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City hotels miss out on tourism surge

WA hotel takings were up 11 per cent for the December quarter compared with the previous year, but Perth establishments did not receive their share.

The tourism indicators released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show takings from accommodation establishments during the quarter totalled $104.7 million, a big jump from the $94 million taken in December 1999.

And the average takings per establishment increased by 7 per cent to $315,300.

But the positive outlook has not been reflected in the Perth market, according to both the Australian Hotels Association and the WA Tourism Council.

AHA WA executive director Bradley Woods said that, contrary to the figures which showed a seven per cent rise in room rates, prices actually had decreased.

“The AHA has seen a drop in

the average room rate for all

three, four and five-star hotels and serviced apartments,” Mr Woods said.

“And the number of rooms available didn’t change that much … there was a very slight increase in occupancy but we are certainly not seeing any great growth.”

While the occupancy rate may have increased for hotels, ABS statistics show slight decreases of five and two per cent in occupancy rates for guest houses and serviced apartments.

Mr Woods also said few, if any, establishments had increased their guest capacity.

“The industry is stagnant, very static,” he said.

This is again in contradiction to p From page 1

ABS figures, which report an increase in accommodation capacity of 4 per cent. WA Tourism Council chairman Laurie O’Meara agreed, saying the industry was finding business a “hard slog” at the moment.

“The general feeling is that we did not see the tariffs go up … there is no evidence that charges increased,” Mr O’Meara said.

However, while the news may not ring true for city establishments,

business is good for regional

accommodation establishments.

WA Tourism Commission South West southern area manager Mark Exeter said the South West had grown in popularity, both as a destination and an investment location in the past few years.

“During 2000, there were 934 accommodation units completed, 134 were in Perth and the balance of those were in the regional areas of WA, 235 were in the south west,” Mr Exeter said.

“Investors and developers are now looking to the regions as they mature and become recognised.”

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