19/12/2014 - 12:06

Hotel occupancy rates tumble

19/12/2014 - 12:06

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The tourism industry has called for the state government to do more to take advantage of a sharp fall in occupancy and room rates in the state's accommodation sector.

Hotel occupancy rates tumble
Tourism Council WA chief executive officer Evan Hall. Photo: Attila Csaszar

The tourism industry has called for the state government to do more to take advantage of a sharp fall in occupancy and room rates in the state's accommodation sector. 

Accommodation occupancy rates in Western Australia fell from 68 per cent in the June 2013 quarter to 63 per cent in the June 2014 quarter, while the average room rate fell from $191 to $184, figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today show.

Tourism Council WA chief executive Evan Hall said the state government needed to commit to its election promise of contributing $24 million to tourism marketing.

So far the state government has committed $13 million to marketing the state to potential tourists, with Mr Hall hopeful the remaining $11 million will be included in the May 2015 budget as promised.

“There is no point in having good deals on accommodation if we don’t tell the world they are available,” Mr Hall said.

He said the area of greatest need and greatest opportunity in the medium term was reconnecting with interstate visitors that had dropped off the radar in recent years.

According to the ABS statistics, accommodation takings also decreased by 7.1 per cent, to $233.2 million.

Mr Hall said the fall in rates and occupancy was largely driven by a decline in the resources sector and a drop off in corporate travel.

Accommodation providers in the Perth CBD and mining towns such as Port Hedland were most affected, according to the figures.

Mr Hall said the figures indicated a return to normal trading conditions following the peak of the resources boom, and meant the market was now more competitively priced.

“Industry is coming to the table with good room rates and the economy us coming to the table with a competitive exchange rate,” he said.

“Now is the best time for the state government to invest in marketing Western Australia as a good value destination to bring in leisure tourist dollars.”

Tourism in the state is worth more than $7 billion and the state government has set a target to double the industry’s worth by 2020.

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