Asian investment drives Melbourne’s hotel industry boom

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 July, 2017, 7:01am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 July, 2017, 7:38pm

A hotel industry boom in Melbourne, the capital and most populous city of Australian state of Victory, is being driven by investment from Asia, according to officials and property consultants.

The Victorian government has approved a spate of new hotels across Melbourne in the last two years, including the upmarket Shangri-La and Mandarin Oriental hotels .

Overall, more than 8,050 hotel rooms have been approved in Melbourne with a vast majority of the new buildings to also comprise residential apartments, a trend common in Asia but unusual in Australia.

A report by Deloitte Access Economic released last Friday found that there was a higher demand for hotels in Melbourne than any other Australian city, with 88 per cent of rooms in the city occupied in February 2017, compared to the national average of 66 per cent in 2016.

“We can’t build hotels fast enough,” Robert Doyle, Lord Mayor of Melbourne, told the Australian media.

“I’m writing proposals for conferences and conventions for 2022 and 2024. All that requires hotel rooms.”

We can’t build hotels fast enough
Robert Doyle, Lord Mayor of Melbourne

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 per cent completed.

“It’s now 60 per cent complete and over the last 10 years, employment in that whole area has grown by 300 per cent.”