In April 2018, more than 6,600 athletes and team officials from 70 nations and territories will descend on Australia’s Gold Coast for the 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018). The 11-day event will be hosted at sporting venues across the Gold Coast and Brisbane and spectator demand for accommodation and car hire in both these cities is putting pressure on companies to book early.
Pursuit for rooms on the Coast and beyond
GC2018 is now less than a year away and hotels, resorts and apartments across the Gold Coast are experiencing high booking levels as Games visitors from around the world lock in their accommodation early. With events to be held across a range of world-class sporting venues between the northern and southern ends of the Coast, and in additional venues in Brisbane, demand is expected to be strong not only on the Gold Coast but also south to the Tweed Heads border and north to Brisbane.
Flight Centre Travel Group Corporate estimates hotels in the central Gold Coast area are already at more than 75% capacity for the Games period.
During the wider Games period of 29 March to 17 April, some reports indicate there could be limited availability for corporate bookings in the central Gold Coast/Surfers Paradise area. While Broadbeach and further south to Coolangatta and Kingscliff have availability at present, this is expected to decline with the influx of leisure bookings that will come with the general sale of tickets. It is imperative for corporate customers to check with their suppliers whether negotiated rates will be available during this time.
Hotel rates to peak
With the Games to be held during the Queensland Easter school holidays, peak season rates will apply at all Gold Coast properties. Many spectator visitors are expected to use the Easter long weekend to arrive prior to the Games, or to stay on after the Games to further explore the Gold Coast and South-East Queensland.
Due to high demand, rates may be more than double each property’s low season rates, even for those booking well in advance, with some hotels unable to offer last room availability on contracted rates for this period.
Early signs of demand in Brisbane
TFE Hotels, which will have four properties operating in Brisbane by February 2018, says that while corporates usually avoid bookings in host cities during Games periods, TFE has already started to receive pre- and post-Games leisure travel enquiries for GC2018.
“Our Travelodge Garden City hotel has already sold out during GC2018 because of its proximity to the new Queensland State Velodrome, the Super X BMX track at the Sleeman Sports Complex in Chandler, and the Belmont Shooting Complex – all of which will be hosting events for the Games,” says Shahnaz Bakhshay, TFE’s Director of Sales for Australia and New Zealand. "Room nights at the Travelodge have sold at premium rates and we believe our other Brisbane hotels will hold well with flow-over once Gold Coast properties have reached capacity".
While Mantra Group advises demand for accommodation at their twenty-three Gold Coast properties during the Games is at an all-time high and the Northern New South Wales, Brisbane and Sunshine Coast properties are already benefiting from the overflow. Those travelling to attend the Games will need to start making their travel plans quite quickly to avoid missing out.
Implications for car hire
According to Avis, car hire demand is expected to be heavier than usual during the Games period in the Gold Coast area.
Avis has advised they will manage this through their ability to adjust the fleet to reflect the increased demand. Corporate rates will be valid during the Games period, however, the larger vehicles will be in the highest demand so it is recommended that these be booked as soon as possible.
For travellers who can be flexible with their arrangements, there are surrounding Avis locations that might be a great alternative to the Gold Coast. These include Brisbane Airport and city locations and the northern NSW areas of Ballina and Lismore.
Similarly, Hertz will consider increasing its fleet during the Games period if required, and is encouraging all customers to book vehicles well in advance to enable more accurate forecasting of demand levels. Hertz’s Regional Travel Industry Manager for Australia and New Zealand, Maria Pantazis, says they expect corporate rates will be available during this period. “We anticipate that demand for car hire will be highest at the peak of Games, and lower during the shoulder periods as some travellers may avoid the area simply due to perception of limited availability in accommodation and flights,” she said.
Thrifty, which has been named the official car rental supplier for GC2018, is set to provide approximately 1,400 vehicles including passenger cars, light commercial vehicles and small buses on the Gold Coast throughout the Games period. The vehicles will be absorbed into Thrifty’s local rental pool following the Games.
The supplier arrangement will drive benefits to car hire users, with Thrifty reinvigorating its rental stock and providing new or near new vehicles that meet the 5 star ANCAP ratings and feature a mix of Euro 5/6 emissions ratings.
Greater value from one source
Your Flight Centre Travel Group corporate travel manager gives you one booking source through which you can access more hotel and car inventory on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane at the best value. Our One Land solution provides the widest choice of options and rates, including our innovative SmartSTAY and SmartDRIVE programmes, which provide up to 3 complimentary value-adding services with every booking.
Runs from 4 – 15 April, 2018
Sporting events to be held at 18 world-class competition venues across Gold Coast, Brisbane, Townsville and Cairns Major venues around the Gold Coast and Brisbane to include:
- Coomera Sports Park – gymnastics and netball
- GC Hockey Centre, Labrador
- Broadbeach Bowls Club
- GC Aquatic Centre, Southport
- Nerang Mountain Bike Trails Project
- Belmont Shooting Complex, Brisbane
- Queensland State Velodrome, Chandler, Brisbane
- Other Games venues to include the Southport Broadwater Parklands (marathon, race walking, triathlon), Robina Stadium (Rugby 7s), Elanora/Currumbin Valley (road cycling), Coolangatta beachfront (beach volleyball) and Oxenford Studios (boxing, table tennis and squash)
Secure your GC2018 experience now!
If business brings you to the Gold Coast or Brisbane during this time - why not extend your stay and experience one of the world’s biggest shows. Flight Centre is the authorised Travel Agent for GC2018, with access to event travel packages - on sale now! Tickets to the events are available through Flight Centre when purchased as part of a GC2018 package including minimum 3 nights’ accommodation.