HALF the hotel rooms in some parts of WA are empty and Perth is the worst State capital for hotel occupancy in the country, a new report warns.
But it means good deals for visitors and locals taking a holiday, short break or weekend away, with hotels discounting heavily or offering deals and upgrades to lure guests.
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The latest Australian Accommodation Monitor report, produced by Tourism Research Australia and released this week based on 2016-17 figures, shows more than one in two hotel rooms in the North West were empty with an average occupancy of 49 per cent.
The Coral Coast was only slightly better at 52 per cent.
The South West had an average occupancy rate of 57 per cent and the Golden Outback 59 per cent.
Perth had the highest occupancy rate in WA at 75 per cent, but when compared to other capitals, Tourism Research Australia declared Perth the worst performing city, with revenue down 12 per cent while the national average grew slightly.
On a State-by-State comparison, WA was the worst performing in the nation and the only jurisdiction except the Northern Territory not to increase revenue. Overall, average occupancy for WA hotels was 70 per cent, below the 75 per cent national average and lower than every State except Queensland.
Australian Hotels Association WA chief executive Bradley Woods said hotel operators were hurting but “there is anecdotal evidence that the industry has been through the worst of the downturn”.
But he said it hinged on Tourism WA driving more visitors to WA.
“It’s all about actual people getting on planes, booking hotel rooms and eating and drinking in our State’s hospitality industry,” Mr Woods said.
He said “very loose regulation” of Airbnb private-home and apartment rentals was also hurting hotel operators, but the upside of the hotel crisis was “that West Australians and travellers alike are in a fantastic position to take advantage of sensational hotel deals across Perth and regional WA”.
A search of hotel booking site lastminute.com for Perth city hotels for this Friday night showed rooms were available for less than $120 in five hotels rated at four stars, the cheapest for only $95 (Starwest Apartments) followed by $106 (Seasons of Perth).
For five-star accommodation on lastminute.com, rooms started at just $125 (Parmelia Hilton) followed by $155 (Fraser Suites Perth).
Between 2012 and 2017, more than 1600 hotel rooms were added to the Perth CBD, while another 1850 rooms are scheduled to open by 2020.
Tourism Minister Paul Papalia conceded the industry had been doing it tough but said Tourism WA had been tasked to work with airlines, travel agents and travel websites to convince travellers to take advantage of the wide choice of hotels at reasonable rates.