Australia and New Zealand Event News – April 2019


M&OP unveils new spaces

Melbourne & Olympic Parks has unveiled a series of refurbished dining and bar facilities across its precinct. The upgrade also features new three-level ‘pod-style’ guest entrance with a function centre and media centre, opening February 2022. Discounted accommodation can be booked here.



New MICE centre for Geelong

A new $170 million convention and exhibition centre will be built in Geelong as part of a joint agreement between the Australian and Victorian Governments. Set on the site of the Deakin University car park the facility will feature banquet halls, meeting rooms and a business centre across 3000sqm. It will also feature an adjoining four-star, 200-room hotel with the entire project expected to contribute $50 million per year once operational.


Vivid Sydney set for May launch

Vivid Sydney, the largest festival of light, music and ideas in the Southern Hemisphere, will take place in the Harbour City from Friday 24 May to Saturday 15 June 2019. Over 23 nights, the program, now in its eleventh year, will bring together light artists, music makers and brilliant minds to showcase innovation and creativity as part of a star-studded program of events.


AEG Facilities and SMG to merge

AEG Facilities and SMG have announced a merger to create a global management company known as ASM Global. The new company will jointly manage a portfolio of over 310 properties across five continents including London’s O2 Arena, STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and New Orleans’ Mercedes-Benz Superdome. AEG Facilities’ local venues include International Convention Centre Sydney, Qudos Bank Arena and Brisbane Entertainment Centre all managed by the Australian arm of AEG.


New Sydney convention centre to open in September

Sydney is set to welcome a new event and conference space this September with the opening of the Crown Group’s Infinity Convention Centre at Green Square. The mixed-use development will provide new classroom-style spaces, 450-pax cocktail events, sit-down dinners and auditoriums. The building also forms a landmark gateway to the $13b Green Square transformation, including the addition of a new train station and aquatic centre to the precinct.


Melbourne lands largest event ever

Melbourne will host the 2023 Rotary International Convention, a massive international event expected to draw tens of thousands of visitors from 200 countries to the state. The bid for the largest conference to ever grace the state was led by the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) and supported by the Victorian and Australian Governments. An estimated $88 million will be injected into the economy through direct and economic spinoffs across four days.


IHG acquires Six Senses

IHG has announced the acquisition of the entire Six Senses hotel brands and operations, taking its global portfolio of luxury hotels to 400 properties or 108,000 rooms worldwide. Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas manages 16 hotels and resorts (1,347 rooms), with a further 18 management contracts signed into its development pipeline. The brand also has a further 50 deals under discussion, with IHG expecting to accelerate the business’ growth to more than 60 hotels over the next 10 years.


Accor welcomes 21c Museum Hotels to portfolio 

Accor has announced the official addition of the 21c Museum Hotels into the MGallery Hotel Collection, a global network of more than 100 storied boutique hotels located in 26 countries. Operating under the 21c Museum Hotels – MGallery name, the brand will offer guests with individual styles and stories at each property. Each MGallery hotel is remarkable for its singular personality and is deeply rooted in the destination’s history. The announcement also marks the arrival of the MGallery brand into North America.


Holiday Inn Dandenong due for 2021 opening

A brand new 160-room Holiday Inn & Suites has been signed to open in Dandenong in 2021. Located a short stroll from Dandenong train station and the business district, the hotel will also enjoy a boost from the State Government’s $290-million ‘Revitalising Central Dandenong’ (RCD) initiative by creating demand for a world-class hotel to cater for growing business travel in the ‘capital’ of Melbourne’s south-east. Other features expected to draw business travellers are an all-day dining and bar experience, retail shopping via separate access and a long stay suite component targeting the travellers looking to stay for extended periods.


Accor acquires TRIBE brand

Australian hotel brand, TRIBE has been acquired by Accor and has been officially added to Accor’s lifestyle hotel portfolio. Offering business and leisure guests smart design, artistic furniture finishes, and service focused on the essentials, the brand is distinctly targeted towards an international clientele of regular travellers. With their debut location of Perth remaining under TRIBE founder’s ownership, Accor has plans for another 10 openings by 2022 across Europe and AsiaPacific.


QT eyes Adelaide property

EVENT Hospitality and Entertainment will open a 200-room hotel in Adelaide, marking its first property under the QT brand in South Australia. Starting construction in late 2019, the $180m development will also feature food and bar offerings, extensive conference and events facilities, all said to be “unlike anything seen before in Adelaide”.


Pullman Nadi Bay Resort and Spa set to open

The Pullman brand is due to make its debut in Fiji, opening its doors to the new Nadi Bay Resort and Spa on 19 April 2019. With 180 degrees of uninterrupted ocean views, the resort offers 236 rooms and suites as well as access to the Pullman’s Soqoni Ballroom which can cater up to 500 people. There are also two additional private meeting rooms to cater to a smaller scale meeting. All event options are inclusive of state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, WiFi and dedicated event specialists.


New Zealand

Oaks named as ANZ hotel champion

The Oaks Hotels and Resorts group has been recognised for its ‘Hotel to Hands’ Program with Soap Aid in social corporate responsibility. The initiative aims to collect and recycle 26 tonnes of potentially wasted hotel soaps per year. These are in turn provided to hundreds of children in disadvantaged communities as a basic hygiene product and reducing the environmental impact of otherwise discarded products. In 2017, over 550 kilograms of hotel soap was turned into over 5000 new bars.


Accor Summer Offer

AccorHotels is offering a $25 off each night on all bookings before 30 August 2019. Stay dates are until 31 January 2020 at all participating Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery, Quay West, The Sebel, Swissotel, Grand Mercure, Novotel, Mercure, ibis, ibis Styles and ibis Budget hotels across Australia and New Zealand.


First NZ airport hotel opens

The first fully connected and integrated airport terminal hotel in New Zealand has now opened at Wellington Airport, providing easy access for travellers with early departures and late arrivals. The four-star Rydges Wellington Airport hotel offers 134 rooms – most with extensive views out to Lyall Bay and directly out over the runway as well as complimentary WiFi, on-site gym, restaurant and bar. A refurbished meeting centre for up to 160 people is expected to be completed later this year as part of the airport’s infrastructure development programme.


Greener future for SKYCITY

SKYCITY’s New Zealand locations in Auckland, Hamilton and Queenstown have been announced to be carbon neutral by the end of the year, after already cutting their emissions by 8%. The company’s Adelaide properties will follow by also going carbon neutral in 2020.