Australia’s luxury hotel sector is booming, with notable new properties open, under construction or under consideration. These include the Marriott International, the W Brisbane, the under-development W Sydney, the St Regis, Melbourne, and the proposed Ritz-Carlton at The Star casino in Sydney. Earlier this year, IHG and Watson Elite signed a deal to open the Hotel Indigo Sydney Central in 2021.
“There has not been a lot of growth in the high-end market in Australia for at least 15 years, but the market has turned the corner and with rising demand it offers a value proposition for the operators,” Bruce Ryde, VP of luxury brand management for Marriott International Asia Pacific, told the Sydney Morning Herald at the opening of the W Brisbane. “We are relaunching the W brand back to Australia as our research has shown there is demand. It is a strong brand in Asia and as visitation rises from there to Australia, we see a market for the hotels.”
Ryde said that Marriott is looking to enter what others may see as difficult cities, and referenced the Ritz-Carlton in Perth. “There may be some short-term fluctuations as supply comes on, but as inbound tourism from China to Australia increases, luxury hotels can be sustained,” he said.
As noted yesterday, groups such as AccorHotels, IHG and Marriott International are among the top hotel groups making acquisitions of existing hotels with mid-tier international operators such as Prince Hotels and Minor Hotels Group, also partaking in acquisitions of established hotel brands to expand their portfolios.