W Melbourne, opening February 2021, to hire 100 staff through virtual interviews

A luxury Melbourne hotel is bucking the trend of a major downturn in the tourism industry by hiring 100 employees.

W Melbourne, a five-star hotel by Marriott Hotels group, plans to open its 294-room establishment in February in Melbourne's trendy Flinders Lane precinct.

General manager Damon Page expressed cautious excitement about the proposed opening as he embarks on a hiring spree.

"We're not going to be opening in a boom market," he said. "We take a long-term vision, we know the market will return. There will be pent-up demand as restrictions do start to ease.

"It'll be interesting to see whether the Formula 1 goes ahead [in March]," Mr Page said. "The Australian Open is another one of those signals that Melbourne has reopened."

Some of the advertised roles include a "music curator" (or DJ), hospitality and concierge, as well as finance and engineering specialists.

Mr Page said the W hotel "doesn't recruit employees, we cast talent".

"We cast wide and broad so we'll look at design schools, dance performance academies - it doesn't need to be someone who's worked in a hotel for the last 10 years," he said.

Due to the stringent COVID-19 restrictions blanketing Melbourne, the hiring process will take place online, with interviews conducted virtually, starting on October 12.

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W Melbourne features 294 rooms, several restaurants, bars and cafes, a gym, and a pool. The establishment is dubbing itself a "luxury lifestyle hotel" which seeks to leverage Melbourne's hip laneway culture.

Mr Page said the interest in the roles was high at time when the tourism and hospitality sector is in hibernation, with "lots of applications" from existing and former hotel employees.

"For an industry that provides people an opportunity to grow, the ability to travel and have a job where every day is different, then it's an incredible industry."

The new positions come as Victoria faces rising unemployment amid the lockdown. The most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics data released last week shows the state's unemployment rate worsened to 7.1 per cent from 6.8 per cent, while most other states' employment figures improved.

The 100 advertised roles include a mixture of permanent full-time, part-time and casual positions.

"We're ramping up rather than attacking this in a boom market. As we go through 2021 we'll be going through more of these casting days," Mr Page said.

The W is one of several new hotels opening in Melbourne next year, with the Ritz-Carlton, Marriott Docklands and the Premier Tower Hotel also set to debut.

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