The October debut of Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour has given the city its first new internationally branded five-star hotel since before the 2000 Olympics, signally the start of a boom in luxury developments in the harbour city.

A succession of high-end hotels is in the pipeline, including a $500 million “six-star” Ritz-Carlton adjoining The Star hotel-casino site in Pyrmont, and the towering Crown Sydney being developed at Barangaroo by James Packer at a cost of $2 billion. Singapore’s Pontiac Group is also planning a $300 million redevelopment of a landmark pair of heritage buildings on Bridge Street in the city centre known as “the sandstones”.

At the opening of the Sofitel, NSW Tourism Minister Adam Marshall said the state had experienced record tourism growth, triggering a huge investment in Sydney’s accommodation sector.

“The accommodation sector plays a key part in our visitor economy and I congratulate AccorHotels on this wonderful new asset, and with another 4,800 new Sydney hotel beds in the pipeline between now and 2024 I look forward to seeing even more investment in our city,” he said.

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