Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA) is going to the market to determine interest in a hotel development on airport property. The Authority is making the move as a result of a recent feasibility study it commissioned by PKF Consulting, an international firm specializing in the hotel and hospitality industry. The study indicated that the climate is ideal, citing a strong local economy, a growing demand for accommodations, increasing passenger traffic, and available investment capital, creating a solid market opportunity.
"Our consultants have diligently investigated the financial and market viability of the proposed hotel project," says Jerry Staples, Director of Marketing & Business Development. "We know the conditions support success." Staples points to the steady growth of passenger traffic through Halifax International Airport, reaching a record high of 3.2 million passengers in 2004, and the increasing proportion of passengers originating from or destined to Halifax, as further indications that demand for on-site accommodations will be strong.
"This is something our customers, both the traveling public and the airlines, have wanted for some time, and providing high-quality accommodations on-site will enhance Halifax International Airport's competitive edge," says Staples. Airlines want on-site accommodation for passengers and crew, and with most other major airports in Canada with on-site hotels, it's time Halifax acted to provide that service, he says.
While details have not been finalized, the hotel could offer facilities such as a business centre, meeting rooms, fitness centre and restaurant. It will be located adjacent or attached to the air terminal building for market visibility and ease of access. The study also indicated that the local market was capable of absorbing an airport hotel without seriously affecting the financial viability of existing hotels nearby.
HIAA is preparing to issue a call for expressions of interest in the near future. Respondents to the call will be assessed against stringent criteria to ensure their ability to complete the project. Only qualified applicants will be invited to submit detailed proposals.
Halifax International Airport is Atlantic Canada's principal full-service airport providing passengers and cargo clients with access to markets across the country and strategic locations in the United States and Europe. The Airport welcomes more than three million passengers each year, making it Canada's seventh busiest airport.