Hopes hotel development could spur others

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Waikato business leaders are hoping the expansion of the Novotel Tainui Hotel will spur on other hotel developers to invest in Hamilton.

The Novotel Tainui Hamilton hotel will undergo a 40-room expansion next year to serve the hotel’s growing customer base in the quality accommodation market.

Tainui Group Holdings chief executive Chris Joblin says the $13 million investment will make a significant contribution to the vitality of the Hamilton CBD.

“With the new extension, Novotel Tainui Hamilton will be able to offer 217 contemporary rooms and suites to guests, ensuring Hamilton has a hotel offering of the quality and scale to match demand as the city grows as a business and visitor centre over the next few years,” Mr Joblin says.

The extension will have four levels with ten rooms per level, with the new rooms to be the same size and layout as typical rooms within the existing hotel.

Dick Breukink, general manager Novotel & Ibis Tainui, says bathrooms in all of the Novotel’s 177 existing rooms are also currently being renovated.

“We are excited about the extension and the fact that tourism is going so well. We’ve seen the results reflected in our hotels in the last couple of years and there is more potential in the market.”

Waikato Chamber of Commerce CEO William Durning welcomed the investment.

“It’s great that Tainui is getting in there and further investing. We need to be encouraging others to back the same visionary view.

“Without knowing at what stage other hotel offerings are at, if those providers out there can see that others are recognising there is an opportunity, it might also encourage them to move.”

Hamilton mayor Andrew King says TGH’s announcement was “fantastic”.

“We need a lot more rooms at the top end of the market.”

“I believe there’s scope for another 400 rooms in the city and they will come with time.”

Hamilton & Waikato Tourism chief executive Jason Dawson is thrilled and says Hamilton has a challenge to provide enough large scale 4-5 star hotel accommodation during busy periods.

“For example, recently in Hamilton we had a teaching conference of 1500 strong, Equidays at Mystery Creek with exhibitors, performers, competitors, suppliers and visitors, a burgeoning business and leisure traveller market, plus school holidays. All of this creates a high demand for quality hotel accommodation in our city”.

“The extra 40-rooms will help fulfil the need and will easily be absorbed by current market demand. It’s also great that some of the new rooms will provide river views which is an iconic feature of our city and region.”

“The additional bed inventory for the hotel sector will also allow us to further develop our lucrative business events and conference market who demand this level of hotel accommodation.”

“Every conference we can secure for Hamilton and Waikato is significant for the region, regardless of the sector or size. Conference delegates are also influenced to return for a future holiday based on their positive Waikato experiences.”

“A delegate attending a business event is worth twice as much as a leisure traveller to the region, with an average delegate per night value of $350 per night for international delegates and $509 per night for domestic delegates.”

The hotel is owned by Waikato-Tainui through its intergenerational investment arm TGH.

Construction of the extra rooms is expected to start in mid-2018, with the extension scheduled to open by mid-2019, and Mr Joblin says every effort will be made to minimise noise and visual disruption to guests and hotel operations.

Rukumoana Schaafhausen, chair of Te Arataura, the executive committee of Waikato-Tainui says the expansion is a statement of confidence in the economic future of Hamilton, Waikato and the Iwi.

Waikato-Tainui also owns the 126 room Ibis Hamilton Tainui hotel, and at Auckland Airport, has a half share in the 263 room Novotel Auckland Airport, with a fourth hotel, Pullman Auckland Airport – Te Arikinui – (300 rooms) jointly under development with Auckland International Airport Ltd.

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Geoff Taylor

Waikato Business News editor Geoff Taylor. Email: geoff@wbn.co.nz

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