Franchise business operators at Quest Echuca in regional Victoria have shelled out close to AUD$1 million on a comprehensive top-to-toe refurbishment in a move tipped to bolster confidence in regional travel.
Work has now completed at the 60-room property, with all apartments and public areas seeing a full recarpeting, new furniture fit-out, bedding, bathroom modifications, new kitchen appliances and new in-room entertainment technology. A collection of historical images showcasing the local area has also been placed around the property in collaboration with the Echuca Historical Society.
At the same time, the pre-loved furniture items were donated to the Salvation Army Echuca Moama, which will on-sell the items to raise money to continue the organisation’s work assisting vulnerable members of the community.
Quest Echuca Franchisee, Brendan Du Kamp, said the refurbishment will set the property in good stead as a quality offering for when business returns.
“There’s no denying that the past 12 months have been challenging and whilst necessary, border closures have taken a toll on local operators such as myself,” he said.
“However, what is telling is the level of enthusiasm and appetite we’ve seen among the domestic corporate and leisure markets who, when safe to do so, have been eager to come to town and experience all that Echuca has to offer.”
Echuca Moama Tourism CEO, Kathryn Mackenzie, applauded the refurbishment, saying the town was poised for a better year in 2021.
“What we know is that business and leisure travellers alike are eager to go on trips, but that lack of certainty and pace at which we have seen state borders close has bred an understandable sense of caution among consumers,” she said.
Like much of Australia, the Echuca region of northern Victoria has been hit hard during the pandemic, with a recent survey of hotel operators finding 70% experienced losses between 40%-100% due to cancellations in January.