Marriott International is looking to double its presence across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific to about 50 hotels in the next four years to take advantage of the increasing movement of travelers in the region.
The growth will be boosted by Marriott’s recently-completed acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts.
One of the hotels will be a new Ritz-Carlton at the proposed $500 million hotel and retail complex at The Star Entertainment’s casino in Sydney. Another will be an Aloft hotel in Perth opening next May.
The properties in the pipeline will provide more than 2500 hotel jobs and add more than 4500 rooms.
An impression by fjmt architects of a $500 million hotel being built by The Star at Darling Harbour to be operated by The Ritz-Carlton chain. Photo: Supplied/Star Entertainment Group
The president and managing director, Asia-Pacific, Marriott International, Craig S. Smith said in Sydney this week the group will be entering emerging primary and secondary destinations, with the signings of Four Points by Sheraton Parramatta, The Westin Resort and Spa Coolum, Aloft Adelaide and Sheraton Adelaide Hotel.
He said the Aloft, W and The Ritz-Carlton brands are expected to be introduced to the region by the end of 2020, with the W Brisbane and Aloft Perth scheduled to open next year, followed by Aloft Melbourne in South Yarra and Aloft Adelaide in 2019, and The Ritz-Carlton Melbourne and The Ritz-Carlton Perth slated for 2020.
“This is an extremely exciting time for Marriott as we significantly grow our footprint in the Australia, New Zealand and Pacific region and continue to build on our leadership position in gateway markets,” Mr. Smith said.
“We currently have seven of our 30 brands represented here and we look forward to introducing more in the coming years.”
Mr. Smith said the group’s pipeline for the region includes the introduction of three hotels from of its top-tier luxury brands signalling a demand for upper upscale services in the market.
“We will see The Ritz-Carlton re-enter Australia with the opening of The Ritz-Carlton Perth and The Ritz-Carlton Melbourne, and 2017 will see the re-entry of the famed W Hotels brand with the opening of W Brisbane,” he said.
According to hotel property agents, the sector remains under-supplied, particularly in Sydney, which is due to open its new International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) later this month.
That will see a plethora of events heading back into the city after a three-year hiatus.
The chief executive of Business Events Sydney, Lyn Lewis-Smith, says that, to meet the surge in demand, Sydney needs to expand its hotel footprint with redevelopments and investment in new accommodation for the CBD and Darling Harbour precinct “to make sure the tills can keep ringing well beyond 2020”.
“Before the doors of the ICC Sydney open, Business Events Sydney has already secured close to 50 prestigious events to be hosted in the venue, worth $300 million to the NSW economy,” Ms Lewis-Smith said.
“Across New South Wales our future pipeline is extremely strong and we have already secured more than 80 international events to be hosted in NSW from 2017 to 2023. These events are worth close to $350 million direct expenditure to the state’s economy and this figure will continue to grow.”
Some of the events include “4500 techs in T-shirts” for the first OpenStack Summit in the Southern Hemisphere.
RoboCup is another event Sydney will host, with more than 2000 artificial intelligence experts from around the world descending on Sydney to compete and display the latest technology.
Travel data shows that Australia continues to see a strong surge in international visitor numbers, with double-digit growth in seven of the country’s top 10 tourist source markets.
“The Chinese market continues its rocket trajectory towards the top of the league table – 23.2 per cent growth over the past 12 months is truly astounding – and yet we are attracting less than 1 per cent of Chinese travellers to Australia,” Ms. Lewis-Smith said.
Marriott’s Mr. Smith said growth in the Australia, New Zealand and Pacific region has been strong in recent years and “we hope to build on that growth now that the Starwood deal has closed”.
“Demand continues to be high from both consumers and developers, and with the wide variety of brands available, from mid-scale to luxury, we expect more great opportunities to brand further high-quality, international-standard hotels in the region,” he said.
Accompanying Mr. Smith on his visit to the region is Sean Hunt, recently appointed Australia, New Zealand and Pacific vice-president of Marriott International.
“Our success and exponential growth is being fuelled by a number of factors, including the rapidly-increasing consumer demand for quality and premium lodging options, the strength of our brands and the high returns these offer our owners, and the benefits of the merger and our vast and global network and systems,” Mr. Hunt said.
“The incredibly high number of loyalty members we have in the Australian market, which is sitting at over one million, will also play a key role in our growth strategy.”
Mr. Hunt said Australia is experiencing strong visitor arrival numbers and there is a significant shortage of hotel rooms in major cities around the country, particularly Sydney and Melbourne. “Demand for quality accommodations is outstripping supply and, despite having over 3800 additional rooms already signed across Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney, there’s still room for more,” Mr. Hunt said.
“Marriott International has the clear number one position for upper upscale and luxury hotels in Australia and New Zealand’s most important international gateway markets. It’s a real positive for any new hotel to have a brand that’s recognised and admired in those source markets.”
SOURCE: The Sydney Morning Herald
POSTED: November 2, 2016
AUTHOR: Carolyn Cummins