Hotels full as visitors flood in
Australian Hotels Association WA chief executive Bradley Woods.

Perth's hotels are being squeezed to capacity by a surge in visitors in town for the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships, the WA Senate campaign and the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, with more than 90 per cent of rooms filled.

The next seven days are expected to be the busiest of the year so far for the local hotel industry as the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association conference arrives, with capacity tipped to stay between 90 and 95 per cent.

Demand is such that hotels are being asked for the first time to log bookings in an online database to help co-ordinate lodging for Malaysia Airlines MH370 search crew and officials.

Perth's hotel capacity has long been seen as an obstacle to growing its tourism sector, with a 2011 State Government report estimating an extra 1900 rooms were needed to meet forecast demand by 2020. Several planned hotels, most recently two new Hiltons in Perth and Fremantle, should meet that demand but will not be completed for years.

Australian Hotels Association WA chief executive Bradley Woods said it was "a very tight period".

He said the AHA was working with hotels to monitor room availability to help the State and Federal governments find rooms for MH370-related visitors.

"This monitoring is required as some days the market is running at 92 per cent capacity, which is extremely high and we want to meet the needs of the international community," he said.

"The next seven to eight days will be the busiest period for this year. It's an extremely busy time for Perth events."

Hotels contacted by _The West Australian _ all reported busy conditions regardless of location.

Beachfront hotels from Fremantle to Trigg are housing many of the estimated 5000 competitors for the surf titles, while city hotels are bracing for APPEA delegates. Much of the Swan Valley has been booked out by overseas media covering the MH370 search.

The West Australian

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