Two new hotels will be built at Brisbane Airport by 2016 at a cost of $150 million, it was announced on Wednesday.
Work on the five-star, 130-room Pullman Hotel and the 3½-star, 243-room Ibis Hotel will start early next year and is expected to be completed by November 2016.
Both Accor-brand hotels, which will be connected by a 600-capacity conference centre, will be built in the airport's domestic terminal precinct.
Project developer Anthony Flynn, of the Flynn Property Group, said about 1000 jobs would be created during construction and up to 350 jobs when both hotels were operational.
Speaking after the project’s launch at the Novotel Brisbane Airport – also a Flynn-developed Accor hotel – Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said it was a “very, very important” project for the city.
“We know last year alone there were 10,000 people we didn’t accommodate in Brisbane that we otherwise could have if we had more hotel rooms,” he said.
“…Last year we saw 10 per cent growth in tourism and about a 20 per cent growth in the business and conventions market and we know with G20, as our name ID gets out there across the globe, that it’s going to grow.
“We need to have the ability to be able to accommodate that. It’s jobs for our city.”
Cr Quirk said the decision to build the hotels was “gutsy”, but justified by Brisbane Airport’s growth.
He said that would only become more important when the airport’s parallel runway was completed, which would give it “the same capacity as Hong Kong and Singapore”.
“A lot [of developments] don’t make it and the reality is that it does take a gutsy decision to go ahead with a development,” Cr Quirk said.
“These hotel developments are very important to our city. We hadn’t had, until the last couple of years, a 4½-star or five-star hotel built for 10 years, so they’re not easy.
“But it’s really good that we are seeing confidence in Brisbane and these investments are coming our way.”
Among the hotel features will be a rooftop restaurant with views of the runway and Moreton Bay in the Ibis and two presidential suites in the Pullman.
Accor Pacific chief operating officer Simon McGrath said those suites would attract more “top end” visitors.
“Not only does it satisfy the needs, it also symbolises how the hotel has been developed, and that’s on a world scale in comparison to some of the best hotels in the world,” he said.
Tourism and Transport Forum acting chief executive Trent Zimmerman said the development would have flow-on effects throughout the state.
“Hotel developments like this will add enormous convenience for visitors to Brisbane at a range of price options,” he said.
“The additional convention centre’s also going to make Brisbane Airport a place where people are going to want to come, but also have flow-on benefits for tourism throughout the state.”
Cr Quirk said although many, if not most, hotel guests would be in transit, Brisbane would still benefit from their stays.
“The reality is, even if there are conferences that are held here, they still will probably go somewhere at night and there will be plenty of opportunities for them to explore the city of Brisbane,” he said.
“The fact that there are hotels on airport sites is not something new. You look around the world and you see that.
“It doesn’t mean that cities are worse off economically as a result. All of these things are part of a totality of offering and as an emergent global city we need to have that broad range of offerings.”
Mr McGrath said the existing Novotel Brisbane Airport had attracted 350,000 guests since it opened in December 2009.