Australian operator the Star Entertainment Group has submitted plans to government for the construction of a new, six-star luxury hotel at its Sydney property – in a move aimed at increasing VIP visitation to the country’s capital.
Alongside its Hong-Kong partner the Chow Tai Fook Group, Star has set aside A$361m for the project (E222m), which would see the creation of a 61-story Ritz-Carlton Hotel tower boasting 220 ultra-luxury hotel suites, 200 private apartments, two gyms, a restaurant and a rooftop terrace.
Star CEO Matt Bekier said that Australia’s growing status as a destination for international tourism necessitated growth in the country’s tourist economy.
“Sydney lacks sufficient high-end hotels to meet this wave of tourist demand, led by the rapidly expanding wealthy Chinese middle-class,” he said.
The announcement comes on the back of quarterly financials that saw the company enjoy a 44 per cent leap in its statutory profits to $A148m (E91m), due in large part to a surge in VIP turnover.
The Australian tourism board estimates that around eight million foreign visitors will travel to Australia throughout 2018 – but that figure is expected to rise to 15m by 2020.
Despite this, the country still only attracts a trickle of China’s burgeoning tourist population – receiving less than one percent of outbound Chinese travellers last year.