Finexia report says Gold Coast domestic tourism surging back to pre-pandemic levels reclaiming mantle as Australia’s favourite holiday hotspot

Gold Coast domestic tourism has hit a major milestone according to a new report showing average room rates climbing 33% and average hotel occupancy rates jumping 17% higher than before the pandemic.

The report commissioned by specialist fund manager Finexia, one of the largest operators of holiday apartments in Broadbeach, Surfers Paradise and Burleigh through its StayCo brand, shows the city has reclaimed its mantle as Australia’s favourite holiday hotspot, as borders open for international travel.

The report highlights that hotel occupancy across the Gold Coast has lifted from 43.3% at the start of the pandemic in 2020 to 70.1% in 2022, while average daily room rates have moved from $195 to $271 over the same period.

StayCo has consistently outperformed the Gold Coast market, with occupancy rates 18% higher than the average across the region since 2018. The Fund also achieved average occupancy of 91% across its properties in 2022, an impressive 28% increase on pre-pandemic levels, says Finexia director Patrick Bell. 

Finexia director Patrick Bell said he anticipated domestic tourism would continue to support the local economy over the coming years, with the ‘drive-to-destination’ market leading the charge.

“Prior to the pandemic a lot of our tourism dollars were heading overseas, but now even with international borders open, cost of living pressures has changed the way people think about leisure and travel,” he said.

“Budget constraints have led people to focus more on experiences and spending quality time together, rather than choosing a destination holiday with cost-prohibitive flights.”

“The result is an uplift in local travel, particularly weekend stays within driving distance, which also suggests people are travelling more frequently for shorter periods.”

Mr Bell said StayCo holds contracts to purchase an additional two hotels on the Gold Coast, which he believes will continue to outperform other coastal regions in domestic tourism.

“The fund currently owns seven hotels on the Gold Coast and one in Noosa. We adopt a disciplined approach to acquisitions, undertaking extensive due diligence before proceeding with any purchase. Finexia’s continued investment in the Gold Coast is testament to our confidence in the market,” he said.

“Once these acquisitions are completed, StayCo’s portfolio will comprise 10 properties totalling 1,400 rooms, with 631 under direct management.”

As of FY23, the StayCo fund has achieved total revenue of $12.2 million and has paid 12% monthly since its inception in September 2021.

“StayCo’s continued success can be attributed to three things – the right location, the right properties, and the right management,” Mr Bell said.

Properties in the StayCo Income Fund include Bel Air on Broadbeach, Ocean Pacific Resort Broadbeach, Belle Maison Broadbeach, South Pacific Plaza Broadbeach, Artique Resort Surfers Paradise, New Property Burleigh and Ivory Palms Noosa.

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