Every drive to Sydney Airport seems to change with new buildings coming up so fast it’s a wonder taxi drivers don’t get lost each trip. This surge of development is being driven by soaring visitor numbers passing through Sydney’s domestic and international terminals.
“2017 was another record year for Sydney Airport facilitating 43.3 million passengers though our three terminals, an increase of 3.6 per cent compared to 2016,” says Sydney Airport CEO Geoff Culbert. “International passenger performance was outstanding growing by more than one million, or 7.2 per cent.”
With Sydney Airport Corporation spending big to update its terminal facilities, hotels are also coming to the party, catering to the increased demand of travellers wanting a bed for the night and increasingly a meeting space to connect in.
Just 181 steps to the Sydney international departures and arrivals terminals, a short complimentary transfer from the Domestic Terminal and less than 25 minutes by car, taxi or train to and from the Sydney CBD makes Rydges Sydney Airport a convenient and easily accessible hotel and venue. The hotel offers 318 rooms featuring runway views of the airport, and for those early arrivals and departures its Touch&Go Cafe and breakfast buffet is open and available from 4:30am daily.
Rydges Sydney Airport’s conference venue offers nine flexible event rooms ideal for board meetings, conferences, conventions and larger style product launches for up to 190 guests. Last-minute or unplanned meetings can take place with “Quick-meets”, a Rydges concept allowing any fly-in or fly-out guests needing last minute space to meet for a few hours or a full day.
Last year saw a flurry of new hotel openings at Sydney Airport including a 209 room Travelodge Hotel. Mantra also joined the party, becoming the third hotel in the Sydney Airport precinct when it opened in mid 2017. Built in partnership with Sydney Airport Corporation, it was the first time the airport body led the design and development of a hotel. “We chose Mantra to operate the hotel because of their outstanding reputation and their proven expertise in the Australian hotel market and we’ve seen evidence of that at every stage of this process, so we’re very much looking forward to that continuing strong relationship,” says Sydney Airport Corporation managing director and CEO Kerrie Mather.
Pullman Sydney Airport was the first hotel in the precinct, with the new build 5-star hotel offering 229 accommodation rooms and suites, a restaurant and bar, conference facilities in addition to the brand’s signature Executive Lounge.
The Pullman brand has now also touched down in Brisbane as part of the Brisbane Airport Hotels Group which already includes the 4.5 star Novotel Brisbane Airport, and has expanded to include a 5-star Pullman Brisbane Airport, a 3.5 star ibis Brisbane Airport and Brisbane Airport Conference Centre.
Brisbane Airport Conference Centre offers 1800 square metres of architecturally designed space and state of the art facilities in an accessible location. The purpose built venue can accommodate up to 600 guests across its fully flexible floorplan with a pillar-less ballroom, boardrooms, conference rooms and onsite kitchen and bar. In addition Novotel Brisbane Airport also offers a range of meeting room options.
Brisbane Airport has seen ongoing growth in traveller numbers, with Queensland’s major events strategy helping attract international visitors and contributing to a nearly 7 per cent year on year growth in international passengers through Brisbane Airport in 2017. International passenger numbers grew by 372,300 to more than 5.8 million travellers, resulting in the strongest growth in international passenger numbers in a decade.
Julieanne Alroe, Brisbane Airport Corporation CEO and managing director, says the world is taking note of Brisbane as a destination in its own right, as well as being a city for world class major events and gateway to Queensland and Australia.
“More international passengers are choosing Brisbane and Queensland as their first port of call in Australia and, with the additional airlines, flights and destinations we added to our network in 2017, it’s making it easier for them to come direct from all corners of the globe to experience Brisbane and all it has to offer,” she says.
“It’s not just our efforts as an airport to increase connectivity that has achieved this result, it is the combined efforts of our local and state governments, the airlines and other business partners banding together for Brisbane and Queensland that has really made the impact.”
Brisbane Airport is expanding to provide additional international service, with a new runway scheduled to open in 2020. The $1.35 billion development is currently the largest aviation project in Australia and will provide Brisbane Airport an operating capacity similar to Singapore Changi and Hong Kong International when completed.
As travellers become more time poor and interstate travel continues, many organisers are choosing an airport venue for their meetings due to their convenient location. Many delegates prefer to be able to fly in and out on the same day, which allows more time completing business rather then lost time travelling to the venue.
With this in mind other airports are also set to see new accommodation and meeting spaces come online in the near future. Construction has started on the new $50 million 165-room Atura Hotel at Adelaide Airport, located within walking distance of the domestic and international terminals. The hotel is on track to open its doors by the end of 2018 and is part of Adelaide Airport’s $2 billion 30-year vision to upgrade.The hotel restaurant, bar and lobby will integrate with the broader airport terminal and can be accessible by all travellers, not just hotel guests. A walkway will directly link the hotel with the airport’s level two domestic and international check-in area.
Adelaide Airport managing director Mark Young says many people fly to Adelaide to conduct business solely at the airport. “We expect demand to grow as passenger numbers continue to increase, and we develop our Airport Business District infrastructure and expand our terminal facilities,” he says.
The Gold Coast Airport will also see a new 192-room Rydges Hotel open in 2019. The seven storey new build will feature a restaurant, resort-style swimming pool, and substantial function, conference and meeting facilities, as well as rooftop bar.
Gold Coast Airport CEO Chris Mills says the hotel, which will be located close to the airport’s major terminal expansion project, will enhance the appeal of the growing airport precinct and add a new level of convenience for passengers.
“This is a game changer not just for the airport, but for the southern Gold Coast,” he says. “The hotel is an important part of the airport’s broader property strategy and we expect it will stimulate interest in a number of other exciting projects being considered for the precinct.
“Many of our customers have indicated they would welcome the convenience of an airport hotel to enable them to catch early morning flights after meetings or conferences.”