Mantra Group says the Gold Coast is the most popular destination to holiday this summer.

The coast with the most came out in top in the company’s annual review of summer travel trends across the Group’s 110 Peppers, Mantra and BreakFree hotels and resorts across Australia.

The Gold Coast is up 5% on occupancy across the Group’s 20 properties compared to the same period last year and expected to reach 100% occupancy with bookings from the drive market to be made in the countdown to Christmas. RevPAR for the region also increased by 6.8%.

Peppers Broadbeach led the charge for the Group with a staggering 52% increase in occupancy year on year.

The review – drawn from Mantra Group bookings data over the last two summer holiday periods – also revealed that average length of stay had increased from three to four nights to five to six nights over the December to February period across the Group’s resort properties in Queensland, northern New South Wales and Victoria’s coastline in Lorne and the Mornington Peninsula.

Mantra Group CEO, Bob East said the company’s extensive network of leisure resorts provided a good snapshot of summer holiday booking trends.

“Overall our resort network is performing well and given our strong presence in popular Queensland holiday hot spots we are able to really see where and how Australians are making their holiday choices,” he said.

“The proof really is in the booking data which also indicates that interstate guests are booking further out from their dates of stay so the Gold Coast is becoming less of a ‘last minute’ destination.”

The review also indicated that customers are opting to research and book holidays by tablet or mobile device with the number of bookings more than doubling via these methods.

Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) also recorded a significant lift in occupancy of 6% in an encouraging trend for the region which is traditionally quieter over this period. Cairns properties, Mantra Trilogy and Mantra Esplanade are also recording a 4% increase in RevPAR and are amongst the region’s top performers contributing to an overall 8.2% increase in RevPAR for the region.

“TNQ has done well to increase occupancy over this period to take it into February when Chinese New Year celebrations are really becoming a highlight on the tourism calendar for this region,” East said.

But it’s not all about palm trees and pina coladas, with dedicated city holiday makers still flocking to Mantra’s CBD apartment properties for their New Year’s Eve celebrations, citing the space and convenience of the self-contained apartments as being the most conducive to holidaying with friends over the party season.

Mantra Southbank is the first of Mantra’s six Melbourne properties to see occupancy levels rise due its prime location near Southbank entertainment precinct where the fireworks and key NYE celebrations take place.  Similarly, Mantra on Kent, with its access just two blocks from Sydney’s Darling Harbour celebrations has enjoyed longer stay bookings with 2 bedroom apartments particularly popular.

Extended stays across the Christmas/New Year period are also on the increase with guests utilising the time to take in the many theatrical productions and sporting events on offer across Australia.

Brisbane will host productions such as Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, South Pacific and Legally Blonde while Melbourne will host the Australian Open Tennis in January and the annual Sydney Festival remains a popular favourite.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management