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Brisbane hotel shortage opens door for start-ups

Tuesday, 12 March 2013 | By Oliver Milman

Start-up opportunities in the hotel market appear to be blossoming in Brisbane, with a new report showing that the Queensland capital loses around 87,000 visitors and $136 million in expenditure a year due to a chronic lack of hotel rooms in the city.


The study, released by the Queensland government, found that more than 1,100 jobs could be created if hotel supply was to meet surging demand in Brisbane.


Currently, the report states, 470,000 nightly hotel bookings a year are deferred from Brisbane due to a shortage of beds, with a 28% increase in bookings over the past five years.


The burgeoning Chinese tourism market is a main driver of the surge, with visitor numbers from the country rising 15.1% a year.


But a lack of hotels in Brisbane is putting the brakes on this potential growth, potentially opening the way for innovative start-ups, as well as the large developers the city hopes to attract.


Graham Quirk, lord mayor of Brisbane, says: “In order to maintain and improve the city’s tourism potential, and attract more major events and business conventions to the city – which bring enormous economic benefits – we need to introduce more hotels.”


“Encouraging investment and development of new fully-branded hotels in Brisbane is a key priority of the city.”


The report found that $5.5 billion is spent by visitors to Brisbane each year, with 28% of this total coming from international tourists.