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8634.0 - Tourism Indicators, Australia , Jun 2000  
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Feature Article - Tourism Indicators: Holiday flats, caravan parks and visitor hostels

This article was published in the June Quarter 2000 issue of Tourism Indicators, Australia (ABS Catalogue No. 8634.0).
A summary of the main findings is available on this site.

Introduction

For the four quarters of the year 2000, the Survey of Tourist Accommodation (STA) has been expanded to include, in addition to licensed hotels, motels, guest houses and serviced apartments, the following sectors:

  • holiday flats, units and houses of letting entities with 15 or more rooms or units;
  • caravan parks with 40 or more powered sites; and
  • visitor hostels with 25 or more beds.

This article examines the findings for the June quarter 2000 for these sectors and makes comparisons with data from the corresponding period in 1997.

Overall the figures show that visitor hostels have continued to exhibit strong growth in both capacity and takings, while caravan parks have continued to show strong growth in the higher yield cabin sites at the expense of other site capacity. This growth is reflected in an overall increase in takings for caravan parks since the June quarter 1997.




Holiday flats, units and houses

The number of flats, units and houses remained virtually unchanged at 27,474 while takings increased by 17% to $74 million in the June quarter 2000 compared to the equivalent 1997 period.

Queensland had the majority (53%) of all holiday flats, units and houses in the June quarter 2000, followed by New South Wales with 30%. The Australian Capital Territory had the highest occupancy rate of 79% in the June quarter 2000, closely followed by the Northern Territory with 71%. Victoria had the lowest occupancy rate of 31%. Of the $74 million takings in the June quarter 2000, Queensland had the largest share with 59%, followed by New South Wales at 21% while Tasmania had the least with less than 1% share.

Caravan parks

The capacity available in caravan parks fell by 3.5% between the June quarter 1997 and the June quarter 2000, with numbers of other powered and unpowered sites in caravan parks decreasing by 7% (15,027) and on-site van numbers decreasing by 6% to 16,432. This fall was partially offset with cabins in caravan parks increasing by 41% to 24,067. These changes in the nature of caravan parks are reflected in an increase in takings over the three year period of 23% to $132.3 million. Takings per site night occupied in caravan parks increased slightly over the same period to be $12 in the June quarter 2000 (up from $10).

Short-term caravan parks increased their share of capacity by 2% to 70% over long-term caravan parks (30%) over the three years. New South Wales had a third (34%) of all caravan park capacity in the June quarter 2000, with cabins increasing by 63% between the June quarter 1997 and the June quarter 2000. New South Wales had an occupancy rate of 54% in the June quarter 2000, Victoria had 48% and the Australian Capital Territory had the lowest at 35%.

Visitor hostels

In the June quarter 2000, there was a 32% increase in visitor hostel bed spaces available nationally with takings increasing by 68% to $29.6 million compared with the June quarter 1997. Visitor hostels showed an increase in average takings per guest night to $17 in the June quarter 2000 from $14 in the June quarter 1997.

Queensland increased its share of visitor hostel bed spaces by only 1 percentage point between the June quarter 1997 and the June quarter 2000 yet still holds the largest percentage of total number of visitor hostel bed spaces at 33%. New South Wales increased its share of bed spaces from 22% in the June quarter 1997 to 24% in the June quarter 2000. Victoria's share increased from 11% to 15%. Western Australia increased its share from 10% to 11%. While the share of bed spaces fell in the Northern Territory to 8%, in South Australia to 5% and in Tasmania from 6% to 4% between the June quarter 1997 and the June quarter 2000.

The highest bed occupancy rate rates for visitor hostels in the June quarter 2000 occurred in the Northern Territory, which was at 59%, well above the 47% in the June quarter 1997. South Australia increased from a rate of 27% to 40%, Western Australia from 41% to 47% and Tasmania from 14% to 16%. Queensland increased by one percentage point to 55% when compared with the previous period. The occupancy rate for New South Wales remained unchanged at 53% over the period while Victoria decreased from 40% in the June quarter 1997 to 37% in the June quarter 2000.

Further information can be found in Tourist Accommodation, Australia (Cat. no. 8635.0), available from ABS bookshops or by contacting Paull Hoffmann on Brisbane 07 3222 6201. A summary of the main findings is available on this site.


TOURIST ACCOMMODATION-SELECTED ACCOMODATION ESTABLISHMENTS

June quarter 1997
June quarter 2000
% change

Holiday flats, units and houses(a)
Letting entities (no.)
648
635
-2.0
Capacity-flats, units and houses (no.)
27,314
27,474
0.6
Unit nights occupied ('000)
999
1,082
8.3
Unit occupancy rates (%)(b)
40.3
43.3
0.2
Unit lettings ('000)
193
218
13.0
Average length of stay (days)
5.2
5.0
-3.8
Takings from accommodation ($'000)
63,340
73,957
16.8
Persons employed (no.)
2,647
2,673
1.0

Caravan parks(c)
Establishments (no.)
Short-term caravan parks
1,186
1,203
1.4
Long-term caravan parks
701
615
-12.3
Total caravan parks
1,887
1,818
-3.7
Capacity (no.)
On-site vans
17,392
16,432
-5.5
Other powered sites
167,483
160,165
-4.4
Unpowered sites
52,316
44,607
-14.7
Cabins, flats etc.
17,095
24,067
40.8
Total capacity
254,286
245,271
-3.5
Site nights occupied ('000)
10,538
10,909
3.5
Site occupancy rates (%)(b)
45.5
48.9
0.9
Takings from accommodation ($'000)
107,593
132,272
22.9
Persons employed (no.)
8,404
8,863
5.5

Visitor hostels(d)
Establishments (no.)
383
467
21.9
Capacity - bed spaces
29,831
39,415
32.1
Guest nights (no.)
1,237,166
1,753,161
41.7
Bed occupancy rates (%)(b)
45.7
48.9
1.5
Average length of stay (days)
2.7
2.7
0.0
Takings from accommodation ($'000)
17,656
29,624
67.8
Persons employed (no.)
1,899
2,855
50.3

(a) Of letting entities with 15 or more units
(b) Change is shown in percentage points
(c) With 40 or more powered sites
(d) With 25 or more beds


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