Aussie hotel boom adds thousands of rooms

The new Emporium Hotel on Brisbane’s South Bank.

Melbourne leads the growth of new accommodation development with more than 10,200 hotel rooms under construction or approved, followed by Sydney with more than 6000 rooms in the pipeline and Perth with 1755 rooms.

Lobby group Tourism Accommodation Australia says much of the new hotel development is being driven by the entrance of lifestyle hotels such as Marriott’s Aloft brand and IHG’s ­Indigo, as well as much talk of the introduction of The Netherlands-based chain, CitizenM.

In Brisbane, the Anthony John Group recently opened the 143-room boutique Emporium hotel at South Bank, building on the success of their Emporium hotel at Fortitude Valley that was recently sold to Hong Kong’s Ovolo Group for about $40 million.

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“What is unprecedented about this development boom is the diversity of hotel product being constructed,” TAA chief executive Carol Giuseppi sa.

“After the hotel development boom that preceded the 2000 Olympics, there was a major ­hiatus in new development, exacerbated by the GFC in 2008.

“By the middle of the current decade, the industry was desperately in need of new supply and new approaches to hotel design to meet the demands of travellers, particularly millennials.

“The global hotel groups have responded strongly to the rapid increase in demand by unveiling many of their designer, lifestyle brands, while local brands such as QT, the Art Series and Veriu have taken advantage of changing demographic trends in travel to build their profile.”

TAA predicts Brisbane and Perth will double in their international-standard hotel stock to deal with an expected increase in tourism, conferences and events.

Giuseppi says more hotels will help cities attract more flights, events and business and encourage state and territory governments to approve large-scale infrastructure projects including airports, convention centres and cruise terminals.

She says more than 40 new hotels have opened in the past three years following the 15-year drought in hotel construction, despite annual increases in tourism averaging almost 10%.

In Sydney, an extra 1000-plus rooms in new international ­hotels such as the Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour and Four Points by Sheraton were complemented by boutique hotels.

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