Accor expects its Perth hotels could return to pre-pandemic levels by March 2023, following reports of a sustained resumption of operations in Western Australia.
Accor hotels in Perth reached 66% occupancy at the end of June 2022 – five percentage points lower than in June 2019 – while the average rate exceeded the pre-pandemic level.
Regional Western Australia attracted even higher average rates and 65% occupancy in June 2022. The standout hotel was the Pullman Bunker Bay Resort in the Margaret River area, which recorded 29% higher performance in June 2022 compared to June 2019.
“Our regional network has been relatively well isolated during the pandemic as border closures have created high levels of intrastate demand, and now is the time for our city hotels to rebuild their market base,” said Sarah Derry, CEO of Accor Pacific, stressing the importance of events in town.
“It will be important for the state government to actively drive the growth of its CBD business by attracting more major events and conferences to the city. Cities across Australia and around the world are looking for major events because of their revenue generating potential and Perth will need to ensure it has high visibility among potential events and conference organisers.
With 25 hotels and resorts operating across the state – employing more than 900 people – the company has witnessed strong demand for leisure travel, the revival of business travel and an increase in international flights.
Derry says, however, that the tourism industry will need government support to boost tourism and establish new markets like India.
“It is encouraging to see Western Australia outperforming other states in terms of rebuilding international demand, but forecasts indicate that arrivals will still be only 59% of pre-pandemic levels by the end. of the year,” she said.
As skills shortages continue to strain the hospitality industry, efforts by federal and state governments to make it easier for international workers to enter Australia and work there for extended periods have not gone unnoticed.
“AHA WA estimated that the state was short of some 15,000 positions in the hospitality sector and this was affected by the slow recovery of the international student sector,” Derry said.
“Tackling the skills and job shortages in the tourism and hospitality sector must be a key priority for government at all levels. We welcome the Western Australian government’s announcement of a $3.9 million campaign to train more local hospitality workers, because while an immediate increase in skilled migration is needed in the short term term, a “build your own” strategy is to address the shortage in the longer term.
Since 2019, Accor has opened four new hotels in Western Australia, including Mercure Perth on Hay earlier this year, as well as Novotel Perth Murray Street, The Adnate Perth – Art Series and ibis Styles East Perth in 2019.
With a positive outlook for the rest of the year, Accor is confident in the opportunities in Western Australia.
“We are fortunate that Perth and Western Australia offer such exceptional tourism and economic potential,” Derry said.
“It is a state of opportunity by any measure, but with the fiercest competition in the industry, we are going to demand a comprehensive and collaborative response if we are to fully rebuild the industry to pre-pandemic levels.
“We believe tourism in Western Australia has a bright future.”