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NEWS Last modified on October 29, 2015

Christchurch Airport looks to build new hotel to cope with rising demand

Rising passenger numbers through Christchurch Airport and strong tourism growth forecasts are prompting the airport to begin work on a second hotel on the campus to complement the newly upgraded Sudima Hotel.

Chief commercial officer – property and commercial, Blair Forgie, says a feasibility study will consider developing a quality airport hotel near the terminal, in response to record growth in international airline seats, increasing passenger numbers and New Zealand’s very strong tourism growth outlook.

“Christchurch Airport is the gateway to the South Island and our aeronautical growth, including 770,000 more seats added by new and existing airline customers over two years, has led us to think about additional short stay hotel accommodation,” he says.

“Developing a second hotel at the airport is one way we can set our airport, our city and the South Island up for successfully getting its share of the tourism growth.”

Forgie says the proposed hotel is likely to be 200 to 300 rooms and will be built in two stages, with the first targeted to open in 2017/18.

“Before the quakes, Christchurch had around 4,000 hotel rooms and the airport welcomed around six million passengers a year. Today the city has 2,202 hotel rooms and the airport is on track to welcome around 6.3 million passengers this year, with more growth to come.

"The major markets driving our growth are Australia, China and the US, and those visitors expect to be able to choose hotel accommodation.

“Statistics show Canterbury saw 13% more visitor nights in the year to June 2015 and we’re still New Zealand’s fastest growing entry point for Chinese travellers.

“We have strong growth from existing carriers and two new Asian airlines flying here from this summer. Those Asian flights land here in the evening and we have increasing numbers of Australian visitors arriving at night – both groups expect choice in hotel accommodation.

“We’re seeing other airports supporting the tourism growth in a similar way, with Auckland Airport committing to a third airport hotel and signalling a fourth and Wellington committed to a new airport hotel.”

Christchurch Airport will begin a request for proposal process with hotel brands in the coming weeks as part of the feasibility work being undertaken.

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