The accommodation industry is an important component of the Australian Economy. The accommodation industry was one of the earliest industries in Australia and has evolved significantly over the last 20 to 30 years. This has mainly been the result of the major growth in tourism both domestically and internationally.
The accommodation industry services two distinct markets – tourism and business travelers.
Travelers form domestic sources and inbound tourists need accommodation when they are on holidays and many opportunities exist for the small business owner in the accommodation industry to service these needs.
Small operators provide over 80% of the total market in the accommodation industry. Small business owners have provided most of the growth over the last 20 years.
Accommodation is a major industry and employer in many regional areas as well as metropolitan areas. In some towns accommodation is the dominant and sometimes only industry.
When people travel on business they need accommodation. In most cases the business traveler stays for shorter periods than a tourist does. Also the business traveler generally stays at the better quality establishments. Business travelers are more important to the larger accommodation establishments and most stays are in the capital cities.
The accommodation industry has been one of the fastest growing sectors of the Australian economy over the past decade.
Apart from the small country hotels, large chains own the major hotels. However, the fastest growing segment of the hotel category is serviced apartments.
In the early 1970’s the concept of serviced apartments was developed on the Gold Coast to provide cheap family holidays. Now this concept is well established in other tourist destinations as well as the CBD and fringe CBD areas.
Of the hotel category, nearly 80% of the establishments are now serviced apartments. However, by room numbers, serviced apartments are less than 50%.
In the accommodation industry management rights are generally the preserve of the small business owner, although a few major operators are still involved. They cover a whole range of accommodation quality from deluxe to the bare minimum. At the lower end a lot of former motels have been redeveloped to meet the changing needs of tourists.