New Sydney ICC hotel to come under Sofitel brand

Accor has signed a management agreement that will see the upcoming Sydney International Convention Centre (ICC) hotel operate under its luxury Sofitel brand.

Due to open in 2016, the ICC will offer a total of 35,500sqm of exhibition space, making it the largest in Australia. The centre – located 8km from international and domestic airports will be capable of accommodating more than 12,000 delegates and holding multiple large conferences and exhibitions concurrently.

Highlights will include a 5,000sqm external event deck offering sweeping views of Darling Harbour, a ballroom that can cater for more than 2,000 people, and a red carpet entertainment complex for added glitz and glamour. There will also be a theatre that has a capacity of 8,000.

The new hotel, Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour, will be situated next to the venue and is scheduled to open the following year.

It is part of the government’s A$2.5 billion (US$2.3 billion) transformation of Darling Harbour to become the city’s main convention, exhibition and entertainment precinct.

“Australia is becoming a hot spot for international luxury brands and the increasing number of ultra-high net-worth individuals. Foreign capital, higher disposable incomes and independent Chinese travellers are fuelling the growth, and in recent months, Australia has seen strong demand from offshore investors for 5-star hotel assets.  Financial institutions from leading economies such as Abu Dhabi, Korea and Singapore have been acquiring hotels in Sydney, driven by the huge potential in the Australian luxury market,” said Accor Pacific chief operating officer, Simon McGrath.

The group’s luxury Sofitel brand has grown in Asia Pacific, with the recently launched Sofitel So Singapore, plus upcoming projects Sofitel So Auckland and Sofitel Wellington expected to open next year.

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