A rendering of the public space outside the upcoming Holiday Inn & Suites Geelong.

InterContinental Hotels Group will open Australia’s first Holiday Inn & Suites branded hotel in 2020 after planning approval was today granted by Victoria’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning to Franzé Developments. The future hotel will become the largest new hotel development to come to the outer Melbourne suburb of Geelong in two decades.

IHG signed on late last year for a 20-year management agreement. The $75 million dollar mixed-use development will offer 180 rooms, 24 residential apartments, 1,000 square metres of ground floor retail space and 7,400 square metres of office space. The building’s façade is inspired by Geelong’s historic wool stores.

The rapidly growing region of Geelong, which currently welcomes around 2.2 million visitors annually, is forecasted to require up to 2,500 new hotel rooms over the next 15 years to support the region’s ongoing business and tourism growth. Central to this growth will be Avalon Airport, which continues to increase in appeal with low-cost airlines such as AirAsia X now directly connecting the gateway with Asia through Kuala Lumpur.

Melbourne’s SkyBus now also serves Avalon Airport, meeting each flight in both directions with non-stop services to its Spencer Street Station hub.

Construction of the new hotel is underway and will begin rising later this year. The new Holiday Inn & Suites Geelong is expected to open to guests in 2020.