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International hotel to create 100 Victorian jobs

The Malaysian-based international Tune Hotels chain will open a 225 room hotel and base its operational headquarters in Melbourne in November creating 100 jobs, chief executive Mark Lankester said today. 

The Melbourne hotel nearing completion on Swanston Street near the corner of Queensberry was the precursor to further Australian expansion, with the budget accommodation group aiming to have up to 15 venues nationwide within five years, Mr Lankester said.

Tune Hotels which has 30 hotels in seven countries is part of a conglomerate controlled by Tune Group founder Tony Fernandes who is CEO of low-cost airline AirAsia X which also flies into Australia.

“Australia is going to be an important market for us, that’s why we’ve set up a regional office in Melbourne,” Mr Fernandes said.

“Like AirAsia, we’ll just build as many as we can and see how far we can go.”

Premier Dennis Napthine who is leading a super trade summit of 300 Victorian businesses to the region said the hotel’s opening would create 100 jobs.

Other jobs would be created in the company’s regional headquarters, Premier Napthine said.

“There’s every opportunity for the market to grow. This is a different segment of the market for tourism and travel,” he said.

The state government had provided “modest” support for the Tune Group to come to Australia, he said.

“We don’t disclose those amounts but in the scheme of things it’s a drop in the bucket.”

Mr Fernandes’ Tune Group is Asia’s version of Richard Branson’s Virgin empire having expanded from airlines into hotels and the insurance business.

“He [Branson] wants me to go to space with him. Honestly, I have zero interest in that,” Mr Fernandes said.

AirAsia X flies into Melbourne nine times a week but the group was keen to expand the regularity of flights to three or four per day.

“We’re pressing very hard with the Federal Government to open up more seats in terms of direct air services from Malaysia,” Dr Napthine said.

Tune was also looking to expand its insurance business through partnerships in Australia, Mr Fernandes said.

Reinvent Your Career would like to thank The Sydney Morning Herald where this article first appeared

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