Dubai-based Ghassan Aboud Group, owner of the Crystalbrook Collection hotel group, is opening three new hotels in Cairns, Far North Queensland.
According to Hotel Conversation, the first of Crystalbrook’s three new properties to open is the ‘Riley’, a 311-room resort on the Cairns Esplanade. It will be Cairns’ first new five-star hotel in over 20 years.
Two more properties will follow – ‘Bailey’, which is due to open in mid-2019, and ‘Flynn’, which is scheduled to open in late 2019. To date, Crystalbrook Collection has committed more than A$800 million in tourism investments within Australia.
In an interview with Hotel & Catering News, Ghassan Aboud, founder and chairman of the Ghassan Aboud Group, says Australia’s buoyant economy and strong tourism sector made it an excellent destination choice to commence the hospitality arm of his business.
‘In Cairns, I saw immense untapped prospects for hospitality,’ he says. ‘Our first acquisition was the Tradewinds hotel, followed by the adjacent site and thereafter a series of other assets in the region.’
Cairns is experiencing a period of growth in international passenger numbers. Cairns Airport reports that in the 12 months to June 2018, 5.3 million passengers came through Cairns Airport, up from 5.2 million in the previous year. Passengers travelling to or from Cairns increased by 90,650 to 5 million.
In 2017–18, hotel occupancy rates in Cairns grew 0.7% to 84.6% and the average daily rate rose 5% to A$152 per night.