Hotel vital for tourism growth, developer says

Waterfront hotel developer Jing Song. Photo supplied.
Waterfront hotel developer Jing Song. Photo supplied.
The Otago businesswoman behind Dunedin's proposed waterfront hotel stepped into the public arena yesterday, talking about her passion for the city and the vision for the future.

As earlier indicated in the Otago Daily Times, Jing Song is the promoter behind Betterways Advisory, the company wanting to build the 28-storey hotel in Wharf St.

Responding to critics of the project, Ms Song said yesterday the development was about advancing the city.

''The hotel is an exciting and invigorating project for Dunedin, a city I love.

''We've got the opportunity to have the best hotel in the country. Dunedin is ready for a world-class hotel and here's the opportunity.''

A model of the proposed waterfront hotel.
A model of the proposed waterfront hotel.
The Dunedin City Council committee considering the company's application for a resource consent for the project resumes its hearings on Monday. Betterways was asked for five additional pieces of information by the committee before the resumption of the hearings.

Ms Song, who is in her late 20s and lives in Queenstown, was educated at St Andrew's College, in Christchurch, before winning a scholarship to the University of Otago to study for degrees in accountancy and theatre.

By 22, Ms Song was a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and practised accountancy with WHK in Dunedin, previously known as Taylor McLachlan Ltd. She is an associate member of the CPA Australia and a former member of Dunedin Operatic.

''I can't talk highly enough about the education and motivation I received at Otago, she said.

''Otago University is the best tertiary education provider in New Zealand. They opened my eyes to business opportunities and that's why I live and work here.''

Ms Song lived in Dunedin for about eight years.

She now runs her own consulting business as well as a wine exporting company promoting world-class trophy award-winning wines, such as Central Otago's Valli wines, into China.

Otago Chamber of Commerce president Peter McIntyre welcomed Ms Song's declaration she was behind the hotel project.

''This adds flavour and colour to the project. In the current environment, most new development is being pushed into Auckland and Christchurch.

''We should feel privileged Ms Song chose to build the hotel in Dunedin.''

The hotel project fitted with the new Dunedin's economic strategy which called for inward investment, he said.

''There is nothing to be afraid of here. The hotel fits in with our recent infrastructure projects, such as the Forsyth Barr Stadium.

''It will benefit Dunedin and the Otago region, but also the rest of New Zealand. We will have a top hotel and another destination for inbound tourists,'' Mr McIntyre said.

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