“We are seeing good visitor numbers, especially in those areas within easy driving distance of major centres,” Mr Johnson said.
One of the latest to open its doors after recent relaxation of restrictions for regional Victoria is the Sebel in Yarrawonga. It has had a $35 million upgrade.
After two false starts due to the lockdown, the multimillion-dollar development is said to be setting a new benchmark in accommodation, dining, conference and events facilities for the Murray River region.
Accor Pacific are managers under the Sebel banner, and Melbourne-based development company Lotus Living are behind the hotel development, situated within its Silverwoods Golf and Lifestyle Resort.
It will comprise 63 studios rooms and apartments, with a further 54 rooms expected in stage two of the development later in 2022-23. It will initially open two of its three food and beverage venues – Stock & Barrel bar and casual dining and Sunset Pool Bar.
Accor Pacific chief executive Simon McGrath said he was confident The Sebel Yarrawonga would deliver “exceptional accommodation and an outstanding service experience for our valued guests”.
“Trusted brands, like The Sebel, bring quality and credibility to the serviced apartments sector, which has been rapidly growing in popularity,” Mr McGrath said.
“We are expecting to see a boom in this area, particularly in the current climate, as serviced apartments limit unnecessary contact with other guests and offer a safe and secure way to travel.”
Newly appointed general manager Rebecca Russell said it has been a challenging year but the hotel is finally ready to greet locals and regional travellers and eventually guests from Melbourne and interstate.
In Sydney, the newly constructed Holiday Inn Express Sydney Airport has opened and has seen a rising number of trans-Tasman arrivals and domestic travellers.
The 247-room, eight-storey hotel is on the doorstep of Sydney’s domestic airport terminal and is only minutes away from the international terminal.
Ronald Barrott, chief executive of the site’s owner, the Pro-invest Group, said the group’s first airport hotel was well positioned for the return of international and domestic travel.
“With the trans-Tasman travel bubble established between Sydney and New Zealand, and international arrivals increasing, we expect demand for this type of accommodation to grow,” Mr Barrott said.
Carolyn Cummins is Commercial Property Editor for The Sydney Morning Herald.