06/06/2006 - 22:00

SW leads bed push

06/06/2006 - 22:00

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Visitors to Western Australia won’t be short of a place to stay, thanks to a host of hotels and resorts in the planning stages or preparing to open around the state.

SW leads bed push

Visitors to Western Australia won’t be short of a place to stay, thanks to a host of hotels and resorts in the planning stages or preparing to open around the state.

In Perth, the number of rooms is about to jump by 174 with the opening of the Medina Executive Barrack Plaza Hotel, on the corner of Wellington and Barrack streets, next week and the Richardson Hotel in West Perth by late July.

The 15-storey, four-star Medina has 100 short-stay serviced apart-ments, 48 strata-titled residential apartments and a restaurant.

The 10-storey, five-star Richardson, now into its final fit-out phase, has 16 guestrooms and 58 suites, with a dedicated day spa, business centre and new restaurant called Opus.

But visitors to Perth’s will have to wait a little longer to get a room on the city foreshore, with construction of the 86-room ‘floating’ Elan Riverside Pier Hotel put on hold due to problems encountered by developer PH3 in securing a building licence for the second stage.

Tourism Council WA chief executive Ron Buckey said trade was good for hotels in WA as a result of the resources boom, particularly from people visiting the state on business.

“Hotels are getting higher yields from business tourism because they offer cheaper rates to attract corporate clientele, but Perth still needs more affordable three-and-a-half-star and four-star options to attract families and budget conscious travellers,” Mr Buckey said.

Tourism Minister Sheila McHale said Perth had $283.6 million of accommodation development under construction or planned. The South West topped that, however, with $352.9 million worth of projects at various stages of development.

Significant hotel and resort developments set to launch down south include the $52 million Hilton Eco Resort and Spa, Yallingup, the $30 million Geographe Bay View Resort, the $30 million Gnarabup Beach Resort and the $17 million Karma Margaret River Resort.

South West Development Commission chief executive Don Punch said it was no surprise that the tourism potential of the region had been discovered by hotel and resort developers.

“The growth in tourists to the South West highlights the success of our destination marketing campaign as a region producing high quality food and wine,” he said.

Mr Punch said there were opportunities to market five-star hotel and resort accommodation in the South West to a national audience, but it was important to balance the premium accommo-dation with more affordable options.

Operators in the state’s north are already trying to strike a balance, with the development of 54 camp-sites and 35 tented cabins as part of the $2.5 million Savannah Camp-ground in the Karijini National Park.

This will complement the four-star, $12 million Exmouth Marina Novotel Ningaloo currently under construction and the five-star $56 million Ningaloo Hilton about to start.

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