April’s events see hotel occupancy bounce back to pre-COVID-19 levels

City of Newcastle

Newcastle’s visitor economy received a major economic injection as a result of the City’s Event Packed April with industry data showing the accommodation sector returning to pre-COVID occupancy levels.

According to the Australian Accommodation Monitor Reports, demand for accommodation in Newcastle during the first fortnight in April saw occupancy levels sitting between 80-90% most days. The average daily rate for rooms increased by $52 per night, resulting in a 29% uplift in room revenue compared to the same period in 2019.

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City of Newcastle’s Event Packed April was spearheaded by the World Surf League (WSL) Newcastle Cup along with SailFest Newcastle Regatta, Newcastle Seafood Festival, Newcastle Food Month, AoN Women’s University Rugby 7s and NewRun Newcastle Festival of Running.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said there is significant opportunity for an event-led economic recovery in Newcastle and it is evident in the newly released data that events are a ticket to driving Newcastle’s visitor economy toward long-term growth.

“City of Newcastle’s April events calendar returned impressive results for Newcastle’s tourism and hospitality businesses still on the road to recovery, “Cr Nelmes said.

“Pre-COVID, our city’s hotels, once filled mid-week with corporate business travellers, saw their occupancy levels sitting at 80-90% again most days, thanks to the WSL Newcastle Cup and the City’s bumper April events calendar.”

A pipeline of new hotel product is under construction, including the five-star Kingsley in the former City Administration Centre set to open in June, Doma’s Little National Hotel, Iris Capital’s QT Hotel, and with plans underway to develop the historic Newcastle Post Office into a conference and function space.

“With a fresh injection of new hotel supply, the City’s ability to pitch for major events will only boost its appeal as a host city and position Newcastle ahead of other destinations,” Cr Nelmes said.

“We are in the early stages of rolling out Newcastle’s newly adopted Destination Management Plan, designed to reposition the city as a premier tourism destination with a strong focus on events, natural assets and cultural heritage, with a raft of initiatives and projects designed to grow our visitor economy and increase visitor spend.”

City of Newcastle continues to invest and support Newcastle’s visitor economy through the Product Development and Mentoring Program, the development and implementation of the highly targeted WhoKnew destination awareness campaign, and destination marketing partnerships with Destination NSW and Newcastle Airport.

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