David Seargeant
AHL’s David Seargeant

Exclusive by James Wilkinson

Amalgamated Holdings Limited’s (AHL) expansion plans for the QT Hotels and Resorts brand in Australia and New Zealand have hit top gear with mooted projects now under construction or firmly in the planning stages.

Speaking exclusively to HM, AHL’s Managing Director, David Seargeant, said new properties on both sides of the Tasman were not far away.

“QT Melbourne has now commenced construction with a mid-2016 opening date, while expansion plans for QT include Perth, Brisbane and the resort areas of Thredbo and Queenstown,” he said.

Seargeant revealed the brand’s first project across the Tasman was part of a “redevelopment of our Queenstown New Zealand property to include a QT Resort”, while a planned complete makeover of Thredbo Village in NSW would see a QT hotel constructed.

The news comes as it’s been revealed to HM the company’s latest Sydney project, QT Bondi Beach, would now feature a new “QT Residences” product and according to Seargeant, the property will open in the third quarter of 2015.

Alongside the QT brand expansion, AHL is also pressing on with the growth of Atura, which today (Jan 30) officially opens on the NSW border town of Albury.

“Another focus is on sites for our Atura brand which will typically be located in major city business parks and regional commercial hubs,” he told HM. “[There’s] the launch of Atura Albury and then Atura Dandenong late February.”

Expansion plans are also afoot for the company’s first and strongest brand, Rydges.

“With strength in the airport hotel business, Rydges has been appointed operator of the new hotel proposed for Wellington Airport,” he said.

“We will [also] see a new Rydges open at the Brisbane Showgrounds and [there’s the] redevelopment of our Rydges Hobart property.

“We are also expecting to add three to four hotels in the coming year through opportunities in hotel owners switching brands and recognising our ability to deliver superior returns through effective cost management and the strength of our Priority Guest Rewards loyalty program,” he told HM.

Seargeant said business was good for AHL at present, with and across Australia and New Zealand, the company was “expecting RevPAR growth of 5% to 7% for the year”.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management