This week's reopening of a big Auckland waterfront hotel will help alleviate the critical accommodation shortage, but thousands more hotel rooms are still needed in the city, a tourism boss says.
Chris Roberts, Tourism Industry Aotearoa chief executive, welcomed the New Zealand's first M Social hotel on Quay St opposite Princes Wharf.
It is the second M Social to open in the world - the first is a 293-room Singapore hotel with interiors by renowned designer Philippe Stark.
Roberts said the refurbishment and reopening on Monday was an extremely welcome move in the stretched sector. But Auckland was still projected to suffer a severe accommodation shortage, he said.
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"It's a refurbishment that's more close to [building] a new hotel. They essentially just left the shell. It's a help but there's still a need for more," he said referring to the city's hotel shortage.
NZ Trade and Enterprise estimate that Auckland needed 4000 more hotel rooms by 2025, but only about 3000 were planned, Roberts said.
"So we still need another 1000 rooms in addition to what's already been planned," he said.
The 190-room hotel at 196-200 Quay St opened this week after a seismic upgrade and major building works that took more than two years. It is managed by New Zealander Nigel Edwards who has worked in Asia for the past decade. Edwards has been based in China and Hong Kong with IHG and Millennium & Copthorne.
M Social was previously branded as a Copthorne but last century was opened as a Travelodge.
The hotel has 140 carparks and is offering valet parking. New restaurant and bar Beast & Butterflies has now also opened, offering Pacific Rim cuisine.
The hotel does not have a swimming pool, but is near Auckland's Tepid Baths. A fitness centre on level four has equipment imported from the United States.