According to Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, the Rugby World Cup enabled Brisbane and Sydney’s hotel markets to finish 2003 on a high. “Strong demand growth and an increase in rates during the final quarter of 2003 resulted in Brisbane’s revenue per available room (RevPAR) increasing by 12.3% to reach $83 for the year - the highest level on record,” said Mr Michael Clarke, Senior Vice President of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels in Brisbane.
In a performance boosted by the influx of rugby supporters for the World Cup games at Suncorp Stadium in October and November, Brisbane city’s annual occupancy reached 76.4% for the 12 months to December 2003. “This was a 5.2% improvement on the previous year, and the highest occupancy level recorded for all major Australian markets,” added Mr Clarke.
Along with limited new room supply over the medium term and ongoing steady demand, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels expects this trend to continue. “Furthermore, with an increase in international arrivals and the current strong domestic market, Brisbane hoteliers can concentrate on increasing room yield,” said Mr Clarke.
Brisbane was not the only beneficiary of the Rugby World Cup. “Looking at previous Olympics, FIFA World Cups and Rugby World Cups, our research shows that the most obvious impact of major sporting events on the local hotel market is a heightening of average daily rates (ADRs) during the tournament,” said Mr Anthony Corbett, Vice President of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels in Sydney. “The experience of Sydney’s hotel market confirms this trend, with rates increasing by a massive 21.2% during the December quarter,” he said. This ADR growth, along with contracting room supply helped Sydney city end the year with RevPAR increasing by 11.9% to reach $112.
Another Queensland market enjoying its time in the sun is Cairns. “Cairns City enjoyed a 10.1% increase in demand during the December quarter 2003 as a result of improved air capacity,” said Mr Clarke. This allowed annual occupancy to reach 67.1% for 2003. However a slow mid year limited RevPAR growth to 0.7% for the 12 month period.
“Melbourne continues to defy expectations, absorbing considerable supply increases through strong demand growth,” said Mr Mark Durran, Senior Vice President, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels. However, increased competition has eroded rates. As a result, RevPAR finished 2003 only 0.3% ahead of 2002 results.