The Perth Convention Bureau (PCB) has downplayed reports that the city is struggling with accommodation shortages despite new research showing Perth’s hotel occupancy is currently above 85%.
The latest Survey of Tourist Accommodation showed Perth’s occupancy rate was 85.6% for the 2011 December quarter, far above the average 81.4% in other Australian capital cities. Perth’s room rates were also up 15.5% over the same period, costing an average $197.64 per night compared with $179.20 for the Australian standard.
Following a long battle with high occupancies and rates, the figures have renewed calls for more accommodation in Perth.
Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) chief executive John Lee stressed that additional hotel rooms were vital to facilitate growth in the visitor economy. “This will, in turn, encourage further investment in tourism accommodation that will support growth in the visitor economy and create job opportunities across Australia,” he said.
However, Perth Convention Bureau spokeswoman Tracey Cinavas-Prosser denies that occupancy shortages are a problem and maintains that they are of little consequence to the meetings and events industry.
“Short term corporate businesses may experience some high rates and lack of availability, but the meetings and events industry is largely sheltered from longer lead times which are often booked years in advance,” she said.
Cinavas-Prosser dismissed suggestions that high occupancies and rates were deterring MICE business, but added that some meeting planners have had to schedule events in regional areas to avoid accommodation shortages.
“We’re not finding that high rates and occupancies are off-putting for meeting planners, but last minute bookings are hard to come by,” she said. “The fact is that Perth is really busy. That’s the downside to our success.”
The PCB is incentivizing conferences which are held off peak or in regional areas to ease bottlenecks and urging corporates to contact the bureau for large events to secure availabilities.
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