Hotel room demand remains strong despite new supply continuing to suppress growth.
Hotel room demand remains strong despite new supply continuing to suppress growth.

Eight months through 2019, Hobart and Brisbane are the only two Australian cities recording positive RevPAR growth as new hotel supply continues to disguise true demand growth figures, according to the latest hotel data from STR.

Year-to-date RevPAR growth in the Queensland capital is up 0.8 per cent against a 5.4 per cent jump in new rooms, dwarfed by Hobart which has seen revenue jump 8.2 per cent against a 3.1 upward tick in new room supply.

Despite the less than impressive numbers, hotel demand is showing improvement in all major cities except Darwn, Cairns and the Gold Coast. On a national level, year-to-date RevPAR is down 2.5 per cent as new room supply continues to outstrip demand. According to STR, this dominating supply chain is beginning to weigh on operators which are reporting ongoing negative growth in six of Australia’s top 10 markets, with no city recording above two per cent improvement.

August saw demand growth climb 2.1 per cent as more new rooms come online, however supply increased only by 1.9 per cent, leading to a 0.2 per cent improvement in occupancy levels. The nation’s best performing cities included Perth (+11.1 per cent and a 75.5 per cent occupancy), Hobart (+10.3 per cent and 72.7 per cent occupancy) and Canberra (+7.5 per cent and 79.2 per cent occupancy), with events such as the Bledisloe Cup match in the WA capital leading to a strong burst of room sales across the city in the days either side of the match.

Adelaide and Cairns both saw positive months, with growth over four per cent, while Brisbane was the best performing of the three major east-coast capitals, up 3.5 per cent over Melbourne at 2.3 per cent and Sydney scraping over the line with just a 0.2 per cent upswing.

In New Zealand, Queenstown’s ski season was the primary reason behind strong occupancy figures of 85.1 per cent, while Wellington jumped on strong booking levels by increasing RevPAR 7.8 per cent.