Asian investment drives Melbourne hotel industry boom
MELBOURNE, July 21 (Xinhua) — A hotel industry boom in Melbourne, the capital and most populous city of Australian state of Victory, is being driven by investment from Asia, it was revealed on Friday.
The Victorian government has approved a spate of new hotels across Melbourne in the last two years, including prestigious Shangri-La and Mandarin Oriental locations.
Overall, more than 8,050 hotel rooms have been approved in Melbourne with a vast majority of the new buildings containing residential apartments as well as hotel rooms, a trend common in Asia but unusual in Australia.
A report by Deloitte Access Economic released on Friday found there was a higher demand for hotels in Melbourne than any other Australian city with 88 percent of rooms in the city occupied in February 2017 compared to the national average of 66 percent in 2016.
“We can’t build hotels fast enough,” Robert Doyle, Lord Mayor of Melbourne, told Australian media.
“I’m writing proposals for conferences and conventions for 2022 and 2024. All that requires hotel rooms.”
Josh Rutman, director of real estate firm CBRE, said much of the investment into the industry had come from China, Malaysia and Singapore.
Rutman and Doyle both said that as space ran out in the Melbourne city grid, developers could help improve the Docklands, a major planning experiment which has largely failed.
“A mixed approach where you do have residential, retail and a hotel, that’s what brings life to these precincts,” Doyle said.
“Docklands is a precinct that struggled for probably the first seven or eight years when 30 to 35 was percent completed.
“It’s now 60 percent complete and over the last 10 years employment in that whole area has grown by 300 percent.”