Holidaymakers following the British and Irish Lions rugby tour of Australia are facing a sharp rise in prices for hotel accommodation.
The pinch points are in the three cities hosting test matches, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, as Australian hoteliers seek to capitalise on unusually high demand.
The increases have been most substantial in Brisbane, where prices are typically 70 per cent higher than usual, according to research carried out by Trivago, the price comparison web site. A night’s accommodation in the city during the week of the first test (June 22) will cost €233 on average, it said. That compares to €137 for the preceding week and €125 for the following week.
There have also been significant – although less substantial – increases in Sydney, where the average price on the day of the third test (July 6) is €178, 37 per cent up from the previous week.
Melbourne is the least affected, although visitors currently seeking accommodation for the second test (June 29) will still find prices around 21 per cent higher than the previous week.
The price hikes for Brisbane reflect a huge increase in searches for hotels in the city, which have risen by 674 per cent, according to statistics supplied by Hotels.com.
Searches to check in on June 27 to June 29 and to check out from June 30 to July 6, compared to the same time span last year, are up 521 per cent in Melbourne, and 191 per cent for the final test in Sydney.
The rates compare favourably with the price increases seen in London during the run-up to the 2012 Olympics, when some hotels were charging up to 10 times more than usual. Prices fell sharply when the predicted spike in demand failed to materialise.
This is normally one of the quietest times of year for the tourism industry in Australia, which is experiencing a welcome fillip with the arrival of tens of thousands of Irish and British rugby fans.