Brisbane is seeing an upturn in hotel occupancy by 4.7 per cent year-on-year, fuelling accommodation developments.
Brisbane had a long history of accommodation shortage as a result of limited new supply during the decade 2000 - 2010 and the strength of the mining boom. The situation was exacerbated when Brisbane was announced as the host city for the G20 Summit in November 2014, which saw properties such as Sofitel Brisbane Central and Novotel Brisbane invest significantly in multi-million dollar product refurbishments in preparation for the event.
According to Tourism Events Queensland (TEQ), CEO Leanne Coddington: "There are many Brisbane hotels catering to specific visitor tastes. Whilst we don't have specific data relating to current occupancy, it is said the average is 73%, providers are talking of rates amongst the highest they have been in more than a decade; pre-GFC."
Strong demand for rooms during the mining boom encouraged a major hotel and serviced apartment building boom in Brisbane over the past 18 months, which has seen six hotels recently opened and a further six under construction, with a number of others significantly renovated. This has represented the largest expansion of hotel accommodation in 20 years, and naturally this will take some time for the market to absorb. However, with the increased capacity it will allow Brisbane to attract significant events, conferences and exhibitions.
The Queen's Wharf Project is the biggest development providing 1100 additional hotel rooms and 2000 residential apartments as part of an integrated resort dominated by public spaces, bars, restaurants, entertainment precincts and the like.
The New Inchcolm Hotel & Suites - part of AccorHotels' boutique MGallery Collection was opened in time to welcome world leaders in 2014, and since then AccorHotels has announced a number of other projects including Pullman and ibis at Brisbane Airport and Ibis Styles Elizabeth Street. The Pullman and Ibis Brisbane Airport are being developed with Flynn Property Group and Scott Flynn Properties at the domestic terminal precinct as part of a new $150 million project and will adjoin a new Brisbane Airport Conference Centre. A 368-room Ibis Styles Brisbane on Elizabeth Street in the CBD will be the largest ibis hotel in Australasia when it opens in 2016. The hotel is being developed with Middle East hotel owner and developer Action Hotels plc.
Currently there are over 10 new hotels under construction in the city representing some 2,000 rooms. So there is significant investment coming into the city, which will help the city transform into a dynamic tourist and business city able to cater for growth in inbound travel as well as conferences and events. The latest ABS data is showing a consistent 6% annual growth in inbound travel, and with aviation links to Asia expanding all the time, Brisbane is exceptionally well placed to grow its market share.