Vivid Sydney’s lights heat up hoteliers’ winter nights
The high-energy voltage from Vivid Sydney Festival could flow on to Sydney hoteliers in the coming weeks, with Expedia group data revealing nearly 80% of stays were booked during the festival or within one month of the opening night in 2016, boosting occupancy and higher room rates during the traditionally quieter months.
Last year’s Vivid Sydney attracted a record 2.31 million visitors and with more than 260 events planned over 23 nights this year, the 2017 festival is shaping up to be the biggest and best Vivid Sydney event ever. The annual event continues to go from strength to strength as evidenced by Expedia’s group data from the past two years. Hotel partners in Sydney experienced a 40% year-on-year uplift in demand during the Vivid Sydney festival last year. While they enjoyed the steady business from domestic travellers, which grew at a healthy pace of 30% year-on-year, international demand grew phenomenally by 2.5 times.
This solid growth comes at the beginning of winter, when occupancy for Sydney hotels is traditionally lowest. According to a 2016 STR report, occupancy from May through to July averaged 82.4% in comparison to peaks of 90% in November and February. Nevertheless, during these anticipated lulls, among Expedia group trends, data shows that Vivid Sydney festival alone contributed nearly 40% share of demand for the entire winter period. In line with the growing popularity of Vivid Sydney each year, this share was up in 2016 by over 10% compared to the previous year.
Aside from the noteworthy share of demand brought forth by the Vivid Sydney event, hoteliers will be pleased to learn that the average daily rates (ADRs) during the festival were about 5% higher than non-Vivid Sydney rates in winter 2016. Importantly, Vivid Sydney helps hoteliers fill their rooms during weekends when business travel drops. Weekend demand during Vivid proved lucrative for hotels as they not only fetched the highest ADRs, demand was also up by 10% compared to non-event weekends in the winter season 2016.
For hotel chains and independents alike, understanding how to maximise profits and enhance the customer experience during Vivid Sydney festival can generate positive results.