Home' Hotel Management : HM FEB 2017 Contents Despite beginning the New Year with uncertainty in the world, 2017 looks to be positive
for the Australian tourism industry.
Hamilton Island is continuing to see strong demand from travellers internationally
and domestically, with increases in capacity from airline partners such as Qantas, Virgin
Australia and Jetstar, contributing to our forward sales and bookings. Given this demand
and current market conditions, we are expecting to exceed the high-occupancy levels the
Island reported in 2016.
The stable Australian Dollar continues to be a strong contributor to the success
of the Australian Tourism industry as a whole. Hamilton Island has seen growth in
travellers from Asian regions due to the stability of the dollar, and although it has helped
to strengthen inbound tourism, the dollar has weakened outbound travel in addition to
other geo-political effects.
The leisure tourism market continues to grow for both domestic and international
travellers. We are finding travellers are looking for holiday experiences which relate to the
natural environment and in our case, the Great Barrier Reef. Given Australia’s many diverse
and unique natural offerings, there has been growth in international markets which has been
assisted by greater airline capacity to the country and the development of multiple ports.
Emerging markets for Hamilton Island include China, India and Brazil, all of which
continue to grow. China continues to present as the strongest emerging market, given the
volume of middle class who are starting to travel. We find that Chinese travellers are not
only looking for natural experiences and luxury; they are also travelling for longer periods
and spending more when visiting the Island.
In 2016, we’ve also seen a strong emergence in the market place of competition from
areas such as Airbnb that continue to change the way that the travel industry operates,
although Hamilton Island is somewhat isolated from this threat as the predominance of
guest room stock is held by our company.
Despite the favourable conditions the tourism market is enjoying at the moment,
there have been several challenges which have presented themselves, including Visas for
international workers such as the 457 and 187, the re-emergence of the commodity boom,
the increase in fuel prices impacting the supply chain, competition from emerging third world
products with low staffing costs, and finally, the inherent cost of doing business in Australia.
Throughout 2017, aviation will continue to be
important for both domestic and international travel. The
airlines are pivotal for international feeder routes into
Australia and the overall domestic network. Tourism is
currently one of the largest beneficiaries for the airlines,
but as commodities come back to the fore, it is predicted
that commercial FIFO routes will become attractive and
Importantly, one of the key markets we have seen
investment and growth in is holiday homes on the Island.
With city prices soaring, more and more families are
looking to invest in holiday homes to enjoy for their own
recreation as well as financial gain.
There was a resurgence in business tourism for the
Island in 2016, and we expect this growth will continue.
We have also found that sports events are of high interest
to our market and are increasing patronage. This year,
the Hamilton Island Endurance Series is predicted
to continue building on the success of previous years,
bringing people from around the world to experience the
Island in a different way from a typical beach holiday.
The Island and industry itself is expected to enjoy what
could be seen as some of the best conditions for tourism
in many decades, with all market forces aligning strongly
in our favour. Hamilton Island is always looking for ways
to improve guest experience, and the Oatley family’s
commitment to reinvest significant capital into the Island
has proven correct. In 2017, we will continue to build on
the success of previous years with planned developments,
including the possibility of new hotel facilities as well as
additional staff accommodation.
56 HM The Business of Accommodation
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