Crown Towers Perth

The Australian hotel industry is responding to continued record international visitor growth with a record level of hotel investment – over $8 billion – that is set to transform Australia’s accommodation and tourism sectors.

Figures released today by Tourism Accommodation Australia identify 228 hotel projects (34,702 rooms) under construction, approved for development or in advanced planning stages in the six state capitals and Darwin.

CEO of Tourism Accommodation Australia, Carol Giuseppi, says this is the most extensive and all-encompassing hotel rejuvenation phase in Australia’s tourism history.

Recent hotels announced for development include: Marriott International’s Luxury Collection Hobart –  a 128-room hotel at Parliament Square, which is part of a $150 million urban regeneration project funded by the Melbourne-based Trawalla Group and Sydney-based private developer, Citta Property Group, due for completion in 2018; and IHG’s Holiday Inn Sydney Central – the 305-room hotel will be developed by China’s Linzhu group in the Central Park precinct at the southern end of the CBD, with a scheduled opening of 2020.

These announcements follow a strong flow of openings in 2016, capped off by the opening of Australia’s most expensive hotel development, Crown Towers Perth, in December.  In addition, a massive rejuvenation of Australia’s existing hotel stock is underway, highlighted by the recent announcement that Mulpha would invest $200 million in a complete upgrade of the flagship InterContinental Hotel Sydney.

“It is both responding to the massive growth in tourism demand and anticipating long-term growth in the visitor economy,” Ms Giuseppi says.

“The investment boom is covering all aspects of the industry – from international chains to boutique properties, city centre to suburban, business to resort. Cities such as Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide have been transformed by a substantial number of new hotel openings in the past few years, and Sydney is set to follow suit with $2.3 billion worth of hotel projects already approved and a further $1.9 billion of projects proposed and in advanced stages of planning.

“Investor confidence is being supported by Federal and State governments’ commitment to major tourism and urban infrastructure projects including new convention centres, airport facilities and tourism precincts.

“The investment pipeline will fuel Australia’s economy and employment for many years to come. Already the industry supports over 184,000 full time equivalent jobs directly and through flow-on impacts, and the 200 hotels in the pipeline have the capacity to deliver a further 30,000 full-time equivalent jobs.

“However, future investment could be jeopardised by the growth of unregulated accommodation which has no barriers to entry, little transparency and few controls. It is time for Australian authorities to follow the lead of overseas cities and crack down on the proliferation of commercial short-term operators.”