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Brisbane’s global hotel investment push

Graham Quirk Brisbane Lord Mayor

An active approach to attracting hotel investment has reaped rewards for Brisbane with an additional 575 additional hotel rooms and 337 serviced apartments either available or coming on line this year.

Speaking at the launch yesterday (Apr 10) of the updated ‘Guide to Hotel Investment in Brisbane’, a joint initiative between Brisbane City Council and the Queensland Government, Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said that more investment in hotel rooms was needed to attract high spending visitors.

Quirk outlined opportunities for hotel operators, investors, and developers keen to establish a footprint in the city.

“Due to a shortage in internationally-recognised, full-service hotel room supply, Brisbane is forgoing about 121,000 visitors a year,” Quirk said.

“The shortage is causing the market to defer an estimated 278,000 room nights every year – about 14 per cent of current demand.

“This lack of hotel supply is hampering Brisbane’s ability to attract major events and conferences. This lost visitor expenditure equates to about 1100 jobs and $114 million in missed economic opportunity,” he said.

Quirk said that Council’s three year moratorium on hotel infrastructure charges for new four and five star hotel developments had resulted in significant investment in the CBD and Fortitude Valley, but more hotel rooms were needed to meet demand.

“Two hotels have been completed and five hotels are currently under construction but more hotel rooms are needed to realise these economic opportunities for Brisbane, and enable the city to secure more international business events and conferences,” he said.

Queensland’s Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games Minister, Jann Stuckey, said the Newman Government was working hard to grow tourism, as promised at the election, and investment in internationally recognised hotels would help develop Queensland as a business and leisure destination.

“The Newman Government has moved quickly to get our tourism industry back on track, to restore confidence and boost visitation,” Stuckey said.

“In doing this, we’re delivering a pro-business environment which supports new and renewed investment in accommodation.

“We want to maximise visitor numbers to the State and achieve our goal of doubling annual overnight visitor expenditure from $15 billion to $30 billion by 2020.

“Brisbane’s events calendar includes world class sporting and cultural events, including the upcoming G20, which will bring world leaders and global media to stay in Brisbane.

“The Queensland Government supports the development of projects like Queens Wharf as well as new aviation routes into Brisbane, which combined with the lowest payroll taxes in Australia, makes Brisbane a very attractive hotel investment and development proposition,” she said.

Leading economic consultants AECGroup estimated Brisbane could sustainably absorb an additional 216 to 330 rooms annually to 2022 in the updated guide.

“The work being done to attract investment in new hotel supply is being delivered with a balanced, targeted, multi-pronged approach,” Quirk said.

“Resources and funding is being dedicated to driving greater visitor demand through conventions, leisure tourism, and major events. Examples include campaigns such as Give me Brisbane Any Day, and procurement of new major events such as the G20.

“Council’s new City Centre Master Plan and the appointment of a hotel investment manager to work with investors, developers and operators are also attracting investment interest.”

Brisbane Marketing’s investment attraction manager has been in Berlin, London, Hong Kong and Singapore to raise awareness of Brisbane as a hotel investment destination.

The 2014 ‘Guide to Hotel Investment in Brisbane, Australia’ provides the latest information on economic conditions, hotel demand drivers, trading conditions, and future hotel supply requirements for Brisbane, leaving investors in no doubt about where and how they can make sound investment decisions.

The guide is being distributed to national and international hotel investors and is available online at www.investbrisbane.com.au/hotels

The guide will also be available in simplified Chinese to allow the state and local governments to engage with investors, operators, developers and financiers from mainland China.

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