23/01/2008 - 22:00

City hotel rates to rise in ’08 – report

23/01/2008 - 22:00

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The price of an overnight stay in Perth’s hotels has been on the rise during the past 12 months, and it’s likely to continue rising on the back of growing demand and a lack of new hotel developments.

The price of an overnight stay in Perth’s hotels has been on the rise during the past 12 months, and it’s likely to continue rising on the back of growing demand and a lack of new hotel developments.

Figures released this week reveal that Perth’s hotels have been the standout performers across the country, with occupancy rates and room rates increasing.

The recent American Express 2008 Asia Pacific Corporate Hotel Rate Projections and Market Forecast predicts Perth hotel rates are poised to increase by 8.1 per cent.

Recently released data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal that average occupancy rates in WA, seasonally adjusted, were at 69.8 per cent, more than 10 percentage points higher than the 59.6 per cent recorded in the September 2004 quarter.

The average occupancy rate for Perth-based hotels is much higher at 86.9 per cent for the September quarter, a figure boosted by strong demand in September, when Perth hotels were just about full as the average occupancy rate reached 91.8 per cent.

The average room rate for the city’s hotels was also higher at $137.56 per room per night

Getting a cheap deal at the last minute is going to get harder, according to several hotel operators.

Parmelia Hilton Perth marketing and communications manager Julia Clark said the hotel had experienced high occupancy levels for the past few years but demand was continuing to increase and so too was its average room rate, which would rise again in 2008.

Parmelia does not have a static room rate and prices its rooms based on demand, which means the busier the hotel gets, the more expensive the rooms becomes to book.

Recent analysis by Colliers International shows the average room rate for Perth hotels had increased 15.1 per cent in the year to September 2007, to $128.51/night.

Despite the increase, Perth room rates are still far cheaper than those in Sydney, which has an average rate of $160.51, up 7.3 per cent.

Colliers International WA sales executive hotels Greg O’Meara said Perth’s rising occupancy rates was a function of the resources boom.

He said there was a portion of interstate migrant workers using short-stay accommodation apartments and hotels, which was driving up occupancy rates.

“With no fresh supply coming to the market in the past couple of years, we are now experiencing a shortage of available rooms,” Mr O’Meara said.

Mr O’Meara put a lack of new developments down to the relatively high construction costs and comparatively low room rates compared with the east coast.

The authors of the American Express 2008 Asia Pacific Corporate Hotel Rate Projections and Market Forecast report also suggest high construction costs are a deterrent for new hotel developments in Perth. Competing demand for property assets from the commercial office market is another factor, the report says.

ABS figures show the average accommodation takings for WA hotels in the September quarter are up 51 per cent on the same period four years ago, when average takings were $123,838 compared with the $188,143 received in the most recent September quarter.

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