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News release


Summer trading a boon for the Sunshine State

Queensland’s accommodation markets have recorded a bumper peak season

Queensland's accommodation markets have recorded a bumper peak season with all markets recording RevPAR growth over the summer months, according to JLL. This represents a marked turnaround compared to recent years when trading was weighed down by poor weather and the high Australian dollar. 

Mrs Karen Wales, Executive Vice President – Research & Consultancy, Hotels & Hospitality Group said, "The Great Barrier Reef island resorts had an exceptional summer season with RevPAR growth surging 21.8% to reach $250. This was the highest growth over the three month period for any Australian accommodation market and represents a welcome change of fortunes compared to recent years."

Mrs Wales continued, "A resurgent domestic holiday segment and good pick up during the Chinese New Year holiday period underpinned strong occupancy growth whereas room rates also increased.  On average room rates across the Greater Barrier Reef island resorts were 15% higher than Sydney's five-star hotels throughout the peak summer season. This bodes well for trading throughout the rest of the year and highlights how Queensland is back on the map as a must-see tourist destination."

Launch pad to the Great Barrier Reef, heritage listed rainforest and outback, Cairns also recorded strong growth with occupancy levels surging 1.7% to 74.7% - to be at the highest level of the four markets over the summer period. ADR growth was also achieved although rates averaged just $126.   This compares to $181 on the Gold Coast.

 Julian Whiston, Executive Vice President – Strategic Advisory, Hotels & Hospitality Group said, "Tourism is one of the key drivers for the Queensland state and local economies and whilst the industry focus had shifted to regional mining markets in recent years, marketing initiatives to promote the region and provide prospects for future tourism growth are yielding results and the sunshine state's key leisure markets are clearly back in vogue." 

He added, "Moving forward, growth will be underpinned by the recent reduction in the Australian dollar and improvements in the Queensland state economy, as well as inbound tourism from Asia. Market occupancies are expected to record modest growth over the next three years, in the absence of any major supply additions. Accordingly, room rate growth is expected to build gradually over the medium term, albeit from a low base. " 

After an 18-month period of decline, trading in Brisbane is also showing signs of stabilising although any notable uplift in performance will however be dependent on the extent of recovery in the corporate and conference segment. 

Mr Whiston commented, "Whilst the G20 summit in November will provide a welcome boost to Brisbane trading in 2014, accommodation development projects have also progressed and it may prove more challenging to absorb this new supply against the current trading backdrop." He added "Eight projects are currently under construction, scheduled for completion over the next couple of years and a further five proposed projects are expected to start construction within the near future."


3 Month Rolling AverageOcc %Growth %ADR $Growth %RevPARGrowth %
Gold Coast74.7%1.7%1814.5%1365.8%
Great Barrier Reef Island Resorts        73.0%12.8%3408.3%25021.8%

Source: STR Global, JLL