Airport company buys hotel and conference centre

31 January 2018

Waikato Regional Airport Limited (WRAL) has purchased Hamilton Airport Hotel and Conference Centre.

The sale includes the acquisition of all buildings and the ground lease as well as the existing hotel and conference business.

Current operators, Hamilton Airport Hotel Limited, will lease back and continue to operate the hotel and conference centre at least until January 2019, 12 months from the date of purchase.

WRAL Chair John Spencer said the acquisition was in line with WRAL's strategic objective to grow its non-aeronautical revenue stream.

“Ownership of the hotel provides an opportunity to further develop and enhance the range of services offered within the airport precinct.”

WRAL, the parent company of Hamilton & Waikato Tourism, cites regional tourism growth plus ongoing demand for accommodation and conference facilities as supporting reasons for the purchase.

The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment's (MBIE) Regional Tourism Estimate lists Hamilton and Waikato as the fifth largest region in New Zealand in terms of visitor expenditure (behind Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown). An estimated $1.456 billion was spent in the region for the year ending October 2017, an increase of six per cent on the previous year.

Commercial guest nights for the Waikato region are also rising. The latest Commercial Accommodation Monitor figures released by MBIE show three per cent year-on-year growth for the year ended November 2017, a total of 1.42 million guest nights.

“With a number of new businesses in the area and record numbers attending events such as Equidays and Fieldays at nearby Mystery Creek Events Centre, demand for accommodation near the airport has grown,” Spencer said.

As well as purchasing the hotel and conference centre, the airport company has recently established five new fully-equipped meeting spaces within the Hamilton Airport terminal building.

WRAL chief executive Mark Morgan said the airport receives a steady stream of enquires for conference facilities and meeting rooms.

"Our new facilities have already proven popular to businesses who regularly utilise the airport," he said. They will complement the existing facilities already at the Airport Hotel and Conference Centre.”

WRAL is a council-controlled organisation owned by Hamilton City, Otorohanga, Waipa, Waikato and Matamata-Piako District Councils and is the umbrella for subsidiary companies; Hamilton Airport, Hamilton & Waikato Tourism and Titanium Park Limited.

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