Melbourne is leading Australia in new hotel building, as about a third of the 6,727 rooms under construction or proposed around the country are located in Victoria’s capital city - and 2,000 of them are expected to be ready for business within the next 18 months.The city has been enjoying a healthy hotel business growth, with the accommodation sector set for some of its best years for close to two decades; occupancy rates are often over 80 per cent.
Melbourne’s new hotel additions will include Australia’s biggest hotel: Crown Melbourne’s new development. The third in the Crown Entertainment Complex, this property will join the award-winning Crown Towers and neighbouring Crown Promenade Hotel. The hotel will have 658 rooms and is expected to accommodate approximately 340,000 guests annually. It is due for completion by early 2010 and is estimated to cost AUD$300 million (£145 million).
The Hilton Group is opening its new 20-storey, 396-room hotel on Melbourne’s Yarra River at the beginning of 2009. The group has more plans in Victoria, as it has also been involved in a 120-room wine resort and learning centre development in the Yarra Valley.
Other upcoming hotel offerings in the city include: 398-room apart-hotel Citadines Melbourne on Bourke; the new Ibis Hotel in the Eastern Suburbs; Quest Ivanhoe’s two new serviced apartments developments; and a brand new, as-yet unnamed 250-room hotel in the fast-growing Docklands precinct.
In addition to the above, some of Melbourne’s landmark hotels are currently undergoing extensive refurbishments, such as The Grand Hyatt, the Intercontinental (formerly the Rialto) and Hotel Windsor.
“Melbourne is fastly becoming Australia’s new must-see city. With an impressive line up of world-class events, a lively passion for eating and drinking and a flourishing arts scene, it has struck a real chord in the UK market. The city is the fastest-growing destination for British visitors Down Under and, with an increasing number of international airlines servicing Melbourne, it is now more accessible than ever,” said Claire Golding, Tourism Victoria’s Regional Manager - UK & Europe.