Holiday Inn Express Brisbane Central marks the return of one of the world's hotel giants

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Construction of one of Brisbane’s newest hotels, Holiday Inn Express Brisbane Central, has topped out and it’s 226 rooms are being readied for its first guests early next year. While it may be no-frills, the scheduled opening of the property in Wharf St, Spring Hill, in late January will mark the return of one of the world’s hotel giants to Brisbane.

Holiday Inn Express is the fastest-growing brand of the UK-based InterContinental Hotels Group. Its ‘select service’ model includes free breakfast and wifi and targets business travellers and price-conscious leisure travellers Sydney-based hotel developer Pro-invest has a Master Development Agreement with IHG to roll out up to 15 Holiday Inn Express hotels across Australia and New Zealand, and with development of its Brisbane property nearing completion, it is already scouting for another Queensland site. “We are looking at some of the other key markets in Queensland, absolutely,” Pro-invest Managing Director, Phil Kasselis, said.

At the top of its hotel development hit list in the Sunshine State is the Gold Coast. “We haven’t signed any deals yet but we are looking for a site in Surfers Paradise,” he said. “There’s no doubt the Surfers Paradise market has had a resurgence over the last couple of years as a result of the weakening Australian dollar and increased air access. We like it.”

Also on its list – “perhaps in the next couple of years” – is Cairns. But at this stage no further expansion of the Holiday Inn Express brand is planned for the Brisbane market until “the next cycle”. “The Brisbane hotel market is suffering from a slowdown in demand growth as a result of the commodities market having subdued somewhat,” Mr Kasselis said. “But, ultimately, when you look at the tourism stats, accommodation room nights have continued to grow … and there is no reason why that will not continue.” Holiday Inn Express Brisbane Central manager Michael Foster said the opening of the hotel was a “significant milestone” for both Pro-invest and IHG.

Phil Bartsch, The Courier-Mail, 11th November 2016  

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