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News release


Cairns’ tourism surge

Cairns is proving to be the place to visit and stay in Queensland for both business professionals and tourists

Cairns is proving to be the place to visit and stay in Queensland for both business professionals and tourists recording an astounding September 2014 RevPAR up 27.9% for leisure hotels against September 2013 according to the latest STR results.  

The YTD figures are equally impressive with Cairns showing a 10% increase in RevPAR up until the end of September 2014 with the Average Daily Rate (ADR) having risen by 5.1%.

"Cairns has been showing good growth from both domestic and inbound tourism for some time now," Mr Julian Whiston, Executive Vice President – Strategic Advisory of JLL's Hotels & Hospitality Group, said. "There is no doubt that the long-term appeal of Cairns and other TNQ markets are their proximity to the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest and the region's tropical climate.  The market's tourism resurgence is also influenced by the more recent moderation in the Australian dollar."

Mr Whiston's views are backed by official Tourism Research Australia  figures that show domestic visitor nights in Tropical North Queensland increased 9.4% over the six months to June 2014 (latest available) with strong growth in visiting friends and relatives (VFR) and business travel compared to the previous year.  Increased visitation was predominantly visitors from Melbourne and Brisbane.  International holiday travel also increased over the same period which is benefitting hotels.

"While it is likely that Cairns hosting the Group of Twenty (G20) finance ministers and Central Bank governors on the weekend of September 20 and 21 was an important influencer for the extraordinary September result, Cairns was in fact demonstrating robust RevPAR growth in the months prior," Mr Whiston said.

"The Gold Coast's accommodation market is also demonstrating impressive growth with YTD STR RevPAR figures up 10.2% at the end of September driven in part by a 4.6% rise in the ADR.

"It is apparent that tourism in Queensland is improving and with the official G20 Leaders' Summit taking place in Brisbane in November, we would expect to see growth in both foreign and domestic tourism during and around the event.

Australian Bureau of Statistics YTD August 2014 figures reveal that there has been an overall rise in overseas tourists to Australia for leisure and visiting friends and family by 11.3% while those attending business conferences has risen by 9.5%.

Mark Durran, Managing Director – Investment Sales for JLL, believes there will be continued upswing through northern Queensland for hotels.

"The tourism market in Cairns bottomed out in 2011 and what we are seeing is the return of both overseas and domestic travellers who want to explore more of tropical Queensland," he said.

"The Great Barrier Reef is iconic and the hotel market in tropical north Queensland is improving with five-star resorts available."

Mr Durran is currently marketing the Pullman Cairns International hotel – the town's largest five-star hotel featuring 321 guest rooms, 11 conference and meeting facilities, restaurant, bar and lounge, which also incorporates the Village Lane retail and office centre.