|March record arrivals for Australia.|
Monday, 14th May 2007
Source : Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels
Record international arrivals should put heads on beds - according to the most recently released visitor arrivals data.
Australia recorded the largest inflow of international visitors on record during March 2007.
Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels says the country’s hotels are well placed to reap the rewards of these buoyant conditions.
With the exception of the month of December, which is the best performing month every year, March 2007 international arrivals to Australia reached the highest level ever recorded – increasing by 48,000 visitors or 10.1%. “In fact, arrivals are up 4.6% over the same three month period in 2006, surpassing the previous all time high for the first quarter,” said Mr David Gibson, CEO Asia Pacific, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels. He added, “Growth was exceptionally strong from Asian and European countries.”
The strong increase in international tourists to Australia, combined with growth of 5.2% in the number of domestic visitors during 2006 (domestic visitors nights increased by 3.6%), had a strong impact on the performance of hotels across the country. “The most recently released tourist accommodation data indicates that during 2006 Australia’s major hotel markets recorded the highest RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Room) results on record,” said Mr Troy Craig, Executive Vice President, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels.
“In addition to increasing in number, international visitors are staying in Australia longer, thereby increasing their yield,” said Mr Gibson. Latest data for the full year 2006 indicates that an increase in international visitors’ average length of stay from 26.8 to 30.4 nights – an increase of 13.4%.
Despite the strong RevPAR growth in all major markets, Australian hoteliers have been under pressure to increase room rates to levels commensurate with international levels.
“The major source market of China has achieved spectacular growth, achieving an increase of 48.4% during March 2007 and 28.2% for the year to date 2007,” said Mr Craig. Mr Gibson added, “Growth in the China source market has had major implications for hotel and tourism investment in Australia.” In 1995, the China inbound market was very small and represented less than 2.0% of total visitor nights spent in Australia. Today, visitor nights spent in Australia by Chinese tourists now comprises approximately 9.0% of the total international visitor market.
Indicative of a global trend in international travel, outbound travel from Australia has also increased. During the three months to March 2007, the Australian outbound market grew by 10.3%. “Australians, as well as inbound tourists, are benefiting from the proliferation of low cost carriers that are competing for market dominance,” said Mr Gibson.
Hoteliers in each capital city are reporting the benefits from the inbound market for a variety of reasons. “Adelaide has benefited from a new airport, Brisbane is recording the strongest level of demand growth in the country and Melbourne had a stellar month due to the F1 Grand Prix, Avalon Air Show and World Swimming Championships,” said Mr Craig.
Cairns is the only exception in these conditions, with a cutback of seat capacity on international flights. “However the market is eagerly awaiting the introduction of JetStar’s international flights due towards the end of 2007,” said Mr Gibson.
The Australian national tourism bureau's "So where the bloody hell are you?" campaign, which aimed at "disrupting attitudes" to increase international visitation, may be starting to pay dividends. “Controversy surrounding the campaign has generated tens of millions of dollars in free PR and has stimulated enormous discussion, both locally and overseas," said Mr Gibson.