Sydney hotels’ biggest weekend since 2019

June 6, 2022
By Ioni Doherty

Vivid continues to breathe life back into Sydney’s CBD with Tourism Accommodation Australia sharing the news that Sydney hotels have experienced their best weekend occupancy figures since 2019.

Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) CEO Michael Johnson said hotel bookings jumped to above 80% for the first time since the pandemic began with visitors flocking into the city from across regional NSW and other states.

“This is a far cry from last year when entire floors of hotels were closed – indeed some accommodation hotels were actually shut – due to the lack of visitors,” said Mr Johnson.

“The economic flow-on effects to pubs, restaurants and other small businesses in the CBD will be in the millions over the three-week event.”

Data for the last week of May (which included the launch of Vivid) showed revenue per available room up 65.5 per cent when compared to the same time last year and occupancy peaked at 82.8 per cent on Saturday, 28 May 28.

Accommodation Australia say that this could have been higher if hotels capping the number of guests due to skills shortages did not have to occur.

Accommodation Association CEO Richard Munro said, “It’s ironic many hotels have to turn travellers away because they don’t have enough staff…Capped visitor numbers mean some venues can’t take full advantage of Vivid’s popularity.”

TAA and Accommodation Australia will be working closely with the new Federal Government on this issue and welcome the Albanese Government’s recent $10m initiative towards promoting Australians back into the hospitality industry.

“We look forward to seeing the new Government quickly introduce its pre-election commitments including $10m in support for employment and training and initiatives to encourage Australians to work in the tourism, hospitality and accommodation sectors,” TAA CEO Michael Johnson said.

New South Wales Government addresses skills shortage

More than 1,500 fee-free training places are on offer as part of the NSW Government’s Winter Skills program.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said in-demand short courses would be on offer across parts of regional NSW to help people gain on-the-job experience while supporting local industries.

“The NSW Government has consulted with local businesses and industry groups to identify the key skills needed this winter season,” Mr Toole said.

“So whether it’s learning how to be a tour guide, pouring a beer at a pub, making a coffee at a local cafe, or lending a hand across the wine regions, regional NSW is keen to have you.”

Minister for Skills and Training Alister Henskens said the program will train people to work in the ski industry and related hospitality roles, bar tenders, wait staff and more, to help businesses meet demand for workers. 

“NSW’s winter getaway destinations will be packed with people this season, so now is the perfect time for people looking to get skilled and work in some of the most beautiful places in our state,” Mr Henskens said.

“Following the success of the Winter Skills campaign last year, the program has been expanded to include the Snowy Mountains, Blue Mountains, Southern Highlands, Hunter Valley and the Central West.”

Some of the courses available include Food Safety Supervision, Statement of Attainment in Hospitality, Statement of Attainment in Outdoor Recreation and Statement of Attainment in Public Safety.

Minister for Hospitality and Racing Kevin Anderson said the State’s pubs, clubs, restaurants, bars and other hospitality businesses have been impacted over the past few years.

He said, “This initiative will ensure our local hospitality businesses have access to a pipeline of skilled and job-ready workers, helping address industry needs and skills shortages as a result of the pandemic and the gradual re-emergence of international travel.”

Photo thanks to Destination NSW.

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