Dr Jerry Schwartz
Dr Jerry Schwartz

Prominent hotel owner, Dr Jerry Schwartz, is forecasting an explosion in domestic travel once interstate borders reopen, with the luxury sector in particular expected to deliver strong returns over a shorter term.

Dr Schwartz was speaking as part of an online webinar hosted by CBRE Hotels which also featured Tourism Australia Chair, Bob East; Accor Pacific COO, Simon McGrath and CBRE’s Wayne Bunz and Andrew McCasker, with Robert McIntosh moderating.

“Once people are allowed to move and get out of their home…we’re going to want to go holidaying. And that means holidaying either in your own city or in a nearby leisure area or going interstate,” he said.

“Ironically, it’s been the resorts that have been the least economical hotels that are now going to become the best hotels so my two resorts in the Blue Mountains and at the Hunter Valley, and then later on at the Gold Coast, I think those are the ones that are going to go best of all.”

Schwartz said in his opinion, for the time spent confined to their homes in recent weeks and months, people are going to “pig out” and want to stay in the most luxurious of hotels. He add that people were going to be more prepared to pay more out of a desire to be spoiled.

Tourism Australia Chair, Bob East

Tourism Australia Chairman, Bob East, agreed with Schwartz’s comments, adding that the pent up demand was certainly there and the desire to travel was united, which was likely to result in a significant benefit for regional areas as people seek to get out of their home cities for a break.

“The longer this goes on, the greater the desire to get out and explore our own backyard. So I think regions can look positively to the domestic market,” East said.

The TA Chair was pragmatic about the state of the nation’s airline industry, with clear constraints still in place as interstate borders jostle with reopening pressures amid Virgin Australia’s current status in voluntary administration.

“I think it’s fair enough to say that there will be a different landscape domestically and good luck to Virgin with how it re-emerges. I think it’s fair to say that it’s going to be a different landscape.

“I think internationally, we’re still not brave enough to draw a line in the sand of when we think we will have unrestricted access into Australia.”