Accor puts its weight behind Fairmont development

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Howard Salkow

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An artist impression of the proposed Fairmont Port Douglas resort. Image: Supplied.
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Accor, the largest hotel operator in the Pacific, has revealed that Queensland has recorded the fastest and most sustained rate of tourism recovery over the past year compared to all other states in Australia.

The operator of 101 hotels in Queensland told The Hotel Conversation, that the overall level of occupancy for the group’s hotels had increased from an average of 23% in April 2020 to 74% in April 2021.

Queensland’s average occupancy of 70% YTD significantly exceeds the national figure of 50%.

And Accor’s Pacific Chief Operating Officer, Simon McGrath, has wholly endorsed the Chiodo development of the $300 million luxury resort, Accor Fairmont Port Douglas.

McGrath said he was confident Fairmont Port Douglas would deliver a new level of luxury and sophistication to "one of the country’s most glamourous resort towns.”

“Accor continues to expand its luxury offerings in Australia and, as our first Fairmont, this is going to be a truly special resort, whose architecture mimics the rich biosphere of the Daintree Rainforest and, which is centred on well-being, nature and cultural immersion," he said in the report.


The proposed 253-room resort is regarded as the biggest development since Christopher Skase made his presence felt in the 1980s. Renowned television host Jamie Durie will landscape the project.

The Fairmont Port Douglas is being developed on the old Havana project – situated between Oaks Hotels and Resorts and the Mirage Country Club.

McGrath said Accor maintained its optimism in the Queensland tourism sector, and besides the plans for the Fairmont Port Douglas, it plans to introduce another new brand – Mondrian Gold Coast – to the Australian market in 2023.

“The Queensland tourism infrastructure has never looked as healthy as it is today.

“A whole new generation of hotels and brands have been introduced across Queensland over the past five years, which places the state in a perfect position to recover quickly.

“However, this will only occur if governments across Australia co-operate to both encourage greater flows of travellers and support the industry through significant fiscal and policy measures, reflecting the fact that tourism and hospitality were disproportionately affected by the pandemic,” said McGrath.

He said Accor welcomed the Federal Government's budget announcement to allow foreign students to work more hours, as well as extending their visas for a year if they take up jobs in the hospitality and tourism sectors.

“Recognising our sector as 'critical' in terms of staffing shortages is significant, as many of our hotels have not been able to open to capacity because of the shortage of workers.

“The loss of backpackers and overseas students has impacted the tourism and hospitality industry at all levels, especially in outback and regional areas, which is limiting their ability to cater for growth in domestic travel," said McGrath.

Accor operates a complete range of hotel brands in Australia, from luxury to economy, with more than 340 hotels, resorts and apartment hotels under brands such as Sofitel, MGallery, Art Series, Pullman, Swissôtel, Grand Mercure, Peppers, The Sebel, Mantra, Novotel, Mercure, Tribe, BreakFree, ibis, ibis Styles and ibis Budget.


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