Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Supply and Demand Now Translates into a ,Cyrip-Off'

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Supply and Demand Now Translates into a ,Cyrip-Off'

Article excerpt

WHEN someone has something to sell, and people want it badly enough, the potential for making a killing is very real.

The polite phrase is C[pounds sterling]supply and demandC[yen]. The more accurate description is C[pounds sterling]ripping people offC[yen].

It is five days to go to the State of Origin decider as I write this.

I've just idly cast my eye over my favourite Wotif.com site. I use it regularly to book accommodation as the need arises and the rates they display are presumably dictated by what the various hotels determine.

I assume that Wotif is largely acting as the messenger, through entirely proper business arrangements with their clients. So let's not shoot the messenger! Nevertheless, somebody deserves to be shot.

I scanned the price of one room for an overnight stay on Origin night. I looked at eight, admittedly excellent, hotels in the Brisbane CBD. Many others had already put up the Sold Out sign.

The MINIMUM asking price for one room accommodating two guests varied from $629 to $745 per room for the one night.

The average price was a touch under $679. The average price for these same rooms two days later, Friday, July 8, is a touch under $208. And that's bad enough.

It's not so many years ago that paying $100 for a decent room in the city was the height of extravagance and only indulged in for special occasions or unavoidable business meetings.

I think it's a rip-off. Who is to blame? That's a difficult question. In the end I suppose hotels charge what they think they can get.

That's determined by their own quality, the competitors' pricing and what punters will pay if they are desperate or stupid enough.

Or perhaps it arises on special nights like Origin Night from corporate demand and the top end of town. I still reckon it's a rip-off.

My reason for looking is not simply curiosity. …

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