Eco-tourism causes hotel price hike for Aussie adventure destinations

Eco-tourism causes hotel price hike for Aussie adventure destinations’s latest Hotel Price Index (HPI) has revealed that tourist hubs close to natural wonders and outdoor experiences are getting a bit exxy, experiencing the steepest price spikes in 2017, as eco-tourism gains traction in Australia.

According to the HPI, Exmouth – the Range to Reef eco-adventure capital of Western Australia – showed the highest percentage price rise of the top 50 destinations analysed for international travellers.

And with sights like this, can you blame them?

Cape Range Mesa Camp Beach

Prices paid in Exmouth rose by 12 per cent to $213 per night in 2017, as travellers flocked to the area to experience the iconic Cape Range National Park, and Ningaloo Marine Park, famous for the whale sharks found close to the coast.

Other gateways to natural wonders, Townsville and Kangaroo Island, also recorded steep rises in accommodation prices, increasing 11 per cent and 9 per cent respectively.

The steep increase in prices paid in Townsville last year follows a 13 per cent fall in 2016, demonstrating growth in the region and the strength of reef tourism.

Meanwhile, the Whitsunday Islands recorded the steepest decline in accommodation prices, falling 14 per cent in 2017 after bearing the brunt of Cyclone Debbie.

Mind you, it still looks pretty bloody good to us.


Intense recovery operations and community involvement worked wonders, however, with the islands holding on to their top ten position, and their premium pricing at $222 per night.

Sydney remained the number one ranked destination for international travellers, with average prices paid up 4 per cent in 2017 ($232), and a whopping 13 per cent increase from 2014, no doubt linked to the investment interest in Sydney’s hotel market and the $1 billion worth of planned new hotels in the CBD.

The HPI reported Yulara ($360), the gateway to Uluru, as the most expensive destination of the top 50 analysed – with a 15% lift since 2015 – following heavy promotion of the Northern Territory’s Field of Light exhibition.


Of the top 50 destinations analysed, places in Queensland and the Northern Territory dominated for bargains.

Townsville ($124) took out the top spot for most affordable night stay for international travellers, while Alice Springs ($125), Mackay ($126) and Darwin ($132) also provided great deals for visitors.

The influx of Chinese travellers were of particular note as they became the largest source of international travellers for Australia in 2017 after years of New Zealand holding the top spot.

Check out this list of Australia’s top ten destinations among the top 50 analysed where international travellers paid the most for a hotel room in 2017.

hotels data

You can see the full results of the HPI here.

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