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


    This article was published in the September Quarter 2000 issue of Tourism Indicators, Australia (ABS Catalogue No. 8634.0).

    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.


    Findings

    This article examines the findings for the September 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 September quarter 1997.

    Capacity and Accommodation Takings, Australia - Graph



    Holiday flats, units and houses

    The number of flats, units and houses increased by 3% between the September quarter 1997 and the September quarter 2000 to 28,232. Takings increased by 21% to $104 million in the September quarter 2000 compared to the equivalent 1997 period.

    Queensland had the majority (51%) of all holiday flats, units and houses in the September quarter 2000, followed by New South Wales with 33%. The Northern Territory had the highest occupancy rate of 83% in the September quarter 2000, followed by the Australian Capital Territory with 64%. South Australia had the lowest occupancy rate of 32%. Of the $104 million in takings in the September quarter 2000, Queensland had the largest share with 59%, followed by New South Wales at 24% while Tasmania had the least with less than 1% share.

    Caravan parks

    The capacity available in caravan parks fell by 3.5% between the September quarter 1997 and the September quarter 2000, with numbers of other powered and unpowered sites in caravan parks decreasing by 6% (13,844) and on-site van numbers decreasing by 9% to 15,756. This fall was partially offset with cabins in caravan parks increasing by 37% to 23,942. These changes in the nature of caravan parks are reflected in an increase in takings over the three year period of 28% to $154.9 million. Takings per site night occupied in caravan parks increased slightly over the same period, up from $11 to be $14 in the September quarter 2000.

    Short-term caravan parks lifted their share of capacity by 1% to 71% on long-term caravan parks (29%) over the three year period. New South Wales had a third (34%) of all caravan park capacity in the September quarter 2000, with cabins increasing by 61% between the September quarter 1997 and the September quarter 2000. New South Wales also had a site occupancy rate of 54% in the September quarter 2000, unchanged from the previous quarter. Queensland had the highest site occupancy rate in the September quarter 2000 of 58% while the Australian Capital Territory had the lowest at 32%.

    Visitor hostels

    In the September quarter 2000, there was a 34% increase in visitor hostel bed spaces available nationally with takings increasing by 80% to $34.7 million compared with the September quarter 1997. Visitor hostels showed an increase in average takings per guest night to $20 in the September quarter 2000 from $15 in the September quarter 1997.

    Queensland held the largest percentage share of total number of visitor hostel bed spaces at 32%, which has not changed between the two September quarter periods 1997 and 2000. New South Wales increased its share of bed spaces from 22% in the September quarter 1997 to 25% in the September quarter 2000. Victoria's share increased from 12% to 15%. Western Australia increased its share from 10% to 11%. 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 September quarter 1997 and the September quarter 2000.

    The highest bed occupancy rate for visitor hostels in the September quarter 2000 occurred in the Northern Territory, which, at 64%, was well above the 48% occupancy rate for Australia, and 4 percentage points higher than for the June quarter 1997. The lowest bed occupancy rate was in Tasmania with 12%. The bed occupancy rate in South Australia increased from 28% to 34% and Western Australia increased from 37% to 40% between the September quarter 1997 and the September quarter 2000. Queensland increased by one percentage point to 59% when compared with the previous period. The occupancy rate for Victoria remained unchanged at 32% over the period while New South Wales decreased from 56% in the September quarter 1997 to 51% in the September 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 07 3222 6118. A summary of the main findings are available on this site.

Tourist accommodation - Selected accommodation establishments

September quarter 1997
September quarter 2000
% change
Holiday flats, units and houses(a)
Letting entities (no.)
650
631
-2.9
Capacity flats, units and houses (no.)
27,418
28,232
3.0
Unit nights occupied ('000)
1,335
1,273
-4.6
Unit occupancy rates (%)(b)
52.9
49.2
-3.7
Unit lettings ('000)
222
247
11.3
Average length of stay (days)
6
5.1
-15.0
Takings from accommodation ($'000)
86,219
104,345
21.0
Persons employed (no.)
2,742
2 ,781
1.4
Caravan parks(c)
Establishments (no.)
Short-term caravan parks
1,216
1,194
-1.8
Long-term caravan parks
669
609
-9.0
Total caravan parks
1,885
1,803
-4.4
Capacity (no.)
On-site vans
17,268
15,756
-8.8
Other powered sites
167,484
160, 679
-4.1
Unpowered sites
51,681
44,642
-13.6
Cabins, flats etc.
17,517
23,942
36.7
Total capacity
253,950
245,019
-3.5
Site nights occupied ('000)
11,038
11,171
1.2
Site occupancy rates (%)(b)
47.3
49.6
2.3
Takings from accommodation ($'000)
121,041
154,908
28.0
Persons employed (no.)
8,448
8,986
6.4
Visitor hostels(d)
Establishments (no.)
389
466
19.8
Capacity bed spaces
30,128
40,336
33.9
Guest nights (no.)
1,315,598
1,778,447
35.2
Bed occupancy rates (%)(b)
47.6
48
0.4
Average length of stay (days)
2.5
2.6
4.0
Takings from accommodation ($'000)
19,238
34,718
80.5
Persons employed (no.)
1,985
3,071
54.7




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