Home » Destination Global » Currently Reading:

Sydney Skyline Evolves to Attract More Visitors

June 23, 2015 Destination Global No Comments Print Print Email Email

A host of exciting new infrastructure developments in Sydney including the biggest change to Darling Harbour in 25 years plus a spate of new hotels in the city’s prime tourism areas are set to transform the city’s skyline and attract even more visitors to its shores.


Major infrastructure projects include the transformation of Darling Harbour including Australia’s largest exhibition and convention centre, a major harbourside development at Barangaroo, significant upgrades to Sydney Airport and the planned regeneration of The Bays Precinct, a waterfront space in the inner west.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said, “Sydney is a global city offering world-class events, leading hotels and a spectacular Harbour. These significant investments led by the NSW Government will ensure Sydney continues to compete on a global scale in attracting international and domestic visitors to achieve the NSW Government’s target of doubling overnight visitor expenditure by 2020.”

Darling Harbour and the International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney)

The $3.4 billion transformation of Darling Harbour includes the development of the International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney), Australia’s largest exhibition, events and convention centre.  The ambitious project will redefine events and conventions in Australia offering greater capacity, state of the art facilities and world best practice technology in an unrivalled Sydney Harbour location. The space will generate $200 million annually for the NSW economy and a total of $5 billion to the State over 25 years.

Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer, Sandra Chipchase said “Sydney continues to push the boundaries when it comes to innovative and state of the art facilities.  The new International Convention Centre will offer an unparalleled events, trade exhibition and convention space.

“With the development of Australia’s largest and most impressive events space, Sydney will be even more equipped to attract major events keeping it centre-stage as a global city. In fact, 20 events worth more than $150 million have already been secured for the ICC Sydney when it opens in 2017.  Plus an increase of over 820 hotel rooms in Darling Harbour alone means Sydney can accommodate even more visitors and offer more options,” Ms Chipchase said.

The transformation project will also include the new landmark The Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour five-star hotel with 600 room capacity at the northern end of the site as well as a new commercial, residential and retail space in the south all in the heart of a prime waterfront precinct in the Sydney CBD.  The Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour is set to open in 2017.

Also as part of the revitalisation of Darling Harbour, Four Points by Sheraton Sydney has also been undergoing a $160m redevelopment which will see the current 683 room capacity increased by a further 222 rooms, new conference facilities plus new food and beverage options.


The much anticipated Barangaroo development is set to inject new life into Sydney Harbour and will span 22-hectares on the western harbour foreshore of the CBD.  Headland Park, a new flagship harbour park, is set to open at the end of next month in the first stage of openings for the public.

On completion, the waterfront precinct will comprise three zones, a commercial and residential precinct, a dynamic public events and recreation space and a world leading hotel.

“The Barangaroo development is destined to become the city’s financial and business hub. It will open up previously inaccessible areas along Sydney Harbour to the public and upon completion is projected to see 33,000 visitors to the precinct daily by 2022,” Ms. Chipchase said.

The prime new recreation, events and entertainment precinct will offer 2.6 hectares of public space and will include a 14km waterfront walk from Woolloomooloo to the Anzac Bridge.

James Packer’s Crown Group also has plans for a six-star, ultra-luxurious hotel at the site with an estimated cost of $1.3 billion. When it opens in 2019, the group proposes the ambitious new development will be ‘the best hotel in the world’ featuring 350 rooms, suites and luxury apartments as well as signature bars and restaurants.

Sydney Airport

On the aviation front, Sydney Airport is currently undergoing improvement works as part of a 20 month project with completion of the first stage set for the end of 2015.

Works to improve traffic flow at domestic airport terminals T2 and T3 have already commenced and will include a new purpose-built ground transport interchange to accommodate public buses, coaches and cars.

Upgrades to the international departures terminal, T1 are also set to deliver an improved passenger experience with more food options, improved check in and passenger circulation and major works to streamline traffic flow and passenger pick up.

New Hotels & Refurbishments

“Sydney is Australia’s most visited city so we welcome the upgrades to Sydney Airport which will offer visitors an improved airport experience with new check in counters, food courts and streamlined traffic flow,” Ms. Chipchase said.

Also slated for the airport are three new hotels; the Travelodge Sydney Airport set for a late 2016 opening; the Pullman Sydney Airport with opening anticipated for May 2016 and the recently opened Adina Apartment Hotel Sydney Airport.

Set to launch as a new 62-room boutique hotel in August 2015, Chippendale’s The Old Clare Hotel and Carlton United Brewery Administration Building are currently undergoing a multimillion-dollar overhaul. The venue will be home to several signature restaurants. Automata will be Clayton Wells’ first solo restaurant following stints at Momofuku Seiobo and Quay; Kensington Street Social will be Michelin-starred Jason Atherton’s first Australian venue; and Noma graduate, Sam Miller, will head up his first restaurant, Silvereye.

Other significant changes on the accommodation front include the reopening of The Langham Sydney following a $30 million refurbishment, the glamourous new InterContinental Sydney Double Bay and the QT Residences Bondi, set to open at Bondi Beach later this year.

Outside the CBD, Bondi landmark, the Bondi Pavilion, is also undergoing a $10 million upgrade as part of the Bondi Park, Beach and Pavilion 10 year Plan of Management whilst The Bays Precinct, located just two kilometres west of Sydney CBD will revitalise Sydney’s inner harbour area with over 5.5 km of waterfront retail, recreation, tourism and commercial space.

For more information on attractions and experiences in NSW, visit www.visitnsw.com and www.sydney.com.

Comment on this Article:

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Platinium Partnership


Elite Partnership Sponsors


Premier Partnership Sponsors


Official Media Event Partner


Global Travel media endorses the following travel publication