Perth sets its sights on hotel investors with staying power

 Western Australia is hungry for hotel development, Lisa Scaffidi, lord mayor of state capital Perth, told a packed Agora room.

“Hotel investment is our number one reason for attending MIPIM Asia,” she said, “we are keen to do what we have to do to encourage that sort of investment. We are trying to create the right mix to get the kind of joint venture that’s going to enable that type of development in the short term.”

Scaffidi added: “As we all know, even if we got an application today it would actually be a few years before we were sleeping in those hotel beds.”

Kate Lamont, chairman of Tourism Western Australia, said that major mining, gas and petroleum projects are responsible for much of the demand. Topping the list is Chevron’s $43bn in the state’s north—the biggest single resource project in Australia.

We are already seeing significant downstream benefits from our natural assets, all of which have a flow-on effect through the community,” Lamont said. “But where we are yet to see significant impact is in the development of short-term accommodation. To be blunt, we have a serious shortage of hotel rooms in Perth and, to a lesser extent, in regional western Australia.”

Lamont reported that the current average occupancy for hotels in Perth is just under 82% but, from Monday to Friday, that rate soars to above 95%. “That means that Perth is essentially full,” she said.

According to Lamont, conservative forecasts suggest that Perth will need an additional 3,000 hotel rooms in the next 10 years to keep pace with demand. The number of visitors to the city rose by 6.8% in 2009, she added.

This article appeared in the MIPIM Asia Review 2010. Read more here.

Top image credit : Photobank gallery

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