Why is accommodation in Australia so expensive?

why-is-accommodation-in-australia-so-expensiveThis week Sydney plays host to Australian Tourism Exchange, an enormous industry conference organised by Tourism Australia.

Thousands of tourism operators are in town trying to figure out how to increase their sales.

Here’s a tip: DROP YOUR PRICES!

Consider this: You are thinking of going on holidays. You start Googling. Lots of packages pop up for Fiji, Thailand, Bali and New Zealand. For about $2000, you can score return international flights and 6 nights twin share resort accommodation, breakfast daily and airport transfers. The resort has a spa, free wi-fi and access to local activities.

Then you decide to look into what you can get in Australia.

Anything halfway decent costs about $300 per night.

You do the math.

You buy the neatly packaged up international trip because, in addition to a really relaxing holiday, you get the kudos of travelling overseas.

The problem is this: A lot of us will never see Australia.

I have never been to Western Australia, Northern Territory or Tasmania simply because it’s only a few more hours to fly to Bali or New Zealand and it costs roughly the same amount for fly/stay packages.

I love this sunburnt country. I just wish it wasn’t so damn expensive.

What do you think? Is Australian accommodation completely overpriced?

6 comments on “Why is accommodation in Australia so expensive?

  1. I have made all the same decisions as you re: travel. I got $1000 return trip to Buenos Aires, the exchange rate is 4 to 1 in my favour, so no contest. A double room there will only set me back about $AUD20/night, the same in Australia will cost $75/night, camping upwards of $30/night.

    And yet I can’t help but think it’s more complex than that. Yes, accommodation is expensive but we are also a huge country with no transport infrastructure (eg, cheap/fast trains between cities). Also, food is expensive, booze is expensive and holidays are a time when you want to have a few beers and such.

    It’s easy to make accommodation packages cheap when you pay your staff low wages. I can’t imagine a room attendant in Bali is getting a comparable wage to a room attendant in Sydney.

  2. I was just talking to a friend about how expensive good hotels are. Apparently Perth is really ridiculous – you either pay a sh!tload for a decent place, or pay a bit less for a very dodgy experience. Oh Perth, you just don’t know how to bring in the tourists, do you?

  3. I agree with your comments Em and obviously the price disparity is a result of different economic factors and labour costs etc. I would also put it to discussion though that we don’t really target the younger generations to encourage package holidays within Australia. It’s either the grey nomads as Aims mentioned, the honeymooners to Hayman Island or the sports nuts travelling for a one off event. Perhaps if we packaged up destinations within Australia with a younger focus we might make it easier for time poor 30 somethings like ourselves to get organised and see a bit more. Plus the mass business could see package deals at more affordable prices.. Tasmania in particular is nothing short of absolutely stunning and should be experienced when you are still young enough to sample the food and wine!

  4. I am sick of the Australian tourism industry whinging that they are always struggling. If it’s not the GFC, it is the carbon tax. If it is not the carbon tax, it’s the high dollar. If it’s not the high dollar, it is this, and that, and the other thing. The solution is simple – DROP YOUR PRICES.

  5. Absolutely agree – before Covid I went often to the UK with a budget of $100 per day (not including airfare BUT which I could still get cheaper than a return flight to Darwin). For this I could travel, stay at really good B&B’s, eat & visit venues of interest. No such luck in Australia – THO, at times in Oz, I have stayed in country pubs for about $45 per night – forget the caravan parks – they are often just as expensive as hotels & in locations than are far removed from public transport

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