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Vol 15. No.1

Bi-monthly February 2011

THE 2011



Print Post approved PP255003/07998

Pan Pacific Hotels Group President & CEO A. Patrick Imbardelli




A S I A - PA C I F I C

Hotel Furniture Specialists

1300 500 815


Bi-Monthly February 2011


06 Introduction
An overview of the 2011 Industry Leaders Forum.

hotels and chains across not just Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, but Asia-Pacific as a whole.

08 HMQ&A
An exclusive interview with Sir Richard Branson.

80 Brand Management
Hear from Preferred Hotel Group, Worldhotels, Design Hotels, The Leading Hotels of the World, and Elite Resorts of Asia Pacific.

12 Global Perspective
In exclusive columns for HM, nine of the worlds leading hoteliers look at what to expect in 2011.

84 Hotel Technology
Ted Horner looks at what to expect for hotel technology in 2011.

28 Industry Associations
Industry leaders look at the biggest issues facing the hotel industry in 2011.

04 Editors Letter
Welcome to the issue, plus credits.

34 New Zealand
Exclusive 2011 outlooks from New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and NZHC Independent Chair Jennie Langley.

85 Hot Products
New products for hotels from the industrys leading suppliers.

36 Leading Suppliers
The industrys leading suppliers provide an interesting annual insight to how they see the accommodation sector.

86 Global Report
Why Londons hotels have high expectations for 2011 and the 2012 Olympic Games.

48 Hotels & Chains

Hear from CEOs, Regional Directors and General Managers of major

90 Stop Press
The latest news from hotels across the globe.


08 The 2011 Industry Leaders Forum

Exclusive interviews and columns from global CEOs, Regional Directors, General Managers, suppliers and industry leaders across Australia, New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region.


The Hon. John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand 3

The industrys year of unification?
The terms unification and one voice are surrounding the Australian hotel industry at present as the nations two leading associations separately look to finally bring the leading chains and properties under one umbrella. For as long as Ive been in the editors chair of HM magazine which hits 10 years in May these two terms have come and gone, but it is encouraging to hear that unification could be a reality in 2011. The industry was abuzz in late 2010 that there could be one voice as early as February 2011, but many remain cautiously optimistic about how fast any unification will happen in reality. I made a firm commitment to a number of leading hotel CEOs during December that HM would not enter into the debate or engage in a he said, she said war between the two associations, but the magazine would remain impartial and let any significant change in the hotel association landscape take its course. HM is a publication that was firmly established in 1997 to be a journal about supporting the industry. Thats also the same premise of the HM Awards and why they were created in 2003. When both associations are ready to make announcements, well report on them without bias and in their entirety on both our new website (, on our weekly headline newsletter and inside HM. Having one voice in the industry has been the desire of a number of prominent Hoteliers behind the scenes for more than a decade and exactly what will transpire has many guessing. Until then, we have allowed both the AHA and HMAA to use their columns in this special Industry Leaders Forum edition HM to express their desire for one voice and from our neutral position I wish them the best of luck in uniting the countrys greatest industry. Across the Tasman, HM is once again privileged to feature a column from New Zealands Prime Minister, the Hon. John Key. He has again openly talked about further enhancing immigration to streamline travel between Australia and New Zealand, something that has been applauded from both sides of the Tasman. In this edition, youll also find an exclusive interview with Sir Richard Branson alongside 92 pages of first-run columns from the leading Hoteliers, suppliers and associations in Australia, New Zealand and the entire South Pacific region. I trust you will enjoy this edition and I look forward to hearing your feedback. Yours in hospitality,

ON THE COVER Pan Pacific Hotels Group President & CEO A. Patrick Imbardelli

James Wilkinson Managing Editor


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THE 2011



Welcome to our annual report edition of HM the 2011 Industry Leaders Forum, where once more we have compiled the most comprehensive wrap-up of the accommodation industry in the Asia-Pacific region. In our 2011 edition, youll find an exclusive interview with Virgin Chairman Sir Richard Branson alongside first-run columns from leaders in the accommodation and tourism sectors, including New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, Accors Michael Issenberg, Pan Pacifics Patrick Imbardelli and Outriggers David Carey amongst others.

From aviator to Hotelier: Sir Richard Branson at the launch of Virgin Atlantics first flight on June 22, 1984. This year the group is expected to open its first Virgin-branded Hotel.

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Sir Richard Branson at Kasbah Tamadot in Morocco, a Virgin Limited Edition resort

Hotel & Accommodation Management

Industry LeAders ForuM 2011


This year is shaping up to be yet another milestone one for Sir Richard Branson and his Virgin Group of companies as the British entrepreneur gets set to fly into space and target the elusive mid-scale hotel segment for the first time.


ir Richard Branson is no stranger to the hotel market his Virgin Limited Edition brand has been operating exclusive resorts such as Necker Island in the Caribbean and Ulusaba in South Africa across the globe for decades and it should come as no surprise that the billionaire entrepreneur plans to give the mid-scale segment a shake up. Branson revealed his desire to operate hotels in America during September 2010, when parent company Virgin Group signed a deal with US investors Alberto Beeck and Diego Lowenstein to create a new Virgin-branded product that would offer 4.5-star hip boutique hotels at 4-star prices. Initially, Virgin Hotels has targeted the United States cities of New York, San Francisco, Miami, Los Angeles, Boston and Washington DC and plans to buy as much as USD$500 million worth of properties over the next three years. According to the company, Virgin Hotels is seeking authentic and high quality 150-400 room properties in appealing neighbourhoods that will meet the expectations of our guests, a target group that seeks engaging and differentiated experiences. Once ready for business, Virgin Hotels properties will feature contemporary style, great functionality, an efficient yet personalised experience, ample communal space and a signature restaurant, Virgin Hotels says on its website. Virgin Hotels will define its communal spaces by building on experience the brand has gained in operating award-winning Clubhouses around the world unique spaces where our guests can get work done, nourish and refresh themselves, meet other interesting people, or just take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. Our target guest is more than comfortable with technology and craves customisation and efficiency so our properties will provide simple yet intuitive systems to help them get the most out of their stay (both in-room and throughout communal spaces), the company says. Alongside the acquisitions, Virgin Hotels also plans to operate as third-party managers and partner with owners. Attacking the mid-scale segment in the United States should prove to be a smart move for Virgin Hotels, given the brands strength in that segment particularly thanks to the positioning of Virgin America, which has all the hallmarks of a boutique and hip airline at low-cost carrier prices. The Virgin Hotels brand could then grow in the segment globally with the aid of V Australia, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Blue and other Virginbranded companies that are chasing the current wave of tech-savvy, 25 to 40-year-old hip travellers. In an interview with HM magazine in late 2010, InterContinental Hotels Group CEO Andrew Cosslett said Bransons move into the 4-star hotel segment was a smart play. The mid-scale segment is attractive and clearly Sir Richard agrees, Cosslett said. The mid-scale represents the lions share of the global hotel market so it is a sensible place for him to start. While Australia might be some years away for a Virgin-branded hotel, the company is expected to make strong in-roads with the United

States market during 2011 the same year Bransons Virgin Galactic is scheduled, albeit tentatively, to take-off on sub-orbital space flights for the first time. To find out about what else Branson and Virgin a company that recorded revenues of USD$18 billion globally in 2008 has planned, HM sat down exclusively with the entrepreneur during a visit to Melbourne in the last quarter of 2010. Richard, Virgin Blue celebrated ten years of flying during 2010. What are you expecting for the next decade? We have got a fantastic team of people that work there and thoroughly enjoy their jobs and as long as the regulators dont upset our plans, we hope that the next 10 years will go even better and even stronger and were looking forward to try and take on Qantas on a lot of routes that we dont fly to and doing even better on the routes that we do fly to. Which routes would you like to target? There are quite a lot of new international routes that we would like to fly to over the next 10 years Pacific routes and routes to Europe but it does slightly depend on whether the regulators tip the balance in Qantas favour or keep a balanced playing field, and if they keep a balanced playing field we will expand on a lot more routes. Thats obviously great news for Australian travellers. The fact that we took Qantas on across the Pacific with V Australia, fares have come down by nearly 40 % and a lot more people are travelling from Australia to America and from America as a result. So, the more places that Virgin can fly, the better it is for the travelling public. What cities in Europe would Virgin / V Australia like to fly to? I dont think I can give specific names of cities at this stage, because if we do youll find that Qantas will double their frequencies and well never get on. But there are cities in Europe we are looking at as well. Are you happy to see all of the Virgin airlines becoming so much closer together as far as onboard product is concerned? We want to have a global alliance of quality Virgin airlines and I think since the regulators have made it harder for us to build other alliances (globally), then its going to become more important for us to build our own alliance amongst our own airlines. Virgin Blue is about to take on Qantas on trans-continental flights with a full-service offering (on new wide-body, Airbus A330 aircraft). Are you proud of whats been created? Were proud of whats been created and were looking forward to taking Qantas on the Perth route, which is one of their most profitable routes. By creating a really good business class product there, with big seats and so on because it is quite a long route, I think well give them a run for their money. 9


Industry LeAders ForuM 2011

Sir Richard Branson at Virgin Blues tenth birthday in Melbourne

What desire do you still have to link Australia (Perth) and the UK (London) directly with long-range aircraft by V Australia or Virgin Atlantic? I certainly think it is more likely than not. Whats the latest with the aligning of the Virgin Blue names within the company here? We have Virgin Blue, Pacific Blue and V Australia, and the Virgin name will be kept, but there will be a re-aligning that will be announced quite soon. You have some amazing properties around the world, such as Necker Island in the Virgin Islands and Ulusaba in South Africa. Where is your ultimate destination for another Limited Edition by Virgin retreat? I dont know South America well but the little I do know of South America, I think its a very exciting continent its very untapped, its home to tremendous people and Id love to spend more time there. Travel has changed a lot across the globe in the last 30 years how are you expecting it to evolve going forward? I think the most radical change in the future of travel will come from our spaceship company (Virgin Galactic). It will be sending people into space, but one day hopefully it will be sending people inter-continentally at a fraction of the time it currently takes. Its been a tough couple of years, especially in the UK. How has Virgin managed to stay afloat so well? In any new business Virgin goes into, we are the challenging brand, but also a really good quality brand that offers very good value for money for the consumer. So, in times of recession, the consumer seeks us out and we seem to do well and the various Virgin companies have done pretty well during the recession and I think we are now in a position with Virgin Blue to upgrade the planes and go after the business traveller as well as the leisure traveller. On a personal side, what have been your biggest achievements throughout your career? Surviving. We have had a few babies born over the years and I think going from the record company into the airline business and really shaking up the airline business on a global basis has made quite a difference for travellers around the world. Thats something that
10 Hotel & Accommodation Management

helped put Virgin on the map on a global basis and enabled us to do a whole lot of things. Would you like to see your children get more involved in the family business? My daughter (Holly), who is a doctor, has just started working with me and my son Sam is doing his own things hes making films and if he wants to join one day, then theres an open door. But Holly I think seems more likely to be the person, at the moment, if my balloon burst one day, to run the company. Even though they are your children, would Holly and Sam have to prove themselves first in business or would they be given the job that they want? They want to prove themselves to themselves. My daughter went off to become a doctor before joining Virgin to prove I can become a doctor. That medical training is actually very useful at Virgin as we have medical clinics and other things like the Foundation. But if they are not right for whatever job they do then it would be unfair on them to do it and unfair on other people. They are very personable, they love people, theyre bright, intelligent, they have been brought up knowing what it would be like to step into my shoes and they would be very good at it. What piece of advice would you give your younger self? I wouldnt change anything. I have had such a great life and if I had to start again I would do exactly what Ive done. I have been very fortunate I was born under a lucky star and the best advice I was given was to always look for the best in people. I love people and hopefully that has ricocheted throughout the Virgin companies. As a result we have a happy company of people who are proud of what they are doing and everyone they come in contact with has a good experience. When are you at your happiest? Im at my happiest when I achieve something that I am proud of as I suspect all of us are. You own all of these different companies, but what are you most passionate about? Is it travel when you fly, sail and soon, go in space? I love learning and I love travelling. Love being able to go to Africa or places Ive never seen before and extremely looking forward to going into space within the next couple of years. That will be the start of a whole new era of space travel and commercial space travel I think will open doors to space like never before.

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Industry LeAders ForuM 2011

MICHAEL ISSENBERG Chairman and CEO Accor Asia-Pacific


or Accor, and the Asia-Pacific hotel industry more generally, we are looking forward to a very promising tourism future over the next few years. When you look at the figures for many of the countries in Asia, with inbound growth of over 20% in destinations such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Bali, it is fair to conclude that the revival in travel is well and truly in full swing. My one caution is that while Asia-Pacific has almost returned to pre-GFC travel levels, the rest of the world is not so buoyant, and for a full recovery we need the economies of Europe and America to show more positive signs. The growth in Asia-Pacific business has been largely from within the region. For instance, Shanghais remarkable recovery in 2010, compared to 2009, was mainly as a result of domestic and regional growth. Everyone had high expectations of the Expo, but I believe that all those expectations were exceeded, largely as a result of the vast support for the Expo from within China. The large number of new hotels that came on stream during that time helped fuel the success of the Expo, and have now set up the city for future large-scale conventions and expos. China, yet again, highlighted to the rest of the world the benefits of building infrastructure for the future. Their ambitious development of fast railways, efficient mass-transportation systems and upgrading of airports means that the tourism and travel boom will continue well into the future. The focus may now move from cities such as Shanghai and Beijing to the very large second-tier cities throughout China, and this is where Accor is rapidly developing its upscale Pullman brand, which is ideally designed for the business and meetings sectors. Pullman, in fact, will be our star brand in 2011. Not just in China, but in India, Malaysia, Vietnam and New Zealand, where we have just launched our first Pullman, following the takeover of the iconic Hyatt hotel in Auckland. What Accor does differently from its competitors though is not to just concentrate on the top end of the market. We have just celebrated the 900th Ibis hotel in the world and Ibis is making vast progress in Asia, highlighting the value of quality economy-style brands aimed at the domestic and regional markets which, as I pointed out earlier, are the two fastest growing markets in the region. One only has to look at the success of the Ibis Bencoolen in Singapore to see this. It revolutionised the economy hotel market in one of Asias most competitive hotel markets and we will have a second Ibis open there, and there will be major expansion in China and India, with a signature Ibis set to open in Hong Kong in just over a year. Franchising will be a key priority of Accor for the future. Our new CEO for Accor, Denis Hennequin, comes from McDonalds, one of the worlds most pioneering franchising organisations, and the successful work that Accor has done with franchising in Australia is likely to be replicated in many other regions. 2011 represents the 20th anniversary of Accor in Australia and I was fortunately to join the organisation shortly afterwards. It has been an incredible journey for the group since then and Id like to use this opportunity to thank all our industry partners for their support over the past two decades. It really is a wonderful and dynamic industry that boasts remarkably vibrant people with vision and energy.


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Industry LeAders ForuM 2011

SIMON BARLOW President - Asia-Pacific Carlson Hotels

he year 2009 was a challenging one due to the financial crisis. Then, 2010 saw a positive rebound in Asia-Pacific and we gladly check into 2011 the Year of the Rabbit with hopes of continued strong business momentum for the region. In an industry with an ever changing landscape, the rule of the game is foresight, flexibility and acan doattitude. At Carlson, we have a comprehensive and compelling strategy to build the business, and the cornerstone of our Ambition 2015 strategy is to grow our portfolio by more than 50% in five years to over 1,500 hotels globally. The Ambition 2015 strategy factors in global industry trends, including growth opportunities in emerging economies, primarily in BRIC Brazil, Russia, India and China. Through this strategy, we aspire to be the number one hotel company to work for and to invest with. Globally, we currently operate 1,085 hotels across four hotel brands - Radisson, Country Inns amd Suites By Carlson, Park Inn and Park Plaza. Today, there are 0.1 hotel rooms for every 1,000 inhabitants in India, two hotel rooms for every 1,000 inhabitants in China, 10 hotel rooms for every 1,000 inhabitants in Europe and 15 hotel rooms for every 1,000 inhabitants in the US. Carlson sees tremendous potential in emerging markets such as China and India, particularly in the mid-market segment as domestic travel and income in these markets see a steady increase in the coming years. In Asia-Pacific, we plan to add an additional 100 hotels by 2015, tripling our portfolio of operational hotels in the region from 55 in 2009 to more than 160 in 2015. People are the key to any successful business, but more so in our industry where our people are at the heart of everything we do. The business of hospitality is defined by the human resources we employ and the level of interactions we provide. As our business continues to grow, attracting and retaining talent will remain our number one priority. Operational excellence is vital in the hospitality business. One bad experience is all it takes for a guest not to return. At the same time, one of the most fulfilling moments of working in the hospitality industry comes from knowing that guests have enjoyed their stay with you. Service excellence has larger implications on our business. It means repeat guests and better business, and is something we in the industry must always strive to excel in. A powerful, growing trend is the increased, influential role of the internet and social media as hoteliers reach out to potential customers and attract repeat guests. We expect the role of the internet and social media to continue flourishing and influencing online hotel room bookings and accommodation choices. We will see more and more hotels engaging in social media with the use of corporate blogs, Twitter and Facebook, and perhaps even the introduction of blogger outreach programs. The two fastest growing economies in the world, India and China will go on to be important source markets for the travel industry. We expect that continued wealth-creation in these markets will lead to a steady stream of new international, regional and domestic travellers. According to the United Nations World Travel Organisation, it is estimated that the number of domestic trips in China will soon exceed one billion and India alone is expected to have 50 million outbound tourists by 2020. As travellers gain greater awareness about eco-friendly travel, green credentials will become hallmarks of environmentally friendly hotels. As hoteliers, our ability to advocate responsible business practices is a strong benchmark of our commitment to the business. At Carlson Hotels, we have partnered with EarthCheck, the worlds largest environmental management program for the third-party certification of our hotels in Asia-Pacific. The time is right for the hospitality sector, and Carlson as a company has the strategy in place to emerge as a strong, global hospitality and travel company with great ambitions for the Year of the Rabbit and beyond.


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Industry LeAders ForuM 2011


STEPHEN P. JOYCE President and CEO Choice Hotels International

t is a privilege to share my perspectives on the outlook for 2011 in the HM Magazine Industry Leaders Forum. Choice Hotels is a global franchising company, with over 6,000 hotels in more than 35 countries and territories. With over 80% of our franchised hotels located in North America, let me share my thoughts on the outlook for the U.S. market. For the United States, the worst is behind us. Hotel segments are recovering from high to low. We saw signs of improvement this year, particularly significant occupancy gains. The U.S. lodging industry is in the beginning stages of what could potentially be an extended period of strong performance. I anticipate that the luxury and upper upscale segments, where the impact of the downturn was most pronounced, will see the greatest RevPAR improvements in 2011. In the United States, Choice-brand hotels are positioned primarily in the economy and mid-scale segments. While hoteliers in these segments saw occupancy gains in 2010, they were hesitant to raise rates as the signs of a prolonged economic recovery remained sporadic. Slow job growth is dampening the economic recovery in the United States, with the unemployment forecast for levels above 9% through most of 2011, which is historically high. On the bright side, consumer spending and disposable income are forecast to increase in 2011. Consumer confidence, a key bellwether for the economy and mid-scale segments, is slowly and steadily moving in a positive direction. Another positive for owners of existing assets is that in 2011 there will be limited new supply growth. The lack of access to finance and credit has severely constrained new construction. Rates have been compressed throughout the downturn, as hotels in higher segments sought to maintain occupancy levels at the expense of rates. Many hotel companies that operate in the upscale, upper upscale and luxury segments have stated that they will raise rates in 2011 due to the improving demand environment. As these hotels increase rates, there will be an opportunity for economy and mid-scale owners to follow suit. Regardless of where rates go in 2011, we know that value remains king. The 2010 Partnership Portrait of American Travellers shows that the most influential factors when selecting a hotel are room rate and perceived value for the price. D.K. Shifflet and Associates recent study indicates that right behind uncomfortable beds, guests are most annoyed at charging for internet access, hidden fees at checkout and paying for parking. At most Choice-brand hotels, and a number of other brands in our segments, Internet access and parking are free and there arent typically hidden costs like resort fees. The same study measured the percentage of guests that are much more likely to stay at a hotel if a certain service is offered. The top three cost-related items are free parking, a free continental breakfast and free internet, all staples of the vast majority of our franchised economy and mid-scale hotels in the United States.
16 Hotel & Accommodation Management

Regardless of where rates go in 2011, we know that value remains king.

Economy and mid-scale operators need to pay keen attention to staff service in the year ahead. Guest care will be paramount as it remains a competitive environment. To be well positioned for the even stronger years forecasted in 2012 and 2013, it is critical that hoteliers continue to invest in their properties. Now is not the time for owners to rest on their laurels and feel good about having survived the downturn. Travelers as well as corporations are being much more conservative with their hotel expenditures. As higher end segments raise rates, the economy and mid-scale segments will be able to follow suit just a bit later on in the recovery process. We are looking forward to a year of recovery, not just in the United States, but across all of our international markets. We spent the last 12 months strengthening the value proposition we provide our hotels globally. 2011 will be a year in which we bring new tools, training and resources to our international markets. Our Australasian hotels will benefit from investments we are making in our technology infrastructure. We will begin deploying our proprietary web-based property management system in the beginning of 2011. This system has been deployed at over 3,600 hotels. We get consistent feedback that the technology assists them with leveraging Choices global programs and achieving rate parity. As the industry performance improves around the world, the investments we have made and will continue to make in a variety of key arenas will position Choice for continued global growth and success.


Industry LeAders ForuM 2011

ooking back over the past 12 months, I have been reminded, yet again, of the resilience and sheer dynamism of the hospitality industry. The year started with cautious forecasts of a slow recovery from the effects of the global financial crisis but the industry, particularly here in Asia-Pacific, rebounded much faster than anyone had expected. While we are not yet at pre-credit crunch levels, hotel occupancy rates and yields are expected to continue to improve as we move into 2011, particularly in major growth markets like India and China. At Hilton Worldwide, 2010 was a year in which we continued to grow our footprint in Asia-Pacific, adding 12 new hotels and introduc-

MARTIN RINCK President Asia-Pacific Hilton Worldwide

ing our first Waldorf Astoria in Asia, the first Conrad in China, the first Doubletree by Hilton in South East Asia, and opening our largest hotel in the region. Overall across the hospitality industry, we can still expect to see a lot more hotel openings and more rooms being added as Asia continues to be an amazing growth region with huge unlocked potential. As for Hilton Worldwide, we expect to break all previous records in terms of hotel openings with our portfolio of brands across Asia-Pacific in 2011. In 2010 we have seen double digit growth in average rates compared to last year, largely attributable to the market recovery during the second half of 2010. While the business and MICE segments have been the most affected by the financial crisis, we started to see the return of the business traveller, as well as increased activity in the MICE space, even though lead times tend to be getting shorter and shorter. I firmly believe that the return of the corporate traveller will continue in 2011, as more companies lift travel restrictions and send executives back on the road. In China, which is Hilton Worldwides top strategic growth market, we will see continued growth in Chinese outbound business, as the country continues to experience a growing middle class that is becoming more affluent. Further accelerating the speed of growth are the introduction of favourable government policies, initiatives such as bilateral agreements with neighbouring countries, granting Approved Destination Status, easing VISA norms and increased focus on tourism promotions. Another continuing trend will be the growing appetite for luxury accommodation in China. This will lead to an increased number of international luxury hotels in second and third tier cities, fuelled by the growth of domestic travel, particularly in resort destinations
18 Hotel & Accommodation Management

such as Sanya in the southern Hainan province of China. We recently opened two magnificent properties a stunning new Conrad Sanya Haitang Bay and a contemporary Doubletree by Hilton Sanya Haitang Bay two great additions to our growing portfolio of properties in China. I strongly believe that there is tremendous room for future growth in this market segment in China, both in the urban and resort destinations. In India, I also see tremendous potential for long term sustainable growth, although the pace of development is not as fast as what China has been experiencing. As a group we expect to see a continuing trend in unique conversion opportunities, as seen in the recently added Hilton Mumbai International Airport, alongside new build hotel openings, such as our great properties in Chennai, New Delhi and Bangalore that will open during the course of 2011. These will significantly grow our footprint in this exciting and dynamic market. Moving forward, I also believe that the growing importance of sustainable operations will feature very significantly right next to continued enhancement of technology in the hotel industry. We should expect the larger operators to take the lead in seeking more innovative ways of reducing carbon output to reduce cost and to further improve environmentally sustainable operations. As the travel and hospitality industry in Asia grows, the competition for talent will become even fiercer than it is today, and the necessity to build a best-in-class talent pool will continue to be of utmost priority. I believe that there is a great opportunity for the key players in the industry to seek opportunities of joint collaboration with industry bodies, government agencies and training institutions to lead the way and set up the desperately needed infrastructure for sustainable talent development in our industry.

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JAN SMITS Chief Executive Officer - Asia Australasia InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)

or IHG, 2011 will be a year of leveraging our scale and success in the Asia Pacific region as the basis for further growth, particularly in emerging markets.The bulk of our growth in Asia Australasia will come from India and Indochina. Half of our pipeline in southern Asia will come from India alone, where we have 48 hotels in development. Weve made a strong commitment to long-term growth in this market, and were looking at operating 150 hotels by 2020. There is no doubt that, with an economic growth of 9% and a rapidly increasing middle class, India is a market to watch. Certainly for the hospitality industry India has incredible long-term growth potential, with an annual growth rate of 15%. And we intend to play a part in realising expectations of Indias travel and tourism sector becoming the second largest employer in the world, employing over 40 million people by 2019. Much of our growth here will occur in the mid-scale segment, which represents 70% of our India pipeline. For example, our most recent development is a strategic partnership with Amrapali Group on six new hotels, which has taken our India Holiday Inn pipeline to 30 new hotels and will result in the local debut of Holiday Inn Express. Our expansion in India is now being spearheaded by our new chief operating officer for Southwest Asia, Chris Moloney, who will be supported by the relocation of our regional VP design and engineering, Andrew Day to Delhi. Both have joined a rapidly expanding team of some of the most talented and experienced people in the business, focused on IHGs growth in India and across Asia Australasia. Southeast Asia is another key growth location for IHG in this part of the world. We are particularly focused on Thailand, a key regional hub and sophisticated hotel market that serves as a great platform to premiere new brands such as Hotel Indigo and Holiday Inn Express to the region over the next couple of years. Here alone, we will more than double our current presence by 2015. Looking more broadly across Southeast Asia we will see a combination of growth in new markets such as Vietnam and Indonesia over the next few years, as well as entry of new brands into sophisticated hotel markets such as Thailand and Singapore. Home to some of the most desirable travel destinations, Asia Australasia also has a natural platform to support a strong resort strategy. We are launching new resorts across the region, which will see us establishing our presence in some of its most idyllic and culturally rich locations. Our scale in mature markets such as China, Japan and Australasia is significant. Were the largest international hotel operator in Japan, where our joint venture with ANA provided the platform to enter a matured market with preference for domestic brands. We now have 16 co-branded hotels in Japan and we continue to expand in major and secondary cities.
20 Hotel & Accommodation Management

Here in Australasia, our network of more than 50 hotels across Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific has been a powerful asset for our Asia Pacific regional operations. Australasia has led the global financial recovery, and our strong brand presence and network of locations has placed us in an enviable position to benefit from the improved conditions. This opens up opportunities for us to push our agenda of being a responsible corporate citizen. IHG has a long-standing commitment to the community with over 4,500 hotels in more than a 100 countries, the company is aware of the impact it has and the role it can play in developing sustainable communities, improving the lives of local people and creating local economic opportunities. This community agenda lends itself to IHGs commitment to indigenous employment and well-being in Australia the cornerstone of which is to see Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders share the economic and social benefits of the Australian tourism industry. With this in mind, IHG has established the 201st Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) to be recognised and endorsed by Reconciliation Australia, an independent, not-for-profit organisation created to foster reconciliation and build strong relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and non-indigenous Australians. In particular, our leadership position on corporate responsibility is proving a powerful point of difference, particularly when it comes to attracting business from corporate and C+E segments. It is also attracting new partners as we look to further increase our presence here, especially as we focus on introducing the Holiday Inn Express brand in the short term. We are also currently the largest international hotel company in Greater China with 137 hotels opened and 149 in the pipeline. Its already our second biggest market by number of rooms after the US, and well double that presence to 250 hotels in the next five years. By the time we reach our five-year growth target, were expecting to create close to 90,000 new jobs in Greater China. Across the region, were in a good place; our brands are distinct, recognised and well regarded. Holiday Inn for example, has won the regional Best Mid-Market brand award from Business Traveller Asia Pacific for ten straight years. This presence is certainly assisting us to gain footholds in new markets, as partners see the value in our brands track record and guests are assured by the familiarity of globally-known and respected brands. This also means that we are able to offer the right platform to develop and groom local talent. Asia Pacific is a region with some of the fastest growing economies in the world, with favourable long term conditions for growth, especially when you consider 60% of available hotel rooms in Asia Pacific are unbranded. This gives branded scale players like IHG an incredible opportunity. We have over 220 hotels in the pipeline, which is about 22% of the total market pipeline in Asia Pacific. These developments also represent 80% of our current system size of 279 hotels region-wide, a fantastic base to continue growing from in 2011.

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Industry LeAders ForuM 2011

W. DAVID P. CAREY III President and CEO Outrigger Enterprises Group


ts clear from our vantage point that the Asia-Pacific region is experiencing a more robust recovery in the hotel sector than other places that were adversely affected by the economic downturn. Granted, room rates are lagging behind the uptick weve seen in occupancy, but we see expect to see continued improvement in both measures in the coming year. If 2010 was a year of stabilisation, 2011 is the year of moving forward with increases in all respects. Indeed, barring any political or global shocks, we expect 2011 to be a very good year for Outrigger Enterprises Group. Our Asia initiatives are growing; we have hotels open and running in Bali and Phuket; we have additional management contracts for properties in Koh Samui, Bali, Hainan Island, China, and Vietnam. Im very pleased to report that, in 2011, we are doubling our presence in the emerging markets of the Asia Pacific region; we are pursuing additional deals in Phuket, Bangkok, Vietnam, the Maldives, and India. Our Outrigger Vinh Hoi Bay Resort and Spa, located in Quy Nhon, Vietnam, will be part of an 800-acre mixed-use golf resort with four other internationally-branded hotels, a Robert Trent Jones Jr. golf course, Vietnams first equestrian centre, hiking trails, a local marketplace and 1.7 miles of white sand beach. This is the first large-scale tourist development in Binh Dinh province and, with the 4,500 new jobs it will create, it is particularly important to the economic development and diversification of the province, which has been largely dependent on a traditional agricultural and fishing economy. We are expanding in Australia again after the sale of our properties in 2007. Recently, we opened the Outrigger Little Hastings Street, in Noosa on Queenslands Sunshine Coast. And we have penned an agreement with Australian developer Meridien to manage two new resorts at the $750 million Port of Airlie development in North Queensland. Properties like Little Hastings are succeeding in attracting conference and leisure domestic visitors in significant numbers. (The caveat being that if mortgage rates continue to increase, this will adversely affect the disposable income of families and impact their leisure travel.) Hotel properties in the Asia Pacific region are making concerted marketing efforts to attract long-haul travellers, particularly from Europe. And yet, on the whole, a large part of the continuing growth in visitor arrival numbers into Asia Pacific destinations is being driven by strong inter-regional travel. The fact that people still want to get married is good for our business. The wedding market is particularly lucrative, and our Bali and Fiji properties, in particular, draw a lot of wedding parties and newlyweds.
Hotel & Accommodation Management

Domestic economies throughout the region are strong, and a rapidly expanding middle class is embarking on more frequent domestic and regional travel. Air lift is obviously a critical component here. Guam is anticipating that arrivals from Korea will increase in 2011 due to the addition of regularly scheduled charters from Incheon. And the emergence of Phuket as an international hub (with three carriers from Australia alone) benefits the entire region. Of course, political tensions quickly alter the market with ripple effects that can linger. A few groups from Japan, who were originally booked for Korea in the first quarter of 2011, have rebooked to the Outrigger Guam Resort because of the situation between North Korea and South Korea. In response to the riots in Bangkok in the second quarter of 2010, travellers were lured to alternative destinations by deep discounts advertised in Hong Kong, Singapore and Korea. Offering competitive room rates was part of our strategy during that time at the Outrigger Laguna Resort and Villas to attract regional travellers who understood that Phuket was still a safe and secure destination when there was political turmoil in Bangkok. While the growth of the middle class is stimulating demand for economy and midscale hotels throughout Asia today, Outriggers focus is on the deluxe market, requiring us to work harder to attract the evergrowing constituency of affluent travellers from the region. It is our job, as owners and operators, to make sure that our offerings match the distinctive needs of this discriminating base. In design and management, we work to create the right kind of development for the place rather than applying the same approach everywhere we work. This is something we have learned through our long experience in Hawaii and the development of Waikiki Beach Walk, the largest single development project to be undertaken in Waikiki within the past 30 years. One of the challenges we face in emerging resort destinations is in the labour market. The demand for skilled labour outweighs the supply. The reality is that prospective local employees have insufficient experience to operate a world-class resort. That puts pressure on us to provide training that will enable local staff to pursue successful careers in the new resorts. Toward this end, weve been collaborating with recognised international institutions to establish training facilities that will help to provide trained employees not only for our resorts but also for resorts within entire regions of a country. For decades, Hawaii has been a leader in developing and exporting tourism expertise throughout the world and is continuing this tradition by helping others in the area of training hospitality employees. We put a lot of energy and resources into employee satisfaction and seek to be the employer of choice in every market we enter. Based on our confidence in the Asia-Pacific region, the Outrigger Enterprises Group has aggressive development plans for growth into the next decade. Proceeding with both optimism and caution, Outriggers main objective in 2011 is to continue to grow from the sound foundations we laid in 2010.


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Industry LeAders ForuM 2011


Hotel & Accommodation Management

Industry LeAders FeAtureFeAture ForuM 2011


A. PATRICK IMBARDELLI President and CEO Pan Pacific Hotels Group wo interesting events happened around brands in 2010 that has reinforced my thinking about brands and how important it is to get them right. Philippines destination rebranding Pilipinas Kay Ganda was dropped a week after it launched. Over in the United States, Gaps launch of a new logo to a more contemporary one met with so much ire over Facebook and Twitter, it too returned to using its iconic old logo after mere days of introducing the new one on its website. Both were dubbed rebranding botch jobs; both suffered backlash for un-thoughtout moves that alienated consumers. But both re-brandings proved a couple of things. Apart from the fact that one, consumers are passionate about their brands, and two, that social media platforms have made it possible for consumers to sound off collectively and instantaneously to shake things up, a more important lesson is this: both could perhaps do better in identifying

The strengthening of the Australian dollar will have some impact in international arrivals, but domestic travel will be strong.
and involving the key stakeholders of their brands before these big moves. In the case of Gap, it wasnt that the new logo was aesthetically displeasing. Criticism mounted on the rebranding because Gap had done it so subtly and without fanfare, consumers felt alienated from the lack of their involvement. It remains debatable if Gap did the right thing by withdrawing the new logo after online criticism mainly on their Facebook page and Twitter mounted. One camp criticises the company for a lack of conviction and caving in to the pressure of such a small group. Perhaps if Gap had earlier identified its stakeholders the larger group to whom the brand speaks to, it would have been able to decide if an overzealous group of 2000 attacking the logo launch (or lack of one) was worth trashing a seemingly innocuous rebranding exercise. This has perhaps reinforced for me that we are going down the right path in the last 18 months; Pan Pacific Hotels Group is currently in an important phase with both its Pan Pacific and Parkroyal brands. We embarked on this brands refreshment 18

months ago with global brand strategists Interbrand and then international branding agency The Brand Union. A key starting point was a comprehensive review of our brands, involving over 12 different focus groups and interviews with hundreds of customers and guests in important key markets for us. Today we have a refreshed positioning for our brands as well as new visual and verbal identities and consumer touchpoints which we will roll out later this year. I believe the due diligence and all the research and time that has gone into the last 18 months were all well worth it. It was only through this exercise that we could get to the crux of what influences our Parkroyal and Pan Pacific guest experience; what really counts in getting our guests to relate to our brand, and how we show this when presenting the brand to our guests. One insight I truly believe in and that I have revisited with the Gap and Philippines rebranding brands cannot take a middle ground. The best brands have their fans and detractors. Brands need to take a stand you cant have everyone love you, there will be haters. If you have done the research and involved the customer in due diligence stages, trust the research; trust the work that has taken you to where you are. 2010 was an immensely satisfying year for us it marked our entry into Australia with three great hotels Parkroyal Darling Harbour, Sydney, Parkroyal Parramatta and Pan Pacific Perth. And we will plant a Parkroyal flag in Melbourne in April 2011 with the Parkroyal Melbourne Airport hotel. In 2011, we will continue and build on this momentum, especially in Australia and New Zealand. It couldnt have happened a better time too Australia is showing robust growth which is projected to continue this year; it launched Theres Nothing Like Australia campaign last year and theres a real sense of excitement in the industry in this market. Launching our brands in this very key growth and source market with four hotels will add immense value to all our hotels in the system, while furthering awareness and recognition of our brands. We are looking forward to good growth in Australia. The strengthening of the Australian dollar will have some impact in international arrivals, but domestic travel will be strong. Outside of the Oceania region, in our development pipeline for 2011 are Pan Pacific Ningbo, Pan Pacific Ningbo Serviced Suites in China. All this will be underpinned by the work we are doing with our brands it really is the dawning of a new era for Pan Pacific Hotels Group and our Parkroyal and Pan Pacific brands. 25


Industry LeAders Industry LeAders ForuM 2011 ForuM 2011

GREG DOGAN President and CEO Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts

ast year, 2010, proved to be a very resilient year within the travel business. The business pick up was strong and shows healthy signs of growth in all geographical markets and segments and I expect this trend to continue in the coming months. Having established Shangri-La Hotels as one of the finest hotel companies in Asia in the past 40 years, one of our immediate goals now is to bring the group and its style of hospitality into Europe and beyond, for example, to create a global brand presence. In 2009 we opened our first hotel in North America and in December 2010 we opened our first hotel in Europe, Shangri-La Hotel, Paris. Hotels in Vienna, London and Moscow will follow in short order. At the same time we continue to cement our position in China and Asia with over 20 projects in development. The mid to long-term expansion strategy is to enter different markets to accommodate the increasing outbound traffic from China and Asia to the West. Currently our top three growth markets are China, USA and Australia. China has been our key feeder market for years but India is now clearly showing substantial promise with enormous potential for domestic tourism in addition to ever increasing outbound business and leisure travel. We have just announced a third and fourth project in India to be completed by 2013. We expect the company to reach 100 hotels within the next few years, up from currently 70 within three distinctive brands: Shangri-La as the luxury brand, Traders as the mid-market brand and Kerry Hotels (launching in February 2011) as the freestanding lifestyle brand. Kerry Hotels will bridge the business aspects of Traders to the luxury environment of a Shangri-La hotel and offer the business traveller an opportunity for life/ work balance while on the road. Our vision for Kerry is a 5-star hotel brand that is vibrant and magnetic and inspires a high level of creativity. Traders will be more clearly focused in 2011 and target the road warrior of today, combining functionality with value for money services. This is a huge growth opportunity for us that will have to be managed and handled carefully to maintain our brand standards. We will need a strong network and base of qualified staff, trainers and managers that will be able to translate our style of service also to the Western world. With the expansion of western brands into China and Asia, hiring and retaining the right employees becomes ever more important as other hotel groups aim for the same markets and staff base. Industry-wide we see a shortage of qualified talent to support the expansion plans around the world. The only way to balance this is to invest time and effort into training and development and build employee loyalty to the brand. Staff development and training have become the main areas on which success of a hotel or group will be based in future. In June Shangri-La launched a new global Brand Campaign: Its in our nature was conceived as a metaphor for our brands sincere welcome and hospitality from the heart. The purpose of the brand campaign was to reinforce our commitment to our guests and our col26 Hotel & Accommodation Management

leagues to deliver a level of hospitality that is a reflection of our beliefs and values. As the Shangri-La brand grows with new hotels being established throughout Asia and in key world cities outside Asia, we wanted a landmark campaign that clearly stated what we stand for to our guests and prospective guests and that would inspire our people those who make it happen on the ground, day after day. The reaction to the campaign has been phenomenally positive from the trade, public and customers and even our competitors. In addition we entered the social media world in 2010 and have found it an extremely satisfying way of connecting with our customers. Digital media and social networks continue to play a big role in travel research and for making travel arrangements, especially as more and more consumers acquire smart phones and travel apps. Travellers tend to plan more short term by using social media, iPad and other electronic gadgets. The digital world is here to stay but as hoteliers we need to keep in mind that our first priority is face-to-face interaction with our guests and to not get lost in cyberspace. 2011 and beyond will be the years when going green becomes mandatory and CSR is no longer just about doing good; rather, it is about good business practices. Climate change, social justice and human rights are pressing issues that confront most businesses today. In March 2010, we launched sustainability our branded social responsibility programme to unify all existing individual CSR initiatives within the five key areas of Health and Safety, the Environment, Supply Chain, Stakeholder Relations, and Employees. This campaign intends to raise awareness among the general public that CSR is a way of business within the group. Operating a company with recognized values has become a point of competitive advantage as well as an increasingly important international standard. Corporate responsibility enhances brand quality, attracts the best people and builds trust with stakeholders. And last but not least: listen to your guests and recognise and adapt to their needs. For example, during the financial crisis, we were the only major hotel company to start offering free broadband and Wi-Fi in all hotels, in all public areas and guestrooms to all guests. Guests saw this as a show of commitment and that we take their preferences seriously.

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Industry LeAders ForuM 2011


JAYSON WESTBURY Chief Executive Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA)

y outlook for the travel and tourism industry in 2011 is one of greatness. The travel and tourism industry has proven that it can withstand global financial shocks, catastrophic events and the high value of the Australian Dollar. If you think back over the past two years and consider how incredibly up and down the market has been and the fact that we have not witnessed widespread shutdowns within the Australian travel and tourism industry, nor have we witnessed widespread business foreclosures, failures and reports of an industry which is in deep decline and stress; you would have to say we are a resilient lot. For these reasons, I see 2011 as a year of greatness for travel. Many terrific platforms have been established for 2011 for us all to succeed. Sure, the high dollar will bring with it some challenges for the inbound market, but on balance, with the global excitement around the Oprah visit and ongoing marketing, the impact that this platform may have on Australians taking a domestic approach to their holiday plans in 2011 and the fact that it would appear that the domestic economic climate is forecasted to be reasonably stable this year, which will mean consumer confidence remains high, we are in for a year of greatness. To follow on from these comments, another really important fact for the travel and tourism industry to do is to stop talking ourselves down. There are some commentators within the tourism industry that appear to have an agenda, but which appears to have no audience. Simply put and supported by the latest release of tourism forecast figures prepared by Tourism Australia (TA) in its Tourism Industry Potential report, Australians will travel overseas. In fact, according to the TA numbers, they will be traveling overseas more and more over the next decade.
Hotel & Accommodation Management

The misguided agenda of people proposing to the Australian (federal and state) Governments that they should do more to create a situation in which more people come to Australia than Australians leave is redundant. The two movements of people are mutually exclusive. There are no leavers that any Government or for that matter organisation can pull to influence these two movements of people mutually. Australians have got a year ahead of them in which the Australian dollar will be high and for some time. Australians have a situation in which a large number of airlines have elected to fly to Australia and this in turn means that there are a large number of seats available for departure from Australia and thus the price has never been so good. If the planes dont fly to Australia then international visitors cannot get here. If Australia does not have a robust outbound industry then the planes will not come and nor will the tourists. So it is simply no longer reasonable to use the balance of tourism movements as a measurement of the success of Australian Governments, nor is it a responsible way to talk about the success or otherwise of the Australian Tourism industry. The Tourism industry wants taxpayer dollars put into marketing and other activities to stimulate visitation to Australia. What those taxpayers decided to do with what they have left after paying their tax is their business and we should not be using language that makes them feel that they are doing something wrong because they choose to take a holiday overseas. It is inconceivable that we spend hundreds of millions of dollars convincing people from other countries to come to Australia, but if for some reason is not reasonable for those same countries to spend money convincing Australians to visit their countries. It is time the Australian Tourism industry grew up, some tourism commentators wake up and we all realise the benefits of having a mature and robust two way travel and tourism industry. Without this, the travel and tourism industry, along with Governments, will have no shot at reaching the Tourism Industry Potential goals for visitation over the next decade. What we need to do is make sure that the products and services that we offer in Australia are wonderful and special and Australian in every way. We have to be able to compete with a global tourism industry and we have to work even harder than some because, I think fortunately, Australia is a long way away for many people. If we are going to get them to come, we need to be smarter, better and capture their imaginations if we are going to compete on the global travel stage. But then, maybe I am just biased.


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Industry LeAders ForuM 2011


DES CROWE National Chief Executive Officer Australian Hotels Association

he Australian Hotels Association (AHA) is steeped in history as the longest serving voice of the accommodation industry and it was a privilege to take on the role in March 2010 as National Chief Executive. I understand that the separate AHA Accommodation Division was founded well before my birth and will be around a long time in the future. We are, however, going through a time of change with competing industry bodies calling for one voice in the accommodation sector, with that being their voice. I acknowledge the importance of one voice. However, I believe that the AHA Accommodation members should have both a national voice and office in Canberra (as we do) and they should also have state-based voices. Currently the AHA has membership entry at the branch level feeding into the national structure. These state branches are important for developing their own tourism, convention and corporate business at a state level, something which due to a potential conflict I step back from and watch with interest from my national office in Canberra. It should be noted that many of the issues impacting our industry are determined at a state level including tax issues, domestic tourism promotions, health regulations, fire safety, stamp duty and licence fees the list goes on. Also, importantly states compete against each other for business for example, tourism short breaks, meetings, incentives, conferences and events. As important as it is to maintain influence in the federal parliament, the reality of the hotel business is that state governments remain the most likely source of harsh, costly regulation. Without an effective presence in the state capitals, a single national model cannot deliver the representation the industry requires to protect it from the risks posed at a state and local level. It is a difficult enough task to effectively lobby all 226 federal politicians without also having to keep in touch with state politicians, local councillors and the state bureaucrats who advise them and do the implementation.
30 Hotel & Accommodation Management

The benefit of having a strong branch structures is that I can rely on a very wide base of representation from AHA members and branches at federal, state and local government. In 2010, the Industrial Relations (IR) landscape nationalised and as the only industrial organisation for licensed hotels, we will be continuing to ensure that the problems of the new system are documented and presented to the government policy makers. I manage an IR team that is strongly represented in each state delivering the necessary services to hotels at a local level. I am pleased to announce that in December 2010 the AHA entered into a formal MOU with the Fair Work Ombudsman which formalises the excellent relationship between our organisations as we work toward building industry awareness of the new system. The AHA remains the only industrial organisation able to provide this level of IR service to the accommodation sector. I look forward to continuing the representation in Canberra of our AHA members and following up on the important work of the Tourism Access Working Group, the Labour and Skills Working Group, and the various committees and projects on industrial relations, skills and training, food safety, menu pricing, occupational health and safety, small business, building codes, regional development, trade practices, trade measurements, waste management and environmental regulation, counter-terrorism, music licensing, regulatory burdens, employment and fringe benefits tax. In 2011, in response to recent consultations with heads of some of the major accommodation chains, we are revamping our Accommodation structure to strengthen our national voice on key issues impacting the industry. We will achieve this by a number of significant changes and by ensuring all key stakeholders, including owners and heads of chains, are involved and receive representation and upgraded communication. One of these changes will be the appointment of an Executive Director to lead the new National Accommodation Board and provide the representation in Canberra that the industry is calling for. In 2011 I will be ensuring that the AHA lines of communication are even more specific to the accommodation sector and ensuring that stakeholders who are somewhat removed from the communication received by their representatives are kept in the loop. 2010 saw a successful inaugural AHICE and I am looking forward to assisting the event planners to ensure it is even more informative and beneficial in 2011. At the Tourism Directions Conference in November 2010 the Federal Government indicated that it is ready to recognise the economic importance of our industry. I believe that 2011 should be a year in which inroads can be made with other government agencies outside of tourism as the government looks to implement the Long Term Tourism Strategy. I look forward to harnessing our union of voices in 2011.


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Callum Liddicoat Junior Sous / Pastry Chef, qualia

Why Hamilton Island?

I started with Hamilton Island as a Chef de Partie at qualia, the islands exclusive luxury resort. qualia has been an amazing opportunity for me. It has two fine dining restaurants offering the very best in food and wine, a revered and supportive Executive Chef, and a kitchen culture that encourages creative freedom and personal development. Its also afforded me some once in a lifetime opportunities, like accompanying qualias Executive Chef, Jane-Therese Mulry, to New York to attend a culinary workshop. Ive also been privileged to learn and work alongside legendary chefs like Tetsuya and Ben Shewry as part of the islands chefs table events. Moving to Hamilton Island has provided me with career opportunities Id only ever imagined not to mention a lifestyle that others would dream of!

Visit or call 1800 681 120 today. Great Work, Great Careers.


LORRAINE DUFFY Chief Executive Officer HMAA olleagues, 2010 was certainly a rollercoaster of a year for the accommodation sector from the changes in the industrial landscape via HIA (Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010), the parity of the Australian Dollar against the United States Dollar to Federal Government policy changes leading to reduced skilled immigration and ultimately the unpredictable weather to name a few. We saw the introduction of the National Long Term Tourism Strategy which the Federal Government delivered as a long-term policy framework aimed at positioning the Australian tourism industry as sustainable and economically vibrant. In the latter part of the year Tourism Australia released the Tourism Industry Potential 2020 with an objective, based on overnight visitor expenditure, to providing a greater return to tourism. So for the accommodation sector what are the key takeouts for 2011 especially in light of the National Long Term Tourism Strategy and the Tourism Industry Potential 2020? Yes, there will be growth and recovery in 2011 and our ADR will continue to climb certainly in key city locations and resource strong areas. The lack of supply of hotel rooms in CBD locations provides for better occupancy, which in turn results in higher tariffs. As more people are employed, we will continue to battle with retaining and engaging skilled workers and a key focus will need to be in the areas of management so that we can start to identify those leaders who will take us into the next decade and beyond. Coming off the back of 2010, we will see more collaboration and unity amongst industry groups as we talk with one voice at various levels of government. The 2020 Tourism Industry Potential anticipates inbound tourism expenditure will account for 45% of total tourism spend in Australia by 2020 compared to 55% for domestic. To achieve this outcome a potential 40,000 to 70,000 rooms will be needed around the country (at 75% occupancy rates) and whilst there could well be a lack of accommodation rooms in our city locations I am not confident that we really know how many available rooms there really are when we have a fluid stock of investment apartments that are not included in any statistics when referencing supply. The barriers that we all know about regarding investment will be high on the agenda in 2011 as we continue to engage with government regarding the ability to incorporate a stronger recognition of tourism in government planning and approval process, taxation and infrastructure investment planning.
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Our regional accommodation we read is tired and in need of renovation and certainly to a degree this is true, however I believe we need to be mindful that there is a market for all standards and styles of accommodation and we should in no way cookie cutter our accommodation with a view to losing the individuality that our culture based tourists are seeking. Accreditation, whilst well overdue, as a harmonised national platform is now probably too late as we see some international countries diluting the importance of quality assurance for a greater focus on service delivery and of course as we well know only those accommodation properties that are already delivering on process and quality management will be the ones that are accredited. The challenge in reaching

Our task in 2011 will be to unite and represent the whole accommodation sector of the tourism industry, in all its diversity across our country to challenge, deliver and advocate.
the 2020 tourism potential certainly lies with the ability to overcome hurdles such as international terrorism, escalating energy prices, a decline in confidence in airlines and of course the growth of the virtual tourist allowing technology to replace the physical experience. Although Australia continues to come first or second in world rankings as one of the most desirable places to visit its not quite the same as people making that decision to travel here so it comes back to the ongoing injection of marketing funds and the reinvention of our brand to be the tipping point for people to make that long haul flight. As the accommodation association of Australia HMAA will in 2011 deliver on a one voice platform for the operators and owners of accommodation properties and this will be a milestone year for our 50year plus association. Whether its a major hotel, regional motel, B&B or Caravan Park whilst there are some very clear differences between each of our accommodation businesses, they each have structure and service, beds and people. Our task in 2011 will be to unite and represent the whole accommodation sector of the tourism industry, in all its diversity across our country to challenge, deliver and advocate.

Industry LeAders ForuM 2011

JOHN LEE Chief Executive Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) In addition to lost revenue in the education sector itself, any reduction of student numbers could affect the Australian economy in other ways, as we approach full employment. International students provide a source of labour for service industries including tourism, retail and transport that will be difficult to replace. The flow-on effects could also be significant, as international students are often visited by friends and family from overseas, adding yet more to Australias tourism exports. The combined impact will make it even harder to reach Tourism Australias recently released target to double spending by overnight visitors from $70 to $140 billion a year by 2020. While ambitious, this is an achievable figure, provided governments at all levels implement complementary policies and harmonise regulatory frameworks to promote sustainable growth across all sectors of tourism. Aviation capacity has been a key factor in the recent surge of outbound travel by Australians and in the rise of inbound travel, especially from markets in Asia. Its critical that the volume of seats to and from Australia continues to rise, with capacity growth of around 50 per cent required to allow the targets to be met. At the same time, domestic aviation activity will have to increase by about 30% to allow those visitors and domestic travellers to get around the country, bringing economic and employment benefits to regional Australia. Another factor crucial to determining whether that target is attainable is accommodation supply. Although occupancy rates in Australias cities are among the worlds highest, hotel projects provide a lower return on capital than residential and commercial developments, so planning and investment challenges must be addressed to facilitate the 50,000 additional hotel rooms well need to cope with increased arrivals. To this end, TTF and Urbis have completed a National Tourism Planning Guide, designed to simplify regulation, reduce barriers to entry, foster increased competition and encourage new investment. In line with the stated aims of the National Long-Term Tourism Strategy, the Guide provides a framework we believe can reduce red tape and iron out disparities at both a state and local level. On top of improved and expanded room stock, investment in innovative tourism products and experiences will play a key role in driving tourism growth. This includes private sector investment as well as public spending on tourism infrastructure like events facilities and amenities in national parks. Refreshing our tourism offering will not only attract international visitors but also convince more Australians to travel at home. It is vital we pay attention to both the demand and supply sides of the tourism equation. As we bask in the glow of the personal recommendation of arguably the best saleswoman in the world, Oprah Winfrey, it is up to us to make sure we have the service and product standards in place to enable us to meet the expectations that the Oprah effect has generated. Do so and well continue to reap the rewards for years to come. Failure to do so will be a golden opportunity lost. 33

ast year will be remembered for an Icelandic volcano, a knifeedge federal election, parity with the US dollar and Oprah. How 2011 fares is largely up to us. The Eyjafjallajokull eruption caused international aviation chaos in April, affecting airports across Europe, with flow-on impacts worldwide. Augusts federal election had the nation on hold for weeks as both sides negotiated with key independents for the right to govern. In November, the Australian dollar overtook its American counterpart for the first time since the 1983 float and December saw Oprah Winfrey bring 302 of her nearest and dearest and a crew of about 200 down under for her Ultimate Adventure. Despite global economic uncertainty, inbound tourism to Australia continued to grow, with 2010 exceeding the 4 per cent rise of 2009. While the strong Australian dollar and weak economies affected traditional markets like the UK and US, the exchange rate did not deter others, with the availability of low airfares and the desire to travel far bigger factors among Asias burgeoning middle class. With Asian visitors to account for an ever-greater proportion of international arrivals, Australian operators must ensure the needs of those markets are met. Just as hotel breakfast buffets featured miso soup and rice to make Japanese visitors feel at home, similar attention will be needed to ensure Chinese tourists feel comfortable here. However, while leisure travellers from Asia will continue to rise, there are concerns about the longer-term impact of changes to visa regulations for international students. These visitors contribute AUD$17 billion dollars to the Australian economy each year, but that could fall as the new restrictions take effect. Combine that with the strength of the Australian dollar, and the international education sector could face a substantial slowdown over the next few years.


THE HON. JOHN KEY Prime Minister New Zealand


he tourism industry presents a huge opportunity for New Zealands economic growth and success. Thats why I decided to take responsibility for the tourism portfolio when I became Prime Minister. Its a privilege to lead tourism in our beautiful country, and to promote our incredible scenery, our fine food and wine, our rich Maori culture, and the 100% Pure New Zealand experience. No matter how familiar you are with New Zealand, there is always something else to discover about our land and its people. I enjoy working alongside those of you in the hotel industry. You are doing a great job, and Id like to thank you for your ongoing contribution to New Zealand. The last two years have been very challenging for our tourism industry, but things are looking up for 2011. This year we are expecting visitor numbers to reach 2.7 million well above the 2.5 million reached in the year to June 2010. Tourism has the potential to grow and contribute even more to our economy in 2011. If we are to deliver on that potential, we need to make the most of every opportunity coming our way especially the Rugby World Cup 2011. We are delighted to be hosting the Rugby World Cup this year. There is simply no overstating how important the World Cup will be for the tourism industry, and for New Zealand. Alongside the World Cup, well be hosting the REAL New Zealand Festival ( This festival will showcase the very best of what New Zealand has to offer. It will complement the tournament match schedule, but go well beyond the 23 centres hosting teams and matches. There has never before been a nationwide festival of this scale in New Zealand. After the World Cup, we want people to leave New Zealand with fantastic memories and share them with their friends and family all over the world. This is an unprecedented opportunity to show the world just how great our country is, and we are relying on everyone in the tourism industry to help make sure it is a great success. Aside from the opportunities of the Rugby World Cup, this year
34 Hotel & Accommodation Management

were working hard to take advantage of the recovering global economy and boost the number of international visitors coming here. We increased funding for tourism marketing by NZD$30 million in last years Budget. Most of this will be used to market New Zealand as a tourist destination overseas, in key places such as Australia, China, and the United States. In January Tourism New Zealand launched a new marketing campaign, New Zealand 100% Pure You. This campaign builds on the 100% Pure campaign that has been successful over the past decade. It will run in all our main international markets in the coming year. Were also looking to take advantage of strong economic growth in the Asia region. The new air routes opening up between New Zealand and China, Malaysia, and Singapore provide a good opportunity to grow these markets. Australia is one of our most important tourism markets, and this year we are continuing our work to streamline trans-Tasman travel. Last year we completed the roll-out of the SmartGate electronic passenger clearance system for passengers arriving at our three major airports. We also implemented low intervention lanes in Auckland and Christchurch for bio-security risk assessment of passengers. This year more streamlining measures will be put in place, and well complete the rollout of SmartGate for departing passengers. 2011 will also be a big year for the New Zealand Cycle Trail Project. The 18 trails planned throughout New Zealand will help boost local economies, create jobs, and will be a big draw card for tourists. They will show off our outstanding scenery, unique culture, and diverse communities. And they will help build New Zealands already strong reputation as a premium adventure tourism destination. The momentum of the project is building. The St James Cycle Trail is open now, and five further trails have sections open for use this summer. Were aiming to have all 18 trails complete by the summer of 2012/13. Im really impressed by the talent, enthusiasm, and potential I see in the tourism sector, and Im confident that we can make more good progress this year. Im looking forward to continuing to work with you to secure a brighter future for tourism in New Zealand.

Industry LeAders ForuM 2011

JENNIE LANGLEY Independent Chair New Zealand Hotel Council


New Zealand must continue to encourage those visitors, who are interested in experiencing what the country has to offer. Whether they are backpackers looking for adventure; golf, walking or cycling enthusiasts whore keen to get into the regions, business, conference or education visitors who choose to travel to New Zealand, how and who selects their method of transport and branded carrier is an important link. In a world of increasing choice and decreasing leisure time, so too is being able to match what New Zealand offers with the experience visitors are looking for. Over the last 12 months under a new Chief Executive, Tourism New Zealand initiated a significant digital-based focus in the way it engaged with prospective travellers. 2011 will see the first results of in-depth, 10 region research, that was aimed to target potential visitors whove already expressed an intention to travel to New Zealand and to expose them to a variety of experiences that match their interests. The challenge will be balancing the high tech, internet-savvy online interaction with future travellers, along with the other traditional channels which continue to work well in some more established markets. 2011 is also the year that New Zealand will be on the rugby world stage for six weeks in September and October. With preparations and ticket sales ahead of target everyone is determined that visitors, now

fter two years of difficult trading its heartening to see performance measures for hotels starting to track upwards. Occupancy rates, average daily rates and revenue per available room (RevPAR) data showed signs of recovery in the last five months of 2010, although they still have a way to go to reach pre global financial crisis levels. The increasing return of the Asia markets, particularly China and South Korea, was good news for our traditional tourist regions. Corporate and conference business started to return to the main centres and visitors from Australia continued to arrive, stay and spend. Overall, there seems to be greater balance with the mix of international visitors and business activities compared to whats been evident through the GFC period and, provided the domestic market continues through the summer months, the first quarter of 2011 is looking positive. The raft of new air link announcements for New Zealand over the last few months bodes well for 2011. Jetstar will launch direct flights between Singapore and Auckland from March and Air Asia X has announced a direct Kuala Lumpur to Christchurch service starting in April. Other new routes include a China Airlines service from Taipei to Auckland which started in January and Continental Airlines are set to fly in here in early 2012. Add to that the alliance between Air New Zealand and Virgin Blue, the announcement that China Southern will be opening its first route into the country in April and that Thai Airways have increased their frequency and its all good news, especially as the increased air capacity assures further growth in to and out of the valuable Asia region. While some claim there is a low cost airline theme emerging with these announcements, any concerns that we may end up filling the country with low cost travellers are being countered. Like other consumers, travellers have changed their spending patterns. Theyre looking for the best deals, are often booking closer to time of departure and may be prepared to save on some parts of their trip to extend length of stay or to ensure their adventures are not curtailed.

Rugby World Cup is as much about showcasing the best New Zealand has to offer, as it is about running a highlysuccessful world class event that leaves a legacy of pride and opportunity.

looking like being close to 100,000, really do have the time of their lives. Well publicised challenges around ensuring that there will be sufficient accommodation options at rates that reflect, but dont abuse, the popularity of this international event and that New Zealand is still seen as being open for traditional visitors, with rooms available at realistic rates outside of game dates, are being addressed openly. Rugby World Cup 2011 is as much about showcasing the best New Zealand has to offer, as it is about running a highly-successful world class event that leaves a legacy of pride and opportunity. Increased air capacity, the return of key markets and a world class international event later in the year are the right ingredients for a positive productive year ahead. 35


We operate in all states and territories and are responsible for the servicing of more than 7 million hotel rooms per annum. Furthermore, AHS are experts in opening new hotels, having commenced more hotels in the past 12 months than any single hotel chain or any competitor. The past 12 months has seen significant growth in AHSs business. AHS is now firmly established in the 5-star casino market, servicing some of the largest hotels in Australia, with continued growth in both large domestic hotel chains as well as some of the large international hotel brands. AHS has developed new training programs and new operating procedures to ensure that the quality across all brands and product types is achieved. AHS continues to be the company of choice for hotels seeking an outsourcing partner for a number of reasons. In an environment where recruitment and staffing continue to be a challenge, AHS offers a large workforce with a great deal MICHELLE LOADER Chief Executive Officer AHS Hospitality

he outlook for 2011 from AHSs point of view is positive, with the key indicators suggesting that occupancies should continue to strengthen. However, the focus continues to be on the low relative average rates being achieved and the need to increase these rates back to and beyond pre-GFC levels. The major uncertainty in the outlook continues to be the high Australian dollar and the impact this will have on the tourism industry. These high exchange rates will continue to influence international in-bound travel and encourage domestic holiday travelers towards overseas experiences. Although 2010 saw the industry in many regions bounce back from the GFC, it is clear the industry is yet to fully recover. The occupancy improvement appears to be in part due to limited new supply coming on line as new-builds have been difficult to finance since the GFC. The Melbourne market is to be the exception to this with over 2,000 new rooms over the past year being absorbed relatively well with minimal impact on the citys overall occupancy levels. With the dollar poised to remain high against other currencies, the challenge for hotels will be to encourage and incentivise overseas markets to continue to see Australia as an economical and desirable destination, while still maintaining the domestic corporate business. In order to attract investment in the industry and for owners to be able to achieve their benchmarks for future growth, the challenge for hotels will be to continue increasing their average rates. AHS continues to dominate the growing labour outsourcing market, through the servicing of more than 140 hotels and serviced apartments.
36 Hotel & Accommodation Management

With the dollar poised to remain high against other currencies, the challenge for hotels will be to encourage and incentivise overseas markets to continue to see Australia as an economical and desirable destination, while still maintaining the domestic corporate business.

of flexibility. Equally important, AHSs pricing models provide perfect cost control in both busy and quiet times. AHSs growth and reputation is based upon the fact that we are experts in the industry and can deliver the quality results expected by both our hotel partners and our guests. Coupled with the risk reduction that outsourcing provides to a business this model enables key management staff to focus on the core revenue generating areas of their hotel operations. AHS continues to dominate this market and after 18 years of operation our size, experience and quality focus working hand in hand with our policies and procedures have created an infrastructure that consists of some of the most skilled and knowledgeable hoteliers in the country. Our long term history with the industry and our partnership approach to doing business has firmly established AHS as the first choice in outsourcing, we look forward to a successful 2011 with our partners.

Industry LeAders ForuM 2011

JEFFERY COPOLOV Director Bates Smart

ast year was a big year for Bates Smart with the opening of Melbournes Crown Metropol. Crown Limited made the decision to add a third hotel to their Crown Entertainment Complex in late 2006. Back in 2006, with a powering economy enjoying strong growth, the business world was confident and bullish. In a dramatically changed economic landscape in 2010, we knew Australias largest and newest hotel might face a few challenges. Maximising return is always the number one issue for hotel operators. In this case a hotel that had strong business traveller appeal needed a strategy to build occupancy rates at weekends and holiday periods. So market segmentation needs to be considered on multiple fronts. How do you design an offer that has strong appeal to the business traveller during the week and yet also performs well in the general tourist market? For hotel operators looking to increase their brand segmentation, we recommend including the marketing strategy in the design brief to their interior designers and architects. The architecture and interiors should be the built manifestation of the brand. When working with Crown we were given a very clear view of the market position of the new hotel. We understood the business and the target markets and demographics. With these principles clearly at the forefront of the brief we set about designing an architectural response that would support the new hotels business proposition. Stay, Work and Play is the approach we developed when designing Metropol. This brand appeals to the younger, savvy business person and the leisure traveller who wants to be close to the action. Design elements that reflect a sophisticated, hip approach; for instance, original artworks in every room, daring colour schemes and a powerful injection of personality appeal to this market. We know this demographic had long ago wearied of the same-again blandness experienced by so many business guests. The ultimate test for any business traveller is convenience and comfort. Easy check-in and check-out, every item in the room working and the little details comfortable lighting; appealing technology and a

bed as good as home, are high on every check list. Bates Smart ensures everything is where you expect to find it and functionality is thought through with fastidious attention to detail. For the hotel designer then this also means design solutions that are mindful of operational efficiencies - room turnaround times, effective maintenance programs, and durability. Positioning of service cores, maintenance areas and loading docks will have a critical impact on how smoothly a hotel operates and be a major influence on profitability. Then theres the market proposition to consider. When designing Metropol, Crown presented us with a huge challenge - design Australias largest hotel as a boutique style hotel. Plus the site was difficult, a long narrow site on the edge of the Crown Entertainment precinct, facing onto a major traffic thoroughfare. And for good measure it needed to be completed in just three years. Being the architects as well as the interior designers gave us at Bates Smart an enormous advantage. The architecture and interior design were designed hand in hand. In fact much of the design was developed from the inside out. The sinuous s-shaped form of the building was developed to maximise the number of room modules. Premium north south orientation and positioning of service cores were integral to both interior design and the architecture. By precisely adjusting the architectural curves, the views from the rooms were maximised to offer spectacular views of the Melbourne city skyline and the bay. The curve of the building creates an interior experience that is continually revealed for the guest. There are no longgun barrelcorridors confronting guests, creating that awful anonymous hotel experience. In fact the curves make the interior intimate, inviting and slightly mysterious. It is these qualities that are essential to the boutique attitude of the hotel. Next we turned our attention to finessing the elements of Metropols Stay, Work and Play offer. Bates Smart persuaded our client to sacrifice the prestige Penthouse space at the top of the building that is usually earmarked for suites. Instead we recommended a full size infinity pool in a double height space to be located on the top of the building, together with a generous gym and luxury spa. The pool is dramatic and sexy. The adjacent sundeck with massive lanterns over couples sun beds, invites guests to bask in their own extraordinary place in the sun, with a genuine sense of being outdoors, even though it is inside! This is one of the spectacular drawcards to appeal to both business and leisure guests. At the very top level, 28 is the hotels hip new guest only bar and lounge which morphs into a fashionable cocktail bar on weekends. Savvy corporate clients are now booking out 28 for small events, launches, and corporate functions. During the development period, Crown secured the tenancy of Gordon Ramsays Maze as the restaurant operator. Maze provides room service as well as a 300 seat dining space. By securing this world renowned brand Crown successfully added an extra dimension to Metropols appeal. So how is the large boutique model performing? Crown is delighted with occupancy rates, they have exceeded all expectations. The stay work play model is evolving as we expected. Although there were a few nerves about how this new edgier approach might fit within the Crown brand, the results have proved that the business traveller and the tourist can be attracted to the largest boutique in Australia. 37


Industry LeAders ForuM 2011


get asked on regular basis where the name Dallen comes from. No, its not my last name, though people still insist on calling me Paul Dallen. For those of you who do not remember him, Dallen Cockerill was the founder of our company which began designing and manufacturing uniforms more than 30 years ago. An absolute character and a big fan of the long lunch, Dallen was instrumental in creating some really wonderful designs for many properties during the building boom of the 80s. We learnt a lot from him but the most important lesson was to never compromise on quality. Our companys reputation for manufacturing and design excellence is now well established and although Dallen is no longer with us, I know he would be proud of what we have achieved. Since the companys re-launch seven years ago, we have focused on offering individuality, flexibility and innovation. Dallen kicked off 2010 with the high profile opening of Crown Metropol where our uniforms play a significant role in the overall experience. We receive regular requests from hotel guests (and even some staff) to sell them the signature porters hoodie, which of course we must decline, but it certainly affirms that we struck the right chord. Soon after the Metropol launch, we introduced a new line of uniforms at Palazzo Versace (as featured in the August 2010 issue of HM Magazine) which redefined the classic 5-star look. We jumped at the opportunity to once again work with the team at Palazzo Versace. The managements keen involvement in the process and their constant pursuit for excellence drove us to investigate further improvements in our own product. Other domestic projects for 2010 included Crowne Plaza Adelaide and the reintroduction of the Parkroyal brand at Darling Harbour and Parramatta.
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The GFC hit Nevada particularly hard, and at our Las Vegas office they were beginning to wonder how long the town would take to recover. It made us question if the pursuit of US expansion was really worth it. Thankfully, the recovery is (slowly) underway and confidence is building. We were fortunate enough to secure a significant contract with The Cosmopolitan, the newest property on the strip wedged between City Centre and Bellagio and we have since received a dramatic increase in the amount of interest from some major players in Vegas. It now looks like we will be staying a while longer. We are particularly excited to be branching out into new territories. In late 2010, our company was awarded the contract to design the uniforms for the new (yet to be named) Sands property in Macau which includes a Shangri-La and Traders Hotel as well as the worlds largest Sheraton at 4000 rooms. Dallen are creating collections for the entire project and in total, around 11,000 staff will be wearing our styles. 2011 begins with the transformation of the Sheraton in Perth into the Pan Pacific where our design team has successfully captured the essence of the brand. We are also very pleased to be part of the energy and enthusiasm at Tabcorp where Dallen continue to work with the Jupiters team on freshening up the look at both the Gold Coast and Townsville properties. The uniform trend forecast from Dallen for 2011 and beyond is a movement away from identical uniforms towards a range of coordinated garments and items, from which staff can select pieces that reflect their own personality. This allows staff to be involved in the process, whilst still presenting a unified aesthetic. In a way, we began this trend at Crown Metropol and much of our new work is based around this philosophy.

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IAN WILSON Chief Executive Officer Hostec International


s a specialist in hospitality education, recruitment and training, Hostec acts as a gauge for the state of play in terms of hiring trends and expenditure on training by companies within the sector. In the beginning of 2010, there seemed to be hesitation in the marketplace regarding the management of future workforce planning needs with organisations expecting more from their personnel, especially with short lead times and minimal replacement of staffing. However, towards the end of 2010 there was a notable rise in confidence demonstrated by an increase in the number of job advertisements. The frequency of job movement has, in turn, compelled organisations to ensure the strategic management of their talent pipeline. The current employment growth is showing encouraging signs with the unemployment rate down to 5.2% in August 2010 compared with 5.8% in August 2009. Many organisations have strategic workforce plans in place which are focused on the development and retention of internal staff. However, there seems to be a growing need to develop creative ways to attract quality personnel from within the sector as well as externally. Social media and online job advertisements are beginning to drive this trend. Whilst the number of employers currently hiring through social media is small, it is expected to increase as the consumers appetite moves and evolves with an increase in online buying trends. Mid-year changes to the immigration policy regarding the skilled occupation list as well as minimum eligibly requirements for student visas dramatically impacted the international student numbers with a significant decrease in training enrolments. The hospitality industry was particularly hard hit by these changes in government policy. Coupled with the strength of the Australian dollar in the latter part of 2010, international student numbers are forecast to further decline on 2009 figures impacting the skilled labour force, not only in the kitchen, but also in front and back of house operations. On a more positive front, the forecast growth for inbound tourism from China provides an exciting opportunity for a range of services and experiences not seen since the emergence of the Japanese inbound tourism market in the 1980s. There are a number of companies already investigating specific cultural awareness training programs for the Australian hospitality workforce to develop service standards and processes to meet this emerging new market. Despite challenging global confidence throughout last year, 2011 looks to be an exciting time for Hostec and we are approaching it with great confidence. Hostecs engagement process for learning and development initiatives is delivering a tailored learning framework viewed as a benchmark to workplace vocational learning delivery. This process includes organisation culture, leadership, management and frontline learning needs. Hostec is also proactively growing the talent solutions, training and administration teams to keep up with the surge in demand. There are constant opportunities to maximise commercial value through improved productivity and learning outcomes, government funding and strategically developing long-term partnerships. The focus ensures that we are operating as a strategic people solutions partner, which is vital as the market becomes more challenging in finding and retaining personnel. Last but not least, we are pleased to announce that our clients will now have access to Australias first culinary-on-hire labour agreement for overseas skilled workers which will begin rolling out in 2011. Hostec looks forward to extending our commitment to identifying, developing and retaining top quality talent for our partners this year, while contributing to the strength and development of the hospitality industry at large.

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Industry LeAders ForuM 2011

Throughout the latter part of 2010 it was very encouraging to hear comments from leaders of various International and also local hotel groups discussing the rise in the extremely important business travel sector within Australia, with predictions of favourable increases seen for 2011.
ficient, reliable and successful national manufacturing operation. It is also important for both manufacturers and Hoteliers that these many personnel can justify staying in quality hotels and paying the RevPAR a hotel deserves. With the above comments in mind, one of the major focuses for HotelHome in 2011 will be the release of many new Australian made fabric developments within our Luxury Bedcovering division, including state of the art commercial chenilles, designed to be different. The marketing for these and other locally manufactured fabrics and Bedcovering products will be readdressing the affordable yet high quality

GARY COMAN CEO HotelHome Australia

s an Australian designer and manufacturer, the last two years has been somewhat of a litmus test to confirm whether HotelHome has been on the right track to satisfy our clientele requirements in off the shelf product ranging, styling with new product development and most importantly being able to meet our customers time frame demands when a hotel is ready for refurbishment. Our continued ability to quickly design and manufacture both fabric and also finished products if required, has been a major factor in gaining customer confidence and also repeat business with both our hotel and FF&E clientele. I am pleased to say we did tick all of the boxes required through this last period, ensuring a satisfactory result for the company. Throughout the latter part of 2010 it was very encouraging to hear comments from leaders of various international and also local hotel groups discussing the rise in the extremely important business travel sector within Australia, with predictions of favourable increases seen for 2011. This expected increase in business travel, adds to the existing confidence of HotelHome with a large roll out of new products to be released for 2011. In addition, we are hopeful this positive scenario will create a more serious awareness within our accommodation industry to also support the many Australian manufacturers of products, especially those used by their properties. These local manufacturers, who have personnel other than just sales teams, are also constantly travelling and staying within the cities of this country for interstate conferences, machinery component sourcing and whatever else is required to run an ef-

Made in Australia factor. This is a topic which has been ignored by most Australians for many years, whether it be purchasing within businesses or individuals buying groceries, however it is time that everybody thought more about the big picture of how this issue does eventually affect all businesses and industries indirectly. As I mentioned this time last year in the HM Magazine Industry Leaders Forum, we had seen a major escalation in the number of Australian Hoteliers looking at ways to increase guest comfort, especially bed comfort. In a recent interview by HM with Andrew Cosslett, CEO of IHG, he also mentions how his group wants to know more about sleep, which would supposedly be for their 180 million guests per year. The success of our premium bed comfort accessory product The Cloud Feather Down Bed Topper has been enormous for both HotelHome and for our Hotel customers in offering a level of sleep many guests had never experienced before. The Clouds popularity is continuing to grow with this strong guest awareness of the quality sleep they can enjoy in many of Australias properties who have installed this world class product. HotelHome will continue with marketing Hotel GMs to have a trial of The Cloud to confirm the superior sleep it does offer before making a final commitment. At the time of writing this editorial some of our Queensland rural and coastal tourism accommodation industry members have endured many cancellations due to the abnormal inclement weather over Christmas and the horrific flooding that had not reached its peak. We can only express our concern for all properties and hope that the final aftermath did not affect too many. 41


ALLAN SMITH Regional Managing Director iBAHN

otel owners and managers around the globe have recognised for some time that the traditional in-room TV is increasingly under-performing as a source of revenue. But they, and their guests, have also noticed that in some market leading settings, hotel TVs are now acting as a terminal and beginning to behave in changing and very profitable ways. Traditionally, the TV in the guest room was used for a very narrow range of entertainment and hospitality services such as Video-On-Demand (VOD), pay TV and basic guest messaging, however this is about to change, and by doing so, will radically increase revenue generation. Broadcast has been transformed by the Internet and we now have more than a million channels available. Less visibly, but equally important, the internet and IPTV have opened the way to the delivery of a

myriad of applications and these experiences will increase guest loyalty and create further revenue for Hoteliers. iBAHNs iMEDIA platform seamlessly brings these vast content choices of the Internet to the guestroom TV. Bringing together broadband-based digital entertainment and information, iMEDIA creates unique, convenient and personalized guest experiences that include online video, music, social networking, news, games, email, and more. An important factor right now is the importance of a guests home experience when deciding on hotels and at iBAHN, we are always conscious of the type of experience hotels guests have when they are at home. There, they can connect with no problems to fast broadband networks and many of them stream internet entertainment directly to their large flat panel displays. Many have hubs that allow content to be viewed on any display in their home. The home away from home experience will be one of the differentiation points between hotels in the next two years as guests demand that they can connect, communicate, interact and find the entertainment services as they do at home. A guest revolution is happening right now. It is an opportunity for the Hotelier to differentiate and iBAHN is sitting in the leadership position with a powerful flexible platform. Emerging technologies represent a real opportunity for hoteliers to converge guest entertainment, hotel amenities and back office technology integration within a single, flexible and cost-effective platform. Not only are more people online, they are spending more time online and consuming more bandwidth. This is a critical time for hoteliers to futureproof bandwidth investments and iBAHN is the only global provider of broadband information and entertainment systems worldwide.

Technology Solutions for 2011




Say hello to a new day in hotel technology. A time when the guest information and entertainment experience ows consistently across nal to work o all screens. And when platforms and applications are smart enough E HD together to help you pers TRU N monetize digital top services, controlTENT bandwidth costs and maintain a competitive edge. Its Tthe Tmoment youve been CON Social Networks lap CON E waiting for. And, from now on, it simply goes by the namef iBAHN iGeneration Solutions. taf of vity S MOBILITY cti Produ



Welcome to a New Year in technology. A time when the guest information and entertainment experience ows consistently across all screens. And when platforms and applications are smart enough to work together to help you monetise digital services, control bandwidth costs and maintain a competitive edge. Its the moment youve been waiting for. And, from now on, it simply goes by the name of iBAHN converged IP platform.


Copyright 2010 iBAHN Inc. All rights reserved. iBAHN and the iBAHN logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of iBAHN Inc. and its affiliates in the United States and other countries.

indUStRy leadeRS FoRUm 2011

n December 2009 when I was asked to put pen to paper for the year gone and the year ahead for 2010, I was hesitant. Although the world was in what seemed to be a very strong stockmarket recovery, the speed of this recovery had some warning signs attached ,and justifiably so. As you look back over 2010 the Australian Equity Market was a bit of a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs. Volatility was rampant for the first half of the year with activity in the latter half bringing the returns back to where the year began (effectively 0% sum gain for the year). Throughout 2010 we also witnessed some European Union countries having a difficult time as they suffered their own internal financial issues, but at the same time our Emerging countries in the Asian Region lead the growth story. This growth has been beneficial to our Australian economy as these counBRENDAN OFARRELL Chief Executive Officer Intrust Super

tries continue to have strong demand for our commodities such as coal and iron ore, meaning our local resource companies (as well as a broader range of businesses) helped our share market remain buoyant. This, in turn, generated growth in company profits and business investment linked to the mining sector, which continues to grow in importance for the Australian economy. These profits should then flow through to stronger employment and wages growth, thus driving strong income growth through the economy. Overseas equity returns were dampened by the strength of the Australian Dollar, when it finally reached parity in November 2010 and has continued to fluctuate around this level since. This strengthening of the Australian Dollar also carries with it some untended consequences impacting our key tourism industry as many Australians take advantage of the strong Aussie Dollar and head abroad to the US and Europe. The strong dollar will also impact our manufacturing industry as the competition against imported goods gathers momentum, and this has clearly been the case with the online shopping debate gathering speed. Interest rates have gained plenty of media coverage, with the Reserve Bank increasing rates four times over the 12 month period to December 31, 2010 to the current Cash Rate of 4.75%. I am hopeful of a strong 2011 with some key economic data seeing an increase in the global manufacturing index which is also seeing reduced unemployment levels in both the US and Australia. This should lead to continued demand for our commodities and in turn to stronger company returns and stronger overall Domestic and Overseas Equity markets.

With the global economy continuing its upward movement, this can only be positive news for superannuation funds and their members. Diversification of assets will continue to be a strong message to members but with the majority of funds having over 50% of its assets in Equity type investments - the economic recovery will be key in the investment success of super funds for the 2011 year. As the Superannuation industry continues to be subjected to Government changes you will see funds respond to these developments in varying ways. But what can be assured is that our Superannuation system is market leading in a global context. Members will continue to be well placed to receive added value from their fund as the industry continues to focus on improving product offerings such as insurances, financial planning, educational and member reward programs - all of which Intrust Super currently offers. We take this opportunity to remind members that despite the challenging periods - Superannuation is a long term investment and Intrust Super will continue to build members portfolios on proven investment fundamentals to achieve longer term success. At the time of writing, the Eastern seaboard was experiencing some of the worst flooding ever witnessed. The rebuilding phase will not happen overnight and the full economic impact on the Australian economy will not be known for some time. To all our readers and industry participants we wish you well and Intrust Supers thoughts and prayers are with everyone in those disaster affected regions. 43


BRETT PATTERSON National Executive - Hotels and Leisure ISIS Group Australia

hat a difference 12 months can make, property valuations are improving, capital is becoming more readily available and importantly hotel occupancies and room rates are on the increase, all good ingredients for hotel refurbishment and development projects to proceed beyond concept. If 2010 is any indication of what is going to happen next year it can only be positive. This year we have seen a number of refurbishment projects advance to construction in the second half of the year but more pleasingly is the quantity of projects planned for 2011. New developments appear to be more focused on what the particular market requires rather just building another 5-star hotel. Major refurbishments and building conversions are also being planned in just about every capital city. ISIS has been a stand out in the hotel refurbishment market for a number of years because we focus our business on developing trusting relationships, understanding our clients business and their drivers and being able to provide industry knowledge, competitive pricing and quality delivery. ISIS focus is and will continue to be fit out and refurbishment projects but we now have the capability to undertake new build. ISIS decision to move into the new build market was based around our existing clients continually requesting our services to deliver their full range of building needs. We understand that relationships between ISIS, our clients, the designers and consultants, subcontractors and suppliers are all integral to the success of any project and developing that trust. ISIS then becomes responsible for tailoring a delivery model solution to manage these relationships. Trust is about having open communication and constructive dialogue throughout the whole project, having good corporate governance, and a long term view.
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ISIS prides itself on its financial strength and integrity. Our financial strength affords our clients the comfort and knowledge that their project will be completed in accordance with their requirements. ISIS applies its industry leading risk management processes to every project it undertakes, providing the client with the additional comfort that no other project that ISIS is undertaking will jeopardise theirs. In 2010 we have worked with clients and hotel operators, Colonial First State Properties, Tabcorp, Crown, BG Investments, Accor, GIC, Shangri-La, Langham, Hilton, Marriott, and Jupiters on a range of projects including room refurbishments, casino gaming floors, lobbies and receptions, kitchens, restaurants and bars, executive lounges and function rooms. Internally the challenge for ISIS is about continuous improvement and being ahead of our competitors in how we can deliver projects smarter, understanding the drivers of our clients and offering alternative delivery models which meet our clients challenging expectations. Externally we have no control of what our competitors are doing but where we can influence our clients is through industry knowledge, the value we bring to a project and our depth of experience. Much of the work ISIS completes is repeat business and in the niche market such as a hotel refurbishment we would like to think that our clients like working with us because we are trustworthy, provide an increased level of industry and market knowledge and intelligence and are able to deliver on what we promise. We are certainly looking forward to 2011 to further grow our business and work with clients to undertake challenging and complex opportunities.

indUStRy leadeRS FoRUm 2011

GAVIN KRAWCHUK Managing Director Nufurn s we enter our 15th year in business, were very pleased to say that 2010 was a record year for us with double digit growth across all segments. All indications are that 2011 will be a strong year for Nufurn both locally and in New Zealand and the South Pacific, where we have several large projects underway. Most exciting for us is that in March 2011, we will be moving into new industrial premises which will more than double our warehouse, office and showroom space. It also allows us to bring our upholstery manufacturing division back under one roof. Weve seen a really positive return of confidence within the hotel and general hospitality sector. 18 months ago, the majority of major projects had been put on hold and 90% of those major projects became active again by July 2010. From our viewpoint, the sector in general appears strong. The devastating flooding of various parts of Queensland over December and January has had an untold impact on that region and the road to recovery will be long. In January 2011, Nufurn donated over 100 items of furniture to victims of the flood disaster. The challenge for us in 2011 will really be how we manage Standing apart from competitors is virtually to accomplish all the new initiatives we have set ourselves. We the same for any business. You simply need have a number of new products in development which will be to be better than them. launched in the first quarter of 2011. Standing apart from competitors is virtually the same for any business. You simply need to be better than them. We are a 100% rigger Resort Little Hastings Street in Noosa, The National Gallery of Australian owned company and since 1996, we have been designing, Australia and the Parliament of NSW. manufacturing and distributing a range of high quality and excellent We were making a conscious effort to reduce our carbon footprint, a value, commercial furniture to the hospitality market. Many of our long time before it became fashionable to do so. First and foremost, our customers who bought from us then are still using the same products products are built to last in a range of demanding environments. When today and have grown together with us. Having such a high ratio of you invest in an item of Nufurn Commercial, its built to be fit for purrepeat business and customer loyalty, is a good cue that we are on the pose. Many of our products are 100% recyclable at the end of their life. right track. All recyclable waste is recycled, product packaging is minimised, our Every day we learn something new from our customers and then premises are energy efficient from our light bulbs, to our photocopier see how we can apply that knowledge to improve our systems, procthat uses 70% less energy. esses and products. We implemented a number of new supply chain Our reputation is our greatest asset and we have built an exemplary initiatives which our customers will benefit greatly from in 2011 thats list of clients over the years. Our clients know that when they purchase as much as I can say on that. furniture from us, its a real investment which ultimately saves them time 2011 marks the official launch of our new Event Pro-Lite ABS, and capital over the long term. We have a fantastic, experienced and Honeycomb core tables. Designed specifically for hotels requiring a dynamic team of dedicated Account Managers that are highly knowlhighly durable, lightweight and environmentally sustainable banquet edgeable within their respective product segments and are extremely table solution, our Event-Pro Lite tables, have already been received professional. These are the reasons that venues work with Nufurn. extremely well by the market. Recent customers include: The new 45


ANTONY RAITERI National Commercial Account Manager Sealy Australia


tem that is superior in design, looks and quality for you and your customers; and Performance Series Quality and Value: Designed to meet the need for a quality sleep set at a value for money price, whilst not sacrificing on comfort. Available in a wide range of comfort choices and backed by the Sealy Brand, you can be assured your customers will have a restful nights sleep. The range was successfully launched to key accounts in December 2010 with great anticipation and a renewed enthusiasm within the industry for quality products from local suppliers. The new range can also be viewed on our newly launched website As a part of our continuous improvement program we have reviewed our service delivery model. The aforementioned increase in domestic travel has identified the growing needs of our regional proprietors to update their sleep systems and offer quality bedding to their guests. To cater for this, Sealy Commercial has invested heavily in restructuring our national commercial call centres database technology and increasing sales support at a national level. This will enable greater visibility to our customers requirements and appropriate service support across Australia and New Zealand.

he accommodation industry as a whole has enjoyed a return to stability in the past 12 months, and I expect the same modest growth to continue in 2011. This growth will mainly be captured through domestic travel, injecting much needed tourism dollars back into our economy. The strength of the Australian dollar has seen Australia struggle to attract international tourists as an affordable destination of late. However, on the back of a solid marketing push from Tourism Australia through the recent Oprah event, we should see signs of an increase in international tourism to the region, which is great news for the accommodation industry. Sealy Commercial is proud to have a strong partnership with the leaders in the accommodation industry. We continue to maintain these relationships through integrity in both our product range and service program. We listen to our customers needs and consistently deliver quality bedding solutions that are locally made and tested to exceed industry standards. After weathering the storm of the GFC through strategic product development, and consistency in service support and delivery, we are now looking ahead as the industry enters a growth period. Over the past 12 months, we have focused on developing improved bedding solutions to cater to the current industry needs. This is an exciting time for Sealy Commercial, as we have just launched a brand new product range to the market and are focused on continuous improvement. Our new commercial range features the superior support and durability that Sealy stands for. As well as fire retardant fabrics, contemporary finishes, new commercial grade foundations, and an extensive range of comfort levels to meet the expectations of the most discerning guests. The New Sealy Commercial Range consists of two technologies designed to provide quality bedding that is suitable to all properties and budgets: Sealy Posturepedic Dynasty Series The Best in Luxury: Built with our Sealy Posturepedic Innerspring technology, the Dynasty Series combines the best in orthopaedic research to provide a sleep sys46 Hotel & Accommodation Management

This is an exciting time for Sealy Commercial, as we have just launched a brand new product range to the market and are focused on continuous improvement.

Being an Australian made and owned company is very important to Sealy, as it enables us to provide service that is befitting of an industry leading supplier. Sealy Commercial guarantees quality products, short lead times and local support for our customers. Our beds are handmade in each of our five manufacturing plants throughout Australia and tested for durability and performance in NATA-accredited research and development facilities. Sealy has maintained a strong brand presence in the past year through supporting industry events such as the 2010 HM Awards for Accommodation Excellence, and remaining visible to the market in challenging conditions. In doing so, we have solidified our relationships with national, local and regional properties. With our new range now released, a commitment to continuous improvement and a positive outlook of growth for the accommodation industry, Sealy Commercial looks forward to an exciting year ahead.

indUStRy leadeRS FoRUm 2011

JULIAN M GOOD General Manager - Oceania VingCard Elsafe

am joining VingCard Elsafe at an extremely exciting time in the companys evolution. Part of the worlds leading lock group ASSA ABLOY, with 32,000 employees and sales of nearly USD$5 billion that offers a more complete range of door opening solutions than any other company globally. Well recognised throughout the hospitality industry as the global leader in hotel security technology, VingCard Elsafe has products installed in more than 39,000 properties worldwide, securing more than 6.5 million hotel rooms. We have recently developed a number of cost effective and environmentally friendly products and services that will be offered to hotels in the coming year. The Oceania division of VingCard Elsafe brings five brands to hotels throughout Australia and the Pacific region. These include two new products that will help hotels enhance and streamline their customers check-in and check-out experience and increase their in-room comfort, while decreasing energy and employment costs. The Oceania region had an extremely successful 2010. Budgets were exceeded with major installations at Hilton Surfers Paradise, Mantra Broadbeach on the Park, Novotel Auckland Airport, Marriott Brisbane, Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart and the new Sebel Newcastle. This year is already looking promising for the region, with a number of new build and refurbishment projects confirmed. New products we are particularly excited about in 2011 are a Check-In Check-Out Kiosk and Energy Management System. As more people become accustomed to kiosks at airports the next logical step is to implement this technology in the hospitality sector. Offering 45 second check-ins and 30 second check-outs means guests will no longer have to wait in long queues. On an operational side the increased efficiencies and obvious labour cost savings are seen as a huge benefit. Orion by VingCard Elsafe is a new energy management solution that offers huge savings while ensuring guests comfort. Orion detects a guests presence in their room allowing the hotel to control and manage the air conditioning while rooms are unoccupied, and monitor and maintain the same temperature comfort level for when they return to their rooms. Orion is much more than just an energy management solution. It offers full wireless online functionality and a network that can be set up independently or together with Visionline by VingCard wireless online electronic locks. The Orion by VingCard Elsafe will not only deliver significant cost savings, but help hotels improve their environmental and green initiatives and has been fully certified by Micros-Fidelio. The Classic RFID upgrade is a product that is proving to be very successful for hoteliers. This product has many benefits for both the hotel and their guests, including ease of operation, reliability of card reading and reduced maintenance on the locks. I am obviously very excited about joining VingCard Elsafe, a company that has always been ready to use technology to deliver the best in price performance and cost effectiveness for customers. In addition, we have a sales and service network around Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific which is second to none. As we move into 2011 it is these qualities which will maintain our reputation as a leader in hotel security technology and underpin our future success. 47


f we look back to the start of 2010, while we had hoped for a major tourism revival, there were still concerns that the tenuous world economic condition could stymie the revival at any time. Fortunately for Australia, the mining boom, various stimulus measures, low unemployment and the strength of Asia all combined to produce a strong performance for the year. Pleasingly, virtually all markets around the country were reporting double-digit RevPAR growth by the end of the year based not just on growth in occupancy, but also solid recovery in rate. In most markets, the fundamental laws of demand and supply dictated that rates should have increased and quite substantially. Sydney led the way all year, and markets such as Brisbane and Perth were equally constrained for a large portion of the year and justified significant rate increases. The key has been to communicate with clients and partners with realistic


SIMON McGRATH Vice President Australia Accor Hospitality

facts and figures. We found that most companies, corporate travel bookers and business event organisers were quite understanding of the situation when it was properly explained. While there has been much focus on the positive results of the Sydney, Brisbane and Perth markets, in many ways the stand-out market of 2010 was Melbourne. It proved that you could have increased supply with increased demand and increased rate. Victorias commitment to making tourism and events a key priority for the State has paid vast dividends. Their investment in tourism-related infrastructure is a lesson for all administrations build it and (as long as you invest in promotion) they will come. And they did. There is very little in the hotel pipeline across Australia despite the improved scenario. The strength of the Australian dollar is seriously stymieing inbound and domestic tourism, but fortunately the corporate and business events market is making up for the ever-increasing imbalance between outbound and inbound numbers. Importantly though, despite the difficulties of the past three years, there has been significant investment in upgrading properties to ensure that standards are not only maintained, but enhanced to meet the growing expectations of travellers.
48 Hotel & Accommodation Management

This is affecting all levels of the industry from budget through to luxury. Our Formule 1 brand, for instance, will roll out a new bedroom concept called Cocoon which will introduce the latest design technology that will provide levels of comfort that were previously restricted to 3- and 4-star hotels. Similarly, upgrades to Novotel hotels such as Novotel Melbourne on Collins and Novotel Brisbane have introduced Premier rooms into their inventory that would have been classified as 5-star a decade or so ago. Mercure has upgraded its offer with Privilege rooms and Ibis continues to revolutionise the 3-star market with beds that wouldnt be out of place in an upscale hotel. They are also introducing innovative new restaurant concepts in response to guest feedback. While few major new hotels are planned, much is happening with current stock. For instance, the famed Fairmont Resort was recently purchased by Jerry Schwartzs company and he is now investing heav-

indUStRy leadeRS FoRUm 2011

ily in restoring the icon Blue Mountains hotel to its former glory under Accors MGallery brand. The revitalisation of the hotel will have a major impact on reviving the regions meetings and events market, which has suffered a major decline over the past three or four years. Hobart will also get greater focus from the business events market when the Grand Mercure Hadleys launches its new Collins Street development. The AUD$30 million development undertaken by Michael Doherty is the most significant tourism development in the city for some 30 years. The new complex will add 128 luxury apartments and penthouses, a conference and events centre for up to 250 (600 for a function), various restaurants and retail outlets. Importantly, it carefully blends the historic heritage of Hadleys with the latest in 21st Century design and features in what will be one of the countrys most exciting new developments.

A feature of 2010 and it is being replicated already in 2011 is the growth of the franchise sector. We now have over 50 franchise hotels and we are adding new franchises at the rate of at least one a month.

A feature of 2010 and it is being replicated already in 2011 is the growth of the franchise sector. We now have over 50 franchise hotels and we are adding new franchises at the rate of at least one a month. This undoubtedly reflects the importance of sales, marketing and distribution. With strong branding comes all the visibility and benefits of distribution. While the hotels themselves may be strong entities and very well managed, in an increasingly online world, gaining market presence ahead of competitors is increasingly challenging and being aligned to a major hotel group has demonstrable benefits. The on-line world has also given travellers a far greater ability to monitor, review and compare what hotels offer. Accor was the first major hotel group to partner with TripAdvisor to link reviews of each hotel on our home booking site. This is the ultimate in transparency and while it does mean that occasionally poor reviews will be aired, it places the onus on hotel management to meet the needs of its customers. It is vital that we listen and act on genuine issues raised in these reviews. Many hoteliers have said that this was a bold move but as Accors new Chairman, Denis Hennequin, wrote recently: By being increasingly open to dialogue and transparency, we will consolidate another bond, one that is no less fundamental: the bond with our clients. Accepting criticism is intrinsic to our difficult service professions. As you well know, the sense of hospitality implies constant mobilisation, around the clock. Another strong commitment of Accor in the past has been our community and environmental focus, and that focus will only be further increased on 2011. To develop with the company is also to develop with the world around us and maintaining this bond with both the planet and the community is something we consider essential. If 2010 was a year of recovery, I believe 2011 needs to be the year of forging ahead for the industry with a balanced approach to performance, quality of service and product.

Proud sponsor of the 49


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nthology, the Travellers Collection, begins its third year in operation in 2011. The company was formed with the vision of offering guests the opportunity to immerse themselves in nature and heritage in rare and interesting locations throughout Australia. Anthology currently has four experiential destinations Cradle Mountain Huts and Bay of Fires Walks and historic Quamby Estate in Tasmania and Wilpena Pound in the Flinders Ranges in South Australia.. 2011 will see the company add Wildman Wilderness Lodge to their portfolio. The Lodge which will open April 1 is located in the spectacular Mary River wetlands only two hours from Darwin. The Lodge is expected to have broad appeal from family groups through to special interest groups all of whom are looking for a new way of experiencing Australias spectacular locations. Despite a flat domestic market, the properties across the portfolio performed well with a couple of exceptions. Cradle Mountain Huts Walk will finish the current season in May 30% ahead of last year illustrating that iconic, quality experiences have rebounded well. The recently introduced four day and portered options for the walk have continued this year which appeal to those people with less time to spend. The Bay of Fires Walk didnt fare as well this season. We believe this was a result of competitive positioning in the luxury short breaks category both domestically and internationally but we are looking at this rebounding as walking continues to be a popular way of experiencing a destination. We are also looking at a strong brand campaign for the walks which will launch a little later in the year in time for the next season in October 2011. In contrast Wilpena Pound Resort became the poster child for the group this year with record occupancies. This was aided by the flooding of Lake Eyre once again which is predicted to continue for the next two years. With the accommodation and scenic flight options this makes the resort the perfect place to witness this amazing phenomenon.
50 Hotel & Accommodation Management

Quamby Estate built in the 1830s, and located just outside Launceston, continued to be popular for the walking groups as a pre and or post stay option. The stables building was renovated in time for this current walking season and now serves as the base/departure point for both walks. Weddings have also increased in popularity this year with Kate Ritchies wedding driving bookings. Events such as the Gourmet Weekend at Quamby, the photography workshop at Wilpena Pound or the Yoga retreat at the Bay of Fires Lodge have proved to be very popular in attracting first time visitors in particular to the properties. These initiatives have helped to drive visitation from the special interest groups in the domestic market. These tailored personal experiences we believe will go some way to overcoming the challenges in this market in 2011 . We also think that business tourism is experiencing a resurgence especially when you can provide groups with unusual and interesting places to hold their meetings or send staff on incentive trips. As such we will be continuing to reach out to these groups. Wildman is already proving to be of great interest in this segment. While the strong Australian dollar will be a challenge internationally we believe the international market will hold up this year as well. We have always been popular in the UK and German markets with visitors seeking iconic Australian wildlife in a natural setting. Indications also suggest we will see increased interest from Europe, North America and New Zealand this year. On the back of the economic downturn we expect travellers in 2011 continuing to want good value for money. As such rate increases will be difficult to justify with companies like ours having to rely on great product to attract their guests and keep them satisfied. Air access will also be key in this equation with competitive air fares being vital to stimulate domestic tourism. Against this value driven backdrop we anticipate continued growth in the nature based experiential segment as travellers thirst for personal development and look for a more holistic outcome from their journeys.


Best Westerns growth from a development point of view will see new hotels open across Australasia with a renewed focus in New Zealand, Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland key tourism areas for ROB ANDERSON CEO both business and leisure travel. Best Western Australasia Internationally, Best Western is planning strategic expansion in the Middle East, Asia and Africa highly attractive markets which promise great return as the new hot spots for tourism in 2011. est Western Australasia had a very successful year in 2010 and One of our key initiatives in 2011 will be launching our descriptor we anticipate strong growth in 2011 in the midmarket hotel strategy which offers guests a way to find the right Best Western hotel sector. Last year, our properties invested in major upgrades across the midmarket for their needs. We have over 200 hotels, motels, and overall, achieved the highest Quality Assurance scores on record. resorts and apartments across Australia and New Zealand of varying Our latest figures showed an increased length of stay of 3% and an sizes and styles. Were going to help guests choose the right hotel for increased daily rate of 5% compared to the same time last year and we their holiday or business trip, building guest satisfaction and loyalty. expect this will continue in 2011. In 2011, Best Western will focus on training for members on cusIn 2010 we saw strong growth in online bookings, particularly in tomer service and revenue management. Internationally, Best Western the last six months of the year where online bookings were up 62% has launched an advanced customer care program, designed to help on the previous year. In 2011, we will build on this growth with a reour operator deliver superior customer care. This will be rolled out in design of our Australian and New Zealand websites. In 2010, we saw Australia through our member training sessions nationally. a strong return in corporate travel which was reflected with a strong In addition, we expect more of our hotels to move to green practices and steady increase in GDS bookings. In 2011, we anticipate growth and products, and be eco-certified. Best Western takes great care to in GDS bookings as we continue our successful sales programs with recognise our properties which have demonstrated a commitment to large corporate clients and our partnership with American Express sustainability and environmental responsibility. who manage our charge card program.


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JOHN PARCHE General Manager The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa

his year is looking promising as I write. While still very competitive both leisure and MICE markets, particularly the latter are showing positive signs of confidence. Our operating philosophy remains the same as when we started some six years ago, irrespective of economic and financial difficulties that may have prevailed. Making tough decisions and sticking by ones principles ultimately pays off, without detriment to the rate structure and operating standards that were and remain the original vision. We anticipate seeing an annual increase with MICE bookings of between 3-4% with daily rates also increasing slightly. There is always an argument that lowering rates will attract greater occupancy, however our style of thinking does not entertain this reasoning based on the longer term difficulties in trying to get rates back to where they should be. In many cases this can take many months in an improved financial climate to achieve. Our philosophy is to provide value for money. Given that the resort is uniquely positioned in an historic rainforest just minutes walk from a 7km long beach, has a committed and dedicated staff, many of whom have been employed since opening, with the resort receiving many accolades over the years, this in itself is a strong justification in sticking with our original principles. This is then the rationale we have adopted and will continue to follow. The ratio of leisure to MICE occupancy is anticipated to be 65:35 for 2011, an increase of approximately 3%. Leisure marketing efforts will always dominate

and that remains in line with our overall marketing strategy. RevPAR is strong with the exception of the two weakest months June and July. Overall occupancy is expected to reach 74% by year end. The Byron at Byron Resort in northern NSW is well positioned with three airports, all less than one hour away. The increase of international flights into Australia does not reflect on arrivals to Byron Bay however we do see a small increase with overseas guests, possibly due to the marketing efforts we undertake with the various tourism bodies. The US market is showing an improvement and given the near parity with the dollar, it is surprising that there has not been a downturn. This is in part due to our involvement with Virtuoso, attending the Travel Mart in August each year in Las Vegas and maintaining strong relationships with US agents. Greater emphasis will be made in increasing the European market during 2011 and beyond and becoming more involved with medical tourism, which we have been exploring for the past two years. Both the trade and consumer press and e-newsletters all play an effective role in maintaining the resorts name at the forefront of peoples minds. Prompt response to enquiries and having the ability to convert a no to a yes are reflected in the selling ability of our reservations team. In early December last year the resort was fortunate enough to enjoy 51 US visitors for 3 days, all from the Oprah Winfrey Australian visit. Based on the overall success of this event, it can assumed that the long term spin off for Australia will be enjoyed in the coming years, more so after the four episode TV series will be released in the US and Australia at the end of January. We move forward into 2011 with great anticipation.

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The Management Group Australia Pty Ltd: PO Box 1185 Hartwell, VIC 3124 Phone: 03 9809 0911 Email: 53


DAVID BAYES Chief Executive Officer Choice Hotels Australasia

espite tight global economic conditions during 2010, the 280-plus hotels that make up the Choice Hotels International family of brands finished the year with strong RevPAR results and high hopes for the future. Properties in mining-related regions along with larger city and metropolitan hotels rebounded after the tough rate environment of the past few years and can now look forward to real growth. This is particularly so in New Zealand where our hotels are looking forward to the boost that the Rugby World Cup will bring in 2011. So looking ahead against a backdrop of a strong currency, rising interest rates, low unemployment, a NSW election and the global GFC still playing out, what are we focussing our attention on in 2011? I anticipate that we will continue to grow the portfolio with very strong properties joining our four brands of Comfort, Quality, Clarion and Econo Lodge. We will continue our focus on improving brand standards and we will closely monitor that through our customer feedback scores. The concept of managing yield through RevPAR awareness and training has never been more important, and it will remain central to every conversation we have with our franchisees. Our on-line presence via au and and through our global wholesale and retail partnerships remains fundamentally important, and is something on which we will continue to focus extensive energy. We will also continue to strengthen our already robust global Consortia partnerships. In 2010 we introduced global automation to help our franchisees better manage RFPs for our tender partners a move that has helped increase penetration into this market and save the franchisees significant time. With more than 12 million members worldwide, our Global Loyalty program (Choice Privileges) has become a trusted solution that will continue to help us to meet customer needs across the globe. Although introduced relatively recently, Choice Privileges has continued to enjoy strong local uptake and membership growth across Australasia. In 2011 we will begin to introduce Choices proprietary Web-based property management system ChoiceAdvantage to our region. This easy-tooperate system will provide a major boost to franchisees by enhancing their capabilities in the areas of rate parity and yield management. We will also remain relentless in our efforts to enhance the training we provide our owners and operators. This is a program that pays for itself time and time again. Finally, and underpinning everything else, we will continue to take the relationship with our franchisees extremely seriously. We are focused exclusively on their success and return on investment. Our management, field force, local reservations centre staff and our support staff in the corporate office all know that supporting our franchisees is the number one priority. With the global lodging environment improving, Im confident 2011 will be a terrific year for Choice Hotels Australasia.

54 Hotel & Accommodation Management

indUStRy leadeRS FoRUm 2011

JONATHAN WOOLLER Managing Director Constellation Hotels Throughout 2009 and 2010 the initiation of new hotel developments stalled in both Australia and New Zealand. The new hotel development outlook remains pessimistic, however, we are set to deliver a number of new hotels that have been in our development pipeline, being Chifley Lorne Resort and Apartments and Chifley Newcastle Grand Central Apartments. We welcome any additional gross seat capacity between destination points as it tends to stimulate price competition, increases the passengers travelling and stimulates accommodation demand. The reality is, however, that domestic and international airlines are continually reviewing their seat capacities and as a hotel company we would certainly not plan development around airlines allocation of seat capacity. 2011 is a year in which we hope to see more tourism marketing efforts from our tourism bodies. In my opinion, there is always a requirement for more to be done. The aggregate funding of regional, state and federal governments in the tourism sector is dwarfed by other major international tourism destinations. If we want a more serious share of the tourism industry, a significant increase in funding would be required as well as other major reforms to make our industry more competitive on a global level. Remaining themes in 2011 are technology and environmental sustainability. Technology continues to transform the industry, particularly sales and marketing through evolving e-commerce which we recognise as a long term trend and continue to adjust our systems to take advantage of the technology dividend.

n 2010, Constellation Hotels network experienced strong growth with the addition of 4 new hotels in regional and urban locations across Australia and in the process took out the HMAA award for Hotel Chain of the Year and we are gearing up for a an even bigger 2011. We are excited about the potential to increase rate with the expected continued growth of the corporate and MICE segments. The most significant growth in 2010 was from the corporate segment which is evidence of the return and improvement of the market. MICE business also improved but still has a way to go in 2011 and unfortunately the leisure market continues to remain patchy. Whilst volumes may have increased, rates are yet to fully recover. Our major challenges for 2011 will be the continued rebuild of average rate and RevPAR in hotels. We will be focused on targeting Corporate FIT travel and MICE markets. Our expectations are for rates to increase in 2011, we are targeting 10% to 15% growth in the corporate segment and believe that the theme for the year ahead will be rate growth rather than occupancy growth.


TIM SMITH Managing Director Delaware North Australia Parks and Resorts first time at Kings Canyon Resort or EI Questro Wilderness Park, or from a trip to the Great Barrier Reef on Lizard, Heron or Wilson Islands. Delaware North will continue with its strategic five year plan across the breadth of its business, but in relation to Australian Parks and Resorts, we see ourselves as a serious long term player. We are delighted with the properties in our first year of operation and see this as an attractive and important foundation on which to build our portfolio of special places in the years ahead. There are a number of challenges I believe are facing the Australian travel industry for 2011. One is the perceived value of travel and holidays in Australia compared to near overseas destinations in Asia and the Pacific. Whilst our dollar is strong, some people from overseas will also question travelling to Australia in addition to the perennial issues of the time and distance of a trip to Australia. In these circumstances theres still plenty of business available, we just have to continue to be optimistic and compete for market share based on quality, not on price. Im fond of saying long after the price is forgotten, the quality of the experience remains. Attracting and retaining skilled staff with the right attitude to service is also a challenge for our industry. We went through a skills shortage a few years ago at the height of the resources boom, and its coming at us again. Our industry requires investment in refurbishment, the freshening of existing assets and the creation of new experiences in special places. 55

his will be a year where I believe experiential travel will move further towards more and more people seeking simple and natural pleasures on their holidays. People are increasingly interested in natural, serene and special places that are authentic. Each of our properties is very individual, with its own personality and experiences. Compare Wilson Island on the Great Barrier Reef, just five acres in size, offering a luxury castaway experience, with El Questro, a million acres of rugged terrain and true last frontier outback experience, offering different types of accommodation, from budget camping, family cabins and the luxury of the Homestead. We will continue to strive in 2011 to continue creating special and memorable holidays that have a real connection to Australia. Delaware North offers unique one-of-a-kind experiences with that all important wow factor, whether its from discovering Australias Outback for the


PAUL FISCHMANN Managing Director 8Hotels irstly I would like to congratulate Tourism Australia and the Australian tourism industry and media in general on the Oz show put on for Oprah. This type of celebrity endorsement of Australia by non-Australians is exactly what we need to develop Australias brand in the international marketplace and strengthen the domestic sentiment desperately needed. This type of investment far outweighs tacky slogans and picturesque landscape cinematography that would put anyone to sleep. Bring on the celebrity of all types, pay them, follow them around the country with cameras, beam that back to their countries and watch the visitors roll in. It even works domestically because it excites our own people about our own country. Even Qantas new safety pre-flight on-air commercial featuring John Travolta adds some sex appeal to an otherwise boring experience. Also I would suggest moving the focus of our marketing efforts back to established markets, everyone is talking about China and emerging markets but thats hard its a new sell, new languages and the average soon-to-be traveller Chinese national probably has Paris, Venice and New York travel fantasies ahead of Uluru.

This year is looking and feeling good, however we remain cautious due to the high dollar and general economic conditions.

Plus, China and emerging markets will happen anyway and happen organically. Lets focus on the US, UK and Europe people from these markets have been wanting to come here for years and all they need is a little push in the right direction. Its not the dollar that scares them or the fact that their own economies are not booming, its that they think we are simply too far away and they cant come for less than four weeks. Thats complete nonsense but nobody has been telling them that. Back to business and 2010 ended up, all in all, a fantastic year. Even the supply in Melbourne didnt cause too much concern and we have experienced growth in all markets from 2009. This year is looking and feeling good, however we remain cautious due to the high dollar and general economic conditions. We will be announcing new hotels joining our collection and look forward to a year of minimal yet positive growth and stability of trading conditions. I would caution the softening inbound markets this year but I think there is enough favorable indicators to outweigh the negative. The other point I would like to mention is discounting and reliance on OTAs. Both dangers to the industry and not best business practice, Hoteliers need to work together to create a voice, maintain values and educate the market that best deals are found direct and that last minute hotel-room websites are far from last minute discounted rooms and this can start with one property at a time. I wish everyone in the industry a successful 2011.
56 Hotel & Accommodation Management

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The domestic tourism market will only become more competitive in 2011 and it will paramount for state tourism authorities to invest in defining their states or regions unique and compelling features. Equally paramount for tourism businesses to provide a compelling reason based on value, not cost, to gain customers.
GREG FARRELL Managing Director Federal Group

hilst the Australian Economy weathered the Global Financial Crisis better than most due to the resurgence of the commodity sector and Federal Government intervention, the tourism industry has not fared as well as I would have liked. The Economy continues to improve, with private consumption now approaching 3% PA again, however tourism consumption was only 0.6% in 2010 and expected to be 2.2% in 2011. Expected growth will average only 1.4% between 2009 and 2020, and this is led by international visitations. Domestic visitor nights are expected to rise by 0.6% in 2011 whilst outbound grew 15% in 2010 to 7.2 million. Against this backdrop, inbound grew by 5.3% in 2010 and is expected to grow 5.6% in 2011 to 6.2 million. So we have on one hand an improving economy and unemployment holding up at 5.1%, yet as reported the retail sector is sluggish. Clearly the rising of domestic interest rates and the strong Australian dollar are dampening domestic demand, whilst consumers consider whether there will be further interest rate rises in 2011, and the strong dollar makes overseas travel much more affordable and competitive. Business travel seems to be making a modest recovery and conference numbers nationally appear to be on the decline whilst the number of nights per conference is increasing. What does all this mean? I think to be successful, operators will need to have a clear brand proposition, deliver exemplary service and build loyalty with customers.
58 Hotel & Accommodation Management

Product differentiation and renewal will be critical success factors to the businesses that can emerge from the next few years poised for the next growth cycle. In our own case, in June we opened Saffire Freycinet, a 20-suite coastal sanctuary at Coles Bay on the beautiful Tasmanian East Coast to fantastic plaudits and the early signs are very promising. We have continued to invest in refurbishment throughout our Tasmanian businesses and in new experiences. In early December we opened, in partnership with the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Australias largest collection of Thylacine (Tasmanian tiger) specimens, including a complete video library which is housed at our Cradle Mountain Chateau. It is situated in The Wilderness Gallery, Australias largest privately owned wilderness photographic gallery. Staff training is pivotal. Each customer-to-staff interaction is critical in building customer loyalty and ensuring not only return business, but also third party endorsement. We are also committed to making it easy for potential guests to find out more about what we can offer and make it as easy as possible to book through our Pure Tasmania website. A strong online presence is a critical element of the Pure Tasmania marketing strategy, which has won the Tasmanian tourism industrys best marketing award six years in a row. The domestic tourism market will only become more competitive in 2011 and it will be paramount for state tourism authorities to invest in defining their states or regions unique and compelling features. Equally paramount for tourism businesses is to provide a compelling reason based on value, not cost, to gain customers. Charles Darwin was attributed to have said it is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.



ocated just metres from endless Pacific Ocean frontage and with a central lagoon-style pool, the Santai hotel is a little taste of Bali on the Tweed Coast, with tropical plants, oversized decorative urns, carved wooden doors and natural colours and materials inspiring an immediate sense of serenity. With 55 one- and two-bedroom apartments currently in the letting pool, the hotel boasts an Asian-inspired restaurant, Bamboo, which looks out over frangipani trees and Balinese gazebo to the stunning pool and spa area, a gorgeous guest lounge and conference facilities for up to 15 people. Theres also a small park opposite the hotel with swings for the kids and guests can enjoy the extensive facilities of the nearby Casuarina Beach Recreation Club including pools, tennis courts and gym. Framed by the hinterland and World-Heritage listed rainforest, guests can often spot wallabies and rabbits in the surrounding bushland and there are endless cycle paths and walking trails on the doorstep so its a great place to connect with nature. The theme parks, beaches and attractions of the Gold Coast are just over half an hour away, as is beautiful Byron Bay so its perfect for an intimate getaway or family holiday, with plenty of day trip options to keep everyone happy. While Bamboo offers excellent dining onsite, guests are spoilt for choice, with a range of restaurants and bars at the nearby Salt Village, Casuarina and Kingscliff, with a complimentary shuttle service running to Salt Village in the evenings. General Manager, Correen Hurley said she is excited to become part of Accor. This global branding will help to attract international and interstate visitors to what we believe is one of the most wonderful holiday destinations in the world, she said. We wanted to sign up with Accor because it is very difficult for a small boutique hotel such as ours to compete without global branding. We are hoping Accor can help us to attract more conference business mid-week and bring us more global marketing opportunities. From the very first day we went live, we saw bookings flow from

the Accor website and while the summer season got off to a poor start thanks to the rain, we saw a good pick up of business, she said. The Grand Mercure provides all the comforts of home, with each apartment boasting its own kitchen and laundry so you can self-cater to keep costs down. The apartments are much larger than the neighbouring hotels at Salt Village and it is the only property in the area with the exotic Asian touches that make you feel like you are in Bali (but without the flight). It was voted Best Tourism Development in NSW in 2007 and now begins the next phase of its evolution with Accor. The apartments feature deep spa baths, clean lines and calming hues with plush, luxurious touches in the soft furnishings. Most provide picturesque views over the pool and hinterland while some have ocean views. Natural materials, calming hues and lots of light make guests feel instantly relaxed. Grand Mercure is Accors upscale apartment brand, designed to meet the requirements of long-stay business guests, families and groups who prefer the home away from home comfort found in an apartment. Located in major city, regional and resort locations, Grand Mercure provides stylish apartments and villa-style accommodation, often with extensive leisure facilities. With 20 hotels across Australia, the brand is also represented in New Zealand, China and Thailand, with more than 4800 rooms globally. Dino Mezzatesta, Accors General Manager Franchise Hotels said there are many apartment hotels across Australia that could benefit from becoming part of the Grand Mercure brand. Apartment hotels are notoriously difficult to run without the support of global branding and distribution, he said. Often these hotels are responsible for providing unit owners with a return on their investment so they have a range of owners needs to satisfy. We have seen the real difference that Accor can bring to the bottom line for these hotels and know it is the best way to cut through to the consumer in a very crowded market segment. For more information on signing up to Accors franchise network go to www. or call Dino Mezzatesta on +61 (0)2 9280 9832. 59


GLENN BOURKE CEO Hamilton Island


am pleased to report that at Hamilton Island we are entering 2011 on the back of an extremely strong year. We finished FY 2010 on June 30 ahead of budget and room nights which was a great result considering the overall economic downturn which had affected much of the market. Our biggest challenge right now as an industry of course is the strength of the Australian dollar which will make us a more expensive destination for international visitors. Coupled with recent forecasts for another year of flat domestic visitation this will continue to challenge us to keep the Island appealing for potential visitors. Having said this we remain optimistic that as we enter the next six months our performance will continue to remain solid. The opportunities for Hamilton Island are numerous. Firstly, Australian travellers continue to see the Island as an easily accessed, good year round destination and a spectacular stepping off point to the Great Barrier Reef. We have been delighted with the high average occupancy levels across the year. We attribute this to the diversity of accommodation options on the Island with our Palm Bungalow, ReefView and Beach Club options continuing to deliver solid results. In addition with the opening of our Hamilton Island Yacht Club Villas early last year we are now able to present a luxury offering for the family market that sits very comfortably alongside qualia. The luxury end of the market has continued to go from strength to strength for us with qualia having three of the busiest back to back months from October through to December since the resort opened in 2007.
Hotel & Accommodation Management

This has come from domestic travellers who have continued to enjoy visiting qualia for milestone occasions and who also value the calibre of events we offer at the property. We are also delighted to see that the international visitor numbers have increased at the luxury end of the market. While the UK market has slipped a little in the last 12 months we have seen our visitation continue to increase from other traditional markets like the USA. Germany is also getting stronger for us and we are a favourite with some of the more niche markets such as the Italian honeymooners. Japan continues to be a real winner for us and we saw growth from this market again in the last year. At the luxury end of the market nearly 10% of qualias business came from Japan. We are also starting to build foundations for the future in emerging travel markets such as India and China. We are working closely with Tourism Queensland and Tourism Australia on sales missions, hosting famils and looking at identifying and tailoring product for these growth sectors in the years to come. In addition to accommodation diversity, our guests at Hamilton Island come to us for the number of activities we offer. We have more than 60 activities to choose from, with sports, adventures, and experiences for every interest and energy level. Our 18 hole, Peter Thomson designed Hamilton Island Golf Club has proved to be a great addition to the Island. In 2010 we also opened a new full service day spa on the Island Spa Wumerdaylin which has been a much needed addition. We will soon open a Kegel 9-Pin Bowling Alley which is a great social indoor activity that we believe has broad guest appeal. Our events program also is key to the success of attracting first time visitors to the Island and giving prior guests the reason to return. The Australian Ballet will perform again in July, 2011 with another great line up of artists and repertoire. The Great Barrier Feast Series of high end food and wine events will continue this year with renowned chefs Frank Camorra from MoVida and Dan Hunter from the Royal Mail Hotel. The Hamilton Island Outrigger Cup in June and the Hamilton Island Triathlon in November are increasingly attracting sports enthusiasts to the Island and Audi Hamilton Island Race Week in August is the jewel in sailing crown for Australia. Another reason for our optimism in the coming year is on the back of the success in business tourism segment. We broke all records last November when we had our busiest conferencing month ever. In September 2010 we hosted Corroboree USA with terrific reviews. We are also looking forward to our next industry event in May with ATEC holding their conference on the Island. We believe this huge growth will level out again however the MICE market will continue to remain a very important segment for us. The marketing of all these aspects of course remains an important contributing factor. Oprah Winfrey turned up the volume for us in selecting Hamilton Island as the first stop on herUltimate Australian Adventure. We could not have been more delighted to welcome her and 93 audience members to experience the beautiful Whitsundays region. We also were delighted to be an inaugural member of the Luxury Lodges of Australia Association launched in May, 2010. The marketing initiatives behind this collection of wonderful high end properties will now make Australia far more competitively placed in the luxury segment. In amongst all this good news, we recognise we will still have to work hard to meet our goals. The economic downturn created adealsbased mentality among travellers. Against this environment we remain optimistic and will be messaging the attributes of our world class destination in our ongoing brand campaign which has given us considerable presence in major media outlets throughout Australia. Our new consumer and trade websites are also helping us deliver an enhanced user experience which allows our guests to more easily research and book Hamilton Island as their next holiday or conference destination.




esort Interiors International has completed Brisbanes newest hotel, The Jephson, from concept to completion in regards to interior selections, furniture design, manufacturing, procurement and delivery. The companys CEO, Dave Weatherall, is very proud of his team, who have once again professionally undertaken and completed another hotel project on time and on budget. The Jephson, opened for business in July 2010 after a 12 month build program. The 53-room boutique hotel features conference facilities, stunning street-front bistro-style bar and top-end restaurant. The new hotel complex was conceived to satisfy a growing demand by corporate clients for 4.5-star short term accommodation in the Toowong area. The hotel lobby and administration area as well as the bar and restaurant are all located on the ground floor. The accommodation suites are located on the four floors above, and comprise a three-bed penthouse, two-bed suites, one-bed suites, inter-connecting suites, studio suites and disabled access suites, all having external balconies. The top floor also has a multi-purpose conference room/function center with adjacent breakout roof terrace. From the beginning, the owners were looking for a commercial and professional feel to the units, at the 4.5-star level. Owners Toowong International utilised Paddingtons Raymond Barber Architect to put the project together and construction was carried out by CMF Projects Pty Ltd, with interiors and furnishings being sourced through leading fitout and refurbishment company, Resort Interiors International. While the Resort Interiors brief initially was for the accommodation furniture portion of the project, the scope of works expanded the fitout of the restaurant and indoor and outdoor bar, as well as the reception and administration areas. Resort Interiors worked through the initial design and 3D renders for the client over a period of some months. Among the issues for Resort Interiors was a complex variety of room types and configurations, and a number of design meetings held with Shereen Botross (Head of design) produced the final interior solution. The owners had fairly defined views of what required in the rooms, the kind of fabrics they had in mind, and the specification for furniture options, allowing Resort Interiors to work closely with them to ensure the finishes were exactly what were required. As an integral part of the process, both 3D renders and a prototype room were provided in enabling the owners the opportunity to consolidate their ideas regarding design and finishes. Dining tables and room chairs were specially designed, with attention going to the style and feel of a quality hotel project. The room chairs were designed with the dual purpose of lounge - and dining function, were included as standard. All joinery was commercially assembled at the point of manufacture. The bedheads were batten-fixed (French cleat) to walls for safety. The Sofa beds included 6-inch innerspring mattresses as standard and the Bedside tables included Caesarstone tops for durability along with the in-room dining tables, which were built with stainless steel frames for extra strength. Bedside lamps

The Jephson hotel in Brisbane

were designed in brushed stainless steel with base switches and all fabrics have been specifically scotch-guarding. Resort Interiors was responsible for the procurement and supply of all of the joinery, furniture items, bedding, sofas and sofa beds, indoor/ outdoor furniture, artwork, lighting, window coverings, room safes, soft furnishings, electrical and dcor items. The total turn-key solution provided professionally by Resort Interiors International, removes the stress and time pressure felt by many owners, when looking at fitting out their hotels. To have the assurance of the project completed on time, with only having to deal with a single point of contact, is a refreshing solution, for many operators whos experience has been nothing short of a major headache in this particular area. Resort Interiors also provided their popular Gold Range beds which carry a full 10-year commercial warranty. A comprehensive commercial warranty was included on all items. Resort Interiors project management staff oversaw the manufacturing, shipping and delivery. The Resort Interiors Quality Control Team overseas all manufacturing, from CADs, through to the raw materials being used, the conditions under which the furniture is made, and right through to the packaging required. As a consequence, when the furniture arrives on site, it is in perfect condition. At a time when new hotel development is probably at its most dormant in years, The Jephson has already become a refreshing and wellreceived landmark in the inner suburbs accommodation market. The director of the hotel, Raymond Barber, said that he feels extremely fortunate to have selected a company with enormous experience, a flexible outlook for our needs and a team of professional specialists who were able to achieve, high manufacturing standards and delivered an excellent quality, good looking and functional fitout of which he is justifiably proud and his guests are already praising the look and comfort of the rooms. 61


indUStRy leadeRS FoRUm 2011

SHANE GREEN General Manager Hayman With a crowded global market of incredible destination offers, you must continually reinvent and reinvest in your marketing visibility. It is also critical to look for appropriate partners to give you new and unique experience and increased marketing exposure. I think one of the things that have impressed me a lot since coming to Australia is the efforts of Australias STOs and NTOs who have shown great innovation in their marketing efforts as demonstrated by Tourism Queenslands Best Job in the World and Tourism Australias recent achievement of bringing Oprah to Australia. This is so important for our international perception and visibility. Internally we are challenged with staffing and keeping great people. Hospitality is not seen as a real profession in Australia and therefore many of the great people you recruit are with you for only a short time as they continue their world travels or are attracted by better salaries in other professions. The mining business has increased wages and expectations for technical expertise that is almost impossible for the hospitality industry to compete with. Specific to Hayman, we are anticipating improved occupancies and revenues in 2011 due to the exciting developments on the Island, some emerging confidence in our key markets and some really exciting new marketing initiatives and partnerships. We see the luxury market remaining resilient with the focus for the traveller being on experience, experience, and experience coupled with a lot of great food and beverage options. We see this as a great advantage for Hayman with the breadth of experiences, dining options and moments we are able to offer. Another important consideration for Hayman and our guests in the future is environmental sustainability. For Hayman, we are investing more time and money into recycling, energy self sufficiency and protecting our pristine environment. Hayman provides vital support and assistance to environmental projects being undertaken including the ZooX Fund, which is involved in ongoing research aimed at protecting the reef from the ravages of climate change. Our owning company was an inaugural patron of this Fund, which is an initiative of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and Hayman remains a major sponsor of the Foundations fund raising efforts. Throughout, we are a proud custodian of Haymans beautiful and unique environment The Great Barrier Reef is our treasure and we must ensure its future forever and for all to enjoy. Overall we are very excited by the year ahead and while there will be challenges we feel with the long term plan established for the Island, the financial commitment of our owners and the active involvement of our strategic partners that Hayman will continue to represent all that is great in Australian tourism.

ast year was a milestone period for Hayman as we celebrated 60 years of resort operations and entered an exciting new era for our island, introducing a vibrant style of guest accommodation on the beachfront, and, for the first time, home ownership on the island. It was also my first year as General Manager of Hayman, having moved to the resort with my family in June 2010, from the United States, after working for many years with high-profile international hotel chains and independent operators. It was an honour for me to be joining this iconic tourism destination and unique group of people who call Hayman home. Many of the challenges from 2010 have carried into 2011. Nature continues its unpredictable impact with the current floods in Queensland set to have an immediate effect on the tourism market. While Hayman has been fortunate with amazing weather this past week, the perception of Queensland as a whole being affected by the floods will be detrimental to our occupancies. The ongoing strengthening of the Australian dollar to levels not experienced in decades, will continue to have an impact as Australians look to travel abroad and we become a more expensive international travel option. Increased flights from major carriers will keep prices competitive supporting our Inbound market but further incentivising those looking to head overseas.
Hotel & Accommodation Management


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ASHLEY SPENCER Vice President Operations Australasia Hilton Worldwide

trong growth and positive momentum were the prime factors in 2010 for our properties in Australia. Our hotels in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth had a particularly good year and Melbourne performed well, despite an oversupply of rooms in the CBD which created intense rate competition. Our properties in New Zealand had a stronger year than 2009, yet the rate of return for the corporate and MICE segments has been slow and this continues to have a negative impact on business in New Zealand. Fiji continued to perform well, with increased air capacity and renewed destinational marketing campaigns helping to drive consistent bookings during the year. As part of a continuing trend we opened another new property in 2010, Stage One of the two-stage Hilton Surfers Paradise opened in December. The property will be the brands first combination hotel and residences in Australia and is already drawing interest with a range of innovative amenities, including a purpose built Ipad application and Australias first Beach Valet. We were once again named the Number One Hotel Brand in Australia by the BDRC Business Traveller Survey last year - scoring strongly in brand awareness, leading choice and brand loyalty. By being responsive to our customers needs in an innovative manner we will continue to maintain this position in 2011. I expect there will be exciting opportunities and strong growth in 2011; nonetheless the year will not be without challenges. The domestic corporate segment will continue to return to pre-GFC levels and the domestic leisure segment will remain strong, while facing challenges from international destinations if the Australian Dollar continues to strengthen. One area of opportunity will be the MICE segment after struggling for two years we are finally starting to see organisations book meetings and events in significant numbers. However, in the past two years the needs of meetings and event bookers have changed and there is now a greater trend towards the use of new technologies and a renewed emphasis on creating not only environmentally sustainable events, but events that support sustainable business practices. Hilton in Australia has responded to this need by offering Carbon Offset Meetings and Events at all our hotels in Australia. This is the first in a series of initiatives to help our clients create truly sustainable events. We look forward to two important openings in 2011 Hilton Queenstown will open mid-year and the second stage of Hilton Surfers Paradise will open in July. The Hilton Queenstown development will comprise a 178-room, 5-star hotel and a 4-star hotel, featuring 98 one-bedroom, apartment-style rooms, to be known as the Kawarau Hotel, Managed by Hilton. I am optimistic that our growing portfolio of hotels in New Zealand will have a year of positive results in 2011. New Zealand is looking more encouraging from a corporate travel perspective and the Rugby World Cup in September will really drive leisure travel to the country. Stage Two of Hilton Surfers Paradise will include 224 apartments and a dedicated 169-room Hilton hotel. Hilton Brisbane will also undergo a AUD $12 million refurbishment during the year. The feeling within the industry is far more upbeat than it has been for some time and the team at Hilton Australasia is looking forward to a productive year. I have been really impressed by the continued resilience of the hospitality industry in Australasia and I can say that I am proud to be part of such a passionate and driven group of people.


Hotel & Accommodation Management

indUStRy leadeRS FoRUm 2011

JEFF SHEARER Chief Operating Officer Heritage Hotel Management


his year looks very positive for the New Zealand hospitality industry and we are approaching the year with quiet confidence. The Rugby World Cup promises brisk spring trade which traditionally is a slower season. The last quarter of 2010 has rebounded favourably and we have had good results across corporate and MICE markets in particular, suggesting greater stability in 2011. We also anticipate significant brand growth for 2011 through our new Heritage Boutique Collection. The collection, launched last month, will vastly extend our Heritage brand representation to regional centres and resort locations. The collection is geared to both corporate and leisure guests and should give clients greater confidence in selecting a boutique accommodation option. Properties joining the collection are vetted to ensure they operate to our high brand standard expectations. Management contracts range from managed to franchise arrangements. Three Heritage Boutique Collection properties have already been announced. They are the Waterfront Suites Bay of Islands, Sea

Spray Suites Bay of Islands and Akaroa Cottages in Akaroa. Further additions are anticipated in 2011. Looking at the wider picture for 2011, the challenges most likely for the industry will be the large peaks and troughs in international markets predicted to be highly concentrated in the Cup event months of September and October, tailing off post the event, normally our high season. In addition, staffing could present a challenge during this intense high occupancy period. On the positive side, the increase in airline carriers offering competitive international services into the country will definitely stimulate incremental business across off peak seasons. We are also forging ahead with our environmental objectives for the group. Five of our hotels are now Qualmark Enviro Gold rated, representing the largest inventory of any hotel group in New Zealand with this commitment to sustainability. Also in regards to sustainability, we have introduced a plant based menu offering healthy dining options. Currently being trialled in Auckland, this will be rolling out in the New Year and should appeal to the environmentally conscious guest.

We also anticipate significant brand growth for 2011 through our new Heritage Boutique Collection. The collection, launched last month, will vastly extend our Heritage brand representation to regional centres and resort locations. 65


Months of work and a boggling number of manhours went into our sponsorship of the initiative, which saw the programs 302-strong audience and 150 production crew members from the US stay with us in Sydney and Melbourne during the course of their visit in November and December last year. The value of this investment of time and resources cannot be valued too highly, both for InterContinental and Australian tourism. As always though, our industry will have challenges to face and one that seems to stay with us is the quest for talent. Attracting quality candidates to our industry, and providing the competitive opportunities for careers, is an area the hospitality industry still struggles to address. We took a unique step in that regard in 2010, spending the best part of the year nationalising our Indigenous Engagement Program and by the end of the year establishing our Reconciliation Action Plan.


BRUCE MCKENZIE Chief Operating Officer - Australasia InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)

e are now 12 months on from one of the worst years in recent economic history, and the market situation couldnt be more different. Wed set a cracking pace for ourselves in early 2010 that by the end of the year, saw occupancy and rate climbing steadily across our Australasian network; C&E business looking stronger than its been in years, and forward bookings boding a very promising 2011. That said, the extraordinary floods in Queensland, Victoria and parts of New South Wales has been a disaster of unprecedented scope and scale, the effects of which are yet to be fully calculated. We as an industry will no doubt be dealing with their effects for some time to come, across many areas of our business. It remains to be seen how these events will affect projected rate and occupancy growth for the hotel sector, but our overall projections remain very positive. Demand continues to increase across all areas of the business, driving positive rate growth. Importantly, C+E business is improving rapidly across all of our brands, with every indication suggesting a continuing recovery in this sector in 2011. This is going to be an important year as we seek to close the door on the global financial crisis. Here in Australasia, were watching closely as rates stabilise across our international network. As a global company, were expecting most markets to see positive rate growth towards the end of the first half of the year. Were also anticipating continued growth in inbound travel to Australia. One of the most high-profile initiatives to capitalise on that growth was our partnership with Tourism Australia on bringing The Oprah Winfrey Show to our shores for Oprahs Ultimate Australian Adventure. Set to air in 145 countries over the next twelve months, this extraordinary four-episode series could not more powerfully endorse visiting this part of the world.

This plan, which has been endorsed by Reconciliation Australia, outlines how we will go about ensuring that at least 2% of our total Australian workforce is made up of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by 2013 in addition to providing a range of education, training and other opportunities. Were proud that were one of only two travel, tourism and hospitality companies in this country to make such a commitment, the other being QANTAS. I was fortunate enough to spend a couple of days in Kakadu late last year, where we presented our Reconciliation Action Plan to the Bininj people a community weve been connected to for over a decade and whose partnership was instrumental to shaping our commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders across Australia. IHG considers corporate responsibility to be one of the four cornerstones of how we do business, along with our people, financial returns and the guest experience. In Australia, having a comprehensive and independently monitored commitment to providing equal opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders is a vital element of being a truly responsible business. In addition to this being the right thing to do, it helps to address our ongoing quest for attracting the industrys best talent. Not only will our Reconciliation Action Plan provide real training and employment opportunities for traditional landowners, it reinforces our efforts to make IHG a great place to work, and one of the worlds great companies. Id like to sign off with a note of encouragement for the efforts of the countless number of individuals and organisation in our industry to help those affected by the floods across eastern Australia. If their spirit of cooperation and generosity is any indication of what 2011 has in store, then its going to be a fantastic year.

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JOHN SPENCE Chairman Karma Resorts

e are seeing a tremendous rebound over the past months and we predict great things for the year ahead. Business in Bali is booming, partly driven by the strong Australian dollar and the wealth of that country and particularly Western Australia, which continues to ride on the resource boom and partly because of the value of the destination and the resilience of South East Asia to recent global events. The mix of nationalities may certainly have changed, with fewer Europeans and North Americans appearing, but occupancy and average room rate are up and we predict will continue to increase over the year. It is a similar story in India where the domestic market is booming, and empty beds left by a decrease in European and Russian arrivals is quickly picked up by the local market and often at a higher rate. In our property and timeshare divisions we are seeing strong sales, 25% over budget and substantially over past years, although the trend is towards value driven products, and certainly the difficulty in raising finance affects the appetite of people considering multi- million dollar villas. As a company we are debt free and totally un-leveraged and so we are particularly excited about the current opportunities for acquisition globally. Going forward, I predict that Australia will continue to be a very strong market for international travel and indeed as will all of South East Asia. We also believe that there will be a substantial increase of outbound tourism from India and of course from China. Spas will continue to flourish although the consumer is becoming far more knowledgeable about treatments and is looking for not only a wide range but also things which are unique. We also believe that the trend of mixed use resorts will continue to grow and we are developing a new fractional ownership product which will provide a tremendous amount of versatility and benefit for a consumer who wants more than simply a hotel room payable on a nightly basis.

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BOB EAST CEO Mantra Group

e-invention will be the name of the game for the Australian tourism industry in 2011. The year ahead promises incredible opportunities and unprecedented challenges. I see tremendous prospects, both domestically and internationally. International airline capacity is forecast to rise significantly. For Australia this represents an enormous opportunity. In 2011 the number of people travelling in Asia is set to increase by many millions. The combined effects of increased capacity (especially in the low cost carrier sector), greater personal wealth and reduced restrictions for Chinese travellers all represent an opportunity for our tourism sector. As an industry we need to lay foundations to capitalize on this emerging opportunity. We have already seen an increase in visitation from Korea, Malaysia and Indonesia and I expect this trend to continue. Domestically the CBD hotel market will continue to prosper. New hotel room-supply will remain constrained and with continued economic growth, room rates and occupancies will continue to climb in all cities. The story for the resort locations is less bullish. Mantra Group is the largest resort operator in Australia and in most markets we are forecasting slightly higher occupancies and similar room rates to 2010. Whilst this is satisfactory, the leisure sector is currently underperforming and there remains significant growth potential in this market. The reinvention phase for the leisure sector is urgent. It requires money, collective action and foresight. Whilst we have the challenge of unprecedented high demand for outbound holidays, we have the benefit of unparalleled capacity to our shores as well. A further opportunity exists with the increase in airline seat capacity domestically. These factors, combined with a near full labour market, should provide the platform for growth. Our challenge is to market our domestic tourism product both locally and internationally, and to improve our infrastructure. We have capable organizations charged with the marketing responsibility, however, at national and state levels these organisations remain under-funded and therefore uncompetitive. On top of this, our infrastructure is losing its competitive edge. Assistance with zoning laws, planning processes and outright investment is vitally important over the next 12-24 months.
Hotel & Accommodation Management

Collectively there is a lot we can achieve as an industry. It is neither possible nor necessary to compete with Asia in terms of service style and product style. We have the necessary ingredients locally to distinguish ourselves as a unique and compelling offering for our international and domestic guests. It is a fact that our labour costs relative to Asia are high however, our service standards, friendly and helpful approach to hospitality and our technical expertise with food and beverage are truly world class. These differences must be enhanced, celebrated and marketed. I think we need to remind ourselves and our neighbours just how amazing the Great Barrier Reef and islands are, how unique our coastline is, how utterly beautiful the outback is and how diverse our food and wine is. Mantra group will prosper in 2011. We have opened seven new properties and in 2011 we will introduce more Mantra properties in Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia and New Zealand. One of our major achievements this year was the opening of Peppers Broadbeach. This was the first 5-star accommodation to open on the Gold Coast in a decade and was the first foray of Peppers brand into a metropolitan setting. The opening of this property provided a great opportunity to review Peppers standards and to innovate and improve on our successful formula. Our service-driven personal touches were combined with cutting-edge technology which resulted in one of the biggest business-success stories in Queensland with the property achieving room rates in excess of AUD $350. We also look forward to further entrenching Peppers into the CBD market with a new Peppers in Brisbane and more retreat offerings throughout Queensland, New South Wales and New Zealand. Across the portfolio we expect significant increases in rate and occupancy. More importantly we look forward to introducing guest services and benefits that will further set us apart as Australias favourite accommodation provider. With our expansion plans we might well become the largest hotel operator in Australia. The Mantra Group team is actively re-inventing its product and service to meet the demands of a changing industry. We look forward to participating collectively with the tourism industry as we reinvent the Australian Tourism experience and reclaim our rightful spot as an international destination of choice.


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STEPHEN BURT Chief Executive Officer Mirvac Hotels and Resorts

otel markets across all capital cities are performing at well above the same period last year due to a combination of strong recovery in demand from the corporate and conferencing market segments together with the benefit of stable room supply in most markets. Regional and resort destinations have not experienced the same level of improvement. The improvement in capital city RevPAR performance has been particularly evident since July 2010 with Sydney and Brisbane the standout markets. The Sydney market is particularly interesting. According to STR data the CBD RevPAR peaked in July 2008 at AUD$162 and bottomed out in August 2009 at $145. By November 2010 it had risen to $165. Analysis of the 12 month period to 30 November reveals Sydney CBD RevPAR increased by 12.8% due to occupied rooms increasing by 7.5% and average rate by 4.9%. Considering how strong the market is I think the 4.9% increase in rate is low and further increase is on the way as hoteliers continue to move from volume based strategies to focus more on rate. Changing business mix will also be an important contributor to rate increase as higher levels of corporate and conferencing displace low rate business. I think the Sydney RevPAR experience will be repeated in Brisbane, Perth and to a lesser extent Melbourne. For these four markets I anticipate RevPAR growth over 2011 for their respective CBD markets of between 8% and 10%. This might seem high but we still have some room for occupancy growth and the impact on average rate of changing business mix (as opposed to simply lifting rates) cannot be underestimated. We already see very strong evidence of this in our suburban Sydney hotels. Whilst the corporate and conferencing segments have demonstrated strong recovery, it is a different story for the domestic leisure sector which presently has a strong travel bug but unfortunately the attraction is Fiji, Bali and Thailand. However, this market will bounce back, buoyed on by a modest growth in the luxury sector; the added benefit of increased air capacity into and around Australia, and price competition. Already we have witnessed stabilisation of RevPAR performance

in Cairns commencing May 2010. Clearly the impact of additional international flights and increased air capacity into and around Australia is important to every area of our business, in particular Tropical North Queensland (TNQ). New direct flights between Cairns and Japan will assist in returning the Japanese market, plus the new Cairns Cruise Ship terminal, with 30 cruise ships scheduled for arrival during 2011, will enhance domestic leisure for TNQ. However, the issue remains as to how we claw back the volume of Australians taking advantage of our strong dollar and overseas travel specials. One suggestion is that all state and regional tourism bodies should focus solely on promoting to the domestic market with international marketing the responsibility of a federal body. Co-ordination of multiple offshore sales and marketing efforts is a big issue so despite the conflicts and difficulties associated with the concept it does have some merit. I do not think the Australian Dollar will negatively impact the inbound market to the extent it is impacting domestic leisure. Analysis undertaken by Mirvac indicates the relative value of the Australian Dollar appears to have minimal impact on the tendency of overseas visitors to travel to Australia. Inbound travel actually reveals a negative correlation with the value of the Australian Dollar. This is a likely reflection that the inclination of overseas visitors to travel to Australia is more dependent on factors other than exchange rates. Ongoing growth in China visitor numbers together with an improvement in the key US market are factors that will also underpin inbound numbers. Looking forward I am confident about the outlook for 2011 and believe the markets on both the supply and demand fronts are ripe to deliver hotel investors excellent returns relative to other sectors of the property market. For hotel management companies the big issues for the year are similar to last year namely, understanding social media, business mix, sustainability (which some operators still think is simply an environmental policy), brand Australia and how that is promoted, staff training (including our casual staff), brand refinement and recognition, distribution costs and last but not least ensuring we have the support of current and new owners. On the political front we would also very much support the proposed new trans-Tasman immigration procedures recently championed by New Zealand Prime Minister John Key. 69


his years invitation to submit an HM Leaders Forum column came with a hint of sadness, as I realised it would be my last. After 50 wonderfully rewarding years in the hospitality industry, 19 of them here in Sydney at The Observatory Hotel, I have decided to retire. Interestingly, as I reflect on the past years challenges and look ahead to 2011s opportunities and threats, it really does surprise me to find most are similar to those at the time The Observatory Hotel first opened. As Aristotle famously put it, while everything changes, everything remains the same and I couldnt agree more. So with that, and the fear of sounding like a broken record (or is it now a scratched CD?), I raise the issue of Sydneys disappointing performance in ADR (Average Daily Rate). Most of us subscribe to the STR Global report and I am sure, like me, youve seen the city reporting occupancy rates in recent months of 90% yet, this has had minimal impact on ADR. The reason: SydPATRICK L. GRIFFIN, OAM Managing Director Orient-Express Australia

residents and business people to the locale. This exciting waterfront urban renewal will further enhance the precinct with a headland park for the inner harbour, and low-rise residential, commercial and civic infrastructure benefiting the entire city. 2011 will also present its challenges with the high rate of exchange, which as I write, sits at a 28-year high and will no doubt impact on our optimism for the Oprah factor. High exchange rates will not only hinder the international arrivals but will also result in increasing the domestic outbound market. The recent investment announcement by Tabcorp to build Star Citys 3000 seat conference space and the NSW Governments pledge to revitalise the Sydney Convention Centre are two further good news stories for Sydney that will drive large conference and event business. With a potentially fragile leisure market, it is even more imperative that we refocus attention on the business events and corporate segments in coming years. I leave the industry in exciting times. The certainty of a new government who promises greater support and has a better understanding of the value of tourism to NSW coupled with increasing occupancies with little new supply should give the confidence to raise ADR, and would in any other city. And finally, a massive city infrastructure project about to commence. We are faced with some great opportunities if only we are prepared to grab them. I wish you well.

ney hotels are targeting volume over rate. Earlier this year, we saw hotels within the 5-star competitor set dropping rates below AUD$200. With ongoing increases in labour costs, general operating costs and high taxation, aggressive rate strategies, including maximising the opportunity to raise ADR in peak periods, is paramount. During the 90s, I remember asking a very wise and well known sage of the industry, what he thought the major issue was causing Sydneys rate problem and his simple answer was this, and I quote,hotel managers dont have any balls! Today, could we add the banks and hotel owners, who I feel must work together with hotel managers to establish a longer term strategy, rather than focusing on rolling quarters that all seem more interested in? One regularly hears calls for additional 5-star hotels in Sydney, however, based on the citys dismal ADR and overall profitability, I honestly dont think anyone or any brand would have the confidence to risk their capital on such projects. I applaud the proposal of a 5-star, luxury hotel as part of the Barangaroo development and while there would be a queue of international brands seeking to manage the property, I will be watching with interest to see who is brave enough to invest the funds to build it. Barangaroo is indeed a very dynamic project, and not just for us here at The Observatory Hotel, which will reap the rewards of the citys increasing expansion past our door, and bringing with it over 50,000
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PAUL CONSTANTINOU Chairman Quest Serviced Apartments


ast year will be remembered as the year businesses truly recognised the full potential and benefits of serviced apartments, and this trend looks set to continue well into the New Year. Over the past year there has been a shift in the perception of serviced apartments particularly from businesses and travel management companies. Weve also witnessed a change in where business takes place, away from city centres to suburban business parks and regional areas. As we move into a New Year, these shifts are forecasted to increase demand in serviced apartments to significantly outweigh supply over the next five years. While corporate confidence returned and business travel steadily increased in 2010, businesses are still heavily scrutinising their spending. Through this heightened sense of accountability and forced exploration of accommodation options, businesses have realised that the serviced apartment sector offers a more cost effective and comfortable solution, particularly for people travelling for extended periods of time.

From January to September 2010, compared with the same period in 2009, travel management companies increased their bookings with Quest by 59%; the finance and investment services sector by 10%; insurance and services to insurance by 60%; government administration by 50%; and mining and services to mining by more than 30%. While increased demand is positive, meeting that demand will be a challenge for the entire industry as time and access to finance continue to be major barriers to entry. With the credit squeeze still affecting much of the property market, securing finance for new properties is going to be a challenge for many in the industry for the next 12 to 18 months. It can also take upwards of five years to get approval, develop, construct and open a property that will ensure the disparity between supply and demand continues. Quests strategy to focus on the business traveller and open properties where business occurs has been in place for many years, and we identified the shift away from city centres early on. This is why we now have a constant flow of properties opening in these high demand suburban and regional areas. In 2011, Quest will expand its network and open six new properties including Quest Dubbo (New South Wales), Quest Cheltenham (Victoria), Quest Moorabbin (Victoria), Quest Bendigo (Victoria), Quest Hawthorn (Victoria) and Quest Parap (Northern Territory). These new properties join Quests existing 70 plus properties in regional and suburban locations and are expected to quickly achieve above average occupancy rates, as has been the trend with Quests new property opening for the past 18 months. After opening in May 2009, Quest Singleton achieved an average occupancy rate of 81%; Quest Mawson Lakes, which opened in September 2009 has reached an average 82% occupancy rate; and Quest Scarborough, which opened in May 2010 reached above 90% occupancy rates just months after opening. 71


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SEAN HUNT Regional Vice President Starwood Hotels and Resorts on the road, some at pre-crisis levels. With record-low new hotel supply in developed markets, pricing power will shift to our favour as recovery takes hold, particularly in the gateway cities such as Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland. The supply-demand dynamic has already started to play out as occupancy rebounds and we are pushing rate and aggressively managing our business mix. The MICE segment certainly had a better year and we continue to see an increasing number of groups from China and India. For 2011 the outlook in the Pacific is certainly positive, with some exceptions particularly for the resort properties. Resorts continue to be challenged with the strong dollar encouraging Australians to travel internationally and the perception of Australia as an expensive destination will dissuade inbound travellers. Hopefully the increased air capacity into Cairns from Japan, New Zealand, Hong Kong and the Australian cities should help bolster occupancies in Tropical North Queensland. As travellers from growing markets travel internationally, they will stay with the brands they know and trust, as a leading global hotel company we can take advantage of this trend. At a local level we

ith 2011 just beginning, it is a good time to reflect on a successful 2010 for Starwood Hotels and Resorts and look towards 2011 with expectations for another rewarding year. One of the most exciting events for our company this year was the opening of our 1000th hotel in our 100th country, the Sheraton Qiandao Lake Resort located on the shores of Chinas famed Qiandao Lake. This hotel reinforces Starwoods strength as the largest upscale operator in Asia Pacific and positions us as the worlds most global hotel company. In the past, we were a U.S. company with assets overseas, today Starwood is a global company that happens to be based in Innovation is core to who we are and gives us our edge, the United States. We have more hotels outour mission is nothing less than transforming the guest side the U.S. than inside, nearly 80% of our experience with game-changing innovation. pipeline is outside the U.S. Starwood has the scale to invest in brandtailor training programmes to help our associates better understand building, the financial resources to take advantage of opportunities and the expectations of guests travelling from growing markets such as the global presence to grow wherever demand grows. We will open 80 China or India. new hotels in 2010 and have a pipeline of 85,000 rooms representing a Gen Y will be the biggest consumer group in history, with a new 28% growth potential in the coming years. and distinct take on design, technology, service and sustainability. Whilst in Asia Pacific we have signed 35 deals across our stable of Starwood continues to have a first mover advantage in terms of our nine brands. Much of the growth is coming from China which will be technology offering with industry firsts in the social media and mobile Starwoods second-largest hotel market, it is not hard to imagine that marketing arena. we will one day have as many hotels in China as we do in the U.S, Innovation is core to who we are and gives us our edge, our mission which is more than 450. is nothing less than transforming the guest experience with gameCloser to home we have just announced the signing of an agreechanging innovation. Our approach is centered on new innovations, ment with Golden Age Development Group to operate a Sheraton migrating existing innovations to new geographies and adapting innoHotel in Melbourne. I am delighted to welcome the Sheraton brand vations across brands like creating the Link@Sheraton lobbies. Deback to the city and given Sheratons strong presence in Sydney, sign was a key Starwood innovation, we continue to lead the industry Queensland and Fiji, a Sheraton in the heart of Melbourne city will be in design and invest in this strength. a great addition and will complement our existing hotels. In the Pacific we continue to improve our hotel product. The Westin Scheduled to open in 2013, the hotel is part of the 27 Little ColMelbourne celebrated not only its 10th anniversary this year but also lins project developed on the prestigious site of Melbournes Naval completed an extensive multi-million dollar refurbishment. The hotel and Military Club and will feature 170 deluxe guest rooms and luxury continues to be a market leader and one of our most highly awarded suites. Hotel facilities will include an indoor heated swimming pool, hotels. In Sydney, Sheraton on the Park has completed the refurbishfitness centre and spa with all day dining restaurant and bar. The hotel ment of its Gallery Tea Lounge, Conservatory Bar and Sheraton Fitness will also feature 546 square metres of meetings and banquet space. Centre and Spa. Following the AU$40 million refurbishment at our Fiji We will continue to grow by focusing on the right partners, right resorts, we have also welcomed Moo Moo Wine Bar and Grill, further places, right properties, with a particular near-term emphasis on purcementing the Sheraton and Westin complex as the best dining dessuing quality conversion opportunities in mature markets. tination in Fiji. RevPAR is accelerating around the globe as business, leisure and Our people continue to be our number one asset and we contingroup business trends up. With occupancies rising at or above 2007 peak ue to grow and develop them to become great leaders. Across our 15 levels, rates are in positive territory around the world. Business travel has pacific properties we have promoted and transferred over 500 of our returned to near-normal levels after almost two years of retrenchment, associates. Starwood has great training initiatives in place from opthis is critical as business travel drives 75% of our total revenue. erational management traineeships to department head and executive Were seeing our top global accounts in sectors including financial committee high potential programmes. services, management consulting, high tech and pharmaceuticals back
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RACHEL ARGAMAN Chief Executive Officer Toga Hospitality

he current state of the market shows strong demand in Australia in most key cities. The beginning of the new financial year, in July 2010, saw the start of increased demand from both corporations, as business activity expanded, and from domestic leisure travellers in the face of a strong events calendar. Most Australian capital city markets (with the exception of Melbourne) have had little new supply which, together with a steady growth in demand, has given rise to strong occupancies. As a result, hoteliers are seeing increased average room rates. Sydney, Brisbane and Perth in particular have significant constraint and therefore increased RevPAR figures. Failing any unforeseen events, this is set to continue for the next few years as there is no significant increase in stock levels on the immediate horizon. 2011 will see the continued expansion of the Toga Hospitality Group. In Europe the growth of Adina Apartment Hotels continues. Closely following the opening of Adina Apartment Hotel in Frankfurt and Berlin, December 2010 saw us open another 128-room Adina Apartment Hotel, this time in Hamburg. Adina Apartment Hotel Hamburg Michel is situated just minutes from Hamburgs landmark St Michaelis Church and close to the citys exciting entertainment district, Hamburg Harbour, Opera House and Botanic Gardens. In March 2011 will see yet another Adina Apartment Hotel open in Germany with Berlin, Hackescher Markt being the location of our eighth Adina. Hackescher Markt is situated right in the heart of the historic Mitte district, close to Berlins famous Hackesche Hofe that boasts ancient courtyards with an exquisite selection of shops, restaurants and theatres. In Australia, we have also just signed an agreement which will see the construction of a brand new Medina Apartment Hotel within the Norwest Business Park at Baulkham Hills, NSW. With work set to begin soon, we anticipate the new build hotel will be ready to open its doors and welcome its first guests in late 2011. Once complete, the hotel will boast 106 apartments as well as conferencing facilities, a fit74 Hotel & Accommodation Management

ness centre, extensive car parking facilities and onsite dining. Work will soon commence on the Adina Apartment Hotel in Bondi Beach, which will have 115 apartments and feature a range of restaurants and top food providers within the complex. Areas of focus in 2011, other than driving revenue, focusing on guest service and managing expenses, will include our ever strong focus on developing talent. Unlike many other groups we did not make people redundant during the financial crisis and we continued to develop new leaders through our Future Leaders Programme. We have always believed in the adagecompanies dont succeed, people doand we will continue to work hard to ensure a culture of passion, people, goal orientation and achievement. I believe the war for talent will heat up again in 2011 and that we are well placed with a strong pipeline of leaders who are committed to Toga Hospitality and the Australian success story we are building. We will continue to ensure that our team members are proud of Toga Hospitality and all that our company represents. We will continue to ensure that Toga is a compelling place to work as well as having compelling hotels to stay at. Another area of focus will be optimizing distribution channels and enabling all our partners to have access to dynamic pricing. With the growth of online channels and their ongoing importance in an increasingly online world, we are working hard to drive business through our own websites. We will be managing commission levels and strengthening partnerships with those who give us support year round. Sustainability issues remain on the agenda with a focus on compliance with relevant legislation, increased operating and project efficiencies, positioning Toga as an employer of choice, increasing the awareness amongst team members and empowering them to contribute to Toga Hospitalitys sustainability initiatives over the long term, social responsibility and creating public awareness of sustainability initiatives through appropriate marketing and branding strategies.


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DAVID PERRY CEO and General Manager The Hotel Windsor, Melbourne


ast year was a delightfully strange year. I consider myself an optimist but I must admit not being prepared to finish the year with occupancy of over 86% and an average rate which is most healthy compared to last year. This wasnt supposed to happen. 2010 saw thousands of new hotel rooms enter the Melbourne market place, most of them in the 5-star segment. The prognosis for capital cities 12 months ago was that growth would be fairly robust except for Melbourne which will suffer a little with the massive increase in room inventory. We didnt suffer. So what happened? Melbourne is an amazing success story as a brand. A consistent and collaborative focus has been evident between Government and Industry for the last 15 years. Melbourne is the envy of all other Australian capital cities with its well documented success in major events, theatre and sport, all reinforcing a positive and vibrant image for the city, however, 2010 showed more than anything, the importance of airline access to a city. Whilst Brisbane saw a 4% increase in international visitor arrival between June 2008 and June 2010; Sydney saw an 8% increase, Melbourne amazed everyone with a 22% rise in international passenger growth. All this in a year when the economists were telling us that the high Australian dollar would make it tough for operators relying on independent tourists. (I am sure it has been tough for some operators in resort destinations.) For Melbourne, however, the significant increase in seat availability inbound by low cost international carriers such as Air Asia X and Jetstar has meant record numbers of international tourists who choose their holiday destination based on price of airline tickets. This, coupled with a massive increase in international carrier product, has seen Melbourne leap ahead from our domestic rivals. If there is one thing all this has taught us with Malaysian arrivals jumping over 50% this year it is there are no such things as mature geographic markets into Australia. Anyone describing Malaysia, or
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anywhere else, as a mature market respectfully now needs their head examined. Until we have open access for airlines to fly to Australia there can never be a mature market. Satiety of demand can only be realised if controls that limit availability of product or service are lifted. Thats why it is so encouraging to hear of the prospect of Trans Tasman flights being classified as domestic in the year ahead. Now theres a market that everyone has been calling mature for decades. Not anymore if this comes off. Industry insiders expect airlines to cut another 30% off the price of Trans Tasman tickets if this proposal goes ahead with the removal of stringent immigration procedures and the introduction of smart gate kiosks at airports. The European Union has been doing this for years and cross border traffic there has never been greater as a result. As for the prospects in 2011, well occupancy cant increase much more with 2010 closing at 86% so the rates will have to go up in the year ahead. My advice to young people coming into the industry is that there has never been a better time to join. Now more than ever the industry is moving with speed. Everyone knows that there is no rule book and that you wake up every morning knowing that the environment in which you operate may well have changed. There has never been a better time for bright, committed individuals to get to the top in record time. At The Hotel Windsor we are not taking our eye off China for a second and the desire and demand for Mandarin speaking staff has never been higher. The Hotel Windsor will be operating as is with continual improvements in service and facilities throughout 2011 and 2012 before our major redevelopment is scheduled to commence in 2013 and beyond. Something tells us that these are going to be an exciting couple of years here, in Australias most dynamic city.


indUStRy leadeRS FoRUm 2011

t Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific, we have had our challenges and triumphs throughout recent times however, 2011 is emerging as another year of growth and huge potential. Although the market proved to be challenging for many companies in 2010 we had another strong year. We continued to grow against the grain with continued construction and strong financial results. One reason we have been able to continue to grow is due to our mixed use business model of combining the synergies of vacation ownership and hotel business. Vacation ownership for us has proven to be recession resilient. Having restructured our business during the GFC, focusing on controlling costs rather than increasing sales and lowering our revenue targets we were able to also substantially increase profitability. People are still buying vacation ownership. While other areas of the hospitality industry business may have declined ours continues to experience steady growth. In 2010 we expanded our activities in the South Pacific through collaboration with the Wyndham Hotel Group. It is one of the worlds larg-

BARRY ROBINSON CEO and Managing Director - South Pacific Wyndham Hotel Group est and most diverse hotel companies, encompassing nearly 7,200 hotels and approximately 606,000 rooms in 65 countries around the globe. While it is still early days for us in the Asia-Pacific region, there is continued opportunity for growth in vacation ownership through adding mixed use properties and engaging in new hotel management and franchising agreements. During the year we officially opened Wyndham Vacation Resorts Wanaka in New Zealand following the completion of the final stage of development. We added a new franchise resort to our existing portfolio, Ramada Hervey Bay. We took on the management of Ramada Resort Breakas Beach Vanuatu an addition to our South Pacific hotel portfolio and opened Wyndham Surfers Paradise our first mixed use property in the region. We have a positive outlook for our business and are taking the growth of our hotel brands very seriously in this market place. While leveraging our existing Vacation Ownership structure we have added additional infrastructure to aggressively search for and acquire more franchises and management agreements under our Wyndham Hotel Group to grow the Wyndham, Ramada and Days Inn brands in the region. We continue to make progress on expansion of our existing Denarau Island, Fiji resort and development of a new Wyndham property in Hervey Bay. Refurbishments of existing properties continue to focus on high quality upgrades while ensuring they are green friendly. With an unpredictable changing global economy and fluctuating currency, we need to be laser focused and extremely alert to any changes in the market conditions and to be able to react to opportunities with speed. We are agile enough to do that. The uniqueness of vacation ownership is that holidays are owned our owners still travel when traditional hotel markets are down and our occupancy remains constant. Occupancy has continued to grow
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We continue to be innovative by delivering environmentally sustainable development and construction initiatives through our Wyndham Green program and have a strong commitment to reducing our environmental footprint.
year on year. Studies have shown that vacation owners have more discretionary spend while travelling and greater input into the local community than a normal leisure traveller. The introduction of more direct flights to our destinations and the impact of low cost carriers will have a positive effect on our business. We continue to be innovative by delivering environmentally sustainable development and construction initiatives through our Wyndham Green program and have a strong commitment to reducing our environmental footprint. Our success and outlook for our business is due in part to the strong team we have been able to forge and our structure that has brought our vision of making holiday dreams come true into reality. We are very focused on our service and service levels to our owners and guests, and the value we bring to them. Our philosophy for internal and external service is to exceed peoples expectations with Count On Meservice by being responsive, respectful and delivering great experiences in every interaction. Even if it is a staff function, internal training or company benefits we always aim to exceed peoples expectations. Wyndham has a strong reputation for our focus on delivering memorable experiences at our stylish and well-appointed self-contained apartments and great destinations.


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MARK GREEDY Chief Executive Officer Elite Resorts of Asia Pacific

he hotel industry in Asia-Pacific is set for a big year and Elite Resorts view for 2011 in relevance to Australian and New Zealand luxury resorts, is: The Northern Hemisphere hangover from the GFC will continue to restrain the leisure travel pattern of the affluent luxury travel consumer; The domestic traveller of Australia will continue to dominate resort occupancy and attention. This will be insufficient to achieve optimised and sustainable yield or profitability; and The luxury travel consumer of Asia is the elephant in the room and that cannot continue to be passed by or ignored for the personal preference of stakeholders; Australian and New Zealand properties are missing their biggest opportunity. The high-net-worth residents of Asia are travelling elsewhere in volume and at the top of the pyramid they are excellent and valuable travellers. Elite can, at a minimum, make the necessary linkages and introductions that just do not happen for folk from outside the area. It is important for Australian and New Zealand resorts to maintain a high-level focus yet again upon the Northern Hemisphere when the affluent customer at the door is in Asia lacks merit. If the tourism industry plays it right Japan will re-emerge as a significant source of luxury consumer but this time as a true individual traveller. Australian resorts and hotels will find gain by moving up from Australian Luxe to Global Luxe service standards. For Elite Resorts of Asia Pacific 2011 will be as impactful as our founding in 2009/2010. December 15, 2010 was Elite Resorts of Asia Pacifics first anniversary and whilst I suppose a start-up (never an upstart) can never feel completely satisfied, (sometimes you do question how long one can really hold ones breath) we are pleased with the results of our teams endeavours. We are most fortunate to now have as our members (52 resorts from 13 countries) an outstandingly diverse selection of all luxury resorts within our alliance. Elite has over 30 different resort styles and settings within our selection criteria and we now truly represent some of the many great reasons for the international luxury traveller to visit our region. After only one year Elite Resorts has a long way to go until it has achieved its horizons and vision. Some of our initiatives that will have significant impact in 2011 are:
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Elite Resorts has recently announced a rare and true marketing co-operation within Japan The Ryokan Collection. An excellent selection of heritage Ryokans from this alluring destination will be presented to our Elite enthusiasts. In turn our Elite Resorts members will be presented to their affluent Japanese connoisseurs of international and domestic travel. We have constructed compelling strategies to the mutual benefit of our members and our markets. This is going to be a winner and mutually rewarding to all onboard; Quality affiliate programs focused upon the high-net-worth clients of allied consumer products for example financial institutions, luxury cars, watches, travel baggage, liquor, travel insurance will continue to be Elites strategy. The first for 2011 will be Citibank and featured in nine Asian countries. The OCBC Bank Elite World Card also continues to grow;

December 15, 2010 was Elite Resorts of Asia Pacifics first anniversary and whilst I suppose a start-up can never feel completely satisfied, we are pleased with the results of our teams endeavours.
By quarter three, Elitist, our CRM strategy, will be introduced; Introduce an Elite brand extension, Elite Living (EL), a new gallery within our site wherein Elite will feature and distribute Luxury Resort Residences from the Asia-Pacific region. It is true that over 20% of luxury resort visitors are also second and third residence owners and growing so Elite will enable a showcase for these developments; and Introduce the Elite Luxury Alliance (ELA) a co-operative marketing and communication platform from which each partner will introduce and promote its own product to the others consumer and associates. Elites first partner will be Diageo, in particularly its Johnnie Walker collection of fine scotch. There are more elite global products with related markets. For Elite Resorts of Asia Pacific 2011 will be a continuance of rapid global development, growth and performance on behalf of and for our outstanding members. We are indebted to them for their support and drive.

indUStRy leadeRS FoRUm 2011

ROLAND JEGGE Vice President Asia-Pacific Worldhotels

record number of 65 new hotels have joined Worldhotels in 2010, bringing our global brand for unique and upscale independent hotels to 450 properties around the world. Ninety of these hotels are located within Asia Pacific and 12 in the Australia and New Zealand region. In the area of sales, I foresee 2011 will be a strong year after the significant recovery of the hospitality industry in 2010. Demand will remain robust in all areas of the business as top corporate MNCs are travelling full throttle again and SME travel will remain a strong pillar of support after having grown much over the past years. MICE demand will surge fuelled by more available flights (especially those offered by low cost carriers), by more hotel rooms and by new convention centres, and especially with a string of new attractive destinations opening up in the Asia Pacific region. On the other hand, the MICE demand will become even more short term, organizers will become more green focused and reservations more and more technology driven and performed via on-line tools. The same trend will apply with leisure bookings where more niche and long tail OTAs are entering the market to compete with the big players who are currently dominating the market. Traditional tour operators and wholesalers are no longer competing against each other, but more against these direct connected distributors. As a general trend, the shift from traditional to on-line channels will become even more accelerated in 2011. In this new environment, challenges for hoteliers will be firstly to maintain rate parity and single image inventory which nowadays is a must, and secondly to embrace and invest in the newer technologies like mobile applications, social networks (Facebook) booking engines and direct links to OTAs for easy bookings. The great focus into cost cutting from corporations and into bargain hunting from FIT travellers will make it difficult to increase the rates in many destinations where competition between hotels has increased in view of new inventory entering the market especially in Asian cities like Beijing, Shanghai,

Delhi (Gurgaon) but also in Dubai to name just a few, rates will remain stable or even decrease. Further on the topic of rates ironically in other key cities, what we have been experiencing during the later part of 2010 and moving into 2011, is the current repositioning of hotels back into their true star category with leisure demand now being supported by stronger corporate demand allowing hotels the opportunity to re-price themselves at their fair level. So in summary flight capacities are increasing into key destinations within APAC, demand from all sectors of the business is therefore returning, allowing most hotels in Australia and the Pacific to harvest a growth of their rates, occupancy and RevPAR. The higher end luxury segment will be the last to reap benefits, however once the consumer is more confident with the economies of scale within their own household budgets combined with greater demand and overflow from the return to consistent high occupancies of the 4- and 5-star hotels, will see this segment gain traction and eventually exceed market conditions. With the return to strong demand and enhanced cash flows, owners are looking at a wide range of refurbishment possibilities - to ensure they stay in tune with the growing customer expectations. At Worldhotels affiliated properties, developments in the pipeline over the next 18 months range from USD$2-3 million soft refurbishments through to USD$600 million for expansion of room supply and supporting services. In terms of our hotel development, a strong push will occur in Australia next year with targeted new Worldhotels affiliated hotels in Melbourne, Perth, Darwin and Fiji, with expansion slated for New Zealand also. Our pipeline will be looked after by a dedicated specialist development team for the above, which has been established, operating out of Sydney, and actively working to ensure the expansion goals are met. Other areas of fast growth, within our portfolio of hotels, will be China, India, Indonesia and Russia where our first branded Worldhotel Saltanat will be opening in Almaty in quarter one, 2011. 81



PHILIP HO Regional Director Asia-Pacific The Leading Hotels of the World At LHW, we plan to grow faster than the luxury market as our loyalty program, Leaders Club, gains momentum with its offerings of complimentary hotel stay, new benefits and unique experiences. The investment to increase our sales and marketing resources across Asia Pacific will also allow us to accelerate our growth. We have just opened a sales office in Delhi, India and will add Beijing in China. With growing wealth and disposable income, we expect the luxury guest to be more discerning in 2011. They would be looking for authentic bespoke travel experiences. The cookie-cutter chain brand hotels will not appeal to such discerning travellers. Hotels with a unique story to tell or a unique experience will benefit from this trend. Across the globe we have a big focus on the quality of Leading Hotels, ensuring that only the highest standards of hotels are represented in the portfolio. 2009 saw a record number of terminations (45) with a further 40-plus in 2010, mostly for quality reasons. We will enter 2011 with a strong and highly curated portfolio of members hotels that offer a unique and one-of-a-kind experience. The new Leading Hotel quality standard not only takes into account more than 800 inspection points but the soul and emotive side of a hotel which is increasingly important in a travellers choice. Some examples of these highly prestigious and iconic hotels are Huka Lodge in New Zealand, Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa in New South Wales Blue Mountains and recent member The Observatory Hotel in Sydney. In terms of emerging destinations amongst customers of Leading Hotels, Europe and New York will remain usual favourites next year whilst emerging favourites will include Africa (including Marrakech) and the Palace Hotels in Europe and India. Our customers are looking for unique experiences that entertain, inspire and excite. 2011 will see a continued roll out of LHWs once in a lifetime journeys taking in the best that each hotel and destination has to offer.

he Leading Hotels of the World (LHW) has undergone a number of changes over the past two years with the appointment of a new President and Chief Executive Officer Ted Teng. Under Teds leadership, LHW is returning to its roots by celebrating and championing the individual iconic hotel. In 2010 LHW will deliver USD$550 million to its member hotels, a 20% increase in revenue per hotel compared to 2009. Over the next four years, we are looking for this figure to top USD$1 billion with an additional USD$200 million in revenue coming from the Leaders Club, USD$100 million from further Internet sales and USD$50 million more from groups. We are optimistic that luxury hotels in Asia Pacific will continue to benefit from improving economic conditions, wealth and hence disposal income. The stronger currencies of Asia Pacific countries will lend further impetus to travel in 2011. RevPAR should see a double digit percentage improvement on the back of higher occupancy and ADR. Whilst the strengthening of the Australian, Japanese and most Asian currencies will bode well for outbound travel, it will continue to impact inbound travel from countries with weaker currencies. It is imperative that new geo sources and market segments be tapped. The growing markets of Brazil, India and China are the top three countries focused on hotels seeking to develop new business.

CLAUS SENDLINGER Founder and CEO Design Hotels s a challenging year for the hospitality industry draws to an end, I cant help but be optimistic about what 2011 has in store for Design Hotels. We were well prepared for the economic downturn and since early 2009 have been able to support our hotels through consulting and value-added services tailored to their specific needs. As a result, we were back on a growth path earlier than anticipated. In fact, we had repeated monthly record highs in the value of bookings brokered during late 2010. By the end of 2010 we will have generated revenues of more than USD$100 million through our channels for our 200 member hotels (15,000 rooms). Australia is a significantly growing source market for us and in percentage terms saw the biggest growth in 2010 with approximately 40%
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increase in room revenue out of the region. For 2011 we expect to continue this growth strategy. The increase in revenue is driven by both rate and volume. As most of the Australian business is outbound, the strong dollar has played a big role in this, combined with the increase in Australians travelling abroad again. We get a sense that travellers make the most of the dollar by upgrading to a better hotel rather than saving money by staying in a more standard level property. In 2010 we also increased the portfolio with 45 extraordinary hotels - the most ever in a single year. Nevertheless, the development strategy of Design Hotels is very much focused on qualitative growth whilst trying to satisfy the existing demand of our clients by offering a property in every key city worldwide. Sydney and Melbourne are high on our wish list. Globally we have several new member hotels on board such as Nobis Hotel in Stockholm, The Mira Hong Kong and Raas in Jodhpur, India. Eccleston Square Hotel, London, will open in 2011, as well as Hotel Americano in New York and Casa de la Flora in Khao Lak, Thailand. So, there is a lot to look forward to.

indUStRy leadeRS FoRUm 2011


Lynne Ireland Area Managing Director Australia New Zealand and Pacific Preferred Hotel Group

referred Hotel Group believes that the travel industry is on the verge of a true golden age. The first wave of baby boomers turned 65 on January 1, 2011 and represent the healthiest, wealthiest and most active senior generation in history, they are veteran travellers. With more time available they are seeking to intensify their pursuit of travel, new experiences and adventure. Aspirational, experiential, sustainable, interactive, thematic the motivation behind leisure travel has changed with clients looking beyond the hotel services to true life experiences. Former luxuries are now considered necessities, including travel and fine dining. A recent survey we conducted showed boomers constitute 47% of active leisure travellers. Two-thirds have taken a leisure trip to celebrate a life event, anniversary or birthday. Other findings are more subtle: boomers are more likely to travel as a couple and, since 40% are grandparents, more likely to travel in multi-generational trips. Tourism Australia and Qantas created an incredible opportunity for Australia to drive greater awareness to and within this amazing desti-

nation. We need to seize this not just within Australia but throughout the region with strong, tactical life experiences unique to our locale. This is a time for opportunity. There is no doubt that technology has changed the face of travel and access to information. Clientele research everything in-depth on the Internet, make buying decisions online and are savvy in one or more forms of social media. This is a blessing, but also a challenge. Airlines have opened up new destinations, with more direct access and competitive rates which has seen less reliance on traditional carriers. Reliability remains a strong focus, however Internet transparency has meant a strong review by even the most loyal clientele. Purchase-price optimisation remains important irrespective of market segment. Dynamic packaging capabilities are now essential to provide customisation and maximise revenue at time of purchase. Greater training on effective revenue management and strategic use of distribution channels is needed to keep up with technology and its implications. The corporate sector regionally fared well in 2010 with some of the highest occupancies on record, largely due to limited supply of room inventory in key cities. Occupancy was often at the detriment of ADR, with the market reacting to global indicators rather than domestic/regional trends. It is anticipated this will be adjusted for 2011. Corporate compliance and employee safety/business trip monitoring is now far more stringent. Self booking tools are used more effectively for both travel orders and company compliance. Strong partnership support, reporting, rate negotiation and value are key motivators for strengthened TMC preferred relationships. Forging relationships with strong alliances is essential with valueadded services, regional/global support and customisation now necessities of business. Preferred Hotel Group has adapted accordingly with 31 offices globally providing multi-lingual services, networks and support across every region. Whilst our buying power provides better rate negotiation for procurement, distribution, sales and online/offline marketing services it is regionalised to meet the local needs of hotels. Interestingly, membership has also grown through smaller groups understanding the benefits of the collective resources and we see 2011 as a year of innovation and increased opportunities.

We are encouraged by the development of more design-led properties in Australia and New Zealand. Hotel DeBrett in Auckland recently joined as our second Oceania property. The hotel, which is designed and managed by owners Michelle Deery and John Courtney, embodies the ideal qualities we look for in our member hotels. Walk into any of our member hotels and you will sense that its the work of a passionate individual and not the product of a corporation with an operational manual. It is very hard for chains to achieve this, as the fundamental model of a chain is to create a concept and then roll that out. The Design Hotels difference is that each member hotel is the work of creative individuals, our originals who are realising their own personal vision and ideas. These days, great architecture and design are really a minimum requirement. In this increasingly nomadic world, people are looking more for that feeling of familiarity and connection in a hotel. As the modern world grows in wealth, technology and knowledge, people will also look more for products with real substance which are different from the norm. When I travel I look at a hotels overall vibe and atmosphere service, design, music and architecture should complement each other. How this is executed is very individual and should be in keeping with local customs and influences. Hotel DeBrett is a great example of a property getting it right: foremost, it connects guests to the destination through the central location,

the restaurant and bar which are popular Auckland venues and via the artwork by local artists. With only 25 rooms, the guest experience is one-of-a-kind with factors like personalisation, recognition and sustainability at the forefront. The Alila Hotels and Resorts are also true role models with their properties in Laos, Bali, the Maldives and India. They are very committed to sustainable hospitality and their measures range from organic kitchen gardens and programmes supporting the local communities, to building luxury villas that fulfill the highest ecologocial standards. People will no longer accept hotels that are oblivious to the environment. Consequently a green ethos should be an integral part of contemporary hotel design. However, there are always different solutions for different projects. Its important that a hotel is not only geared towards preserving the environment, a hotels corporate social responsibility is also vital. We see all these trends continuing for 2011 and hope to achieve even greater results. As a company we have optimised our internal structure and refined our strategy. Were rolling up our sleeves in order to bring increased business and long-term value to our member hotels. We want to continue offering innovative and original experiences for our guests. Well be focusing on building our global community by becoming a reference point for architecture, design and culture-related interests. 83



IN 2011

New technology from intouch

ast year I had the opportunity to visit for the first time the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas and it was such an eye opener I returned in 2011 to see what the next big thing is. This years CES had more than 130,000 attendees and 2,700 exhibitors - so it was impossible to see everything and with that in mind, I focused on TV suppliers, plus a number of other major suppliers to the consumer industry as I tried to figure out how this new technology will impact on the hotel industry. My observations on CES are as follows: Last years hot item was 3D but it is yet to gain traction in the market; The future of consumer technology is After the huge success of Apple iPad where exciting and with the plethora of new they have sold 7.5 million units since it was technology being released means that launched, over 80 new tablet computers were hotels that are upgrading their TVs or on show at CES from major suppliers HP, Lenundertaking major refurbishments will need ovo, NEC, Motorola, Microsoft, LG, Asus and to ensure they are future proofed sufficiently Research in Motion (Blackberry) all launchto accommodate the technology that ing new models running either Windows 7 or consumers embrace moving forward. Googles Android software. These new tablets ted hoRneR, hotel technology consultant will be video friendly and feature high-resolution screens that will enable users to watch a guided tour of the new 3,000-plus room Cosmopolitan Las Vegas. movies or shows in HD that they download to from the internet; This new resort casino opened in December and has raised the bar yet The next generation of smart phones are now 4G that operate close again in terms of in room guest technology compared to the Aria Hotel to 10 times faster than current phones allowing users to watch vidthat I wrote about in HM this time last year. eo via a mobile connection; Features in the room include custom-built touchscreen-based The catch phrase at CES was Smart TV- or internet connected phones which can control lighting and temperature in the rooms, cusTVs - where many TV makers are adding smartphone and tablettom built user friendly TV remote control unit that is also back lit which style apps to their new TV designs. These small, limited purpose enables guests to use the TV for a variety of function merely by accessapps are designed to perform a variety of functions such as renting a range of icons at the bottom of screen. ing on line movies, checking the weather, displaying traffic and Guests can access a number of things, including: room service book networking feeds from sites such as Face book and Twitter. The entertainment services via the TV; check local attractions; airline dechallenge now is that the regular TV remote control is proving parture times from McCarron Airport; turn lighting on and off; change inadequate to control these new apps and wireless keyboard and the temperature in the room; weather current and future; and watch a mice have not been popular either. As a result TV makers are now large array of free-to-air, cable and movies on-demand. looking at new ways to control their sets such as gesture based The rooms also have the new Samsung Galaxy touch screen tablet controls made popular by Microsoft with their new Kinect on the that guests can use to access internet or other services like the Apple iPad. Xbox 360 games where the console is controlled by waving their The future of consumer technology is exciting and with the pletharms and legs in the air and by talking to their TV. ora of new technology being released means hotels that are upgradFor the entertainment industry internet videos migration from the PC ing their TVs or undertaking major refurbishments will need to ensure to the TV is going to provide both challenges and opportunities for all they are future proofed sufficiently to accommodate the technology parties. How this translates in the market place and then ultimately that consumers embrace moving forward. At the moment, like 3D TV affects the hotel industry remains to be seen. What must be underlast year, it is probably best to adopt a cautious approach and see what stood is that the hotel industry is a very small player in the overall becomes industry standard. consumer technology market which this year is predicated to be close to USD$964 billion up 10% on last year. Ted Horner is a leading hotel technology consultant. He can be contacted The other highlight of my visit to Las Vegas was the chance to have on or on +61 (0)418 299 421
84 Hotel & Accommodation Management


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The Cloud by HotelHome

Australias number one luxury addition to hotel rooms is The Cloud, a feather/down bed topper by HotelHome. Discerning Hoteliers are reaping the benefits by not only installing quality commercial beds, they are also including The Cloud and receiving accolades from their guests who have slept in supreme comfort all night. Tel: 1800 468 354 (within Australia) Email:

VingCard Elsafes Check-In Kiosks

VingCard Elsafe has launched a Check-In, Check-Out Kiosk to help Hoteliers reduce their labour cost while enhancing their guest experience. As with airport kiosks this offers 45 second checkins and 30 second check-outs meaning guests will no longer have to wait in long queues. Tel: 1300 796 233 (within Australia)

Buffet stations from Sico

Furniture and equipment manufacturer Sico South Pacific has released a new range of portable buffet stations to offer hotels a new approach to food and beverage presentation. Available in a choice of induction cooking, warming, carving, bar and ice stations the mobile units are easily wheeled throughout a hotel to provide guests with live action food and beverage service in various locations. Induction cooking requires no specialist power supply and is proving popular with hotel managers due to the low running costs. Tel: +61 (0)2 4336 1333

iBahns iMedia takes centre stage

iBahns iMedia forever changes the way digital content is viewed in the hotel, by seamlessly bringing the vast content choices of the web to the in-room TV monitor in the full glory of HD resolution. iMedia delivers web content in true digital, HD (high-definition), live streaming, full screen format on the hotel guest room TV to create a one-of-a-kind viewing experience much better than what they get at home. Theyll be captivated by digital content thats crystal clear, easily accessible and the sky is the limit on content. Tel: +61 (0)2 9220 3530

Hotel & Accommodation Management 85


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Londons Hoteliers have high expectations for 2011

nly 12 months ago, it was all doom and gloom for Londons hotel industry, but how quickly things can change. Less than a year later, Hoteliers across the city were confident of a strong finish to 2010 and the subsequent 2010-11 financial year. InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)s President Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA),, Kirk Kinsell, said things were certainly looking up for 2011 across a number of segments. The London market is performing strongly, he exclusively told HM. RevPAR is up 6.6% which is much higher than the rest of the UK which is up 1.2%. Specifically, the MICE market has been a major factor, as has the return of intra-European business travel. Meetings are the lifeblood of business, he said. We surveyed 6,000 business travellers at the height of the recession and despite the tough operating conditions, 40% of respondents said they couldnt do business without travelling for meetings. With spending cuts still affecting countries across Europe, businesses are looking for efficiency in business travel hotels that deliver a quality offering but without unnecessary excess and inflated price. At our UK hotels were seeing our meetings business really pick-up as people who were travelling less during the recession come back and all the pent up meetings that couldnt happen, take place. We expect this trend to continue in 2011,Kinsell said. At popular business hotel Crowne Plaza London St James (an IHG-franchised property owned by Taj Hotels), General Manager Araceli Rius-Perez said a number of markets have been solid. This past financial year has been a very good year for the majority of London hotels, with many large events, such as the Farnborough Air Show, the Popes visit and the regular events, such as the London Marathon, Wimbledon and Chelsea Flower Show among others, keeping the hotel demand high throughout the year, he said. The reminder of the financial year looks positive so far, (however) the implications on the increases on VAT (in January) will still need to be seen, but we remain positive that London will hold on, Rius-Perez said. At the Athenaeum, a top business hotel on Piccadilly, General Manager Jonathan Critchard is also positive. The general trend for Londons 5-star market that hotels are performing around 10% better in RevPAR terms compared to last year and generally exceeding expectations, he said. The trend appears to be continuing for the remainder of this financial year. With a strong Australian Dollar against the Pound, the Australian market is an important one for Londons hotels. Many Hoteliers agree the growth of both inbound numbers room nights will increase during 2011 as the dollar remains high and expectations are significant. The Australian market is incredibly important to our London hotels, Kinsell said.As the Australian dollar continues to show strength against the Pound, business and leisure travellers are visiting in increasing numbers and for longer periods.

Its a significant opportunity - with over 500,000 Australians visiting London each year, we are working hard to ensure we can engage this market and retain guests, he said. Rius-Perez added:Australia is very significant for London as whole and there is a considerable amount of travellers staying at our hotel - it is among the top 15 nationalities, but of course this segment could be stronger for us. It is a similar story at the Athenaeum. We have consistently been successful in maintaining more than our market share for Australia and continue to build on relationships both from a corporate and leisure perspective, Critchard said. Thanks to the brands strong recognition in Asia-Pacific, the Novotel properties in London also rate highly for Australians visiting the capital. We welcome a small percentage of Australian customers, but this segment is growing,said Novotel London Tower Bridge General Manager, Levent Kilic. With the awareness and reputation of the Novotel brand in Australia and with the hotels very convenient location for tourists, we believe we can grow the Australian market substantially in years to come, he said. One event Australians are expected to visit London in their thousands for is the 2012 Olympic Games, being held from July 27 to August 12, 2012. A sponsor of the event, IHG is placing a key emphasis on the Games, particularly with the companys Holiday Inn brand. IHGs Head of London 2012, Chris Hale, said that sponsorship will mean not only hosting thousands of officials, but attracting thousands more potential guests. Our decision to put forward Holiday Inn as official hotel provider for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is an investment for many years to come, not just for the six weeks of the Games, he told HM. We believe that the Olympic and Paralympic Games are a once in a generation opportunity for Britain. The Games can help transform a citys tourism infrastructure and change the way the world views a destination in the long term (and) the UK has already proved that it has the potential to exploit major sporting events with Manchesters 2002 Commonwealth Games, which brought one million visitors and 29 million to the local economy,he said. Hale said official hotel provider tag meant the chain would be busy not just for the Games, but in the months leading up to the worlds largest sporting event. Our Olympic partnership agreement will see Holiday Inn hotels hosting a significant number of Olympic-related guests in the build up to London 2012 and we anticipate that the main Olympic influx will start a couple of weeks before the event,he said. Hale is confident the trough experienced by all major sporting events should not last long after the Games conclude. Many of the international visitors who come for the Games will leave straight afterwards but were confident that Holiday Inn and other IHG hotels (InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Indigo and 87


The Athenaeum Hotel Novotel London Tower Bridge

Crowne Plaza London St James

As the Australian dollar continues to show strength against the Pound, business and leisure travellers are visiting in increasing numbers and for longer periods.
KiRK KinSell, President emea, ihg

I caution Hoteliers to consider the wider aspects of the trading year and not get overly fixated on purely the 2012 Olympic Games window.
Jonathan CRitChaRd, general manager, athenaeum hotel

bridge Suites) will rapidly return to their usual high levels of occupancy as the regular London leisure and business guests re-appear, he said. Rius-Perez also has high expectations during the Games. The period around the Olympic Games is traditionally a purely leisure period in London with very little corporate business due to the summer holidays, so it is expected that the traditional leisure traveller will be replaced by those travellers coming to see the Games, he said. This period is normally a very busy time in London and it should remain at that level during the Games. With London being so accessible by air, train and even with cruises, we anticipate there will be a great demand over the period,he said. Rius-Perez said there will be some peaks and troughs, but they wont be significant. Athenaeums Critchard is cautiously optimistic about the 2012 Olympic Games. The expectation for London hotels generally is positive for this period, he said. However, I caution Hoteliers to consider the wider aspects of the trading year and not get overly fixated on purely the 2012 Olympic Games window. Yes the pre- and post-Olympic period is also likely to be busy, but our strategy is to ensure that there is constant demand in respect of occupancy so that peaks and troughs can be avoided, he said. A number of new hotels are due to open in London over the next 18 months, but many insiders question whether the city will have enough rooms to cope with the expected tourism boom, particularly considering the capital is already busy over the summer months. In July and August hotels in London tend to be quite full but the overall capacity is very large and growing, Hale said.We have a busy pipeline of new hotels opening and are adding 642 new rooms in London over the next two years. We expect that the occupancy rate in 2012 will be high across the full range of our hotels (and) our advice to visitors is to book well in advance.
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While hotel rooms may still be available soon before the Games, those closest to the venues are likely to be snapped up much earlier. As a number of sports including sailing, rowing and football will take place away from London the tourism impact will also be noticed away from the capital, he said. Rius-Perez also agrees there should be enough available rooms in London for the Games. London has one of the largest supplies of rooms in the world and with the anticipated new rooms coming into the market and the provisions made via LOCOG (London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games) to utilise not only hotels but students residences and others to accommodate members of the Olympic family, we do not think that there will be a shortage of rooms, Rius-Perez said. IHGs additional properties come on the back of the Savoy reopening in late 2010 and the Four Seasons Londons opening in January 2011. With the new inventory in place, London should have enough room for the 2012 Olympic Games, but with prices expected to be above the average, perhaps the hardest thing to buy wont be a ticket at the Games, but a hotel room for a couple of nights. HM flew to London with Singapore Airlines, the carrier that offers several daily flights from Australia to London. Singapore Airlines offers Suites*, First, Business and Economy classes on selected flights between Australia and London via Singapore, several of which are on the Airbus A380 superjumbo. The seats in Business Class are the widest in the market and the cabin features food from Matt Moran (Aria Restaurants in Sydney and Brisbane) and a superlative drinks list from Australian Master of Wine, Michael Hill Smith. Singapore Airlines also features an award-winning entertainment system, Krisworld, which offers over 80 on-demand movies in all cabins. *Suites are available only on the Airbus A380. For bookings, visit




Vol 15. No.1

Bi-monthly Febr

uary 2011

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MELBOURNE Singapores Pan Pacific Hotels Group has bought the Hilton Melbourne Airport hotel from Mulpha for AUD$109 million. In a statement released to the Singapore Exchange, Pan Pacific said the 276-room hotel would be reflagged under the Parkroyal brand following the completion of the purchase on March 31, 2011. Pan Pacific Hotels Group President and CEO, A. Patrick Imbardelli, said the acquisition was in line with the companys Australian growth plans, which is the strategic flagging of hotels primarily along the East Coast. Parkroyal Melbourne Airport will become the brands third Australian property, following the rebranding of the Parkroyal Darling Harbour and Parkroyal Parramatta hotels from Crowne Plaza in November. The companys fourth Australian hotel, Pan Pacific Perth, was re-flagged from Sheraton on January 1, 2011. SYDNEY The New South Wales Minister for Planning has approved Lend Leases concept plan for the Barangaroo South site on Sydney Harbour, bringing the AUD$6 billion development another step closer to construction. The Barangaroo South plan includes an iconic 250-room upper-upscale hotel to be built on a pier over the water in Darling Harbour and is part of a development that will be an extraordinary opportunity for Sydney to demonstrate global leadership in regeneration and sustainable development, according to Lend Leases Group Head of Development David Hutton. The hotel will be the second upper-upscale hotel after Hotel Switch at Star City to be built in Sydney after The Westin, which opened prior to the 2000 Olympic Games. Hutton said interest in the hotel has continued to grow in recent months amongst hotel operators and investors. Interest is very strong in this exciting aspect of the development, with discussions or expressions of interest from all of the leading international hotel groups, he said. Operators and potential investors appear to really appreciate the role the hotel will play in establishing Barangaroo as a key part of the city and the opportunity to create a new icon for 21st Century Sydney. We plan to start detailed discussions with potential operators in the coming months and will evolve the hotel design and concept during 2011, Hutton said. GOLD COAST The first stage of the brand new AUD$700 million Hilton Surfers Paradise opened on the Gold Coast in time for the regions peak summer holiday period. The propertys Boulevard Tower, which features 134 residential apartments and opened in mind-December, marks Hiltons first foray into the region and becomes the ninth Hilton-branded property in Australia.

Schwartz buys the infamous Fairmont Blue Mountains

The Fairmont Resort in the NSW Blue Mountains is about to begin a new era following the purchase of the hotel by new owner Jerry Schwartz and its inclusion in Accors upscale MGallery brand. For most of its 22-year existence, the Fairmont Resort has been regarded as one of Australias premier leisure, conference and event venues, with its inspirational location overlooking the Jamison Valley and its vast range of sporting and recreational activities complementing the extensive range of meeting venues. However, in 2007, the Fairmont Resort (no association to the Canadian-based Fairmont chain) was the subject of extensive media coverage after a number of staffing issues that quickly earned it the tag Blue Mountains Faulty Towers. But the propertys much-publicised fall from grace has finally ended, and Schwartzs plans will see the hotel return to its former glory. Always popular for conferences, incentives, team-building, functions and weddings, the MGallery Fairmont Resort has had a new team at the helm for over six months, and will now benefit from a major new focus on the MICE sector. Already enhancements have been made to the hotels facilities, and these will continue throughout 2011 without affecting the hotels ability to host conferences and events. MGallery Fairmont Resort General Manager, Geoff York, said that there

couldnt be a better way for the resort to enter 2011. Its very pleasing whats already been done at the hotel and weve hosted a number of major conferences and events in the past few months which all went very well,he said. The design of the resort means that renovations can take place in one section of the hotel without affecting any other areas. Already the outside pool renovation has been completed and we will be working through each of the accommodation wings progressively,York said. All 12 meeting rooms and the grand ballroom will be upgraded progressively, with new furniture, cutting-edge technology and fresh new colour schemes, with capacity for up to 800. The 210 accommodation rooms will also receive a makeover including new bathrooms, bedding, joinery and carpeting, while the public areas will be renovated to include a stylish reception lounge with central fireplace overlooking the Jamison Valley.


Air NZ to debut cuddle class

Air New Zealands revolutionary Skycouch offering in economy class is set to debut on scheduled flights from Auckland to Los Angeles in April, following the delivery of the airlines first Boeing 777-300ER in late December 2010. The Kiwi-designed Skycouch enables three economy class seats to be turned into a mini-bed, comfortably sleeping two passengers, and is one of several industryleading initiatives to be introduced on the new long-haul Boeing aircraft. The aircraft configured with 244 in Economy (including 60 seats creating 20 Skycouch combinations), 50 in Premium Economy and 44 in Business Premier is the first of five on order for Air New Zealand and the first route to be guaranteed the new cuddle class offering is NZ1 from Auckland to Los Angeles and London from April 2011.
90 Hotel & Accommodation Management

Cuddle class on Air New Zealand

However, when the Boeing 777 was first introduced into the Air New Zealand fleet (the B777-200ER variant) several years ago, the aircraft was flown initially from Auckland on Australian routes and the same is expected to happen with the new B777300ERs from January 2011. Another key feature of the new aircraft include induction ovens in all cabins the first commercial airline to do so.

Air New Zealand


New owner: Fairmont Resort in the NSW Blue Mountains


Andrew Morley Executive Search m +61 423 550 316 t 1800 Hostec e

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