Passenger growthdrives newairport hotel
Anew Novotel hotel to be built at Christchurch Airport reflects record passenger growth into Christchurch and the expectation that numbers will continue to grow.
‘‘FY16 will see the airport handle an all-time record 6.3 million passengers – that’s 800,000 up on the post-quake low point of 5.5 million and 300,000 up on the previous all-time record of 6 million,’’ says airport chief executive Malcolm Johns.
The 200-room, 4.5-star hotel will open by the main terminal at the end of 2017.
Novotel Christchurch Airport will be designed by Warren and Mahoney Architects.
Johns says the airport will invest $80m in land and improvements for the hotel development.
He says the new hotel will be the second on the airport campus and is a direct response to airline and passenger inquiries for increased short-term airport accommodation.
‘‘Many of our new Asian flights arrive in the evening, bringing visitors who have been flying for 12 hours or more,’’ he says.
‘‘They want to rest before beginning their exploration of the South Island and expect to be able to do that near the airport.
‘‘Corporate and leisure travellers arrive here on transTasman flights late at night, some around midnight, or leave early in the morning. In both cases, they expect to be able to stay overnight on the airport campus, within walking distance of the terminal.
‘‘From the end of next year, many more will be able to do that.’’
Latest estimates from Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism suggest that Christchurch currently has about 800 hotels room fewer than what is needed to serve current tourism levels, let alone future growth.
‘‘Our airline partners see the lack of new hotel accommodation as a big risk to them adding in any more services,’’ he says.
With new airline capacity adding around 10 percent (or 800,000) extra seats per annum at Christchurch, late last year Christchurch International Airport Ltd (CIAL) began a feasibility study to consider building a 300-room hotel property on the campus. That study, market research and independent expert advice has encouraged initial development of a 200-room hotel near the terminal.
Johns says more budget accommodation will also soon be available at the JUCY Snooze backpacker the airport is also building, and which is well underway at the airport behind the new Spitfire Square convenience retail precinct. He says that will offer 280 beds from November this year, an investment of about $10 million in land and improvements.
‘‘We are expecting next summer to continue to reflect current growth trends and for more records to be set,’’ Jones says.
‘‘This creates a great opportunity for the city’s tourism industry and for regional economic development across the South Island.’’