Chinese developers are making their entry into Australia’s hotel industry, taking on rival Western chains such as Sheraton, Hilton and Hyatt.
The first is Primus Sydney, owned by Shanghai-based Greenland International Hotels Group, which told Business Insider that this was the first time a Chinese developer built their own five-star hotel.
The redeveloped art deco building is Greenland’s first Australian hotel and opened just before Christmas last year.
While Greenland has around 70 hotels in 20 Chinese provinces either completed or currently under construction, this is its first Primus Hotel outside China.
Greenland Australia managing director Sherwood Luo said the local expansion was a sign of the company’s confidence in Australian tourism and its future growth as well as it being a “great opportunity for Greenland to familiarize the tourism market in depth”.
Luo said that Primus will target both local and overseas tourists, as Greenland continues to look for “suitable opportunities with potential presences in different cities”.
Primus features 172 rooms across six levels in Pitt Street, Sydney, next to the adjoining $700 million residential complex on Bathurst Street, also owned by Greenland Group.
The investment in Australia’s hotel sector has been partly driven by a boom in Chinese tourists, with more than one million visitors to Australia in 2015, an 22% increase on the previous year. Chinese visitor expenditure now tops $6 billion.
But while the traditional move has been to buy out Western hotels like China’s Fu Wah International Group did with the purchase of Melbourne’s Hotel Park Hyatt back in 2014, Greenland was confident that the Primus heritage building “was perfect to fit for a hotel business in relation its layout, location and characteristics”.
Luo said the Chinese-designed hotels will attract a different market to the Western brands, but not just Chinese tourists, and that “each brand would have its own characteristic/personalities” and influence certain markets.
Here are more photos of the new boutique hotel below.