Construction on a new NZD$36 million hotel at Wellington Airport is now underway following a ground-breaking ceremony today.

New Zealand’s Attorney-General, Chris Finlayson, officially launched the construction of the four-star 134-bed hotel at the northern end of the airport this week (May 31), which will be managed by Rydges and include a restaurant, bar and conference facilities.

The hotel, which is expected to welcome its first guests in late 2018, will be fully integrated with the Main Terminal Building, built above the International terminal and accessible directly from inside a newly redeveloped passenger lounge.

Wellington Airport Chief Executive, Steve Sanderson, said the hotel will be convenient for central New Zealanders and international visitors connecting overseas through Wellington.

“The hotel is part of the airport’s wider efforts to improve the experience of everyone who has to catch an early flight or arrive on a late one,” he said.

“Many travellers utilise these international flights and the Airport’s particular focus is on improving its role as the gateway for central New Zealand.

“Grabbing a room and getting a good night’s rest will be a smart option for those that need to travel a fair distance home. We expect the airport hotel to be hugely popular with business travellers, families and those travelling internationally.”

TIA Chief Executive, Chris Roberts, says the new hotel will be a welcome addition to New Zealand’s accommodation offering.

“It’s great to see that investors have the confidence in the future of tourism in Wellington and New Zealand to embark on this project,” he said.

“It’s well recognised that there is a need for new hotels to meet the tourism growth forecasts for New Zealand.

“This promises to be a valuable addition to the range of commercial accommodation available in the Capital, and will contribute to the industry’s Tourism 2025 goal of growing value ahead of volume to reach total annual revenue of $41 billion by 2025.”

Event Entertainment and Hospitality’s Director of Development Hotels and Resorts, Peter Hill, said: “Packed with personality and with a focus on great design and quality food and beverage offerings, Rydges Wellington Airport will offer design-savvy travellers a fresh travel experience; one we believe will hold great appeal for all everyone coming through the airport and not just hotel guests.”

Wellington Airport’s international market has experienced exceptional growth in recent years welcoming new services from Singapore Airlines, Fiji Airways and Jetstar.

International visitor spending in Wellington has reached NZD$716 million in the last year and international passenger numbers have more than doubled in the last 15 years to nearly 900,000. Total passenger numbers through Wellington Airport are close to hitting the 6 million mark.

“This is another example of the considerable investment we are making to transforming the terminal and passenger experience,” Sanderson said.

“The majority of work on our domestic terminal extension has been completed and work is well underway on the multi-level transport hub.

“Although there will be some disruption as a result of the construction work, we believe the hotel and the transport hub will be welcome additions to the airport,” he said.

Pictured at the top of the page: Chris Finlayson (NZ Attorney General), Mark Hopwood (CEO Arrow International), Steve Sanderson (CEO Wellington Airport) and Peter Hill (Director of Development Hotels for Event Hospitality)

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management