Australian hotel demand is up – and here’s why

There is an overwhelmingly positive vibe coming out of Australia. With this in mind, we caught up with our Asia Pacific industry barometer, Xander Okhuizen, Founder of Modieus, who has his finger firmly on the Asia Pacific industry pulse and shares his thoughts on ‘Aussie positivity’…

view from restaurant in voco melbourne across the city

With Modieus rolling out the carpets in key hotel and hospitality projects across Australia, the brand has a sixth sense when it comes to industry developments and shifts in the marketplace. In January, JP Morgan reported that business leaders across Australia are cautiously optimistic about the economy and according to their 2023 Business Leaders Outlook survey, almost 60 per cent have a positive outlook about the national economy. Alongside this, JLL Hotels and Hospitality Australian Operator Sentiment Survey in October 2022 reported hotel operators are optimistic for the year ahead. But with unemployment at an all-time low, there are concerns over labour shortages.

“I am seeing Aussie positivity every day,” agrees Xander Okhuizen, Founder, Modieus. “I am relieved that China has finally opened its borders. International students are returning to Australian campuses en masse, as face to face learning starts on March 1. Melbourne Airport is hiring additional 2,000 staff to deal with influx in tourists.”

Xander Okhuizen, Modieus, Founder

Image credit: Modieus

Education is one of Australia’s largest exports, and early indicators reveal that this could be a blockbuster year, possibly even eclipsing the 2019 record of $40 billion in export revenue, resulting in education being Australia’s third largest export. “Indian, Sri Lankan and Chinese students are back,” continued Okhuizen. “They need accommodation, they will spend money on food, but they also do a lot of jobs Aussies do not like to do, such as working in petrol stations and housekeeping roles. Backpackers are also returning, which is important as they support a lot of agricultural jobs such as fruit picking. Commodities are booming and I see inflation has peaked at 7.4 per cent and is dropping.”

It is true that Australia’s labour market is arguably operating at levels beyond full capacity with an unemployment rate of 3.4 per cent. This unique situation has not been seen for decades, where there is almost a job available for every person that is looking for one. The tight labour market conditions are helping wage growth to pick up. Okhuizen reports that all hotels in Melbourne are fully booked for F1 races starting on April 2, so we asked him to share a couple of the company’s latest projects.

guestroom in voco melbourne with Modieus carpet on the floor

Image credit: voco Melbourne

Modieus supplied the newly opened voco Melbourne Central hotel. The carpets and rugs are as stunning as the spectacular views from the guestrooms. The hotel is moments away from Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne Central Station, and the Emporium with a fuss-free check-in in the sky lobby on level six. A perfect place to relax, socialise and enjoy yourself.

The carpets in the reimagined and revitalised iconic The Royce Hotel – which is set to open this spring – are another Modieus project. Inspired by the golden age of hotels, it is a luxury escape where opulence is expected, indulgence encouraged and the fabulous celebrated. Once Melbourne’s original luxury automobile showroom and now a boutique hotel, the building’s indulgent historical origins are on full display. From the grand marble-tiled staircase in the lounge, to the splashes of chrome, this is a new era of glamour for The Royce.

pool and terrace with seating at voco Melbourne

Image credit: voco Melbourne”The world is open again,” reflected Okhuizen. “Japan is busy, Dubai is very busy, airports are busy – I see a lot of positivity. I agree not in Europe yet, but the rest of the world is picking up, so as an international business I am grateful for that. And back home, there is genuine ‘Aussie Positivity’, we are expanding our team further in Queensland and putting in more resource in NSW.”

It is wonderful to see hospitality thriving, as Australia as appears to be it is in its own microclimate. The global economic landscape however was less positive at the end of 2022 than it was at the beginning of the year. Although the high degree of optimism that the global economy would bounce back strongly after a tough couple of years has now been displaced by high inflation, tightening monetary policy, rising energy costs and sharply declining consumer confidence, there remain pockets of positivity, of which it would appear, Australia is one.

Modieus is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our Recommended Suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: voco Melbourne