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April 8, 2015

The Cricket World Cup and the Asian Cup are just two major sporting events that have benefited the hotel industry enormously around Australia in the first quarter of 2015.

The economic benefits are expected to reach in the multi-millions of dollars as more than 100,000 tourists visit Australia amidst nine weeks of sporting action.

The expected TV audiences for both the Asian Cup and Cricket World Cup are anticipated to topple more than two billion, therefore exposing Australia to new potential tourists.

That’s on top of the recently completed Australian Open (tennis), the forthcoming F1, Super Rugby and the domestic AFL and NRL seasons about to kick off.

With events played around the country, hotels of all shapes and sizes can count on an increase in guests and therefore extend an opportunity to promote their customer loyalty programmes.

Tourism Research Australia’s (TRA) International and National Visitor Survey reports, released in December 2014, reveals that international visitors grew at 8% over the year-to-date September 2014, the fastest growing rate in a decade, while domestic visitor nights rose by 7% for the same period, the fastest growth rate in two decades.

But Australian hotels shouldn’t be relying on international sporting events hitting our shores or fluctuations in our currency to boost accommodation numbers and revenue per room.

“Hotel operators recognise the need for building brand loyalty so that no matter what is happening in Australia, people will always choose to stay at their hotels. ” Ross Beardsell, Senior Vice President – Strategic Advisory, JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group, said.

“Successful brand loyalty programmes combined with innovative marketing of services to individuals and corporate groups can ensure that hotels are always growing an increased share of business.

“Furthermore, by establishing strong brand loyalty relationships with frequent individual travellers, combined with corporates who are looking to stage conferences, events and meetings, hotel operators can gain great reward from the services they offer, and moreover increase owner’s returns.

“Most people are conservative by nature and would prefer to stay somewhere that they know and can trust, so if hotel operators can establish a strong rapport with any frequent individual travellers and corporate groups they should grow their market share accordingly.”

Combined with a falling Australian dollar, TRA forecasts a continued increase in tourism in 2015 and beyond, with Chinese tourists becoming the most lucrative, spending more and staying longer, than any other international tourist.

A lower Australian dollar also encourages locals to travel more domestically.

“There are many positives for the hotel industry in the future,” Mr Beardsell says.
“Every hotel in Australia can market their additional services to increase additional spend from their visitors, whether they be local or international. Hotels can tailor packages to individual and corporate needs that will not only increase brand loyalty but also their occupancy rates.” Mr Beardsell said.

“Now is the time to capitalise on growing visitor numbers.”

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