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Brisbane needs hotels: Mayor

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA: Brisbane’s hotel market is strong with the capacity to grow by up to 450 rooms a year for 10 years, according to research commissioned by economic development board Brisbane Marketing.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said Brisbane Marketing and Brisbane City Council were working with the State Government to encourage hotel development and improve the city’s business, convention and tourism potential.

“Current research estimates Brisbane is losing around 87,000 visitors and $130 million in visitor expenditure due to a shortage of hotel rooms,” Cr Quirk said.

“This is equivalent to more than 1100 jobs and $106 million in economic activity for the city, which is why it is an absolute priority for Brisbane.

“Brisbane’s hotel industry has experienced strong trading conditions over a number of years and has the capacity for an additional 299-446 hotel rooms a year for the next 10 years to meet current and future demand.”

Brisbane Marketing’s investment attraction team, working closely with the State Government, through the Department of Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games (DTESB), commissioned research which has been used in ‘A guide to Hotel Investment in Brisbane, Australia’ to show international investors the opportunities available in Brisbane.

“Brisbane is continuing to grow into a destination of choice for international visitors and events, including the upcoming G20 Leaders Summit 2014, and I want to ensure we can continue to accommodate these events,” Cr Quirk said.

“According to our research, Brisbane’s domestic and international business and leisure visitors are forecast to grow, creating strong demand for more world-class hotels.

“In the ‘Economic Development Plan 2012-2031’ I made a commitment to facilitate major new hotel development. As a result the council has introduced a moratorium on infrastructure charges to directly assist the future investment and development of four and five-star branded hotels in the Brisbane City.”

Brisbane Marketing CEO John Aitken has also recently appointed a hotel investment manager who is aggressively targeting international hotel investors, operators and developers for Brisbane.

“Our hotel investment manager is working with potential international hotel investors to encourage them to take advantage of Brisbane’s strong demand for hotel rooms,” he said.

“In fact, she returned this morning from a trip to Singapore, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur where she presented opportunities for investment into Brisbane to more than 35 potential investors, operators and industry allies.

“Brisbane is an attractive proposition for potential investors and has been ranked as the fourth most sought-after location for hotel investment in the world in the Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels’ Hotel Investor Sentiment Survey.

“The many recent acquisitions and planned refurbishment and expansion of existing hotels show there is great interest in Brisbane’s hotel market.”

The push for more hotels has been welcomed by the Accommodation Association of Australia, with CEO Richard Munro saying it “would not adversely impact existing operators”.

Munro was speaking in response to the release of the guide and said recent growth in occupancy and RevPAR (revenue per available room) in hotels in Brisbane shows the city is ready for further investment in tourism accommodation infrastructure.

“The Accommodation Association is supportive of the Queensland Government’s objective of doubling revenue from tourism by 2020,” Munro said.

“If this objective is to be achieved, it’s inevitable that additional room inventory will be required.

“The Brisbane accommodation market is rebounding well from the global financial crisis and by the time significant new supply comes online, every indication is that it will ‘grow the pie’, as opposed to take business away from existing operators,” he said.

Munro said the Accommodation Association looks forward to working with the Queensland Government and other stakeholders to further enhance the drivers for business in the accommodation industry.

“Enticing more business events, boosting aviation access and having a strong ongoing commitment to tourism marketing are vital ingredients of a successful hotel business in Brisbane,” Munro said.

“Since being elected, the Newman Government has actively promoted these initiatives and for the accommodation industry, it’s important that this continues to take place.”

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