Australia’s hotel industry has welcomed 20,000 new rooms and more than 200 hotels since the end of 2020, signalling a revival in construction in the wake of the pandemic.

“We’ve had 206 hotels open across Australia in the last three years,” said Accommodation Australia CEO Michael Johnson.

“In Sydney the opening of the long-awaited W Hotel next month will be the 34th hotel to open since 2020. There have been 57 new hotel openings in NSW over that period – 15 in suburbs surrounding Sydney and nine in the regions.

“Great news for the sector and for the travelling public looking for choice.”

In Victoria, 71 new hotels had opened since 2020 – 51 of which are in Melbourne; eight new hotels opened in Tasmania, 36 opened in Queensland, 17 in South Australia, two in the Northern Territory and 10 in Western Australia, Johnson reported.

“The extra rooms have come on just at the right time,” he said. 

“Hotel operators across the country – but particularly in our gateway cities – are seeing occupancies re-building to pre-pandemic levels.

“We are confident we will now see the benefits of being back on the Approved Destination Status for China with more direct flights confirmed in preparation for the all-important group tour business returning.”

Johnson said there is a notable shift away from short-stay accommodation to hotels.

“People are telling us short-stay accommodation has become increasingly expensive and hard to get and that a hotel is often a much easier and affordable option,” he said.  

“Customers know what they are getting with hotels, there are no hidden fees for cleaning or garbage or linen. And people also want an experience, they want to be pampered. They want to order room service, enjoy a variety of restaurants including buffet breakfasts, a nice lobby and a concierge instead of having to clean up after yourself when you leave.

“Our members in the regions have also been saying customers are turning off short-term accommodation because it is taking away houses for locals trying to rent, and hotels are giving jobs to locals and contributing to the economy.”