Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ashes 2010

One of the best month's of business we've ever had was back in 2006 when the Ashes was last in Australia. So not surprisingly all the talk in the Brisbane hotel market for the last few months has been how the GFC and the strong Australian dollar would effect the first test this year.

For us, the challenge was balancing expected demand verses the high prices hotels were charging over this likely to be peak time for the city. We had an allotment but it was nowhere near the size of what we had back in 2006 ... yes I was being cautious.

The week leading up to it played out pretty much how I expected. Rather than the city filling for the nights of the cricket, it was the night before and the first night of the cricket that were the biggest and most popular. It was the Wednesday and Thursday where the cricket overlapped with the normal corporate demand that were the ones that sold out. So while I didn't have enough rooms ready to go for those two nights, what we did well with was getting longer stays (at least a week) by having apartments at good rates through this period.

So while sales for November weren't what they were back in 2006, it was still the biggest month we've had in 3 years. And as mentioned, there were plenty of longer-stay bookings that will count as sales for December and January.

Brisbane is the hotel market that benefits the most from the Ashes due to the timing and the overlap with corporate demand. The other city that does well due to the cricket is Adelaide who has the second test and also virtually filled for numerous nights this week (and at very high rates). Perth, Sydney and Melbourne do benefit from the cricket, but not to the same levels as Brisbane and Adelaide because corporate travel has already died down.

Unfortunately for the Australian cricket team, they're not currently enjoying the Ashes anywhere near as much as we are right now.

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