Senator Richard Colbeck Australian Tourism Minister

Figures showing Australia’s hotels continued to grow in 2014-2015 were welcomed this week (Nov 25) by Australia’s Minister for Tourism and International Education, Senator Richard Colbeck.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics Survey of Tourist Accommodation 2014-2015 found the number of Australian hotel rooms increased by 1,035 on 2013-2014 and room occupancy increased 0.7 per cent to 64.9 per cent as a result of higher accommodation demand.

“In 2014-15 total accommodation revenue hit $10 billion, an increase of more than $300 million, driving revenue per available room night up by 3.5 per cent,” Colbeck said.

“These results reflect the dynamism in Australia’s accommodation sector amid record international tourist arrivals and domestic overnight visitors,” he said.

Recent figures from Tourism Research Australia show international arrivals increased 6.6 per cent to a record 6.6 million and domestic overnight visits were at a new high of 83.2 million in 2014-2015.

“The Government’s decision to make tourism infrastructure one of five National Investment Priorities has supported industry efforts to boost capacity and realise this growth but there is still much more to do, particularly in regional Australia where 45 cents in every tourism dollar is spent,” Senator Colbeck said.

This growth will be supported by the tourism investment pipeline, which grew nine per cent to AUD$53.7 billion in 2014.

Accommodation specific projects in this pipeline are valued at AUD$8.5 billion providing a potential 15,915 new rooms.

Senator Colbeck said tourism supported around one million jobs, including 69,700 directly in accommodation, and the industry could become Australia’s fastest growing over the next decade but there was no room for complacency.

“Recent research commissioned for Austrade found red tape continues to affect the appeal of new hotel development,” Colbeck said.

“We must reduce undue costs in the planning process to ensure new rooms continue to come on stream and we are working with the states and territories to facilitate investment.”

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management