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Aussie holiday rental accommodation market optimistic about growth
Released 26 July 2010

The Occupancy Accommodation Index (OAI) is a new, quarterly survey of more than 1,500 holiday rental property managers across Australia, by leading, independent specialist in online accommodation services, Occupancy.com.

The OAI aims to determine what level of occupancy different types of accommodation establishments receive and complement ABS data for larger size properties.

Respondents are comprised from the ‘smaller’ end of the market, of which holiday houses and units make up more than half of the accommodation types followed by serviced apartments, cottages, B&Bs, hotels, motels and caravan parks.

“Tourism is central to Australia’s economic and social prosperity and overwhelmingly small businesses deliver critical tourism services to local economies. We identified a need for detailed and regular accommodation data to enable the industry to grow sustainably within suitable government policies,” explains Occupancy.com joint CEO, Justin Butterworth.


Index highlights

  • Nationally, holiday rental property managers remain optimistic about sector growth with 60% forecasting an increase in occupancy rates in the next quarter and for the same period next year, which represents a significant contribution to the economy of regional areas.
  • New South Wales and Victoria remain cautious about growth for the domestic holiday rental accommodation sector, whereas Queensland and WA are significantly more confident and optimistic.
  • South Australia experienced a slight downturn in holiday rentals year-on-year, however demonstrated higher than average forecasts for short-term economic improvement.
  • Northern Territory demonstrates highly buoyant predictions for market growth in 2011.
  • The rental accommodation market in the ACT has reaped the benefits of the recent leadership changes due to a stimulation of travel to the nation’s capital

National OAI figures (April – June 2010)

The Occupancy Accommodation Index shows that half of respondents (50%) had an occupancy rate of over 50% during the quarter to June, whilst 26% had more than 70% occupancy and the top 9% had over 90% occupancy. Of these, over a third (39%) claim their booking enquiries have increased and 38% say their actual bookings have increased compared to the same period last year.

Looking forward, the market remains optimistic about the growth of domestic travel and occupancy rates. Forecasts suggest that occupancy rates will improve with 60% of respondents expecting occupancy rates over 50% for the next quarter and more than a quarter (27%) predicting rates of 70% or better.

Similarly, for the same period next year (April-June 2011) almost two thirds of respondents (65%) believe they will have occupancy rates of over 50%, with a further 26% expecting 70% capacity or more.

Almost a third (30%) of property managers are optimistic about the economy over the next six months, and 41% believe the economy will strengthen over the next 12 months.

Occupancy.com CEO, Justin Butterworth, comments: “Nationally, we expect the industry’s confidence to strengthen moving forward, now that the leadership and election date have been determined. We are confident that occupancy rates will increase across the majority of states and territories as we move out of winter and into the busy spring quarter.”

“Tourism Australia’s successful No Leave, No Life campaign and other domestic programs are paying dividends with more Aussies choosing to holiday in Australia. The reported year-on-year increase in booking enquiries and actual, confirmed bookings shows that Tourism Australia’s message is getting through – and our local holiday rental property managers are seeing the difference. Clearly the market is confident that at a local level, we will continue to see the benefits not just in the next quarter, but into next year.”