Tourist hubs close to natural wonders and outdoor adventure experiences saw the highest increase in accommodation prices for 2017, reflecting the continued popularity for eco-tourism, according to the latest Hotels Price Index, from Hotels.com.
The highest percentage increase among 50 destinations analysed was seen in Exmouth, Western Australia – home to the Range-to-Reef eco-adventure – where prices rose by 12% to $213 per night.
However, the Whitsunday Islands recorded the steepest decline in accommodation prices as a result of Cyclone Debbie, falling 14% in 2017. With intense recovery operations and community effort to clear airport runways, re-open hotels and repair venues, the islands were able to hold on to their top ten position, and their premium pricing at $222 per night.
Meanwhile, Townsville and Kangaroo Island recorded steep rises in accommodation prices, increasing 11% and 9%, respectively. The increase in prices paid in Townsville last year follows a 13% fall in 2016, demonstrating growth in the region and the strength of reef tourism.
The incentive market remains enthusiastic to experience the country’s natural wonders, as product continues to improve throughout rural Australia.
David Spasovic, Marketing Manager – Australia and New Zealand for the Hotels.com brand, said: “Tourism Australia’s global consumer marketing campaign ‘There’s Nothing Like Australia’ really shone light on some of the country’s best attractions outside the capital cities, and our data this year reflects this move towards more off-the-beaten-track experiences.”
Unsurprisingly, Sydney remained the number one destination for international travellers with average prices paid up 4% in 2017 ($232), and a 13% increase from 2014. Hotels.com believed this was linked to the investment interest in Sydney’s hotel market, as well as the $1bn worth of planned new hotels in the CBD.