Chalk Hotel director Jason Titman spoke to Australian Hotelier Magazine and TheShout about the destructive Queensland floods and how these may affect the hotel industry for years to come..
"Well, they said it would not happen again but 37 years later 75 percent of Queensland has been flood-affected again.
The land area we are talking about is greater than the total land area of the State of New South Wales, so this puts the Queensland floods into some perspective for our Southern and Western counterparts.
As with all Australians, Queenslanders are a resilient bunch and everyone is chipping in to provide assistance.
Not unlike many NSW hotels, the post effects of the GFC and a decrease in purchasing activity of hotel businesses by the majors and other hotel syndicates has really driven down the value of many Queensland hotels over the past 12 months.
On top of these problems, the floods have inundated many hotels with water in South East Queensland and those that have not had water through them in the Brisbane CBD have had their electricity turned off and cannot get staff or supplies.
So it is indeed interesting times for many hoteliers in Queensland and turnover is going to be down for many Queensland hotels for a while to come.
However as with all tragedies, there will eventually be upsides such as increased work and spending, which will eventually flow through the whole economy and some of it will flow into Queensland hotels.
Not that much can be done to physically flood proof hotels in the flood-affected areas however I am sure many owners will invest into their hotels yet again and they will start to become thriving businesses once more.
I think one of the big messages to everyone though is that natural disasters of all kinds can and do happen.
While we cannot mitigate against everything, I think many of us really need to give more consideration to contingency plans in the event of a significant negative impact on our business to ensure our long term survival.
The GFC has been particularly unkind to many hoteliers and now mother nature is being quite unkind to many hoteliers (and others for that matter), so I urge everyone to work towards making your hotel ‘sale ready’ at all times and to ensure that you have ‘contingency plans’ in place for when a natural disaster hits your hotel.
Don’t forget Newcastle had an earthquake only 20 or so years ago."