Capricorn Enterprise CEO Mary Carroll
Capricorn Enterprise CEO Mary Carroll Trish Bowman

Beef Australia 2018: Accommodation availability woes

AS THE countdown for Beef Australia 2018 rapidly decreases, so are the number of rooms in accommodations.

Capricorn Enterprise CEO Mary Carroll said it is a regular issue that is expected each time the event comes around every three years.

"This is typical of supply and demand where we have more demand than supply for a major international event," she said.

"Many people who attended the previous event book three years in advance."

The closure of the Capricorn Resort in Yeppoon in mid 2016 has had a huge impact on the availability of accommodation.

"It has been an added challenge with the closure of Capricorn Resort with nearly 300 rooms and while that still has a significant impact on our availability, we have had new accommodation open, with Kortes Resort as one example," Ms Carroll said.

"All up we have a net loss of about 90 - 100 rooms for Beef Australia 2018.

"We do still have room for growth."

Beef Australia 2015 saw over 90,000 visitors pass through the gates, and organisers are expecting there to be around 100,000 people this year from all over Australia and the world.

"For an event that attracts so many intrastate, interstate and international guests, we can't expect our region to have the peak room stock for a major event like Beef Australia," Ms Carroll said.

Another issue that has cropped up in terms of accommodation is the price during the event.

"While it is expected that prices do increase at peak holiday times, we do expect our operators to be fair and reasonable,” Ms Carroll said.

"Our independently owned accommodation operators have been more likely to respond with reasonable prices as they are owner operators who live here and understand the importance of retaining a good reputation for our destination and looking after our repeat clientele.”

Encouraging the event to be a higher success than previous years, Capricorn Enterprises are pushing accommodation operators to look at their pricing and their stay requirements.

"We are also encouraging operators to be realistic with their required minimum stay requests. Increased prices are exacerbated with a minimum stay of seven nights, which is just out of financial reach even for our corporate visitors," Ms Carroll said.

"We ask our operators to at least reduce their minimum stay time to something more reasonable to four or five nights.

"Because the event is so popular those other nights would be filled by other clients."

And for those who are only just looking into accommodation now but want to head to the event, there is some good news.

"There is the tent city on site and people are encouraged to contact the Beef Australia office if locals are keen to offer their homes for short term letting," Ms Carroll said.

"As we get closer to the event, some rooms will be released from bulk bookings made many months ago.

"We do still rooms available on the Capricorn Coast and I am aware that at least another twenty rooms will become available in Rockhampton in April.

"We would like to see most of our guests stay in Rockhampton and the Capricorn Coast but we do reach out to Gladstone, Duaringa and Biloela and they are only up to two hours drive away which is less than the commute between the Gold Coast and Brisbane."

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