5 December 2014

Herald Sun

New hotel in William St: Falling Australian currency lures travellers

THE world’s biggest hotel group hopes that the falling Aussie dollar will lure more overseas visitors to Melbourne.

A former derelict building in William St has become the Wyndham group’s first hotel site in Melbourne under a $200 million redevelopment.

It also includes a new holiday concept for the city — special vacation units that are available for hire by club members around the world.

Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific managing director Barry Robinson said the units were self-catering and had features such as juice machines and proper knife sets.

Mr Robinson said Wyndham had about one million vacation unit members in the US and he hoped the falling dollar would encourage many of them to visit Australia.

“With the currency weakening again, people are starting to travel down from the US and Europe and finding that our destination is becoming more affordable,” he said.

Wyndham, which has more than 7500 hotels worldwide, also uses the brand name Ramada. The 23-storey Melbourne building, on the corner of William and Lt Bourke streets, also includes a rooftop pool, gym, residential apartments, shops and office space.

It was developed by Hengyi Australia, which paid $45 million for the site in 2010.

By JOHN MASANAUSKAS