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8635.0 - Tourist Accommodation, Australia, Dec 1996  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/03/1997   
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MEDIA RELEASE

March 27, 1997
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)
44/97

Highest December occupancy rate recorded

The average room occupancy rate for hotels and motels in Australia rose marginally to 59.9 per cent in the December quarter 1996, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

This was the highest December quarter occupancy rate recorded since the commencement of the ABS Accommodation Survey in 1975.

The December quarter room occupancy rate rose because total Australian demand in terms of room nights occupied increased by 2.8 per cent, while capacity available increased by 2.5 per cent over the year to December quarter 1996.

Increases in room nights occupied were recorded for all States and Territories except Tasmania, ranging from 10.7 per cent for Northern Territory, South Australia (5.5 per cent), Queensland (4.4 per cent), Western Australia (2.4 per cent), Australian Capital Territory (2.3 per cent) and New South Wales (1.6 per cent) to 1.5 per cent for Victoria. In Tasmania, room nights occupied fell by 2.1 per cent.

Increases in room occupancy rate, however, were recorded only for New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and the Northern Territory. For Queensland, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, increases in demand were exceeded by increases in capacity available, resulting in room occupancy rate decreases. In Tasmania, rooms available increased by 1.8 per cent while room nights occupied decreased by 2.1 per cent.

Takings from accommodation in hotels and motels across Australia rose by 8.3 per cent to $946 million, with average takings per room night occupied rising from $94 in December quarter 1995 to $99 in December quarter 1996.

For holiday flats and units, demand in December quarter 1996 rose by 7.2 per cent compared with a 7.5 per cent increase in capacity available, resulting in a marginal decrease in the occupancy rate to 54.0 per cent. Takings from accommodation rose by 13.4 per cent to $153 million, with average takings per unit night rising from $69 to $73.

The site occupancy rate for caravan parks rose slightly to 43.4 per cent and accommodation takings rose by 7.6 per cent to $128 million.

For visitor hostels catering for backpackers, bed spaces available increased by a substantial 11.6 per cent and the bed occupancy rate decreased by 0.6 percentage points to 46.4 per cent. Takings from accommodation were $17.8 million at an average of $14 per guest night.

Details are in Tourist Accommodation, Australia (cat. no. 8635.0), available from ABS bookshops.

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