Sydney set for $4b-plus hotel developments

There is a wave of new hotel development set to change the landscape of the Sydney market, with the opening of the International Convention Centre considered the catalyst.

According to the Tourism Accommodation Australia, the new development phase “will set up the city for a decade-long tourism boom”. Already $2.3 billion of hotel projects have been approved for the Sydney city area, with a further $1.9 billion of projects proposed and in advanced stages of planning.

In the Sydney city area, almost 3000 rooms are scheduled to open during the next four years, with more developments in the pipeline. Darling Harbour, where the ICC is located, will be the most in demand for the hoteliers who will cater for the new events that are set to head Sydney’s way in coming years. The $700 million Ribbon Hotel and Residences project, which will include a W Hotel, is under construction on the former IMAX site and the Ovolo 1888 was created out of a former waterfront wool store.

The new Sofitel hotel at Darling Harbour is due to open in 2017.
The new Sofitel hotel at Darling Harbour is due to open in 2017.

On the city side of Darling Harbour, Australia’s largest hotel, the Four Points by Sheraton, is adding 222 rooms to increase its inventory to 892 rooms. The new rooms will open at the end of the year, following the rebranding of the hotel to Hyatt Regency.

The focal point for the dramatic hotel growth is Darling Harbour, where one of the largest new hotel developments in more than 20 years, Accorhotels’ Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour, will open in the final quarter of 2017, adjacent to the ICC.

Hotel development has also extended to the Greater Sydney region with Parramatta and western Sydney expected to receive up to 10 new hotels, including pioneering 5-star hotels, and there has been significant new hotel development in Bondi, at Sydney Airport Macquarie Park and Chatswood in the past year.

Australia’s peak accommodation body, Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA), says the unprecedented development boom comes after a hotel building “drought” that followed the Sydney Olympics in 2000, and with the opening of the ICC, growth in air capacity and massive expansion of tourism infrastructure across the city, the right demand drivers were in place to ensure the latest development phase would be sustainable in the long term.

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