Business Illawarra, the region’s peak business organisation, has welcomed the announcement by Wollongong City Council today regarding a Tourism Accommodation Strategy and an industry roundtable as a positive step in bringing more hotels to the city.  

Currently Wollongong experiences demand for tourism accommodation that far outstrips supply in peak times, which is a concern that has been held by Business Illawarra and other stakeholders for some time and particularly came into focus during the UCI World Road Championships.

President of Business Illawarra’s Regional Advisory Council and publican at The Illawarra Ryan Aitchison said that he has been advocating for more hotels rooms in Wollongong, particularly on behalf of hospitality businesses who would benefit greatly from an influx of overnight visitors to the City.

“We have a vibrant nightlife in Wollongong that is the envy of many cities across Australia, but we can improve this vibrancy significantly by having more places for people to stay overnight so they can properly enjoy everything the City has to offer,” said Mr Aitchison.

“I’m keen to contribute to a strategy that helps us achieve this, and to continue to support Council in approving high-quality hotels as well as working with the private sector to ensure Wollongong is front of mind for hotel developers and operators.”

Business Illawarra Executive Director Adam Zarth welcomed Council’s initiative in developing the strategy, saying that the City’s economic growth relied on a ready supply of high-quality accommodation across the board.

“With the scale of investment coming to the region, Business Illawarra expects a growing number of corporate travelers and skilled workers, together with greater numbers of overnight visitors; particularly once the Illawarra Sport and Entertainment Precinct is completed,” said Mr Zarth.

“We want ensure that all the conditions are right for hotel developers and investors to bring more high-quality stock to the City and the region – and are advocating strongly for game-changing hotel developments like the Globe redevelopment to be delivered.”

“We hope to contribute to a strategy that identifies opportunities and clear pathways for new short term accommodation in Wollongong, and demonstrates a collaborative business and regulatory environment that is attractive to investors and operators alike.”

“By working together with industry leaders and community members, we can create a roadmap for the future of tourism in the Illawarra region that is inclusive, innovative, and economically beneficial for all."

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