2 Dec 2022

Hotel industry gearing up for substantial expansion

3:27 pm on 2 December 2022
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Sofitel Hotel in Auckland is part of the Accor chain which is planning to open five new hotels in Aotearoa next year. Photo: Google Maps

The hotel industry is gearing up for renewed growth with more than a dozen new facilities under construction or due to open next year.

A number of large hotel operators were planning for continued growth, including Accor, Quest and investment group, ProInvest, as the travel industry begins to recover from the pandemic.

ProInvest recently announced it was looking to double the size of its $400 million New Zealand property portfolio, which includes the Voco Hotel and Holiday Inn Express complex in Auckland, and Holiday Inn Express in Queenstown.

Accor Pacific also announced plans to open four new hotels in Australia and five in New Zealand over the next year, while serviced hotel operator Quest was planning to open 10 properties over the next three years.

Quest chief executive Stephen Mansfield said three of the 10 properties were expected to open early next year, adding to its current portfolio of 40 hotels valued at $1.2 billion.

Mansfield said Quest's operations had been mostly business-as-usual since the pandemic started in early 2020 as it mainly catered to domestic business travellers.

Despite the recent economic downturn, he said it was unlikely to make much difference to its expansion plans, with planned investment of $250m.

"When the international borders were closed down that really didn't have a big impact on us," Mansfield said.

"We're really here for the New Zealand domestic market, and once again the New Zealand domestic market proved very resilient."

Accor Pacific chief executive Sarah Derry said its hotels relied on international tourism, in addition to domestic tourists and business travellers.

"As a corporate, ultimately to get a deal done you need to be in front of people and face-to-face," Derry said.

There was growing interest in holding conventions and events in New Zealand.

"Certainly with the convention centre in Christchurch that's been a real drawcard and a real boost for the city."

Derry said there was also growing interest in international visitors to Australia and New Zealand as a combined destination.

For some people it was "a lifetime opportunity" to visit both.

Opening of new Christchurch Convention Centre

The opening of Te Pae is proving a drawcard in Christchurch, a hotel chain chief executive says. Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon

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