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Saturday, December 5, 2009

V8s SUPERCHARGE SYDNEY TOURISM AS RECOVERY CONTINUES

Just one year ago, Sydney hoteliers were all gloom and doom but the arrival of the inaugural Telstra 500 V8 Supercars event has seen almost every hotel room in Sydney full, with occupancy rates 18% above where they were for the same period in December 2008.

Accor has 29 hotels in greater Sydney under the Sofitel, Pullman, Grand Mercure, Novotel, Mercure, Ibis, All Seasons and Formule 1 brands, and manages the four hotels at the Sydney Olympic Park site where the V8 race is being held.

Accor's Regional General Manager for NSW, Garth Simmons said the event is a real shot in the arm for Sydney's tourism and hospitality sector, with both occupancy and rates heading upwards after a difficult first half of the year.

He said the full house for the four Sydney Olympic Park hotels doubled the occupancy rate of just 50.1% for the corresponding period in 2008, so the V8s event has literally doubled occupancy for the precinct.

"The race has had a significant impact on the whole of Sydney with our hotels full over the weekend," said Mr Simmons. "It builds on a big week of events in Sydney with the Danny Green fight, the Australian Open and a number of major functions making it one of the best weeks for Sydney hotels in many years. It adds to a strong revival in business travel and conferences."

Simmons, who manages the Novotel and Ibis complex at Sydney Olympic Park says his staff had one of their biggest weekends since the 2000 Olympic Games and the Novotel's popular Brewery set new records, with around 150,000 people visiting the park over the course of the event.

"While we would expect to be busy over a major event period such as this, I am happy to say that our hotels in Sydney are already looking like they will finish 2009 on a high note and move into a stronger year for 2010," said Mr Simmons.

The V8 Supercars is expected to attract over 20,000 interstate and international visitors and to pump more than $110 million into the NSW economy over the next five years. It will help to put Sydney on the international motor racing map and provide more than $20 million worth of national and international media exposure.
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