Three new hotels are planned to tackle accommodation shortages on the North Island – as new figures reveal Chinese visitors rank New Zealand among their dream travel destinations.
Research from Hotels.com has revealed that the rate of Chinese travellers to New Zealand could be about to overtake Australians, with the Asian powerhouse increasing travel by three percent in the last year, and spending 40 per cent more to fund trips full of new experiences and local immersion.
The report shows Chinese rank us fourth in the world for future travel behind Australia, Canada and France – up three places on last year – with future visitors keen to see more of the major cities already struggling to accommodate visitors.
But developers are working on a solution.
A 41-storey, 225-room Hotel Indigo, the first of the brand to be built in New Zealand, will open in downtown Auckland in 2021.
The Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) has 47 hotels in Australasia and has signed an agreement with property developers Ninety Four Feet to build the new hotel at a cost of $250 million.
“Auckland is becoming recognised as one of the world’s key gateway cities and is consistently one of the top ten most liveable in the world,” said Dean Rzechta, the managing director for Ninety Four Feet.
Hotel Indigo will incorporate a heritage listed building at 51 Albert Street into the design, with the tower above to also include bars, restaurants and residential apartments.
Meanwhile a new Sudima Hotel of up to 200 rooms has also been announced for Auckland’s CBD, to be developed on the corner of Nelson St and Wellesley St near the International Convention Centre.
Plans have yet to be finalised, but the hotel will offer no single-use plastics and will include a gym, a rooftop bar and a separate restaurant and bar when the hotel opens in the summer of 2019/2020.
Sudesh Jhunjhnuwala, the Auckland founder of the seven-strong Sudima chain, is looking to expand into Wellington and Queenstown and internationally with developments in Australia and Fij over the next five years.
“Our next step is to Australia and the islands. It was a natural next progression after Wellington and Queenstown to go to Fiji, Sydney and Melbourne,” he said.
Finally, a $40 million four-star resort has been proposed to address a lack of commercial accommodation in one of Waikato’s peak tourism destinations.
The Ōtorohanga Club, which recently combined with the Waitomo Golf Club, is inviting expressions of interest to develop a 120-bed quality hotel on the picturesque Waitomo Golf Club site.
“By September we will have a better understanding of where people sit. We’ve had between ten and 12 expressions of interest, of which I would say a number of them are very positive,” Ōtorohanga Club president Eric Tait told Stuff.co.nz.
“We’ve had a pretty good cross section of inquiries from all the major hotel operators in New Zealand.”
Despite the Waitomo Caves attracting around half a million people every year, there are few hotels catering for visitors to the rural district according to Waikato Tourism CEO Jason Dawson.
“One of the biggest challenges in our region is the shortage of large-scale commercial accommodation,” he said.
The club hopes a new luxury development will lure local and international tourists, as well as golf lovers, to the region.