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News release


Cairns and Gold Coast lead the way

Domestic and international tourism drive growth in the Cairns and Gold Coast accommodation markets.

The Cairns and the Gold Coast accommodation markets both finished 2014 strongly with sharp increases in occupancy and revenue per available room, driven by a combination of domestic and offshore tourist demand.

Full year 2014 trading figures show that the Cairns' market-wide hotel occupancy rate increased by 5.7% and ADR by 4.4%, resulting in a RevPAR increase of 10.4% compared to December 2013. The Gold Coast market experienced similar growth with the Average Daily Rate (ADR) and occupancy grew by approximately 5.0%, resulting in a RevPAR increase of 10.1%, over the same period.

"The recent depreciation of the Australian dollar and resurgence in both inbound and domestic leisure demand has proved, and is anticipated to continue to be, a boon for Queensland's tourist destinations," said Julian Whiston, Executive Vice President – Strategic Advisory, JLL's Hotels & Hospitality Group.

"Queensland's leisure markets have always enjoyed excellent fundamentals including world class natural and man-made attractions, easy air access, large nearby resident populations, and an array of accommodation options. We are currently witnessing a resurgence of tourist demand within core markets such as the Gold Coast and Cairns. This is something that is certainly capturing the attention of investors as they look to get ahead of the curve," added Mr Whiston.

"The Gold Coast light rail project has reinvigorated the city by connecting its numerous precincts and adding a new dynamic to the destination by broadening out. This is proving to be a major benefit to leisure and corporate tourists. Combined with an increase in business events related demand, anecdotal evidence suggests that hotels are certainly feeling the flow on effects." said Peter Harper, Senior Vice President – Investment Sales, JLL's Hotels & Hospitality Group.

"Qantas' recent reinstatement of its Sydney to Gold Coast flights is also a clear indication that corporate demand is returning and growing, while the build up to the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the numerous new tourism infrastructure developments in the interim, all bode well for some positive years ahead for hoteliers on the Gold Coast." suggested Mr Harper.

Mr Harper also says that the Cairns accommodation market also is a very positive growth story.

"On the back of increased international air capacity and a renewed interest by domestic tourists, there's currently strong demand to visit the reef and rainforest. Further benefits to the hotel sector in 2014 included the G20 Finance Ministers Summit, very clever marketing towards the Chinese New Year Period, the recently expanded Cairns Regional Hospital, and numerous residential and commercial initiatives in the market. The general sentiment of the market is that the proposed Aquis development will certainly have a positive impact on Cairns, however the tourism market's success moving forwards is by no means reliant on it." Mr Harper stated.

"When it comes to investment activity, both cities are active. Gold Coast and Cairns were very popular for investors' pre-GFC and what we are seeing is a return to investor confidence in those cities. It's clear an upswing is signalled for both Gold Coast and Cairns." concluded Mr Harper.