Vivid lights up Sydney’s struggling hotels

Michael Johnson, CEO of Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) said the lights extravaganza saw hotel bookings soar over 80 per cent for the first time since the start of the pandemic with visitors flocking to the city from regional NSW and other states.

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

“Destination NSW and the State Government are to be commended for hosting an event that gives such a boost to the struggling tourist accommodation sector during the quiet winter months.

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

Accommodation Association CEO, Richard Munro said Vivid’s runaway success has once again highlighted the chronic labor shortage in the hospitality industry.

“It’s ironic that many hotels have to turn away travelers because they don’t have enough staff, after two years of staff but no travelers,” Munro said.

“Limited visitor numbers mean some sites can’t take full advantage of Vivid’s popularity.”

TAA and Accommodation Australia will work closely with the new Federal Government on this issue and welcome the Albanian Government’s recent $10 million initiative to promote the return of Australians to the hospitality industry.

Data for the last week of May (which included the launch of Vivid) showed revenue per available room (revpar) up 65.5% compared to the same week of May last year.

Occupancy peaked at 82.8% on Saturday May 28 and could have been higher if labor shortages and hotel capping had not occurred.

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