With 24 hotels currently in operation throughout the Australia, New Zealand and Pacific market and a pipeline of both signed and approved deals set to bring an additional 18 properties to the portfolio, Marriott is on track to grow to 50 hotels over the next four years across the region. The current pipeline properties will add more than 4,500 rooms.
“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,” Craig S. Smith, president and managing director Asia Pacific, Marriott International, said in a statement. “We currently have seven of our 30 brands represented here and we look forward to introducing more in the coming years.”
Growth in the region has been strong in recent years, Smith said. “We hope to build on that growth now that the Starwood deal has closed. We are growing an in-market development team, including specialist feasibility and architecture, and construction capabilities, which will make a huge difference in our ability to respond to a high level of new project enquiry. 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.”
The company’s success in the market can be attributed to “rapidly increasing consumer demand for quality and premium lodging options,” Sean Hunt, the new area vice president Australia, New Zealand and Pacific, Marriott International, said. “Australia is experiencing strong visitor arrival numbers and there is a significant shortage of hotel rooms in major cities around the country, in particular Sydney and Melbourne. Demand for quality accommodations is outstripping supply and despite having over 3,800 additional rooms already signed across Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney, there’s still room for more.”
As we noted before, Australia's hotel market, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, is experiencing an “unprecedented alignment of positive fundamental indicators,” according to Gus Moors, head of hotels for Colliers International. International passenger traffic to and from Australia reached record levels last year at 34.9 million, up from 33.1 million in 2014. Annual growth has been consistent at more than 5 percent in passenger movements on international airlines to and from Australia over the past five years.
Marriott International already has a strong market presence in the key gateway cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane, and will be entering emerging primary and secondary destinations, with the signings of Four Points by Sheraton Parramatta, The Westin Resort & Spa Coolum, Aloft Adelaide and Sheraton Adelaide Hotel.
Three additional brands, Aloft, W and The Ritz-Carlton, are expected to be introduced to the region by the end of 2020, with the W Brisbane, and Aloft Perth scheduled to open in 2017, followed by Aloft Melbourne South Yarra and Aloft Adelaide in 2019, and The Ritz-Carlton, Melbourne and The Ritz-Carlton, Perth slated for 2020.
Marriott International is on track to have the largest portfolio of upper-upscale and luxury brands and properties across the Pacific region by 2020. The company’s luxury pipeline for Australia, Smith said, includes properties from three brands.
“We will see The Ritz-Carlton reenter Australia with the opening of The Ritz-Carlton Perth and The Ritz-Carlton Melbourne, and 2017 will see the reentry of the famed W Hotels brand with the opening of W Brisbane,” Smith said. “Australia is doing a fantastic job of driving interest from this segment by showcasing the premium product and experiences available here, but, as across the board in this market, demand is still outweighing the hotel product available.”