Hotels

WA: Over supply, under demand

Hannah Edensor

Tourism Minister Kim Hames says the Western Australian government needs to up the ante in order to keep visitors coming to the state, in order to fill the many hotel rooms that keep popping up.

According to a report from the ABC, Hames said a boost in the number of new hotels being built across Perth meant the state was well on its way to not just meet, but exceed its target of 1900 new rooms by 2020.

But he fears that without more action from the State government, the supply will outrun demand.

“The complaints before [were] that people could never get in, there were so many corporate travellers here because of our strength in the mining industry that it was really hard to find a bed and for that reason they tended to be more expensive,” he told ABC.

“Now the demand’s come off a bit there’s still strong occupancy rates, but a much broader and diverse occupancy, not just corporate travellers but tourists and visitors as well.”

The claims come as Hilton Worldwide announces it will open up a third DoubleTree by Hilton in the capital city in 2017.

The 205-room DoubleTree by Hilton Perth – Northbridge is due for completion in early 2017 and will be the first of the three to open in Western Australia.

Hilton Worldwide and SKS Group last year announced their partnership for two additional Western Australia hotels – DoubleTree by Hilton Perth – Waterfront and DoubleTree by Hilton Perth – Fremantle.

Hilton Worldwide Australasia’s vp of operations Paul Hutton added that Hilton Worldwide’s expanding presence in Perth only adds to the growing city.

“There is no doubt that Perth has seen a recent transformation. At the heart of this, Northbridge is a vibrant suburb where arts, culture and entertainment come together,” Hutton said.

As per the ABC, Australian Hotels Association’s chief executive Bradley Woods said while the level of investment was a sign of things looking up in the industry, there was a risk of oversupply if demand did not grow as the mining sector slowed.

Woods said that interstate tourism was the most important growth market for WA, and the money being pumped into this avenue needed to be doubled.

“The sheer number of seats that are available from the east coast on aeroplanes is substantially higher than it is from the international market,” Woods told ABC.

“It’s the quickest, fastest and most efficient way of bringing new tourists and visitors into Western Australia.

“We’ve got to see Western Australia promoted on television in the eastern states, we’ve got to see Western Australia promoted in newspapers and magazines, on billboards and that’s just not at the level that it needs to be now.”

Hames said the government had increased the amount of money it spent on marketing, but admitted a lot more interstate focus needed to be applied to its strategy.

“Our interstate market isn’t as strong as we would like it. So we will focus a lot on that in our next batch of money,” Hames said.

DoubleTree by Hilton Perth – Northbridge will be located at 100 James Street, Northbridge.

Positioned just north of the Perth CBD, Northbridge is home to Perth’s entertainment district. Alongside its 205 rooms, the hotel will feature, a restaurant and bar, 400 square metres of event space, a business centre, gym and outdoor pool.

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