Business travellers have generally been paying less for hotels in most major Australian cities in 2019, but it is a different story in New Zealand

The start of 2019 has delivered hotel rate reductions across many cities across Australia, new research from FCM travel solutions has revealed. However, it is a very different story across the Tasman in New Zealand where there were significant rises at two of its major city hubs.

The first quarter rate trends for 2019, according to FCM’s specialist consulting division 4D, indicate business travellers would have paid less on average per night for accommodation in numerous cities across Australia. Comparing average room rates in the first quarter of 2019 to the same period in 2018, the results point to an average room rate drop of -2.3% for the quarter across Australia, falling on average by around AUD5 to AUD190.

Its research shows the largest reductions in rates in Darwin (-14.7%), followed by Brisbane (-5.1%), Perth (-4.7%) and Sydney (-4.3%). Falls were also recorded in Adelaide (-2.8%), Cairns (-1.1%). The 4D Hotel Focus does show that room rates in some Australian cities continued to rise during the period, notably in Melbourne (+4.8%), Canberra (+2.3%) and Hobart (+2.3%), while rates in Newcastle were flat.

According to the findings, winter to summer seasonal rate variance in 2018 ranged from AUD35 in Sydney, UAD28 in Adelaide and AUD10 in Melbourne to less than a AUD10 variance across all other major cities.

In New Zealand, Christchurch recorded a double-digit rise in rates in the quarter, up +14.6% to NZD230, while in Wellington there was also a healthy rise, up +8.9% to NZD227. Elsewhere, Auckland recorded a -3.1% decline in rates to NZD248, but remained the most expensive major city for accommodation in the country, while in Hamilton rates declined a similar -3.0% in the quarter to NZD171.

These combined for New Zealand at a country level recording a +4.1% rise in average rates per night for accommodation in the first quarter of 2019 to the same period in 2018. This represented a NZD9 rise to NZD219 per room per night.

According to the findings, summer to winter seasonal rate variance in 2018 ranged from NZD50 in Auckland and NZD20 in Christchurch to less than a NZD5 variance across all other major cities.