Sydney Hotel Rates Jump as Occupancy Squeeze Hits

Travellers could well face stiffer hotel bills in
Sydney this year, with rates surging by 8.7% in the first quarter
of 2017.

Analysis from 4th Dimension, Flight Centre
Travel Group’s (FCTG) business travel consulting division, showed
average nightly rates had risen to AU$270 with occupancy levels
topping out at more than 90%.

The figures
represented the highest increase in the Sydney accommodation
market since 1996.

Corporate Traveller General
Manager Jess Anscombe said business travellers were especially
vulnerable to the fluctuations with the uptick having strong
implications for companies that regularly need accommodation in

Amazing view from a luxurious Full Harbour Suite at the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney

“Sydney is now one of the highest occupied
accommodation markets in the world. It even outranks New York,
London and Hong Kong,” Jess said. “As the number one
business hub in Australia, travellers need to start booking
accommodation as early as they possibly can to avoid being caught
in the highest rate buckets. Companies with high
volume requirements should look to consolidate with a small number
of preferred hotels and lock in negotiated rates. For those with lower booking frequency, moving to a best rate of
the day purchasing strategy will be a great help. While you may
not always be kicking back in luxury, it’s a great insulator
against higher rates.”

The analysis cited increases
in domestic and international business travellers, a boom in
tourism and leisure travel activity, higher demand for Sydney’s
5-star hotels due to the weaker Australian dollar and flat supply
as the key factors for the surge in demand.

Ms Anscombe
said selecting properties outside the CBD, like in the Sydney
Airport precinct, was also a good tactic for maintaining convenience and accessing affordable rates.

“Airport hotels
can often be up to 35% lower, and 50% lower in
some cases, than CBD properties,” Jess added. “Linking your
accommodation spending to frequent flyer points earning is also a
great way to help alleviate the burden of a Sydney business trip.”

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