City of Launceston has released the hotel’s plans to convert its function centre into 10 new rooms and renovate a further 13 rooms, with all works expected to be finished in August.
The upgrades would bring the total number of rooms to 78.
Mercure’s Launceston managing director Tenille Pentland said the decision was made to upgrade the hotel to keep up with predicted long-term demand.
She quoted the state government’s T21 tourist strategy, which aims to draw 1.5 million tourists a year to Tasmania by 2020, as evidence of a need for more hotel rooms in Launceston.
“An additional 271 rooms will be required in Launceston [if T21 is achieved],” she said.
“We have an optimistic outlook for the Northern Tasmanian hotel industry over the long term and are passionate about re-investing back into the Launceston community.”
Tourism Northern Tasmania chief executive Chris Griffin said the Mercure may have even underestimated the future growth in tourist numbers.
“[The figure of 271 rooms] is probably on the light side,” he said.
“We’d be looking for that and more rooms, but given the Silos development coming this winter, as well as the Verge and the Gorge hotels in the next few years, that’s probably about right.”
Renovations at the hotel will begin, given council approval, within weeks, with the function centre set to be out of action soon.
Ms Pentland said the recent renovations of the hotel’s Titanium bar and bistro meant the function centre was redundant.
“The function centre operates predominately on Friday and Saturday nights, whereas the conversion to hotel rooms will see daily use,” she said.
“This change will allow us to increase our overall employee numbers, thus contributing further to the local economy.”
The development application submitted by Mercure also detailed plans to install a ramp and sliding door for easier entry into Titanium.