Brisbane and Perth hotel operators are backing the footy finals as hotel occupancy drops to their lowest point since May 2020.
While the school holidays usually lead to a spike in occupancy levels, lockdowns, particularly in Melbourne and Sydney, were dragging the national average down.
STR research showed revenue per available room was a mere $50.33 and occupancy was at 30.8 per cent for August.
This compared to the pre-pandemic levels when revenue was $136.79 and occupancy was 84.1 per cent for 2019. In 2020 this dropped to $73.32 and 44.7 per cent for the year.
“Four of Australia’s capitals and two states were in lockdown during August, which heavily impacted performance,” the report stated.
“With the most populous states restricted from travel, and only limited interstate and intrastate travel, open destinations have felt the impact.
“Across the top 10 destinations in Australia, each reported sub-50 per cent occupancy for August.”
However, Brisbane is set to get a multi-million-dollar boost from the NRL finals, to be held in at Suncorp Stadium on October 3.
Deputy mayor Krista Adams said NRL matches had already proven to be a big boost to the tourism industry with the Magic Round in May.
“Whether its top-class football or boutique festivals, bringing events to Brisbane is a great way to stimulate economic activity, Adams said.
“Our tourism and hospitality sectors have done it tough throughout the pandemic so supporting them by bringing events like this to Brisbane is critically important.”
Tourism and Events Queensland revealed the Magic Round generated almost 69,500 unique visitors and more than 82,000 hotel night stays in a major coup for the industry.
Perth will host the AFL Grand Final at Optus Stadium on September 25.
Recently, the level of occupancy in Sydney during the lockdowns was at 2 per cent with takings down 70 to 90 per cent.
Despite the poor results in the nation’s biggest cities, optimism and recovery was ramping up with the reintroduction of international travel expected by the end of the year.
In the next year, half of Australians were planning to take a holiday, with 80 per cent intending to travel domestically, according to NAB’s consumer insight report.
“For those planning to holiday in Australia, Queensland is the number one destination of choice, with the Gold Coast coming out on top, followed by NSW and Victoria,” the report stated.
The NAB data showed people were also willing to “spoil” themselves with 26 per cent of people looking at hotels or resorts for accommodation.
This compared to 25 per cent with family and friends, 21 per cent at motor inns, 18 per cent at Airbnb-style accommodation and 16 per cent in caravan parks or camping.