Hotel occupancy on steep decline. Image – Canva
  • Darwin hotels have performed the best while Sydney hotels suffer
  • Lockdowns and boarder restrictions are key factors
  • Based on data released by STR

Hotels have been revealed as an unsurprising casualty of the recent spill of lockdowns across the country, with occupancy rates across the capital cities on a rapid decline.

Sydney experienced their lowest hotel occupancy levels for the year at 15.8% in the week ending 1 August, five weeks after entering lockdown.

The research into hotel occupancy rates was released by STR, a provider of global tourism data.

Matthew Burke, STR’s regional manager for the Pacific region explains that tough restrictions on crossing state borders mean the bulk of travel is simply not possible.

“New and extended restrictions amid the latest outbreaks have undoubtedly affected performance in recent weeks.” 

Matthew Burke, STR Regional Manager

Mr Burk suggests winter may be a contributing factor to the ultra low hotel occupancy rates.

In Adelaide, occupancy rates remain remarkably low at 30% despite seeing a slight increase in the week.

Similarly, Melbourne hotels experienced incremental progress reaching 27.1% occupancy in the week ending 1 August. This improvement has likely taken a hit as Victoria plunged back into hard lockdown last week.

Feeling the effect of Sydney’s restrictions, Canberra’s occupancy rate is at 21.%.

“Canberra’s performance is closely tied to Sydney’s openness. Despite not having a case, Canberra is still feeling the performance impact,” explained Mr Burke.

The Darwin area is leading the country in terms of hotel occupancy rates at 65.4%. Having remained largely untouched by Covid cases, the Northern Territory has become an attractive tourist destination.

Darwin area has not been immune to the effects of the east coast lockdowns with occupancy rates down from their high at 82.0% in late May.

Perth performance is also on the decline at 48.1%. On a similar playing field, Brisbane rates are at 44.7%.

The steep decline seen in hotel occupancy is reflective of the suffering tourism industry in Australia’s capital cities as a whole.

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