A privately-owned Singapore hotel company has big plans in New Zealand as it prepares to officially open a $50 million Auckland property.
Naumi Hotel Auckland Airport will open on Wednesday and has 193 rooms the company says are distinctive and cater to changing tastes of guests.
The hotel is the first of Naumi Hotels' properties outside Singapore to open but the company has work under way on places in Wellington and Sydney.
The Auckland hotel was formerly the Hotel Grande, previously owned by the GHI Group, Singapore, and was bought for $23.3 million and during the past 18 months has undergone a complete overhaul with renovations exceeding $25m.
Gaurang Jhunjhnuwala, chief executive of Naumi Australia and New Zealand, said his family-owned firm had confidence in the outlook for tourism in New Zealand.
''I'm a strong believer in New Zealand tourism. Two years ago when we were looking to expand New Zealand was an obvious destination for us,'' he said.
There was a good mix of leisure and corporate travellers entering the country through Auckland, which meant it was a natural starting point for operations in this country.
Two hotels in Cuba St, Wellington were being developed with 179 beds and Naumi was looking for sites in Christchurch and Queenstown.
A shortage of hotels has pushed up prices and hoteliers are enjoying yields among historic highs, particularly in Auckland and Queenstown.
''Those are the perils of a growing city that is attracting tourists. New Zealand needs a lot more hotels and hotels in different categories.''
Jhunjhnuwala said room rates started at about $300 a night at his new hotel on Kirkbride Rd, near Auckland Airport.
The five-star property was 3km from Auckland Airport. It was aimed at ''redefining the transit accommodation market'' as the only boutique hotel set away from the intensity of the airport precinct.
He said he hoped the rooms would be polarising.
''It should be akin to staying in a friend's stylish home. It should be someone's favourite room or someone's non-favourite room,'' said Jhunjhnuwala.
While many hotels were moving away from mini-bars, the Naumi had complimentary snacks and soft drinks available. It also has unlimited wifi and Netflix in rooms, aimed at younger travellers.
''We found a lot of existing hotels are not catering to the millennial market who have a different luxury demands than may be traditional,'' said Jhunjhnuwala.
Auckland is suffering a shortage of hotels and he said he had yet to find a suitable site in the middle of the city.
Research by international real estate services company CBRE late last year found that if tourism growth continues at forecast rates demand will continue to exceed supply leading into the America's Cup in 2021.
The report said an additional 3195 hotel rooms were planned for the city during the next three years, with a probability forecasted figure of 2580 rooms (81 per cent) actually built.
Hotel room demand is forecast to increase by 5 per cent to 7 per cent a year during the next three years, regardless of the Cup, as the international and domestic tourism markets continue to grow.