As Australians choose to travel within Australia, direct online bookings for Choice Hotels Asia-Pac have set new records in the first half of 2022. Second quarter figures were up 38 per cent compared with the same period in 2021, and 155 per cent compared with the same period in 2019.
CEO Trent Fraser said the traditional seasonal slowdown over winter months hadn’t come this year. “Australian occupancy rates in the second quarter are 15 percentage points above 2019 levels,” he said. “That’s a significant gain on pre-pandemic trading conditions and goes against early winter slowdowns experienced in the past. Choice Hotels Asia-Pac properties in New Zealand have been slower to return to normal, with occupancy levels returning to just above pre-pandemic levels during the second quarter.”
Fraser is optimistic these strong trends will continue through to the end of the year
“There are many factors driving hesitation to return to long haul travel, which makes staying in Australia and exploring our regions a more accessible and low risk option,” he says. “And we are yet to exhaust pent-up travel demand. Our regional hotels have enjoyed strong and steady bookings through the first half of the year and are breaking records in average daily rate and occupancy.”
In capital city metro markets, the construction boom has supplied a steady stream of bookings for apartment accommodation for workers.
“Our Quality and Comfort brands suit this market perfectly,” Fraser says. “Having access to kitchen facilities is important for people who are working away from home,”
Profits for franchisees
Revenue management services continue to be a key profit driver for franchisees, with hotels within the group achieving premiums on market RevPAR (revenue generated per available room).
“Revenue management as a service has been incredibly successful for participating hotels since Choice Hotels Asia-Pac introduced it in 2017,” Fraser says. “In the second quarter, Australian hotels participating in the program achieved RevPAR seven per cent above market, hitting an almost 11 per cent premium for the year to date.”