Chinese investors plan new Holiday Inn for Remarkables Park in Queenstown

1st May 2019


By Marta Steeman – originally published for Stuff.co.nz
May 01 2019.

An illustration of the planned new hotel, Holiday Inn Queenstown Remarkables Park, whose owners are Chinese investors QLong Investments, who tried and then withdraw an application to buy beef and sheep property Jericho Station in Southland.
SUPPLIED
An illustration of the planned new hotel, Holiday Inn Queenstown Remarkables Park, whose owners are Chinese investors QLong Investments, who tried and then withdraw an application to buy beef and sheep property Jericho Station in Southland.
Chinese investors who backed off buying a large South Island farm are planning a new 182-room hotel in Remarkables Park in Queenstown to be run by the world’s largest hotel operators IHG.

IHG announced it is set to open a Holiday Inn at Remarkables Park in Queenstown in two years, its second Holiday Inn in Queenstown, following it signing an agreement with QLong Investments, the hotel’s owners, to run the new hotel.

The announcement comes amid a burgeoning number of hotel rooms being planned and under construction in the tourist mecca.

Qlong Investments, formerly Qianlong Farms, bid in 2017 to buy 1359-hectare sheep and beef farm Jericho Station, near Manapouri in Southland, from state-owned farmer Landcorp with a $8.7 million offer, accepted by Landcorp.

  • Chinese bidder for Landcorp’s Jericho Station withdraws bid
  • First-ever Landcorp farm sold to foreigh buyer sits in flux months on,as New Zealand bidder waits.
  • ‘Short-term pain’ predicted for Queenstown hotel industry
  • Queenstown plans for new Holiday Inn Express unveiled

Holiday Inn Express under construction in central Queenstown will open in 2020, international hotel operators IHG said.


Holiday Inn Express under construction in central Queenstown will open in 2020, international hotel operators IHG said.
Qianlong did not apply for Overseas Investment Office approval for a few months after its bid was accepted, and later decided to withdraw its application. The farm was sold to a local buyer, Ed Pinckney.

The new hotel is the first in New Zealand for QLong Investments. IHG said it would open in early 2021.

The Holiday Inn Queenstown Remarkables Park would be a flagship for Holiday Inn in New Zealand, a few minutes drive from Queenstown Airport and close to the Remarkables Ski Field. It would feature all-day dining and bar venue, large meeting facilities and a gym, IHG said. The other Holiday Inn in Queenstown is in Frankton.

Abhijay Sandilya, IHG’s senior director of development , Australasia, said the company was focusing on growing its brands in regional areas.

“Our existing hotels in Queenstown are performing extremely well, and this new Holiday Inn will complement them perfectly, along with the upcoming Holiday Inn Express which will open in 2020.”

Yigang Wang, a director of QLong Investments, said Queenstown was a tourism mecca for international and local visitors.

“We expect this momentum to continue, and are confident that Holiday Inn Queenstown Remarkables Park will contribute to that success. “
​Sheng Du, the owner of QLong Investments, said: “QLong owns hotels and apartments in USA and China, is excited to be expanding our portfolio into New Zealand, and Queenstown which is such a favourite with tourists from around the world.”

Recently Tourism Industry Aotearoa chief executive Chris Roberts warned hoteliers all over New Zealand were facing a period of uncertainty.

An increase in the minimum wage, the growing number of Airbnb properties and slowing tourism growth were contributing to the issue.

The average occupancy of Queenstown hotels dropped to 81 per cent in the last year, down from 83 per cent a year earlier, he said.

In 2019 the average room rates had also started falling.

“It looks like we’ve gone past the peak growth and are coming down the other side,” Roberts said.

Hundreds of new hotel beds were under construction or being proposed for Queenstown, including the Holiday Inn Express under construction in the town centre, a 131-room Ramada Queenstown across the road, and a 400-room hotel on Gorge Rd.