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Melbourne hotels to expand 7 per cent by 2018

Seven new hotels to increase hotel rooms in Victorian capital by 1400 rooms in two years

Melbourne is ‘upping the ante’ for business events, with hotel rooms to grow by 7 per cent in two years, with the city expecting a record year for incentives.

Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) CEO Karen Bolinger said the city is on track to retain it’s positioning as “Australia’s events capital”, at an Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME) kick-off press conference.

New developments include the Crown casino’s 400-room hotel on the Yarra River, the AU$210 million expansion of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) and a AU$580 million expansion of Chadstone Shopping Centre.

Bolinger said: “There is a lot in the way of infrastructure development in 2016. We are really ready to up the ante. In the next two years seven hotels will open, giving 1,400 new rooms and increasing capacity by 7 per cent.

“This year is also shaping up to be our strongest year for incentives. There’s already been a 42 per cent (year on year) increase on business coming out of incentives, which is worth AU$67 million to date.”

The strong figures were revealed a day before the 24th AIME on 22-23 February, which also coincides with Business Events Week. A total 33,000 hotel rooms will open across Australia by 2020.

Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle also welcomed members of the media, alongside Tourism Australia’s MD John O’Sullivan, AIME event director Ian Wainwright and Reed Exhibitions portfolio director Sallie Coventry.

Wainwright said 200 new buyers had registered for AIME, with 70 per cent of them being mutually matched for one-on-one appointments. He added: “AIME will never stop evolving and we look forward to bringing new, inspiring and creative ideas to the show.”

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