Major hotels in Auckland and Wellington have recently changed hands in what continues to be a record period of hotel investment activity in New Zealand.

Dean Humphries, national director of Colliers International’s Hotels division, said the 132-room Travelodge Wellington and 142-room Heartland Hotel Auckland Airport have both recently sold to offshore interests.

“These recent transactions, both sold to new entrants to the New Zealand market, continue to demonstrate the appeal New Zealand’s tourism sector has to domestic and offshore investors.

“We’re witnessing an increasing number of investors flocking to our shores, attracted by the strong investment returns offered by our local hotel market.”

Humphries said 11 major hotels, including the Heartland Hotel and Travelodge Wellington, changed hands in New Zealand in the last 12 months, with a total value of nearly $350 million.

“And with only limited new hotel development expected in the near future, hotel investment returns are likely to increase significantly over the next three years – lifting hotel values to new heights.

“The tourism market is booming, fueled by record visitation numbers, an attractive dollar, strong domestic demand and New Zealand’s image as a safe place to travel.”

The Heartland Hotel is in close proximity to Auckland International Airport on George Bolt Memorial Drive on a 1.6 ha site and is managed by the Scenic Hotel Group. The 142-room hotel has a three and a half star Qualmark rating with 288 on-grade car parks as well as meeting facilities, a restaurant and a swimming pool.

Yesh Mudaliar, asset manager for Lotus Hospitality, said they have been pursuing an opportunity in Auckland for a while and are thrilled to be finally entering the thriving New Zealand tourism market.

The Travelodge Wellington, at 2-6 Gilmer Terrace, comprises a 132 room, four star Qualmark rated hotel. The property was fully retrofitted at a cost of $11 million in 2009 and includes multiple conference facilities with a restaurant and bar.