Major events are transforming the hotel scene in Port Moresby.
By the time of the APEC Summit in 2018, Port Moresby could have as many as 2590 high-end hotel rooms, and conference capacity for many thousands. Hoteliers tell Business Advantage PNG that the increase in scale and quality means the capital could become a world-class regional conference venue.
Only five years ago, there were just 600 high-end hotel rooms in Port Moresby.
But economic growth, and regional sporting and political events have prompted new investments in rooms and in conference facilities.
The newest project under construction is PNG’S first Hilton Hotel, being developed by Star Mountain Plaza in a partnership with the PNG Government. Also under consideration is a 500-room hotel, for which state-owned enterprise Kumul Consolidated Holdings (KCH) has inked preliminary agreements with Hong Kong property developer Shin Kong Pacific Investments.
Port Moresby’s newest hotel, The Stanley, opened in July 2016 in central Waigani, with 429 rooms.
General Manager Geoff Haigh says the centrepiece of the hotel is its function space, which can cater for a plenary conference attendance of up to 1000 and a sit-down dinner for 1200.
It has more than doubled the conference capacity of the city, he believes. Haigh says Port Moresby can now develop as a regional conference centre, attracting large conferences, which would otherwise go to either New Zealand or Australia.
Coral Sea Hotels has three hotels in Port Moresby (Grand Papua Hotel, Gateway Hotel and Ela Beach Hotel), providing a total of 451 hotel rooms. Its conference facilities can cater for up to 800 at Gateway, 230 at Grand Papua Hotel and 180 at Ela Beach Hotel.
‘Port Moresby is becoming a metropolitan city,’ observes Deidre Halstead, Group Sales & Marketing Manager for Coral Sea Hotels. Upgrades
Greater competition in Port Moresby’s hotel sector is driving investment in upgraded facilities.
The Lamana Hotel recently completed major renovations, including impressive new food and beverage venues, while Airways has reopened its signature Vue Restaurant, after extensive renovations. Coral Sea has spent K7 million upgrading its 97-room Ela Beach Hotel. It is also spending K25 million on new dining facilities at Gateway Hotel, most notably Jackson’s Restaurant, Bar and Gaming.
The lobby of The Stanley hotel.