The Sunshine Coast was one of the best performing regions for Accor in April 2021.

Average occupancy levels of the 101 hotels Accor operates in Queensland has grown by more than 50% year-on-year, the company said, indicating the state was recovering from the pandemic faster than others.

Overall across the group’s Queensland network, the average occupancy rate closed at 74% for the month of April 2021, significantly up from the 23% recorded a year earlier, according to STR data.

Mantra Mooloolaba Beach

In line with national trends, the state’s regional areas including North Queensland, Sunshine Coast, Cairns and the Gold Coast were the best performing regions for the year ending April 2021. The state’s overall occupancy rate closed at 70% – well above the national average of 50%. The results contrasted with the capital city of Brisbane, which recovered partially to an average occupancy of 53%, still well below the pre-COVID levels of 75%.

Accor Pacific CEO, Simon McGrath, said the recovery rates could be attributed in no small part to the reopening and stabilisation of state borders, which would also help with consumer confidence.

“The results reveal that Australians love to travel to Queensland,” McGrath said.

Fairmont Port Douglas, coming in 2023, will feature 253 rooms and built with a sustainability-focused theme.

“A combination of greater certainty regarding borders, an increase in flights, state and federal stimulus measures, and a range of targeted marketing programs have significantly elevated holiday travel to Queensland in 2021,” he added.

However, McGrath said a worrying divide was opening up between city versus regional travel and that more government stimulus was needed to generate a return to prosperity for city regions.

“Travel to Brisbane is subdued because of a downturn in corporate travel and conferences,” McGrath said.

Further stimulus to encourage events in Brisbane were needed to boost hotel occupancies in the capital.

“Government support is crucial to re-building business, conference and events travel. I urge Government to consider how they might support our great cities return to prosperity through arts, sports and cultural events.”

Accor will introduce two new brands to Queensland in the next two years, with Fairmont Port Douglas and Mondrian Gold Coast both on track to open in 2023.