Brisbane is planning a multi-billion dollar infrastructure development programme designed to cement the city’s reputation as a key Asia Pacific business events destination.
Brisbane Convention Bureau general manager Rob Nelson said major investment in new hotels and venues, combined with new retail, dining, leisure and entertainment offerings, would transform the city over the next few years.
“These investments in Brisbane are complemented by a major upgrade to the Brisbane Airport, air route growth and record numbers of international visitors,” he added.
“One of the shining jewels of this new wave of investment is Queen’s Wharf Brisbane, a stunning $3bn integrated resort development being undertaken by the Destination Brisbane Consortium that will change the face of Brisbane’s western CBD.”
Queensland managing director for Consortium partner The Star Entertainment Group, Geoff Hogg, said Queen’s Wharf Brisbane will become the best integrated resort in Australia when it opens in 2022.
“Situated along the Brisbane River, it will transform a heritage area of the city, which is largely underutilised, into a world-class and iconic multi-use precinct that will offer locals and visitors alike a truly Brisbane experience,” he added.
“Driven by tourism, our exciting development will raise the city’s global appeal attracting an extra 1.39 million tourists annually who will generate $1.69bn extra tourism spend per year.”
The development will feature 1,100 new hotel rooms, 2000 apartments, 50 new bars and restaurants, a pedestrian bridge to South Bank, a mixture of retail offerings, 12 football fields of public realm space that will accommodate up to 60,000 people, and it will restore and reactivate nine heritage buildings in the precinct.
Nelson said another precinct project would transform the eastern end of the CBD’s waterfront underneath the iconic Story Bridge.
“The Howard Smith Wharves project will see the development of a wonderful entertainment, events and lifestyle precinct that includes an Art Series hotel, conference facilities, chic restaurants and public spaces,” he said.
“These projects will complement the new hotel builds and brands we’ve seen flourish in Brisbane since 2014.”
TRYP, Hotel Jen, Capri by Fraser, Four Points by Sheraton, The New Inchcolm Hotel and Suites, NEXT Hotels, Gambaro, Alpha Mosaic and Alex Perry have added more than 900 rooms to the city in less than two years.
“The new Rydges Fortitude Valley has just welcomed its first guests and ibis Styles has recently opened its doors in the Brisbane CBD – this is largest ibis hotel in Australasia,” Nelson said. “New Mantra, Holiday Inn Express, Pullman, ibis, Emporium and W offerings are under construction and Westin will complete a new build in 2018.”
Nelson added that the new accommodation, event and lifestyle infrastructure was being backed by major investment in aviation infrastructure. “Brisbane Airport Corporation is embarking on Australia’s biggest aviation project – development of a new parallel runway,” he said.
“The massive $1.35bn project is due for completion in 2020 and will double the airport’s capacity to a level similar to that of Hong Kong and Singapore. This is coming at a time when we’re seeing upgraded and new air routes coming into Brisbane.”
Last year, Qantas re-instated direct services between Tokyo and Brisbane and Etihad Airways upgraded its Abu Dhabi-Brisbane route to a direct service.
Air Canada will fly directly between Vancouver and Brisbane from June, Qantas will introduce a year-round service from Christchurch to Brisbane during the southern winter and China Eastern Airlines will begin a regular Shanghai-Brisbane direct service from November.