InterContinental Sydney plans AUD200 million renovation as demand in the Sydney accommodation market remains solid.

InterContinental Hotel Group and Mulpha Australia Ltd have recently announced (22-Feb-2017) a proposed major renovation of the InterContinental Sydney hotel which is expected to exceed AUD200 million.

The development will see the addition of a 900 sq/m grand ballroom with a glass wall facing north over Circular Quay and Sydney Harbour as well as a significant upgrade to the property’s facade and interior spaces, including all guest rooms and restaurants.

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Source: InterContinental Sydney

The proposed development comes as the nearby Sydney Harbour Marriott on Pitt St completes an AUD15 million renovation of its public areas.

Mulpha Australia, a Malaysia based property investment and development company, has been expanding its Australian portfolio, most recently announcing the purchase of the 4 star Rydges Esplanade in Cairns in Sept-2017.

Mulpha’s broader portfolio of leisure properties includes Bimbadgen Winery Estate Hunter Valley, InterContinental Sanctuary Cove, Marritz Hotel and Salzburg Apartments, Perisher Valley and Hotel Schools in Sydney and Melbourne.

The development of the Intercontinental Sydney comes off the back of ongoing solid demand for hotel and convention space in Sydney.

A report prepared by Colliers International – Research Forecast Report (Hotels 2016) – states:

“Sydney continues to be the leader in hotel performance across the country, with occupancy levels above 87%, average room rates up 6% and Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) increases every year for the past seven years”.

Sydney’s continued strength in the accommodation market has been underpinned by growing inbound visitor numbers, the largest percentage of which came from mainland China (at 18%) in 2016 according to Tourism Research Australia & Destination NSW. This figure is expected to grow as 2017 marks the China Australia Year of Tourism (CAYOT) and airline capacity from China into Sydney and Australia continues to increase. This includes Qantas’ recently re-commenced services to Beijing in Jan-2017 and Virgin Australia’s upcoming planned direct services to Hong Kong, part of its new association with China’s Hainan Airlines and HNA Group.

The opening of the International Convention Centre in Darling Harbour in late 2016 is also expected to have further positive impact on demand in Sydney, particularly in the Meetings Incentives Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) sector, as the New South Wales capital continues to redefine itself in that area giving Melbourne a serious run for its money.

With the opening of the new Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour and the recent management takeover and makeover by Hyatt Regency of the former Four Points Sheraton Darling Harbour, the Sydney premium accommodation scene looks set to continue its positive trajectory into 2017.