May 13, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier

Data from hotel group Accor has revealed Queensland as the state with the fastest tourism recovery, although not all parts of the state are reaping the benefits.

With operations spanning 101 properties in Queensland, Accor’s figures show overall hotel occupancy in Queensland rose from an average of 23 percent in April 2020 to 74 percent a year later.

Queensland’s average occupancy of 70 percent year to date significantly exceeds the national figure of 50 percent.

However, the state’s capital continues to see performance well below pre-COVID levels, with occupancy at 53 percent in April 2021, significantly short of an average monthly occupancy of 75 percent prior to the pandemic.

Cairns and Tropical North Queensland, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast are the state’s best performing regions for hotel occupancy.

Accor Pacific CEO Simon McGrath said while leisure travel was recovering well, Brisbane’s lacklustre numbers were evidence that business travel and conferences were not recovering as fast.

“A combination of greater certainty regarding borders, an increase in flights, State and Federal stimulus measures, and a range of targeted marketing programs have significantly elevated holiday travel to Queensland in 2021,” said McGrath.

“The Government stimulus packages have made an impact and judging by April’s figures, there is growing confidence in the leisure sector, with the success of the half-price airfare scheme and the opening up of the Trans-Tasman bubble likely to ensure that holiday travel remains buoyant over winter.

“Despite the improved forecasts, a worrying regional versus city divide has emerged and we cannot be complacent.

“Travel to Brisbane is subdued because of a downturn in corporate travel and conferences.

“Government support is crucial to re-building business, conference and events travel.

“I urge Government to consider how they might support our great cities return to prosperity through arts, sports and cultural events.”

Image: Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort on the Sunshine Coast