City hotels are beginning to fill up for football finals

Derry said the opening of The Porter House hotel is part of Accor’s broader expansion in the Pacific region, with 11 new hotels set to open before the end of 2023.

These include the debut of the 25hours brand in Australia, new airport hotels at Melbourne and Auckland airports and another historic restoration in Sydney, the Hotel Morris, which is being built from the 1929 former West End Hotel on Pitt Street.

“While Sydney and Melbourne have a number of new developments and new offerings, ultimately people want to experience and return to the cities,” Berry said.

“We see that the occupancy in the cities is increasing. And the reason for this is the recurring conferences and the demand for good food and drink offers. So it’s finally improving and that’s good news,” said Derry.

Accor hotels in Melbourne are 90 percent booked for this weekend’s AFL Grand Final.

Burke said demand has increased to about 90 percent of pre-COVID levels since April of this year in 2019.


“Demand has softened over the past two months, but that reflects the winter surge from COVID and expected weakness in what are traditionally the weakest months in demand [of the year],” he said.

Average hotel room rates are rising sharply due to labor shortages, inflation and pent-up demand from late events.

“Rates are consistently 30 to 35 percent higher than the same week in 2019,” Burke said.

Occupancy in Melbourne’s hotels averaged nearly 59 percent in August. Sydney’s were higher at 65 percent. Average monthly revenue per room in the southern capital was $120, while Sydney recorded $158.

Stephen Ferguson, chief executive of the Australian Hotels Association, said the most pressing problem for hotel managers is a severe labor shortage, a fact recognized at the Albanian government’s recent Labor and Skills Summit.

“I’m pleased to say that the labor shortage has been strongly recognized throughout the summit – and I’ve pushed it hard from the start,” Ferguson said.

Amid a workforce crisis and rising costs, Marriott International is moving forward with 14 more luxury properties in Asia Pacific by the end of 2023. The company now operates 156 luxury properties with brands such as The Ritz-Carlton, St Regis and W Hotels.

“Today’s luxury traveler is looking for authentic experiences that are personalised, thoughtful and of unique meaning,” said Bart Buiring, the group’s chief sales and marketing officer in Asia Pacific. City hotels are beginning to fill up for football finals

Brian Lowry

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