” de Silva said.

“Right now, leisure travel is defined by weekends, and while starting to expand, we only really expect a significant increase in demand once the traditional holiday markets have taken off. and the beach will be full, which is not far.

“In the CBD markets, the re-entry of quarantine hotels is having a significant impact on demand levels, with the influx of supply outstripping demand for recovery. However, we expect this to balance out over the next few months as more states begin to accommodate international travel without quarantine and international tourists and students return. ”

He added that Pro-invest was seeing “an impressive increase in bookings around major events and concerts” such as the upcoming Ashes series.

For Marriott, the strong recovery could not have come at a better time as it continues with new hotel openings and a major development program.

Later this month, a new Marriott in Melbourne’s Docklands will open, while in Hobart, the Tasman Hotel under its Luxury Collection brand will open in December.

“Our biggest concern is the job market. There were 100,000 working holiday visas issued in 2019 and these people are absent from the market, so there are real labor shortages, ”Mr. Hunt said.

“We will soon be launching a new recruitment campaign. We need to hire 1,500 people.

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