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Sporting events boost hotel occupancy
The AFC Asian Cup has boosted hotel occupancy rates across Australia this summer, with the early-year boom set to continue with cities across the country preparing to host the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup.
Australia’s largest hotel group, Accor, which had multiple hotels in each of the host cities for the Asian Cup – Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and Newcastle – reported strong gains from key inbound travel markets including China, Japan and Korea.
Accor reports that host cities for the Asian Cup recorded occupancy increases of between 3.7% and almost 20% compared to January periods in past years.
Newcastle was the greatest beneficiary, with the semi-final win by Australia against UAE boosting occupancies by 19.8%. Australia’s quarter-final victory against China in Brisbane helped lift occupancy at Accor’s hotels by 7.1%, and the Sydney final against South Korea spurred occupancies by 7.5% for the month.
Melbourne also grew occupancies in January, with the football and early success by Australian players at the Australian Open attracting significant increases in interstate as well as international travel. In Canberra, Accor hotels recorded a boost of 3.7% thanks to a combination of Asia Cup football and cricket, including the PM’s XI against England and the final of the Big Bash T20 competition.
According to global hospitality consultants, STR Global, Melbourne's hotel occupancy levels rose by over 7%soared in January off the back of the Australian Open, also recording double-digit revenue per room growth.
Accor Pacific Chief Operating Officer Simon McGrath said major sporting events like the AFC Asian Cup “continue to play a vital role in growing our visitor economy.”
McGrath added “the economic benefits of the tournament have had a positive flow-on effect for destinations outside the host cities, as for many visitors, the AFC Asian Cup is not just about football, it provides a unique incentive to visit Australia and tour around the country.
“This could be one of the best starts to the year for hotels in many destinations across Australia.”
Image shows Accor's Pullman, Novetel and ibis Hotels at Sydney Olympic Park.
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