New Zealand Prime Minister and Tourism Minister, the Rt Hon John Key, has officially opened two new upscale Hilton Worldwide hotels in Queenstown.
Hilton Queenstown and Kawarau Hotel managed by Hilton are located in the new Kawarau Village lakeside retail and dining precinct and were showcased at a gala opening celebration last night.
The openings of the 178-room Hilton Queenstown and 98-room Kawarau Hotel managed by Hilton, represent the global brand’s entry into the international year-round resort town and expand Hilton Worldwide’s portfolio in New Zealand to four hotels.
Respected Maori elder and Chairman of the Ngai Tahu Maori Trust Board and leading academic Sir Tipene O’Regan, formally welcomed the Prime Minister and Tourism Minister, John Key, in a traditional Maori greeting on the shores of Lake Wakatipu.
Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler welcomed the arrival of the Hilton brand to Queenstown and the South Island.
“The opening of the Hilton Queenstown and the Kawarau Hotel are among the most anticipated hotel openings in New Zealand this year and are important investments in the New Zealand tourism industry,” he said. “In challenging times for South Island tourism, here we have a global tourism leader expressing an emphatic vote of confidence by opening not just one, but two hotels, and establishing a brilliant new village for visitors to enjoy at The Remarkables end of Lake Wakatipu.
“Hilton Worldwide will help us market New Zealand to more of the high yield domestic and international visitors we are targeting and bring jobs and local economic benefits. The openings are ideally timed to complement our increased marketing of the snow season in Australia and as we prepare to host the Rugby World Cup in nearby Dunedin, with many visitors opting to base themselves in Queenstown.”
Martin Rinck, President, Asia Pacific, Hilton Worldwide, who flew from Hilton’s Singapore regional headquarters for the openings said: “We identified Queenstown as a strategically significant location for Hilton Worldwide. This project represents a development of the highest quality and world-class design. In addition to our award winning properties in Auckland and Taupo, Queenstown is now an essential part of our growing network of hotels in New Zealand.”