Australian Hotel Sector Shines Brightest in North Queensland


Cairns has retained the top position as the nation’s best performing hotel market, as it continues to experience growth in travel and tourism.

Cairns hotel sector is still outperforming other property classes in the market, with its occupancy rate growing 1.8 per cent in the fourth quarter 2017. CBRE’s latest hotel marketview report noted that the average daily rate grew 7.6 per cent to $151 per night – and a RevPAR increase of 9.5 per cent to $128 per night.

The north Queensland city’s performance has been driven by increasing popularity from both domestic and international visitors and direct flights from China. Cairns has also not seen a new hotel in almost 20 years.

[Related reading: Australia's Hotel Market and the 'Room Boom']

Cairns Rydges

This may change, as developers are lining up to register their interest in the state government’s proposed $1 billion Tropical North Global Tourism Hub (GTH) in Cairns. The member for Mulgrave, Curtis Pitt said that the focus was on tourism infrastructure.

The last quarter of the year saw over $400 million worth of hotels transact nationally, including the ibis and Mercure Brisbane which were both sold to German asset manager Commerz Real for a combined total of $77 million, the Adina Melbourne sold for more than $54 million and the Mercure Sydney International Airport went for $76 million.

Cairns attributes its numbers to Japan, China and the US as the dominant overseas sources accounting for 58 per cent of hotel night, while QLD, NSW and VIC were the dominant domestic sources accounting for 88 per cent of hotel nights.

Around 80 per cent of people sought hotel accommodation in Cairns for holidaying, 14 per cent business and three per cent for “none-of-the-above” purposes.

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