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SYDNEY MORNING HERALD | TOURISM HOTEL SPEND HITS $119 BILLION IN RECORD TIME

The amount spent by overnight tourists across the country has reached $119 billion in record time, which is underpinning the latest wave of hotel developments, according to industry experts.

Industry body Tourism Accommodation Australia said it welcomed news the Tourism 2020 goal to grow total overnight visitor expenditure to $115 billion had been met ahead of schedule.

Figures released on Thursday reveal that together, international and national total overnight visitor expenditure is now at a record $118.9 billion - more than $3 billion over target.

TAA national chief executive Michael Johnson said the combined efforts of the tourism and accommodation sectors allied with the federal government "have seen us more than surpass the Tourism 2020 goals of increasing total overnight visitor expenditure from $70 billion to $115 billion".

"The National Visitor Survey figures for the year ending March 2019 show Australian domestic tourism continues to grow. Australians took 109 million overnight trips across the country over that period, staying 386 million nights and spending a record $74.5 billion."

The National Visitor Survey is conducted by Tourism Research Australia for each quarter.

The survey revealed that NSW continues to be the number one state regarding visitor nights for regional locations across all accommodation categories. It also attracts the biggest share of domestic visitor nights overall, with 28.8 per cent.

It comes as leaders of the hotel industry met during the week for the Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific (HICAP) at the Sydney Sofitel Wentworth, sponsored by law firm Ashurst.

In attendance was Hubert Viriot, chief executive of YOTEL, who launched a new 244-room property on 63-69 City Road in Melbourne's Southbank.

Mr Viriot said the brand is popular with Australians at the Singapore hotels and that made the move to Australia very easy.

He said the chain has taken out the "fuss" from hotel rooms but still keeping an eye on luxury and services including high-tech offerings.

"Over the past two years, we have been actively searching for the right locations and partners to roll out our brands in Australia, a key market for our global expansion and a key feeder market for our hotels in the US, Singapore and the UK," he said.

"With solid market fundamentals and global appeal, Melbourne is the perfect gateway to launch our first property in the country. Moreover, we are delighted to enter the market with Cornerstone Partners Group, an international leader in hospitality and real estate investments."

He said Australia is a very sophisticated hotel market with strong stakeholders. "However, we believe the affordable luxury segment has been under-served and that’s what YOTEL intends to solve."

Another hotel is the Brady Hotels Jones Lane, aimed at providing "a more personalised guest experience and helping visitors discover the best of Melbourne’s theatre, shopping and laneway culture that’s literally on its doorstep".

Brady Hotels Jones Lane, the group’s second Melbourne hotel, is tucked down Little Lonsdale Street on the corner of Jones Lane between Exhibition and Russell streets, in the heart of the city’s theatre district.

It is a 4.5 star boutique hotel over 21 storeys and encompasses 153 rooms, 96 of which have balconies.

Brady Hotels Jones Lane was designed and developed by architectural and interior design companies SJB, Peddle Thorp Group and Brady Construction at a cost of $32 million.

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