September 9, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier

micenet’s end-of-week round-up of industry morsels.

Latest Accor property to open in central Sydney next week

After a slight delay, Accor’s new MGallery property in central Sydney, The Porter House Hotel Sydney will open on Tuesday on Castlereagh Street. The 122-room hotel is part of a $94 million 36-storey mixed-use development integrated with the original heritage Porter House building next door, which has also been transformed into a hospitality hub including two floors devoted to meetings and private dining spaces.

A $15 million refurbishment for airport hotel

Holiday Inn Sydney Airport has revealed a $15 million refresh of its 252-property. New technology and updated bathrooms were particular focuses of the hotel’s revamp. The renewal complements the existing offering for events at the property – there is 584m2 of meeting space here.

Tasmania getting fed up with airlines

Tasmania’s Premier Jeremy Rockliff is losing his cool with Australia’s major domestic airlines, saying Australia’s island state has been subject to a higher level of service reduction as airlines grapple with the constraints of operating during a global pandemic.

After ramping services back up as restrictions eased, Qantas has since cut services back by 15 per cent until the end of this month and 10 per cent through the whole of the coming summer. Virgin has not been specific about any flight reductions it has made recently.

“While we accept there may be a need for some capacity adjustments, it is disappointing that Tasmania – despite being the jurisdiction most reliant on air travel – appears to have been hit with a disproportionately higher level of reduction than elsewhere across Australia,” said Rockliff.

“Tasmania is an island, and the reality is we are more vulnerable to any shifts in airline capacity to and from the state.”

The premier says he has written to the CEOs of both Qantas and Virgin to “express his displeasure” and recently met with Qantas head Alan Joyce to discuss the matter.

Major events to give Queensland a $63 million boost in September

From Riverfire to Brisbane Festival and women’s international football in Brisbane to the Birdsville Races in the outback and the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, major events in Queensland are back – and so is their economic impact.

The 23-day Brisbane Festival is expected to contribute $36 million to the economy on its own, while the Matildas versus Canada female football match boosted accommodation occupancy in Queensland’s capital by 10 per cent at the start of the month.

And the month-long Toowoomba horticultural event – the longest-running event of its kind in Australia – is expected to generate 130,000 visitor nights for the regional destination.

Biggest ever Red CentreNATS in Alice Springs

A record 1,044 entrants participated in central Australia car event Red CentreNATS last weekend, with 13,500 attendances recorded across three venues.

And most of Alice Springs turned out to watch the Yeperenye Street Parade which featured 560 cars.

New culinary school in Geelong to help prepare for the 2026 Commonwealth Games

A 23.5 million culinary school has opened at a Geelong TAFE to train commercial cooks, bakers and patisserie chefs, as well as baristas, as the region gears up to be one of four hubs for the regional Victorian Commonwealth Games in 2026.

The new school will educate 579 culinary students in the lead up to the Games.

“Bringing the Commonwealth Games to Geelong in 2026 will provide a huge boost to tourism as well as the hospitality industry and that’s why we are investing in training and skills for the event right now,” said Victoria’s minister for Commonwealth Games legacy Shaun Leane.

The state government funded the culinary school to the tune of $13.5 million.

Sports stadium becomes creative hub in regional Victoria

And, not far away down the Great Ocean Road, a former sports stadium has been converted into a creative arts hub at Torquay on Victoria’s surf coast.

The Torquay Multi Arts Centre has exhibition and performance space and will be used to host theatre shows, music gigs and other creative events.

The repurposing of the stadium was made possible by a $240,000 grant from the state government and is expected to attract thousands of visitors to the region.

Surf sports event in Coffs Harbour scores $200k grant from NSW regional events fund

The four-day Summer of Surf World Cup series taking place in Coffs Harbour has locked in a $200,000 grant from the $40 million Regional Events Acceleration Fund, as it expects to attract 10,000 visitors to watch various surf sports this summer.

“We are serious about driving investment and tourism in the regions,” said the local Coffs Harbour member Gurmesh Singh.

“The Regional Events Acceleration Fund will put more heads on beds, fill restaurants and cafés, and help drive growth in regional NSW.

“The fund has already supported more than 80 events and attracted an estimated one million visitors to the regions.”

Applications for the fund are still open for events taking place this financial year. The application deadline is October 4, 2022, at 5pm, Sydney time.