Page 1


t h e au st r a l i a n

Motel Owners’ Journal

Making the most of your online presence Solutions to common pool problems

PP 324494/00039

Volume 14 No. 2

Designed specifically for the accommodation industry Features: PostureTech® HighProfile EdgeGuard® StayTrue® Comfort Commercial Shock Abzzorber® Foundation StayTight® Foundation Cover 5 Year Guarantee

Special Introductory Offer




Lyric Queen Ensemble Plus GST

to receive this special offer please quote: MOJ13

Limited Time Only - Available till December 31, 2013

1300 780 150 For more information about Sealy, add us on Facebook and Twitter


Sealy of Australia has manufacturing centres in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. *Used under license from the Trademark proprietor by MADAD Pty Ltd trading as Sealy of Australia. ABN 57 009 678 344.






28 DĂŠcor Disasters 30 Hotel Properties Reconsider

46 50 52

7 8

Message from the Publisher  essage from the Minister M for Trade & Investment

10 Making the Most of Your Online Presence

12 Cleaning Disasters 14 Is AAA Tourism Still Relevant? 17 What’s in a First Impression 20 Ross Motel 24 Increase Your Guests Perception of Cleanliness by Sanitising Your Mattresses

27  Online Marketing for the Lead


32 Myths of Entrance Matting 34 Can Bed Bugs be Prevented? 36 Australian Carpet 38 Key Trends in In-Room Technology

Incorrect Bed Valances Solutions to Common Pool Problems Product News

in 2013 40 The Greatest Asset of an Organisation

44 45

Quality vs Price Outsourcing Vs In-house


Front Cover: Ross Motel & Caravan Park, Tasmania. See more on page 20.

Advertising Sales Melbourne: Neil Muir Ph: (03) 9758 1433 Fax: (03) 9758 1432 Email: Adelaide: Robert Spowart PO Box 213, Summertown, SA 5141 Ph: 0488 390 039 Email:

Production: Emily Wallis Tel: (03) 9758 1436 Email: Administration: Robyn Fantin Tel: (03) 9758 1431 Email: Marketing: Tania Lamanna Tel: (03) 9500 0285 Email:

mo PO Box 735, Belgrave, VIC 3160

DISCLAIMER Adbourne Publishing cannot ensure that the advertisers appearing in The Motel Owners Journal comply absolutely with the Trades Practices Act and other consumer legislation. The responsibility is therefore on the person, company or advertising agency submitting the advertisement(s) for publication. Adbourne Publishing reserves the right to refuse any advertisement without stating the reason. No responsibility is accepted for incorrect information contained in advertisements or editorial. The editor reserves the right to edit, abridge or otherwise alter articles for publication. All original material produced in this magazine remains the property of the publisher and cannot be reproduced without authority. The views of the contributors are not necessarily those of the publisher.

Spruce up your Hotel beds for 2014 limited offer Australia’s leading Bed Covering manufacturers introduce the BED COVERING PACKAGE (Cushion & Bed Runner)


ag k c a P ering

v o C d e B

0 5 . $49


d rs place e d r o r fo 14 Jan 20 by 31st

Introducing “The Package” from $49.50*

All Bed Covering Packages are made to order to suit your property. (minimum 6 packages)

• All fabrics are designed and woven in Australia from high quality Italian yarns. • Cushions and Runners are also manufactured in Australia to meet highest standards of the Accommodation Industry. • The cushion inners are also manufactured in Australia with the exclusive HotelHome FOAM CORE to ensure extra life and excellent presentation.

Choose from over 50 different designs and woven plains in many colours (a few examples below) The packages can be chosen from co-ordinating or matching designs.

Package Price (1 x Mirage style Bed Runner plus 1 x Decorative Cushion)

• • • • •

Single $49.50 King Single. $50.80 Double $52.60 Queen $54.00 King $55.00

Prices above are for all orders placed by 31st Jan 2014. All prices are excluding GST and freight. Made to order. Minimum 6 packages apply. Designs are to be chosen from HotelHome stock fabric designs. Contact HotelHome for samples and the full list of designs available.



1 9 8 4

phone : 1800 HOTELHOME (1800 468 354) email :

You wouldn’t go to a lawnmower shop to buy a sports car... so why go to anyone else but the experts when buying or selling a motel?

Lawnmowers Galore

THE MOTEL BROKERS SINCE 1985 Call (07) 3878 3999

The Original and still No. 1

mo Message from the Publisher


hange the government, change the country. With the new Coalition government taking office, we have some bold new plans from Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb. He wants to invest more heavily into Australia’s tourism industry and deliver more demand for motel operators, especially in regional areas which account for half of all tourism expenditure. It will be interesting to see how his government’s plans to repeal the Carbon Tax and freeze the Passenger Movement Charge will affect moteliers.

Ross Motel > Story on page 20

In this issue we also look at the historic Ross Motel in Tasmania. This is a great place in a beautiful town and it is up for sale. A lot of care from the previous owners has gone into building up a strong reputation with its guests and this is a great chance for anyone looking for a change of lifestyle. We talk to the owners John Edwards and Christina Brooks about their experiences and plans for a ‘second retirement’. We’re focussing on online marketing and bookings too. Most people use the internet for accommodation so it’s vital that motels have a great website.

However, starting or updating a website can be daunting when you’re new to promoting your motel online. Our article has lots of practical tips and can help to keep your online presence up to scratch. A very interesting article comes from Brian Hull who asks whether AAA Tourism is still relevant. He reveals that there is a lot of difficulty when finding out about accommodation providers and how we need to reconsider the regulation of the star-rating system. He has some good opinions and suggestions. We finally have articles on mattress cleaning and how entrance matting can reduce wear and tear while saving a lot of mess. This is our final issue for the year so thank you to everyone who has contributed throughout 2013. It’s always a busy time over Christmas for our motel owners but we hope you get time to fit a break in and enjoy the holiday period. See you again next year, Regards Neil Muir


| Vol 14 No. 2 |


mo Message from the Minister for Trade & Investment


t gives me great pleasure, as the Minister responsible for Tourism in a new Coalition Government, to be able to provide Australia’s motel owners and operators with my plans for our national tourism industry.

Motels are particularly important in regional Australia where almost 50 per cent of the country’s tourism expenditures occur. Motels are an important source of employment and are core elements in the community’s tourism infrastructure.

The Australian tourism industry is built on strong foundations.

Because tourism is such an important export industry for Australia, this Government has placed it within the Foreign Affairs and Trade Portfolio. It is a key element of my plan to increase export income, attract more international investment, create more jobs and strengthen Australia’s prosperity.

It has dynamic enterprises offering world class products, services and experiences that leverage our strong international brand and world class natural and cultural attractions. Our role in Government is to support tourism businesses to do what they do best by delivering a stable and predictable policy and fiscal environment which will stimulate the growth and development of Australia’s tourism industry. After all, Governments do not create wealth; people do. Tourism is an important sector of the Australian economy. It generates $107 billion in consumption, employs over 530,000 Australians directly and contributes $41 billion to national GDP. It is also our largest services export, with international visitor consumption of $26 billion representing over eight per cent of total Australian exports. There are nearly 300,000 businesses within the industry, ranging from accommodation, restaurants and cafes, to transport and travel agents, as well as the retail and education sectors. Australia’s motel owners and operators are the fundamental building blocks of the Australian tourism industry. A satisfying motel experience shapes every other holiday experience and is one of the strongest memories of any tourist.

8 |

Vol 14 No. 2 |


I am committed to continuing with the Tourism 2020 policy initiative and work with the states and territories to grow the industry’s overnight visitor expenditure to between $115 and $140 billion by 2020. Under Tourism 2020, I will work with industry and my state and territory colleagues to address the industry’s supply-side weaknesses such as red tape, low investment, skills and labour shortages, and insufficient transport capacity. I will also work to: • encourage high quality tourism experiences, including indigenous tourism • limit the tax, red tape and other regulatory burdens industry faces • undertake coordinated and effective marketing campaigns to drive demand • work with industry to support the development of tourism infrastructure that can drive demand. That is why the Government is committed to abolish the Carbon Tax, which Tourism Accommodation Australia estimates would cost the industry up to $115 million

mo in its first year and reduce profitability by 12 per cent.

Futures programme by Service Skills Australia.

It is also is why I announced a freeze of the Passenger Movement Charge.

Research conducted under Tourism 2020 found that labour and skills issues require local solutions, which is why Tourism Employment Plans are being delivered. They are industry-led and building capacity in regions to meet workforce needs.

These initiatives provide surety for our tourism industry and reduce its tax burden. I am aware that a major concern of motel owners and operators is that of attracting and retaining employees with the right skills. Access to the right workers with the right skills at the right time is critical to the success of your industry. Yet by 2015 we are going to need substantially more workers to fill vacancies. Under Tourism 2020, the Government is working with industry to improve its capacity to attract, retain and up-skill its workers. This is being achieved through the rollout of eight Tourism Employment Plans, the extension of the Seasonal Worker Programme for the accommodation sector, and the $8.2 million Workforce

Businesses are benefiting through better links to Government support programmes and practical outcomes that are making it easier for them to get the workers they need when they need them. But we need these outcomes to be felt more broadly than the current eight Tourism Employment Plan regions. That is why the Government recently launched the Guide to Tourism Employment Plans. The Guide will help regions develop their own Tourism Employment Plans, boost the quality of their tourism offering and the competitiveness of the region.

To support the Guide, a new Tourism Employment Plan Advisory Service through Austrade will provide advice to assist regions with developing their own Plan. I am passionate about what our industry can achieve. I believe the Tourism Employment Plans will help businesses and regions become more internationally competitive by improving product and service quality. Global competition for the tourist dollar is fierce, and removing the barriers that industry faces will help the industry and motel owners do what they do best: creating world class tourism experiences that will encourage more people to visit Australia. I look forward to working to make sure the Australian tourism industry is open for business. The Hon Andrew Robb MP Minister for Trade and Investment


| Vol 14 No. 2 |


Making the Most of Your Online Presence gary berman I Website Image Consultant

As the internet continues to grow, some say uncontrollably, it is very important to try and keep up with as much of it as possible as this is where you are probably getting most of your bookings and enquiries from.


aving said that, it is also important not to be “afraid” of the net, put it in the too hard basket or give up on it. It is often not as daunting as you may think. There are people who can help you and the more you use it, the more comfortable you will feel and it will become quicker and easier to use. In this article I am going to go over some of the points that might be a concern and how you can maximise your online presence. There will be no technical jargon that many consultants and advisors use that I believe adds to the conception that the internet is more complicate then it should be. One of the most important things I’ve discovered in my consulting roles is that most properties have a website but a large number say that they are not really pleased with their site and would like to make changes. Unfortunately many do not know how to go about this and others are concerned about the perceived cost of making changes. While some companies do charge an “arm and a leg” for website work, there are many that are very reasonable, so my advice is to get at least 3 quotes and also to ask your contacts or peers for referrals on companies they might have used. Before you start sourcing quotes you will need to have an idea

10 |

Vol 14 No. 2 |


on what changes you want to make. The first thing to do now is research and the best place to start is to use your site yourself to make a booking or enquiry and see what you think the strengths and weaknesses are. I would then recommend looking at your immediate competitor’s sites, not more than 2 or 3, and see what you like and dislike about these. Do the same thing with some of the bigger hotel sites to see what they have, that you might be able to use now, or to put on a wish list for futures upgrades. It is also a good idea to talk to your guests for some feedback on your website and the booking process. Newsletters and surveys, both online and at the property itself will give you a lot of information. Once you’ve done this and have an idea of the changes you want, write them down in priority order, ranging from “must haves” to “like to have” and this will form the basic document for sourcing your quotes, so all are quoting for the same work. It may be that in some extreme cases it is more cost effective to do a whole new site rather than to redo your current one and there are more and more very affordable IT “packages” coming on the market that will give you a website and a booking engine. Now, apart from your website, another issue I have being seeing on my travels are properties not getting the full benefits or in fact even knowing the full range of features on offer with the channel manager or booking engine they use. In many cases it’s the channel manager itself who supply the booking engine as part of a package which also allows you to list on a range of OTA’s (Online Travel Agents) such as Wotif, etc. While most understand the benefits of using a channel manager, where availability and rates can be loaded on the one site, I have

noticed that properties are missing out on many of the other great features on offer, which has been paid for, but for a range of reasons are not being used. One of these issues is how many OTA’s are you entitled to be listed with on the package you have. This could mean that you might be using 5 or 6 booking sites when you could be listed on 20, 30 or more at no extra cost and with no extra work involved. This means you are missing out on online exposure across the world that you have paid for anyway. Other issues are the myriad of extra features on offer through your channel manager which could enable you to increase occupancy, revenue and exposure which are not been used. All these companies have training and support on offer, so I would highly recommend contacting your provider as soon as possible for refresher training and discussion of exactly what your package entails. Even if you think you have everything under control, there are always new features and updates released which you might not be aware of. In one property I recently did some work with, by making a very minor changes to their website and getting a one hour refresher course by the channel manager, they increased direct and non commissionable bookings to their site by over 20%. This should not take away the overall benefits of working with as many third party sites as possible as even with the commission paid, they do provide a marketing and booking service that properties on their own could not afford.

of using an image of their best room knowing they only have one of these available throughout the entire property. Others advertise a magnificent view, but again there might only be a handful of rooms with this view, and the list goes on. It is far better to have images that reflect the true picture of your property in a favourable light, rather than over promising and under delivering. Other properties simply do not provide enough images, or are of such a poor quality or inadequate size that potential guests simply click onto the next hotel. The bottom line is, do your images accurately represent your property. Apart from the images you have on your own website which is your responsibility, you must ensure you have the same quality images loaded on all your third party sites and this is something you should check regularly. While these sites want to assist as much as possible, they cannot check everything and if your images are not good enough, the customer will still make the booking on their site but not at your property. So, in summary there are various points involved in maximising your online presence so if you get your site, channel manager and OTA’s sorted out, the bookings and associated revenue benefits will follow. For more information you can contact Gary Berman on e: or m: 0410 458 166.

Its all a question of balance and ensuring there is a good mix between bookings coming from your site and from the range of third party ones. While overall training is vital, this must not be for owners and managers alone, but also for every member of staff who will be dealing with reservation and enquiries. They should be able to update availability and rates when rooms start selling out and the opposite when things are slowing down. If I told you he number of times I have called a hotel/motel trying to make a booking or make an enquiry and being told that reservations or the manager was not available, it would scare the living daylights out of you. Think of the lost revenue alone, never mind the fact that you have potentially lost not only this booking but any future bookings this person might have made. So, moving on now and assume you now have a website you are pleased with, you understand all there is to know about your channel manager and how to manage the site yourself, but there is still a major item that needs consideration and one that many operators do not give enough thought to or understand the importance of. I am talking about the images/photos on the site. Do you have the maximum amount allowed, are they outdated with facilities you no longer have or a restaurant that has been refurbished, are they good quality using the maximum size allowed etc. At the other end of the scale have you over represented your property? I think we have all heard of and even experienced a negative experience when a hotel/motel is selected based on the images used only to be disappointed when arriving, as the photographs were not an accurate representation of that property. Many properties, both large and small, continue to make the mistake

Hospitality Service Solutions 70% of potential guests viewed your website images prior to making the buying decision and the quality and quantity of photos greatly influenced this decision. Have you had a good look at your own website images or site itself? Gary Berman, a hospitality industry veteran with over 20 years experience, developer of the accommodation website Ubid4rooms and also a professional photographer brings all these skills to his Website Image Consulting company, Hospitality Service Solutions. Call 0410 458 166 for a chat on what they can do for you and ask about the complimentary website image audit on offer for the first 20 callers.



| Vol 14 No. 2 |


Cleaning Disasters COL NATION

On page 28 of this issue we look

for normal maintenance and

at DĂŠcor Disasters, where poor

cleaning. Some fabrics and

choice of fabrics and carpets

carpet are just a disaster

has lead to some disappointing

waiting to happen. In this

and somewhat costly disasters.

editorial I will discuss the other

Disasters that could have been

side of the coin where even well

avoided with some thought

chosen fabrics or carpet can

about dealing with the inevitable

be ruined by incorrect cleaning

spots and spills that are bound

methods or chemistry.

to occur, along with the need

12 |

Vol 14 No. 2 |



ith cleaning we have to consider both Physics and Chemistry. Okay we are not going to all become rocket scientists after this editorial but there are some simple basic rules that we can follow to help minimise the damage and maximise the effect. There are two main areas where things can go wrong. You can choose the wrong cleaning chemistry and cause chemical burns, or you can use the wrong method and cause physical damage, or leave residue problems, or you may just make a really big mess by doing all three.

I recently spent a week on a brand new 22 storey building fixing all three problems on a beautiful plain coloured, loop pile wool carpet. Before the building was even finished there were the inevitable spills and spots you get when tradies are working, you know, spots of paint, drips of sweat, dust and spilled drinks and who knows what. So a cleaning contractor was called in to clean up after the messy tradies and it resulted in lots and lots of spots from detergent residues. They hadn’t done too bad a job of cleaning up the original spots, but left hundreds of bigger dark marks.

what it is you are trying to shift, but many modern detergents don’t need minutes, just few seconds, what is important is to give it some form of agitation. Now here lies a problem. Rubbing the chemical into the stain causes fuzzing of the fibres and this can give it a different appearance in the areas treated. Never rub a stain. Always use a tamping action, like hitting it with a drumming action. It may squash the pile down a bit temporarily, but this can be brought back up later. You can’t re-ravel an unravelled piece of yarn, so it’s best to use a blotting or tamping action to prevent fuzzing of the surface. This leads to the two important rules of spotting. “Blot, dilute, blot” and “Clean like with like”. Blot dilute blot. Blot up as much of the spilled liquid as possible using paper towel. Toilet paper is as good as anything if you don’t have anything else. A microfibre cloth is ideal as well or whatever else you can lay your hands on that is absorbent. Okay maybe not the good white linen, but you get the idea. So you blot up the majority of the spill and there will usually be some little bit left. You dilute this remaining spill with the appropriate solution and then blot this out.

What was the problem? The spotting chemical itself was not the problem, it was the fact that they simply used too much and didn’t get it out again. A detergent’s job is to look for dirt and grab hold of it. It did that very well, so all of the residual detergent attracted soil. This caused the larger dirty marks. Another effect of detergent can be due to its actual wetting action. Wool is a porous fibre that normally has a lot of air contained in the cellular structure of the wool. When this air is displaced with detergent and left to dry it leaves the fibre with a translucent effect meaning that it looks darker. You will see this effect by applying some water on paper and you see a darker spot until it dries. The simple fix for this problem was to simply rinse the detergent residue from the carpet. Another problem can be the way a spotter is applied and worked. Detergents need a couple of things to help them work. One is “dwell time.” Leave it on for a period of time and it will work better, but how long should this take? This can depend on

And this brings us to the second rule of spotting “Clean like with like”. It is as simple as it sounds. If the spill was ‘water based’ then clean it with water. Most things we spill are water based beverages, beer, red wine, soft drink and the like. These beverages are just chemicals such as sugars, flavour and colour dissolved in water, so they are water soluble and don’t need detergents at all. In fact a detergent will simply carry the colouring into the fibre where it might be even more difficult to get out. So blot out the excess, apply water to dilute it and then blot again. Now if water doesn’t work to dilute the spot then you might need the detergent to assist. This is typical for oily or fatty spills such as milky drinks. Sugars, starches and salts will easily dissolve in water, but oils and water don’t mix, so we use detergents or solvents for this. We still use the physics, Blot, Dilute, Blot. Apply minimal amounts. If the spot is the size of your fingernail then don’t treat an area the size of your hand. This was part of the problem in the new building I was talking about before. Remember the headache adds on TV “If pain persists, call your doctor” well think of this with spotting “If the stain persists, call your professional carpet cleaner” because

there may be some dyes present or you may need something a bit more advanced than what you have in your basic cleaning kit. So physics and chemistry are important when dealing with cleaning of soft furnishings. But how do I choose the right chemistry? You don’t have to be an industrial chemist, just buy products that are independently tested by the WoolSafe Organisation. This is an independent certification body for products to be used on wool and wool rich carpets. If it is safe to use on wool then it will be safe to use on any synthetic carpet or fabric as well. Just look for the WoolSafe logo or ask your supplier if they have WoolSafe approved products, and if not, why not. Now the physics part is up to the person using the cleaning products. Even the most mild cleaning products can cause problems if not used correctly. So in the case of the building I mentioned before the cleaning company would have saved a lot of money if they just spent some time and money with training. Yes even for basic spotting training can make a real difference. So if you have lots of soft furnishings to look after then spend some money on training. It will be a good investment. The last photo shows a brand new wool carpet that was cleaned by a carpet cleaner using a product that was not WoolSafe approved. The manufacturer of the product claimed it was safe on wool but the carpet was ruined on the very first clean because of the alkaline residues left behind by the carpet cleaner. Now part of the fault was the poor wanding technique of the operator. There was insufficient overlap. The carpet was pre-treated with the detergent and not rinsed effectively and this has lead to alkaline burning causing the orange streaky marks. Good choice of detergent and good operation of the cleaning technique would have saved this particular company over $50,000.00 which was the replacement cost of the new carpet.

So just think of the physics and the chemistry and it will help you to avoid the cleaning disasters.


| Vol 14 No. 2 |


Is AAA Tourism Still Relevant? Brian Hull i Lush Life Procurement

In my travels I meet many motel owners and operators and have been concerned in recent times about the not infrequent negative comments on the AAA Tourism Star Rating system. The cause of my concern is that ‘somebody’ needs to establish better standards of accommodation, and police them, and it seems that AAA Tourism is the only organisation currently geared up to do this.


have no association with AAA Tourism or any other accommodation industry group, or with any accommodation providers other than as customers. My views are as seen through the eyes of many travellers, who expect considerably higher standards of accommodation than ten years ago.

To start my research for this article I approached Destination NSW seeking a comprehensive list of accommodation providers – and they didn’t have one. How can they be effective in creating business for the NSW accommodation industry if they don’t even know who the players are or what they provide? They referred me to AHA, who couldn’t understand why, as they only represent the liquor industry. AAA Tourism apparently does have a list but keeps it under wraps. I then contacted the regional NSW and ACT Visitor Information Centres and received responses of greatly varying degrees of quality. A few of their websites were very professional and appealing, most were pretty ordinary, and some must have been put together by the same

14 |

Vol 14 No. 2 |


people who organise the local Girl Guides raffle. Half of the lists didn’t provide email addresses of the properties, and none of them divulged the names of the managers ‘for reasons of privacy’ which goes against all the teachings of effective marketing. Government and industry organisations and indeed a number of operators themselves seem to take great pride in withholding information that the public might like to know rather than broadcasting it. In short, promotion of the accommodation industry, at least in NSW, is a fragmented, ineffectual shambles. It is exception rather than the rule when an overnight motel stay is regarded as an enjoyable experience. Looking at it objectively, for most travellers it is simply an expensive necessity. They can

stay in a luxurious 5 star hotel anywhere in Asia (and many choose to do so) for less than a night in the average 3.5 Star country motel. This is not to suggest that Australian accommodation providers could provide the same value as in Asia as our costs are so much higher but they need to give the travelling public real value for their dollar and not think they are entitled to make money by virtue of just being there. Nobody owes them a living. AAA Tourism is in danger of becoming irrelevant, which I think would be a tragedy as there seems to be nobody else to act as policeman, but it obviously needs to get its act together, and quickly. We invited 750 motels and serviced apartments in NSW and ACT to submit


Discount already applies

Opposite Freedom Furniture


| Vol 14 No. 2 |


their opinions on AAA Tourism and its Star Rating system and while the response rate was disappointing there were a number of worrying points raised. Of most concern is that on-line booking agencies list properties in order of star ratings, regardless of whether the stars have been awarded by AAA Tourism or by the property owners themselves. A 4 Star self-rated property of poor quality gets precedence over an officially rated 3½ Star property that is spending money and maintaining standards. It seems to me that these actions need to be taken: 1. An advertising campaign to educate the general public on the importance of star ratings awarded by an independent and officially sanctioned authority such as AAA Tourism, as against the illegitimacy and meaninglessness of self ratings. This should be the responsibility of not only AAA Tourism but also other relevant organisations, hotel chains, and state and regional tourist authorities. 2. The industry groups need to apply pressure (or at least influence) to get the on-line booking companies to list officially rated AAA Tourism star rated properties BEFORE non rated and self rated properties. 3. AAA Tourism should list on its website ALL accommodation providers regardless of whether or not they are members. If they are not rated they should be listed as ‘UNRATED’, in which case most readers would assume that they are inferior in quality to rated properties. This would be a strong inducement for unrated properties to come on board. But this information needs to be as accurate as possible and would require constant updating, which costs money. A lot of the current contact details on AAA’s website are months and even years out of date. AAA Tourism should not have to bear the cost of this alone as the entire accommodation industry is the ultimate beneficiary of higher standards. Another point of contention from respondents was that there is inconsistency and a lack of objectivity in the awarding of points, and operators are unclear about what they need to do. My personal observation is that the Star Rating Guidelines are much too complicated for the average motel owner to even try to get his or her head around. While they might be the Word

16 |

Vol 14 No. 2 |


of God for assessors, the wording for accommodation providers needs to be considerably simplified. Previous guidelines were a lot easier to understand. Potential guests, more and more, are using Tripadvisor and Wotif etc. as their guide, rather than the official star ratings. One or two malicious or unreasonable opinions can do great damage to an accommodation provider’s reputation and profits. One motel that sent us some feedback reported that they had seen some adverse comments on Tripadvisor from a guest who had not even stayed there. Although I can’t attest to their accuracy here are some of the comments and suggestions that were received from property owners and managers. 1. A  lot of small cheaply built motels should be bulldozed as they will never meet the needs of the modern traveller and are not worth spending money on. (This would increase the occupancy rates for the survivors.)

6. O  ne owner of several properties would like to see AAA Tourism working closely with Destination NSW and local tourism bodies so that we are promoting better recognised standards to consumers and moving away from self rating where nobody is accountable. 7. B  est Western and Comfort Inn have different criteria to AAA Tourism resulting in them being shown different rooms than what are shown to AAA, which becomes farcical. 8. L  ocation should be a factor when AAA inspectors award points. For example, if the property is conveniently located to a hospital/university etc and that is the main reason why people visit that town.  igh points are awarded for a 9. H swimming pool, which one respondent pointed out is great for the warm areas but expensive and useless in the Snowy Mountains where a spa and/or sauna is more in demand but is not equally assessed.

2. M  any properties are not being adequately maintained and are not setting aside a percentage of profits towards periodic refurbishment that will meet AAA or any other reasonable standards.

10. Assessors don’t spend enough time to sit down with owners and discuss what needs to be done. They are always in a hurry and running behind schedule. There is a feeling that communication is one way – that accommodation providers are being dictated to rather than being patiently guided.

3. If all properties were rated then Unapproved Operators (residential apartments, houses, and rooms etc that breach DA compliance) would not exist. This would give Legal operators more bargaining power with third party channel operators (Wotif, Need it Now, Ready Rooms, etc)

11. One owner believes there is a conflict of interest as the motoring clubs own and operate AAA but also operate their own accommodation in direct competition. AAA has a consultative group but it is drawn from the major chains whereas it should also include smaller independent operators.

4. T  here is a lack of objectivity from some AAA inspectors. The ratings should only reflect the quality of the products that are used in the room, comfort levels, and cleanliness, as everybody has a different view on colours, designs, and concepts that should not be subject to judgment by an AAA inspector. One motel reported that the furniture that was marked down badly in one inspection for its style was praised the very next year by a different inspector.

I am not qualified to comment on the relationship between the various accommodation industry organisations, or the funding structure, or the politics. My hope is that all the interested parties will sit down together before it is too late and address these problems so that standards of accommodation do not deteriorate and the better providers are rewarded for their efforts.

5. T  here should be separate ratings for CBD versus regional properties as only CBD properties can command the high room rates to afford things like duck down pillows. While a contrary opinion was that ratings must be consistent throughout Australia regardless of the region or state.

The writer, Brian Hull, is the Director of Lush Life Procurement, a Sydney based company that designs, imports, and supplies quality furniture to the Australian hospitality industry.

What’s in a First Impression – Can your Reception Face It? Amanda Beazley i Managing Director and Designer, John Beazley & Co Pty Ltd, Hotel/Motel Fitout Specialists


here are two areas of focus in order to give your guests a good first impression, the first is your staff or whomever is the person greeting them. This person is your guests first face to face experience with the property, and the other area is how your reception decor reflects the property and what feeling they get when they first arrive. Our expertise lies with the later point so I’d like to give you a few different perspectives on how to look at this area in deciding whether it needs refurbishing and on how you ought to go about it. In terms of the appearance of a reception area, there are various ways to look it. Firstly, if your reception is beautifully designed, has a great ambience, is fresh and clean and welcoming it’s going to give a great first impression... Imagine your guests horror if they book into this lovely property, walk to the room and they are nothing like what the reception reflects. You may very well find that they won’t believe in the empty promise the reception promises, and are likely to turn around and walk right back out again. On the flip side, if you have taken the diligent approach and continued to invest in your property’s Accommodation rooms, whether that be hotel, motel or serviced apartment, meaning

Bridgeport Apartments Lobby

that your rooms are of a good standard and have been routinely refurbished, then you will retain your regular customers, may even be able to increase rack rates, and enjoy the benefits of return business.... That is of course if you can get them in the room in the first place! Because if the Reception area doesn’t impress, you may not get them in the Property to begin with. Meaning, if what they see first is not paved in a positive light, and reflects the lovely rooms, the guests may just walk right on by, not venturing to enter believing from the look of the reception area, that the property needs work. In short, it is essential that your Reception Area reflects your overall property and guest rooms and vice versa. So what to do? The most sensible approach is that when you are being “dutiful property owners” and planning your scheduled refurbishment programme, you allow a small amount extra to spend on your reception area in order to bring it in line with the remainder of the property. This allows the first impression to be an honest reflection of what your guests are likely to expect in your guest rooms. If it’s too late for that and you have completed your room refurbishment and some time later are still saying “we really should do something about this reception” then you seriously need to bite the bullet and get onto it. This area is what your guests first see. And first impressions last, they matter, and it is often these first impressions that your clientele will remember. Never mind the fact that you could be doing detrimental damage to your business, you could also be dramatically losing revenue by not holding onto the guests that could be your “passing trade”.

Bridgeport Apartments Entry Reception


| Vol 14 No. 2 |


So now that we agree, we need to Refurbish your reception, the best way to go about it, is professionally. If you haven’t already, first establish an Identity for the property by developing a logo which can be incorporated into signage. A property identity then flows from the logo to the colour used on that logo, to signage within the reception area and ultimately the colour palette of Above: Hyde Park Inn Reception – Before the Reception Area. It may be a colour a pattern or a design that Right: Hyde Park Inn Reception – After is the common thread. That way the Identity of your property, be it a brand or a independent property, is reflected in the overall design and colour scheme. This then reinforces the memory of your property to your guests. A concise and all encompassing ‘look’ is strong and lasting as well as having the benefits of being professional. It is important also to remember that you are a service industry and so the ambience is extremely important. You need to decide what those first impressions need to be. Are you a family or a fun holiday location? In which case, albeit professional, the other impression you want to reflect is clean, bright and friendly. If you are a Corporate Based property your

aim for first impressions needs to be more serious, professional, subdued and sophisticated. This will all be achieved by the use of the colour palette, materials used, layout design and fabric selection. Keep in mind the requirements dictated by the building code such as Fire retardant fabrics and the minimums of Commercial material required to be used in a Public area. Your Industry professional fitout and design Company should have this covered for you so don’t worry too much. The other crucial, aside from the overall layout of the reception

refurbishment design + fitout p 02 9642 6622 e



reception and public areas

full refurbishment packages

accessory items

Leaders in the field of Hospitality design and Fitout for over three decades. From small country motels to large hotels, guest rooms to public areas. From one-off items to full fitout packages. We offer a turn-key service taking a project through Interior Design,






Call for a complimentary quote and consultation about your property.

hospitality commercial agedcare C R E A T I N G 18 |

Vol 14 No. 2 |



area, which can be a make or break, is the actual Reception desk. The Reception Desk, whilst being a great area to display signage and add interest to your design theme, needs to be suitable to its usage. It is essential that when you plan this area, Above: Hyde Park Inn Reception – Before you consider how it is used.... Who uses Right: Hyde Park Inn Reception – After it, do they sit or stand, how many people use it, how many computer terminals, where are the key systems located, does it need to be locked and secure, how does it function in the most stream line and effective way?.. Lots of questions I know... However don’t expect to know how to do all this on your own. As is always my advice, this is a very specialised field, your local “chippy” and maintenance man will not do. You need to seek professional advice on the design, layout, overall look and ultimately for the manufacturing and fitout. Time is crucial, as is disturbance to your business, your

guests and safety of the area whilst under Refurbishment and construction. Again, not an area you should tackle alone, this is a fine co-ordination of skill and trades and time management in order to successfully execute this process in a time efficient and cost effective manner. If you need ideas and assistance with establishing your budgets and design and ultimately helping you with the project, please feel free to call us at John Beazley and Co, and we will be pleased to talk you through your options.



,00 ove 0S r OL




remote Programme your Min & Max temperatures Less wear & tear on capital equipment Cheaper running costs & less maintenance Compatible with 98% of Split Systems in Australia

NEW FEATURES 24 Hour Daily Off Function



Tamper-proof control panel Pseudo temperature display - You’ll Love It!


Security strap

1800 300 661 The Ultima II remote gives you more control over your air conditioners. Programmed for you, to save you money.


| Vol 14 No. 2 |


mo Profiles

Ross Motel – heritage in the heart of the island state

Tom Johnson

Writing in his journal in 1821, Scottish-born Governor of New South Wales Lachlan Macquarie illustrated his view across the Macquarie River. He described it as ‘very beautiful and commanding a noble view’ and called the place ‘Ross’ as it reminded him of a similar town from his home. Soon after, a timber bridge was built over the river and Ross became a commercial and hospitality hub as the halfway point between Launceston and Hobart.


ome things never change. Nearly 200 years on, Ross remains a strong tourist and business destination and has earned its reputation as one of Tasmania’s foremost and finest heritage villages. Amongst Ross’ artisan bakeries, antique stores and stone buildings lies the Ross Motel. Designed by one of Tasmania’s leading heritage architects with a Georgian-inspired appeal, the Ross Motel looks out to the Macquarie River and is near the Ross Bridge – the third oldest convict-built bridge in Australia and the only one with convict carvings. Current owners John Edwards and Christina Brooks discovered Ross four years ago while touring the island on a holiday. John and Christina had retired from careers in hospitality and noticed that the newly built Ross Motel was on the market with an assigned lease for the adjoining Caravan Park and heritage cabins. A ‘tree change’ was in order.

20 |

Vol 14 No. 2 |


John had previously owned or operated many properties including the original Broadbeach International, Lone Star Tavern at Mermaid Waters, Exchange Hotel in Brisbane and the Tweeds Heads Golf Club. Christina had spent many years in South Australia and held executive positions with major hotels and in the wine industry. The village of Ross also opened an opportunity for John’s lifelong interest in antiques. John makes an annual trip to the UK to source collectibles for his Riverside Antiques side business. The store carries perhaps the most extensive variety of whisky and pub memorabilia in Australia. Since 1973 John has collected posters, prints, mirrors, bar figures, water jugs, ashtrays, match strikers and decanters. After 4 very successful years of growing both the Motel and Caravan Park business they have decided that it is now time for their ‘second’ and final retirement. They have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and feel the next owners will benefit from the tourism growth and Tasmania’s many world renowned attractions. Ross offers strong economic opportunities for the motel. Ross attracts 100,000 visitors annually who feel they are stepping back into another time. The main street is an avenue of old English Elms which gives a picture postcard look for the many visitors. Further increases in air services and the extension to Hobart Airport will continue to grow tourism to the unique island. Likewise, the Northern Midlands Irrigation Scheme is expected to be completed in 2014. This project at $170 million is the largest irrigation project in Tasmania’s history and will provide a new and diversified agricultural market. Ross is ideally situated in the middle of this irrigation scheme. Visitation will remain strong all year round as the winter months are now enhanced by

mo Profiles

Winter Festivals and the continuing amazing growth of MONA (Museum of Old & New Art) at Berriedale, which is now arguably Tasmania’s major tourist attraction. Tourists are well catered for with the Tasmanian Wool Centre, the ruins of the Ross Female Factory with its interpretation site, three historic stone churches, the renowned Man O’Ross Hotel and the Ross Bridge.

The 4-star Ross Motel is currently run as an accommodation and continental breakfast operation with in-room cooked breakfasts and dinners provided by an external caterer. It is the only 4-star accommodation on the Midland Highway between Hobart and Launceston. The motel is fully licensed and has developed another income stream as the license applies to the guests of the motel, Ross Caravan Park and heritage cabins. Enquiries have been made to develop a wine and spirit license for the motel that would cater for the growing wine and malt

whisky market in Tasmania. The Caravan Park currently consists of 21 powered sites, 20 unpowered sites and 5 heritage cabins. This facility is leased from the Northern Midlands Council and a 14 year assigned lease is available subject to Council approval, along with opportunities to increase the number of powered sites. The Ross Caravan Park is beautifully positioned adjacent to the Macquarie

For Sale $1,290,000

Ross Motel & Caravan Park 2 High Street, Ross, Tasmania Re-offered to the market, opportunity to purchase diverse accommodation business in the idyllic village of Ross

Freehold Motel

• 4 star • 11 units (14 rooms) • Built 2005 by renowned heritage architect • Separate, spacious 23 square Owners residence

Caravan Park + Heritage Cabins (Leasehold)* • Spacious Caravan Park with excellent access • Dream position on banks of Macquarie River • Next to famous convict built Ross Bridge • Upgraded coin operated amenities • Refurbished Heritage Cottages

Covering all types of travellers from discerning to budget conscious. This business has continued to show good growth over the last year as testament to its position and management. This may be that lifestyle change you are looking for! 03 6333 7888 Rodney Rawlings: 0419 323 626 Level 1, 53 Brisbane Street, Launceston View at

Recently ranked No. 2 accommodation facility in Northern Tasmania

*STCA of Lease Assignment. Whilst all care has been taken to ensure accuracy in the preparation of the particulars herein, no warranty can be given and interested parties must therefore rely on their own enquiries


| Vol 14 No. 2 |


22 |

Vol 14 No. 2 |


mo Profiles River and in recent times has had the Amenities Block refurbished, a new electric barbecue installed and the 5 heritage cabins have all had new replacement kitchenettes fitted. In addition they have all been repainted both inside and out, providing a good opportunity for further growth in this facility. The Macquarie River meanders past the Ross Motel and with ducks, black swans and other water birds presents a lovely vantage point and guests regularly see the platypus feeding by the nearby Ross Bridge. If you have the skill, you can catch trout right outside the front door! The motel is also a short drive from the Tooms, Leake, Crescent and Sorell trout fishing lakes. One of the big attractions of the Ross Motel is the lovely private accommodation boasting ensuite bedrooms, large open plan dining and lounge room, and gourmet kitchen with huge walk-in pantry. The residence is all centrally heated with

double glazed windows throughout and a huge roof storage facility. Currently the Motel shows annual increasing sales and still presents further opportunities to a couple looking for a relaxing lifestyle with excellent returns. Both owners are now in their 70s and as such employ staff for many tasks that would normally be undertaken by the owners. The Ross Motel consistently ranks in the Top 10 Accommodation Facilities in all of Northern Tasmania and the last Tourist Industry Council Tasmania results saw the Ross Motel ranked Number 2 amongst all accommodation venues in the north of the state. Living in Tasmania allows a different lifestyle and the rapidly increasing awareness of fresh produce, fruit, cheese, wine, cider and whisky offers further big picture openings. If you enjoy the hospitality industry, love Tasmania and fall in love with Ross and provided you are

enthusiastic this business is an excellent opportunity! Evening cocktails as you gaze over the riverfront to the Western Tiers are occasionally interrupted as you book another guest into the motel, Caravan Park or cabins. Travel to the mainland is also easy, with Launceston Airport a 45 minute drive away and flights to Melbourne taking just 40 minutes or to Sydney in 90 minutes. John and Christina have developed a good group of local people who are able to run the business in their absence which frees up the weekends away both in and out of season. Opportunities to own a motel tend to be rare in historic villages. The lifestyle and location in villages like Ross attract a lot of interest from people looking to work and live in such beautiful and interesting areas. The sale of the Ross Motel is a thrilling opportunity to give another owner the same pleasure that John and Christina have had over their time in the heart of Tasmania.


| Vol 14 No. 2 |


Increase Your Guests Perception of Cleanliness by Sanitising your Mattresses

Glenn Russell i MattressKleen

The standard of health and hygiene in an accommodation is an ever increasing issue in the industry. One method of alleviating a measure of guest concern is to consider sanitising the mattresses.


he bed is just one imperative component in a guest’s satisfaction appraisal. Our research indicates that when a guest is aware that the accommodation of their choice sanitises their mattresses on a regular basis, their understanding is that everything in the room regarding cleanliness and hygiene is first class. Surveys that proliferate the accommodation industry show that the majority of travellers are willing to pay for proven hygiene protection, not perceived cleanliness. For a few cents per day you can offer a new standard of hygiene demonstrating how much you care about guest health and wellbeing. Mattress cleaning and sanitising is a non-toxic process that can eliminate dust mites, their excrement, dead skin, which is their preferred food source, virus and bacteria. Over 40% of the population in Australia have an allergy and 80% of these can react to the dust mite. Dust mites are the enemy of 10% of the adult population that have Asthma and one in 4 children have asthmatic tendencies. Quite apart from triggering attacks there are reactions such as sneezing throughout the night, itchy watery eyes, itchy skin, runny nose, poor sleep, exacerbating skin allergies, breathlessness, tight chest and lethargy just to name a few. There are up to a million dust mites living in a queen mattress happily feasting on dead skin that goes rancid with moisture and body heat. You can fit about 300 on a match head and here’s a scary thought: they will actually crawl towards your sleeping body seeking warmth. How do you get rid of them? The dry and non toxic method using a special high powered vacuum unit coupled with UVC light performs this task admirably. These machines beat and agitate the mattress surface at high speed in order to release the microscopic particles hidden in the mattress. The UVC light

24 |

Vol 14 No. 2 |


Up to a million in your mattress

can account for bacteria, mould spores and even virus plus the unwanted enemy, dust mite. The contaminants include rancid dead skin, dust mites and importantly, their excrement which contains Guanine, a chemical that triggers allergic reactions and can even be the cause of a lifelong allergy*. Allergic reactions are dose-related, so the fewer dust mites you have in your mattress, the less your guests may be troubled by respiratory or dermatological symptoms. If you think these particles cannot get through layers of protectors and bedding you are wrong because that’s how they originally arrived in the mattress. Every time you move on the mattress it acts like a bellows and puffs up particles that become airborne and land on your face and skin, and worse, we breathe it in. The proof is what is collected from the mattress. The dry extraction process is by far the most popular sanitising

• Substantial health benefits by killing and removing mite excrement • Deodorises and can even remove cigarette smoke from the mattress • Dry and non-toxic – beds can be made up in within minutes • Prioritise the health of your guests and inform them that you are doing something special • Apply a unique spray to mattresses for long term residual protection from dust mite, bacteria, virus, odour and mould • Mattress cleaners are able to treat body fluid stains and eliminate odour Mattress sanitising could in fact be the most relevant value add to your room.

“Dust mites excrete microscopic faecal pellets that can become airborne and contain potent allergens known to trigger and possibly cause allergic disease such as Asthma, Eczema, Rhinitis etc.” Particles captured from a small portion of a queen mattress

World Health Organisation – Public Health Significance of Urban Pests. 2008

method internationally. Generally, the service is completed with a mist of an antibacterial spray and deodoriser (putting moisture in the mattress via steam is ill advised). The bed can be made up in minutes after the service. There is a company that can offer a residual spray that protects against dust mite in mattresses and pillows for up to six months. The units are portable, quiet and a similar size to most vacuum cleaners. Mattress cleaning companies can work in with your housekeeping schedule and you get your mattresses flipped as well! The rates will naturally vary but a queen mattress in an average size accommodation may be around $40 for the full service which ideally should be performed at intervals of 6 months but no longer than 12 months. There is an initiative by AAA Tourism to promote a healthy hotel pathway for overseas holidaymakers focusing on room hygiene which reflects the demands of guest expectations. Have you ever wondered who slept in the bed before you? What did they do in that bed? Did they have a skin disease like psoriasis? How do I let my guests know I am concerned about their health and welfare? Importantly, I want to demonstrate I am taking precautions in order for them to have a deep restful sleep. There are many ways to incorporate information and none better than a tent card on the bed side table or even a sash across one corner of the bed. Not forgetting your web site, on hold messages and in room compendium which can all assist in providing relevant messages. Some of the benefits sanitising your mattresses can provide... • Lowering your operating cost by extending the life of your mattress • Keeping you abreast of the competition – a distinct competitive advantage


| Vol 14 No. 2 |


Underneath it all — clean. When it comes to making your guests feel comfortable, no detail is too small— and every surface matters. That’s why for over a century, hotels around the world have trusted Diversey to deliver the cleaning, sanitation, and hygiene solutions they need. In guest rooms, public areas, and restaurants and bars, we’re creating safer environments and sparkling interiors that help your guests feel right at home. We’re Diversey, and we’re leading the world toward a cleaner, healthier future. Ask us about Green Housekeeping and how we can help you achieve your Sustainability targets. 12711 enAUNZ 03/12

Learn more at or call: Australia Toll free:1800 647 779 New Zealand Toll free: 0800 803 615 26 |

Vol 14 No. 2 |


Online Marketing for the Lead Generation Benjamin Bradshaw i SponsoredLinX

Social media offers the perfect opportunity for the hospitality industry to make greater contact with customers, with the ultimate goal of developing a partnership for brand growth and development. However, Ben Bradshaw, founder and CEO of multi-award winning online marketing company SponsoredLinx, recognises that marketing via social media can also directly translate to an increase in customers. As an entrepreneur who built his business from a one man team to Australia’s largest online marketing company, Ben attributes his success to social media.


apitalising on social media does not mean spreading a business’ presence across as many applications as possible. Instead, businesses should be strategic about which applications are being utilised. This comes down to the target market and what information this demographic would like to be exposed to. Facebook and Twitter are great examples of generic applications that are likely to possess potential customers for any business. However, for some hospitality businesses, Instagram may not be as beneficial as you can only post so many photos of motel rooms, etc. A

more centralised method, meaning 3 – 4 applications are being covered, can ensure potential consumers are coming into contact with the brand without swamping them with the same content across different applications. This means audiences will be more likely to engage with the business online due to its variety of information. For motels, a blog is the perfect social media tool to post interesting information for potential customers which is likely to lead them back to the businesses website. Social media can be a confusing maze of applications and understanding how social media can contribute to an increase in clientele can come down to always keeping a target market in mind. A business needs to know what it has to offer consumers. Businesses should have a clear promise of delivering something of value to their consumers. By aligning themselves with a promise, businesses will be more capable of putting out consistent messages to attract the right customers. These messages are crucial to the effectiveness of marketing online as customers can easily ignore irrelevant and uninteresting messages. Social media is saturated with daily messages and by understanding what your business has to offer consumers businesses can bypass the clutter and target the correct market.

content competitors are posting online and which online campaigns are effective. By conducting this research businesses can learn what works and what doesn’t. Without undertaking research businesses risk making uninformed and ineffective decisions. Finally, all social media accounts should be linked to one central hub of information - a business’ website. Mobile marketing is growing at an exponential rate and is a source of constant information for consumers trying find businesses while they are on the go. Businesses need to be mobile marketing ready so they are found by these consumers who are on the go, it is vital that they have a mobile friendly website that is user friendly. Mobile friendly websites allow consumers access to information about businesses in their immediate area without any hassle. Mobile friendly websites will allow a business to specifically target consumers who are actively searching for a particular product or service they need quickly and turn these searches into new business. Remember that the majority of consumers choose with their feet, having a mobile friendly website will capture these consumers while they are on the go.

Some businesses neglect to research their industry and customers effectively leaving them in the dark about the ever-changing business landscape. Every business needs to know its target audience, competitors and external factors, such as changes in policies or changes in the buying behaviour of your target market. It is very difficult to target an audience if you don’t know who you are targeting and why. This research creates the foundation for your business but can be taken one step further. A business looking to utilise social media should also have an in-depth understanding of what


| Vol 14 No. 2 |


Décor Disasters COL NATION

In my specialty cleaning business on the Sunshine Coast I am often asked to clean or fix some difficult or unusual situations.


early every Monday I would get called to one particular resort that held conferences and supplied accommodation to guests in a multi-story building. The individual units were owned by many different people and the inhouse housekeeping service maintained the units to a very high standard. The penthouse units were often used for hosting corporate parties and hence the drinks and red wine flowed and often was spilt on their plain coloured, beige, pure wool carpet, and this is where I come into the picture. After about two years of paying me to attend this same unit nearly every two weeks to remove spots of red wine and a variety of other spots and stains to keep the place looking great, the owner called in an interior decorator to choose a new flooring so they no longer had to pay me to fix their carpet worries. I think the decorator’s fee was as

much as they spent on stain removal in a year and the flooring they finally chose, after consulting colour and texture charts and who knows what, was a polished marble tile. “We’ll stop that waste of money on carpet spotting” they thought. Well the red wine flowed again after the expensive flooring was eventually installed and the very first Monday I was called in because housekeeping couldn’t get the red wine stains off the beautiful new marble floor. “Col can you help us please” was the desperate call I received. Red wine contains acids, and it’s those same acids that give it the bite that lovers of red wine enjoy so much, along with the natural tannins and dyes that give it the colours and flavours. Marble is just Calcium Carbonate and red wine is acidic. When you mix these two together you get a chemical reaction that eats away the surface as it releases carbon dioxide. You may remember in science class mixing vinegar red food colouring and baking soda to create a red frothy reaction that spewed ‘lava’ from a paper mache volcano. The marble is also quite porous so it absorbs the colours of whatever was spilt and any acid content etches away at the glossy surface. Well I was able to de-colour the red wine stains

but the dull surface was not restorable with cleaning or stain removal and required the services of a hard floor expert to re-finish the flooring to restore the shiny finish. The cost of the very first repair exceeded my cost to spot clean the carpet for nearly a year. It was less than a month old at the time. I am often faced with upholstery that has similar issues. Decorators choose fabrics that look good and rarely consider what happens when spills or soiling occurs. Dyes that run or simply change colour from sunlight or oxidation, textures that change, and even fibres that are damaged from spills of everyday beverages such as fruit juice, tea, coffee and of course the inevitable red wine. Fibres obtained from plants can also be problematic. One particular fibre is rayon, sometimes called ‘viscose’. This fibre is made from re-constituted plant sugars that can be obtained from waste plant material or wood chip. This is almost like paper and is very weak when wet. It can also easily sustain chemical damage and will produce a brown discolouration when wet with pure water, so it doesn’t stand a chance against red wine or even beer. Linen is also another fibre that can be difficult to deal with. It is not to be confused with the cotton sheets and towels that are often referred to as linen. True, unbleached linen fibres are obtained from the stem of the flax plant and as such, contains high levels of its own tannins. Tannins are like the glue that holds the plant cells together. We find it in high concentrations in fibres obtained from structural parts of the plant. It is found in high concentration in the grape skin that helps give red wine its colour. Removing a red wine stain, from a fibre that also contains high concentrations of tannins, is a real nightmare for a cleaner, even a specialist such as myself. The tannins give unbleached linen fabrics that natural creamy colour is easily removed by the chemistry required to remove red wine stains.

28 |

Vol 14 No. 2 |


So I guess my point of this is that we should look beyond the colour charts and sales spiel of the providers and ask some questions about the surfaces we are expected to maintain for the years ahead. “Can I clean this with normal water based cleaning procedures or do I have to only clean with special dry cleaning solvents that will require closing off the entire floor and shutting down air conditioners for two days while the fumes clear the building? Will spills of beverages cause permanent damage to the surface or fibres? What is the correct maintenance procedures for the finishes and do I have to purchase specialised equipment and chemicals to maintain the flooring or upholstery?” are questions we should ask before committing to the expense of new furnishings. Col Nation is the owner of ABBsolve Services, ( a specialist upholstery cleaning and stain removal service on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. He also runs Nation Training ( which provides specialised training in the field of carpet and upholstery maintenance. Nation Training provides training in Australia and New Zealand for the WoolSafe Organisation. Colin was the author of the draft of the Australian Standard for upholstery cleaning which was published as A/NZ Standard 4849.1 in 2003 and this year was elected President of the Individual Cleaners Association of Australia and New Zealand (ICAN).

WE PROVIDE INDEPENDENT MOTEL VALUATIONS – GOING CONCERN, FREEHOLD & LEASEHOLD Australian Valuers provides independent Motel Valuations throughout Australia.

We are experienced in providing Motel Valuations for the following purposes:-

We provide the highest level of property valuation service with integrity, professionalism and independence.

Call Kyle Newbery for a confidential discussion t:07 3221 2449


| Vol 14 No. 2 |


Hotel Properties Reconsider Carpeting Robert Kravitz

Carpet tiles, otherwise known as modular carpeting or carpet squares, were actually invented hundreds of years ago. They were installed in wealthy people’s homes in the Middle East and later in Rome, where they became somewhat of a status symbol. However, carpet tiles came into their own as a carpeting and flooring alternative in many areas of the world in the mid-1950s. Today, however, many facilities, including hotel properties, are now giving carpet tiles closer consideration.


any of us first remember seeing carpet tiles installed in offices and large public areas, such as airports, in the 1970s and 1980s. As is true today, the big plus with carpet tiles is that stained or worn tiles could simply be replaced, which is not often possible with conventional wallto-wall carpeting. For 24/7 facilities, such as a hotel, the ease of quick replacement of a damaged carpet tile offers cost, safety, and many other benefits.

However, carpet tiles installed years ago were often considered cost prohibitive and not always visually appealing, especially for a hotel property, because there were few choices of designs and colours. But, this is not the case today. Some of the biggest changes in carpet tiles in the past decade or so have been in their design and overall appearance. In recent years, interior designers are no longer trying to make carpet tiles look like broadloom carpeting, which was once the goal. Instead, they have embraced the tile idea and the result has been a much larger selection of colours and designs. And, thanks to advances in how carpet tiles are manufactured, prices have declined considerably as well. These price reductions have broadened the appeal of carpet tiles significantly. Hotel properties of all shapes and sizes including motel properties are often also able to save money when installing carpet tile, compared to more conventional carpeting. This is because carpet tiles typically take less time to install and cause less disruption to the hotel/motel property, which are critical factors for these businesses, as mentioned.

Adaptability Many hotel/motel owners and managers find that another plus with today’s carpet tiles is their adaptability. If new areas are

30 |

Vol 14 No. 2 |


added to a property—for instance, a meeting hall is expanded or a room in a motel is converted to a breakfast buffet area—it can be easy to install new as well as additional carpet tiles with the same design, colour, and appearance of existing tiles. Furthermore, the appearance and feel of the new installation is often very similar to the current tiles installed. Carpet tiles are also versatile in how they can be arranged, which is another benefit hotel/motel designers enjoy. Unlike wall-towall carpets and many types of hard surface floor coverings, carpet tiles can be arranged in a variety of patterns to essentially make a design statement. For instance, the following are some possibilities:  onolithic: Facing all tiles in the same direction can produce •M a seamless appearance similar to broadloom carpets. •Q  uarter-turn: Every other square is quarter-turned to change the appearance and colour reflection of the carpet. •E  clectic: Two or more patterns as well as two or more colours produce a random, yet consistent, design.

• Directional: Using different coloured carpet tiles can help provide direction. As examples, signs indicating that yellow tiles lead to a specific area and blue to another are common in healthcare facilities and schools. • Random/mix-and-match: While there is some consistency with the eclectic design, mentioned earlier, with random/mix-andmatch, the installer is often given full range to install the tiles in any particular pattern or no pattern at all. For those properties focusing on environmental strategies, such as many leading hotel and motel chains, there are also green and sustainability benefits to some carpet tiles. Some are made from recycled materials and are recyclable. With these tiles, the backing may have a high percentage of both post-consumer and pre-consumer recycled content. Both of these features help reduce the amount of waste going to landfills and, because some backing materials are made with soy and pine resins, may help reduce our use and dependence on petroleum products. (See sidebar: “What’s on the Back?”)

discovered. If the spill is semi-solid, scrape the area first. Then blot the area with a clean, white cloth. Further attention may be necessary if the spill has left a spot. Spots: Spots are foreign matter on the carpet fibres and should also be removed as soon as they are noticed. Many of the products used to remove spots from conventional carpets can also be used on carpet tiles; however, use solvent spotters sparingly. Solvent spotters are often used to remove gum, adhesives, tar, oils, grease, and ink from carpets and other surfaces. With this information in hand, floor installers can recommend carpet tiles to their hotel/motel clients as a viable flooring alternative. Today, with the many choices now available, installers can offer their clients a wide variety of carpet tiles, along with other types of floor covering materials. Mark Cuddy is the national sales manager for U.S. Products, maker of professional carpet cleaning and floor care equipment. He may be reached via his company’s web site at

Care and Maintenance Issues As with other types of carpeting, the most important way to maintain carpet tile’s appearance and enhance its lifespan in a commercial facility is regular vacuuming. While an upright vacuum cleaner may be sufficient, some hotel/motel housekeeping professionals recommend using a backpack system. Most studies indicate vacuuming using a backpack is much faster, which can be a cost savings.

What’s on the Back? Carpet tile backings have become stronger and far more durable in recent years. Some of the most popular carpet tile backings are made with polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Others are made of other polymeric compounds and polyurethane. These backings have helped produce a more seamless edge to carpet tiles and offer a more cushioned feel when walked on.

As to the actual cleaning of carpet tiles, there are some issues that must be addressed. For instance, some carpet manufacturers have expressed concern about rotary agitation on carpet tiles associated with bonnet or shampoo cleaning because these methods might loosen the tiles or pull up edges. This could result in a slip and fall accident and require premature replacement of certain tiles. In addition, many bonnet cleaning solutions contain a high level of solvents to break down oil-based soiling. This can result in a buildup of chemical residue that can lead to a negative effect on the adhesive used to glue down the carpet tiles. Low moisture methods, including encapsulation, are another option. Using the encapsulation method, the carpet cleaning technician applies a solution fortified with polymers that encapsulates or entraps the soils to the tiles. Then, a cylindrical brush machine with rotating brushes is used to agitate the carpet and work the solution into the fibres. Next, the technician vacuums and with each vacuuming, he or she removes more soils from the carpet. While these cleaning systems can work, in most cases they are considered interim or appearance maintenance measures. Eventually, carpet tiles are most effectively cleaned using hotwater carpet extractors. Heated cleaning solutions are important because the increased temperature improves the effectiveness of the cleaning chemicals, reduces the total amount of moisture that must be used to clean the carpet, and speeds up drying times. The extractor is able to deep clean the tiles, removing soils. This not only improves the appearance of the carpet tiles, but it also increases their longevity. Other care and maintenance issues include: Spills: Spills should be addressed as soon as they are


| Vol 14 No. 2 |


Myths of Entrance Matting Gerry Goldberg i Mat World

The is no doubt that there are misconceptions and myths relating to the use of entrance matting and it would be to the benefit of all property owners and managers if these misconceptions were dispelled.


irst and foremost is the belief that mats are essential in, and should only be used when there are, wet weather conditions. The belief springs from the desire to prevent slips on wet floors, particularly at entrances, especially when entrance lobbies are constructed, as so many are, from some form of stone or from some form of plastic such as vinyl sheet or tiles.

Wet and Dry The misbelief is that such entrance matting has only one function – to prevent slips and falls. But the truth is that entrance matting has a far broader function than that, important though the prevention of accidents may be. There are issues that require consideration of adequate matting in all conditions, both wet and dry. It is a little understood fact that, in public buildings, 70% to 80% of all dirt, dust and grime is tracked in from outside and spread through the floors of the building. It is also a fact that the cost of removing one kilogram of dirt from a modern building is in excess of $1500. Of that cost only about 5%-10% is spent on supplies and equipment whereas 90% to 95% is spent on labour and overheads. It becomes apparent, therefore, that two options in floor maintenance are either to spend a considerable amount on maintenance or allow that dirt to accumulate through poor or limited

32 |

Vol 14 No. 2 |


maintenance. The problem with allowing dirt that consists, mainly, of highly abrasive silica in the form of sand, to remain on the floor surface is that its cutting effect is dramatic and it is highly destructive of floor surfaces and those floor surfaces are extremely expensive to replace. It is a further fact that it takes only 1500 pairs of shoes entering a building where there is no mat to remove 42% of the floor finish and reduce the gloss by 24%. Naturally, carpet is similarly affected in terms of wear and unsightly appearance. Assuming that only a hundred people a day passed through an entrance door where there is no mat, almost half the polish would be removed in just two weeks.

a mat will collect a half a kilo of dirt in one month and on that basis saves one half of $1500 or $750 in labour in that month. Such a mat would generally cost less than $200. And the longer the mat, the more effective it would be in preventing damage to the floor itself. In fact it takes approximately 6 metres of matting to remove 80%-90% of the dirt.

There is a further option and that is the installing of adequate matting which can make a vast difference to floor wear as well as to floor maintenance costs. One good 1.8m long mat will save 2 to 4 times its cost in labour in just one month. Such

And that brings forth the question of the quality of the matting. Another myth is that a mat is a mat is a mat and that as long as a mat is in place its quality is inconsequential. That is definitely false thinking.

It would therefore appear that quality entrance matting designed to suit the traffic conditions and capable of collecting both dirt and moisture are a critical first line of defence in a floor maintenance program.

The value of quality

Considering that the matting is taking up the wear that would otherwise affect the floor itself it is essential that entrance matting have specific qualities. Firstly it needs to be of a design that would remove the dirt from under shoes as those shoes walk over the mat. At the entrance to a private home it is common for those visiting to respect the home and wipe their feet, generally at least twice each shoe, before entering. No such respect exists in the entrance to a public building and visitors simply walk in; hence the need for a long enough mat for feet to strike the mat sufficiently often to remove the dirt. In the process the mat must retain the dirt yet the dirt needs to be just as easily removed when cleaning the mat. And while that dirt is caught in the pile of the matting, the fibre in that pile must be tough enough to resist the cutting action of the silica sand. In short, the weight of fibre per sq metre of matting is extraordinarily relevant. Appearance is deceptive in matting and a mat with half the weight of fibre can, when new, appear identical to another mat with twice the weight. The fibre weight, not the mat

weight, is so important. It should always be checked out at time of quote. The mat should be capable, as well, of holding a considerable amount of moisture as it is wiped from shoes on wet days yet the fibre must be hydrophobic so that it releases that moisture to evaporation as soon as the wet conditions change to dry.

Ineffective entrance mats Finally, the use of mats that are not well designed to hold dirt and trap moisture should not be used in entrances. Too often rubber mats, designed for their antifatigue qualities, are found at entrances. They do neither of the required jobs satisfactorily and are, frankly, a waste of money due to their ineffectiveness as entrance mats. However they are not the only ineffective mats found in entrances. In days gone by there were only coir (coco-fibre) mats available. The synthetic fibre mats of today were unknown. However coir mats have severe limitations. The fibres are easily cut by silica and break off the mat and end up on the floor itself. In addition

coir holds water but does not readily release it and so stays wet for a long time after wet conditions have passed. Coir is difficult to clean when dirty and the use of water to wash such mats creates its own problems. Then, what are often called “spaghetti” mats – a random mesh of vinyl fibres – are also a poor product for entrances. The vinyl fibres have little strength to resist the depredations of sand and the result is obvious traffic wear patters where the fibres have been cut off and lost. Such mats should also not be used in public building entrances. Gerry Goldberg is Executive Chairman of Pall Mall Manufacturing Co Pty Ltd of which Mat World is the company’s specialist matting division. Mat World has been a leader in the commercial matting industry for over thirty years and has developed a very wide range of matting to ensure that the right mat is available for any given condition. Goldberg’s understanding of the needs of matting is based on his close to fifty years of involvement in the cleaning and hygiene industry both in Australia and overseas as well as his company’s involvement in the development of the commercial matting industry in Australia. This includes his recently expired five year term as President of the National Cleaning Suppliers Association of Australia.

George, Henry & Hetty. Vacuum is their middle name. The cleaning solutions people

They come from the well-known family of Numatic. So you know they have the best pedigree and are as tough as nails. When you take on a famous name like Henry, Hetty or wet’n’dry George, you’ll be smiling too. Call the experts on 08 9410 9588 or visit us at

The cleaning solutions people


| Vol 14 No. 2 |


Can Bed Bugs be Prevented? Stephen L. Doggett i Director, Department of Medical Entomology, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, NSW, 2145

The global resurgence in bed bugs was as unexpected as it was dramatic and there are few signs that infestations across the world are on the decline. It is not so much a question of if your facility may become infested with bed bugs, but more of a case when.


ed bugs are bloodsucking insects that can inflict a very nasty and irritating bite. The big problem is the associated financial costs. Bed bug eradication is expensive (even into the thousands) and if done poorly by the unskilled can result in the spreading of an infestation. This can substantially escalate control costs, even a hundred fold as has happened in at least one facility in the past. Guests bitten are unlikely to return and the negative publicity generated can severely affect a hotel/motel’s reputation. In one case, eight figure litigation (yes $20 million!) was initiated as a result of a guest being attacked in an upper end hotel. So what can you do to prevent bed bugs? The simple answer is very little. However, a great deal can be done to reduce the risk of bed bugs becoming established and developing into a major fiscal burden for your organisation. Broadly speaking there are four phases of a bed bug infestation; the Introduction of the insect, the Establishment of the pest, the Growth of the infestation, and finally the Spread of the insect. Strategies can be implemented that can combat bed bugs for each of the four phases and these will be discussed below. Most importantly however, an organisation should have as part of their risk management process, a Bed Bug Management policy. The policy should cover aspects such as training, documentation of bed bug activity, work health and safety, the eradication processes, and those aspects dealing with the reduction of bed bug risks. To assist the hospitality industries and those that provide beds for others, a generic policy has been developed by the author of this article. ‘A Bed Bug Management Policy & Procedural Guide for Accommodation Providers’ is available as a free download from: You are welcome to use this policy and to adapt it for your specific circumstances. A bed bug management policy that is adopted and adhered too may also reduce the potential for litigation. So what are the various strategies that can be implemented with the four phases of a bed bug infestation?

34 |

Vol 14 No. 2 |


Introduction. Educating travellers and tenants on how to avoid bed bugs in the first place will help to reduce the spread of the insects in the long term to all affected stakeholders. People need to be able to recognise the signs of the insect (live bed bugs and their spotting) as well as to know where the bed bugs are most likely to hide. A quick search of the mattress, particularly along the beading nearby to the wall, will usually result in the discovery of an infestation if present. Establishment. To reduce the risk of a bed bug infestation establishing if introduced, it is necessary to make the environment less suitable. Bed bugs behaviour means that they prefer to live in hidden areas, notably cracks and crevices. Certain types of beds such as ensemble bases tend to be more bed bug friendly by providing numerous places where the insect can hide, although this can be obviated by the installation of mattresses encasements. Bed heads and certain type of furnishings should be avoided, notably wicker cane. All cracks and crevices in the room should be filled with caulking. Growth. Preventing the growth of a bed bug infestation revolves around early detection. Early detection means that control is more likely to be successful and minimises the risk of the infestation spreading; ultimately this is about saving you money. As you and your housekeeping staff are at the coal face where bed bugs are mostly likely to be found, namely the bed, training such staff in bed bug recognition can be of huge benefit. Otherwise, proactive pest inspections can be undertaken, either by experienced staff in-house or by professional pest managers. The frequency of such inspections would be dictated by the history of bed bug activity. Bed bug detection dogs are widely utilised in the US and are very sensitive at even detecting small bed bug numbers. Sadly very few bed bug dogs are in Australia as some hotel/motels are concerned about image problems in case guests think that the dogs are present for bomb or drug

detection. It is however possible to introduce dogs via covered carts so that guests are unaware of the animals. For those that provide accommodation for others, tenants should be encouraged to report on the suspicion of bed bug activity in a timely manner.

importantly, all bed bug management should be in accordance with the industry standard, ‘A Code of Practice for the Control of Bed Bug Infestations in Australia’. Currently the Code is up to the fourth edition and is also available for free from

Spread. If an infestation is discovered, then prompt action is required and a professional pest manager with experience in bed bug control should be contacted immediately. ‘Detect early and act quickly’ should be the mantra recited when it comes to bed bug infestations. The infested room should be quarantined, and any infested material needs to be treated or bagged before removal. Items removed should be rendered unusable. Guests’ belongings should be treated for bed bugs if they are exposed to an infestation.

Finally, beware of companies touting miracle bed bug cures; there is no such thing, and the market is flooded with ineffectual products. The Working Party behind the Code of Practice reviews all technology and only includes those where there is evidence of efficacy. The use of any management device not specifically supported within the Code is best avoided.

Ultimately, no one strategy should be relied upon as bed bug risk reduction involves a multi-disciplinary approach. Very

Stephen Doggett is a world authority on bed bugs and their control, and is the Director of Medical Entomology at Westmead Hospital. He is the principal author of ‘A Code of Practice for the Control of Bed Bug Infestations in Australia’ and author of ‘A Bed Bug Management Policy & Procedure Guide’. For consultancy on bed bugs, please contact Stephen;

Commercial Table Lamps, Floor Lamps & Lamp Shades

Mayfield Lamps Pty Ltd. Since 1945 22 Viewtech Place Rowville Vic 3178 P 03 9755 7244 F 03 9755 7266


| Vol 14 No. 2 |


Australian Carpet Allan Firth i Executive Director, the Carpet Institute of Australia Limited

The Australian hospitality sector is fortunate to

Carpet Selection

have a strong carpet manufacturing industry to

For the uninformed, there can be many pitfalls in the selection and specification process, but with a little knowledge and the right approach, customers can be assured of making the right choice for their installation.

draw on and realise its flooring décor visions.


arpet is by far the most popular and versatile floor covering solution on the market. And it’s easy to see why:

Décor Versatility – complement the existing décor theme – or create an entirely new one – from the extensive range of carpet styles, surface textures and constructions. Warmth – a carpet’s surface temperature is substantially higher than that of a hard surface tile thanks to reduced heat dissipation. Carpet gives a soft, warm, cosy feeling. It therefore provides a more comfortable working environment. Comfort – soft floor coverings such as carpet result in less postural discomfort than standing on hard surfaces. Safety – flooring can be a risk factor for slips and falls, especially in high traffic areas like lobbies. Carpet improves safety by reducing slipping accidents and personal injuries if a fall does occur. Noise Reduction – carpet is one of the most effective acoustical materials. Carpet absorbs more exigent sound than any hard flooring. Reverberation time is half that of hard flooring. With carpet, impact noise is reduced by 25 to 34 dB compared to only 1 to 6 dB with laminate. This makes the difference between noise and tranquillity. With carpet, the generated sounds are lower than with hard flooring, and the duration of the reflected sounds is shorter. By creating more quietness, carpet considerably enhances the feeling of well-being. Ease of Maintenance – you can keep your carpet looking good by having a carpet maintenance plan tailored to the needs of your facility. Value for Money – with the wide range of carpet styles, textures and weights (or constructions) available, there is a solution for practically every budget and décor need. Indoor Air Quality – carpets help to purify the air we breathe by trapping in the fibre mass a range of inhalable substances, called allergens, that have been linked to asthma and other respiratory problems. A recent scientific study conducted by the German Asthma and Allergy Foundation found that carpet reduces dust in the air to half that found with hard flooring. With a good vacuuming, dust removal from a carpet is easy. In addition carpet has a positive impact on indoor air quality by absorbing some toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde.

36 |

Vol 14 No. 2 |


Because there are so many potential variables to consider and control, professional specification can play an important part in selection of the right carpet. Without a pragmatic specification and a design that balances performance and décor requirements – and framed around the traffic parameters of the installation – costly mistakes can result. Professional advice on colour and pattern should always be obtained. Another important player in the specification process is the carpet contractor and in some cases the carpet consultant. A contractor will be a specialist company that takes care of the ‘end to end’ installation process – specifying the carpet according to required performance levels and BCA regulatory requirements, supervising any manufacturing issues and liaising with the mill, advising on appropriate installation methods, sourcing other products such as underlay, attending to and special requirements such as anti-static treatments, installing the carpet to the Australian Standard, and recommending an appropriate maintenance program. Carpet consultants tend to be involved more in the specification process and are sometimes employed as project managers to major installations.

Australian Carpet Classification Scheme (ACCS) The Australian carpet industry is one of the few carpet industries in the world to have established a national carpet grading scheme. The Australian Carpet Classification Scheme (ACCS) has a rating scheme for residential and commercial products.

Carpets are classified under the ACCS according to their performance characteristics. The carpet classification is determined using technical data supplied by manufacturers and results from testing conducted by independent (NATA or equivalent) laboratories. An expert panel assesses the test results and samples of carpet provided by the manufacturer to determine a ‘star’ classification for that particular carpet, which relates to the performance characteristics of the carpet.

Carpet Installation

The more stars the higher the ACCS grading.

Conditions of use (open plan, placement and weight of furniture, wheeled chairs and trolleys) trafficking volume and points of high trafficking, as well as the adherence to an adequate cleaning maintenance schedule, all play a key role in any decision regarding the best option for the method of installation. Australasian Standards AS/NZS 2455.1 for broadloom carpets and AS/NZS 2455.2 for carpet tiles provide a guide to good installation practice.

Carpets are classified according to suitability for use in residential and/or contract installations and in different walking ‘traffic’ conditions described as light, medium, heavy and extra heavy.

The choice of underlay mainly depends on the volume and type of usage and, the level of comfort required. Australian Standard AS 4288 – Soft underlays for textile floor coverings – provides a classification scheme for guidance on underlay selection.

In determining the ACCS end-use classification, the overriding criterion is the appearance retention properties of the carpet. Carpets submitted to the ACCS must also meet minimum standards for a range of construction and performance properties before they will be graded. The gold and black labels identify carpets graded for contract use and have a maximum of four stars.

The Environmental Certification Scheme (ECS) is an environmental labelling scheme for carpets. ECS provides a guide to the environmental performance of certified carpets throughout the full product lifecycle and has 4 certification levels with incrementally more demanding performance criteria. Levels 2, 3 & 4 (with 2 options) have been developed to comply with the requirements of Green Building Council of Australia’s (GBCA) Assessment Framework for Product Certification Schemes. Carpets certified under ECS Levels 2, 3 and 4 certification may achieve points under the Materials category in the Green Star environmental rating tools for buildings. See the table below and for further information, visit materials-category/product-and-forest-certificationschemes/.

Carpet Maintenance Carpet maintenance is essential to retain the original texture and appearance of the carpet for as long as possible and ensure that the carpet is hygienic and contributes positively to the indoor environment. A well planned maintenance schedule should be considered as an essential part of the initial carpet specifications. The main elements of a good carpet maintenance plan include frequent vacuuming, daily spot cleaning and periodic deep cleaning by a trained operator is essential for ensuring carpet stays in good condition. The Standard – AS/NZS 3733 1995 Textile floor coverings – Cleaning maintenance of Residential and Commercial Carpeting provides guidance for good cleaning practice. It is important when choosing a carpet cleaner to ensure that the company uses formally trained and qualified technicians. Avoid the temptation to choose a carpet cleaner solely on price. Take into consideration their qualifications, experience and whether they have insurance to cover the cost of any damages done to your venue. Most importantly, ask if the company is a member of a not-for-profit industry trade association such as the Specialised Cleaning and Restoration Industry Association (SCRIA) and the Individual Cleaners Association of Australia and New Zealand (ICAN). Allan Firth is Executive Director of the Carpet Institute of Australia Limited. CIAL is a non-profit industry association dedicated to the development of Australia’s $1.6 billion carpet industry. Formed in 1967, CIAL represents carpet manufacturers as well as suppliers of goods and services to the carpet industry.

About the Carpet Institute of Australia

Note: ECS Level 1 is the pre-qualifier for higher ECS certification levels.

The Carpet Institute of Australia Limited (CIAL) is the lead industry association for Australia’s $1.6 billion carpet industry. CIAL represents carpet manufacturers accounting for 95% of Australian carpet production, as well as retailers and suppliers of goods and services to the industry.


| Vol 14 No. 2 |


Key Trends

in In-Room Technology in 2013 Ted Horner i E Horner & Associates Pty Ltd

This article looks at technology trends currently being implemented in larger hotels and resorts, most of which will soon filter into hotels and motels of all sizes.

1. BYOD: Bring Your Own Device


otels are increasingly becoming places for people to plug-in their own devices as hotel-provided, inroom entertainment takes a backseat to the entertainment travellers bring with them. A recent survey found digital travellers tend to own at least two devices, favouring laptops and smartphones that make it easy to pay little attention to an in-room TV or clock radio. Hotels are responding by making it easier for guests to use their own devices in conjunction with hotel offerings, and some are even offering loaner devices for guests who may have left theirs at home. But it’s not just entertainment that guests are bringing with them.

2. PAY-PER-VIEW HAS BECOME A THING OF THE PAST? Pay-per-view is becoming a casualty of bring your own entertainment culture. A 2011 USA TODAY poll found 81 per cent of hotel guests weren’t ordering pay-per-view entertainment. Travellers instead were opting to bring their own DVDs, watch free TV or use streaming services via their laptops. Industry figures show hotel pay-per-view revenues have slid by 39 per cent from 2000 to 2009, and even porn hasn’t been able to survive the decline. Overall, movie rental revenues in 2011 made up .28 per cent of total hotel revenue, down from 0.76 per cent in 2002. Traditionally, half of all hotel movie rentals were of the adult genre.

3. HOTEL TVs ROLE IS CHANGING Today’s digital travellers are using entertainment in hotels in much the same way they do at home: via online services like Amazon Prime, Hulu and Netflix. Armed with laptops and tablets, guests are more likely than ever to leave their TVs off, and hotels

are looking for new ways to incorporate the once cutting-edge devices into the guest experience. One approach is to turn TVs into hubs for more cohesive entertainment systems that work seamlessly with guests’ own devices and streaming services. For example, Hyatt Hotels Corp. envisions guests using its TVs as “fully connected, interactive entertainment centres.” It sees its in-room TVs as tools to book tours, order room service and stream content from services like Netflix.

4. HOTEL BANDWIDTH IS BEING SQUEEZED Whether it’s for business or pleasure, the one thing hotel guests want is faster Internet than they have at home. But travellers with their tablets are making it especially hard for hotels to keep up with demand for their bandwidth. And guests who once used hotel Internet to check emails now are using the service to stream movies, putting a squeeze on networks already struggling to meet the increased demand.

5. FASTER WIFI FOR A FEE Hotels are turning to tiered pricing to balance customers’ demands for free Wi-Fi with their own desire to generate revenue and offset the costs of network upgrades. A large percent of hotels offer free Wi-Fi and it is typically a very basic service, but an increasing number of hotels are adopting tiered pricing strategies that require customers to pay for faster connections or to connect multiple devices. While more guests are opting for slower speeds over higher prices, there is increasing evidence that enough guests were selecting higher-priced options to drive revenue gains at hotels where a tiered pricing program is in place.

6. A HOTEL GROUP THAT IS LEADING THE WAY If you’re looking for the ultimate in-room experience, look to Peninsula Hotel Group In their flagship hotel in Hong Kong, last year they installed in-room entertainment systems that cost approximately $25,000 a room. The systems feature bedside and desk tablets that allow for ordering room service and make concierge requests. They also can control lighting, curtains and temperature. The rooms also have flatscreen TVs, free HD and 3D movies, free VOIP and 450 Internet radio stations.

7. WHERE IS HOTEL LOYALTY HEADED? Hotel loyalty programs may not be as generous with the perks as they once were, but they are increasingly becoming a pathway for members to obtain free Internet access. Some hotel chains, including Kimpton, Omni, Fairmont, Swissotel and Wyndham properties offer free Wi-Fi to all loyalty club members while others like Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott and Starwood only offer free Wi-Fi to elite level members. IHG has just announced that it is going to provide free Wi-Fi for all Priority Reward members.

8. SMARTPHONES SINGLE DEVICE TO CONTROL GUESTROOM EXPERIENCE? As hotels move toward providing guests with a single device to control everything in a room, the smartphone could emerge as the one device that does it all. In Bangkok at the Aloft, guests in certain rooms can retrieve a smartphone from the reception desk that serve as their room keys. This smartphone can enable guests to lock and unlock their door but also allow guests to control all things in the room. Ted Horner:

38 |

Vol 14 No. 2 |


time to pamper your guests

create a luxury experience in the hotel bathroom

THE NEW GENERATION IN GUEST AMENITIES PO Box 553, Newport Beach NSW 2106 Tel: 02 9979 1500 Fax: 02 9979 2555


| Vol 14 No. 2 |


The Greatest Asset of an Organisation John Poole

I want to examine what attributes makes an organisation think and function. We some­times are too close to the forest to see the trees, as the old say­ing goes. I can confirm this from personal experience. We so often forget what makes the operation move toward the goal of a clean facility.


ndividual resources are as­sets that must be developed, understood and trained. Equipment – well, that’s easy: You just buy it, plug it in and off you go. Even with chemicals, hang the dispens­ing system on the wall, attach a little water and presto, you have the right amount of chemical to do the job. Of course there’s more to it than that, but these are the in­ animate tools of our trade. Now what about the other im­portant asset? What about the people? Are they your most im­portant asset? The assets who operate the equipment and ap­ply the chemicals efficiently to complete the job. What about them? Are they as easy to replace if non-functional? You must al­low time to train and explain the equipment, the chemicals and the cleaning process. You are most vulnerable as a manager if you do not take the time to train. Marcus Aurelius said, “People... you either instruct them or endure them”. (Hayes, 2003). So what’s it going to be? I feel today with the cleaning budgets and the push to a higher level of cleaning, we must look at the cleaner. As a manager, I used to agonise over hiring. Questions we all have asked ourselves: Can they do the job? Will they be on time? What kind of personal is­sues are they bringing? Will they listen to me and the supervisor? These are tough decisions, and usually a decision to hire has to be made quickly. You must have the staff to get the job done. Yep, been there. We all plan, but planning tends to fly out the window some­times. To add to the conundrum, we must e-verify, background check, good idea to call some ref­erences just in case, I-9 forms, pa­per work and whatever else. This takes time and you are pressed to fill the position. Now you hire and spend the time training, watching, listen­ing. Remember, get to know your cleaners. Who are they? They are the people that you have spent time selecting from the masses. For some reason you feel they can support your operation, be team members, contribute to the over-all success of your facility and meet the job’s expectations. Oh yes, we must have expecta­tions. As a manager, we internal­ise that feeling of operational suc­cess. It is developed by experience in doing, seeing, listening and engaging. That word “engaging” – mighty powerful word we have here, because it is the essence of what we are attempting to accom­plish. It is the on switch of success within an operation. I want to emphasise that as a manager, the constant turnover of your staff causes problems. Constant turnover leads to more training, confusion and time on your part and your supervisor’s part to make certain the new hire knows the run of responsibilities. We must minimise the turn­over of a staff. Turnover is costly. Turnover causes vulnerability for everyone,

40 |

Vol 14 No. 2 |


because you are always catching up. The cleaning process is dysfunctional at best. You must try to be everywhere every night – to check on new cleaners and the quality of their efforts. Turnover creates problems – I know you’ve been there too. It is in that spirit that we as managers must develop the employee to make our work success­ful. I hope you agree so far. If a person feels they can accomplish growth and are an important part of the team, they will engage, and I feel, will remain with you. Turn­over diminishes; quality in the cleaning process enhances. The bar of achievement can move up­ward. Morale is better and laugh­ter is back among the team. G.M. Hostage believes “the re­sults of success are from personnel programs that stress training, standards of performance, career development and reward. He finds that service quality is enhanced by the attitude the company takes toward its employees.” In order to build a results-oriented team, you must have total involvement and engagement on their part, if you would, to make all the com­ponents of an operation come to­gether.

How do we accomplish this feat? I have always made it a policy to be very visible with my teams. At the beginning of a shift or the end of the shift, I was present; they could see me and we could talk. I want to know the person as a person, not an employee. Even over several shifts, which I have had the fun of managing, you must be available.

But you must not allow your­self to be put in a position of hav­ing to discuss a managerial situa­tion with employees. Understand that they must adhere to a chain of command. The staff hierarchy must be present in all organisations for it to be efficient. A ques­tion regarding their personal sit­uation at the facility is for their immediate supervisor to address first, then you – the manager – if necessary. Greeting employees at the be­ginning and end of the day is to observe and extend sincerity to­ward their efforts for that day. I want to build a relationship with the cleaners. I have found people want to be appreciated. This is a genuine expression of apprecia­tion. Do not be a phony. We know we all have a job to do, but the dif­ference is in knowing their effort is appreciated and they are rec­ognised. There is nothing wrong with being polite toward all peo­ple, especially toward your team. In fact, this is healthy for achievement and promotes respect. If an operational problem is brought to you, then look into the situation through the supervisor. The cleaner may have a better idea or can provide critical information about a problem you could avoid. This is where training pays off. Teach them to recognise a po­tential situation. If you are aware of any given situation, then you can anticipate what may happen. Anticipate where you can adjust and be ready for the possible question from your customer, “Did you know...?” You can readily take the situation to the customer first.

YOUR MISSING LINK Choice Hotels has more than 6200 properties worldwide including 260 properties across Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, represented by the Econo Lodge®, Comfort ™, Quality ™ and Clarion® brands and now the Ascend Hotel Collection™. Join a leading team that’s behind its franchisees all the way and you’ll get: • Local sales and marketing support with a global presence • Marketing partnerships and preferred distribution network • Australian-based global reservations contact centre

• State-based operational field support • Extensive training resources • Purchasing power

For all Development enquiries please contact: Brett Salter, Senior Development Manager » +61 408 563 527 »


| Vol 14 No. 2 |


If you are engaged, and if you share the credit with the cleaner, then the customer comes to re­alise the importance of you and your staff. Everyone is proactive in making the facility first class.

Give credit to your cleaner “Thank you”s are not expressed or said often enough. Use it well and often. This is a simple reward that creates a positive environment at the job site. I do not want to imply we are touchy-feely – I simply want to recognise positive efforts and the engagement of the staff. From my friend George Wright: “Multiply yourself through oth­ers.” This is effective manage­ment. Invest your time to accomplish this result. Train for results. Share your expectations among your cleaners. Let them feel like a part of the team, not just a cleaner that can be replaced with another. Yes, we have unemployment. Yes, a lot of people are looking for jobs. But there are only certain people that can effectively do our job. So if you have the cleaner with the mindset to do their job, it is in your best interest to keep this cleaner. You have a valuable gem in your team – a keeper! They can take you to a higher level. Develop their abilities through your training regimen. Then they will know their value and can contrib­ute to the overall success of your operation. Today, many facilities are moving toward certifications. Owners want USGBC LEED, BOMA 360 designations. Now, you know that means more direct training. You have to work with the cleaner and develop skill sets. This means you must train often and effectively engage the cleaner in the training process. As a manager, you must successfully impart the training material and in an enthusiastic manner. If you are not committed to training, the cleaner will see your lack of sincerity and their mind will turn off. I have seen too many manag­ers say they feel that training is a waste of time. That is a sorry con­fession anyone in our profession should make, because today we have too much to learn! You have to invest your time with a mean­ingful effort to succeed in the de­velopment of your staff. Training helps build relationships. The development of a sense of a family atmosphere is what you should want to permeate the mindset of your team. Your staff must feel like family. If you do not have a sense of family, I personally feel you will have the turnover prob­lem. A consistent level of cleaning cannot be achieved with turnover. You suffer and so does your cus­tomer. Keep in mind the training op­portunity will help you remove the ambiguity from your op­eration. It is in training you can teach the correct cleaning process and reinforce your expectations of your staff. We must train for safety annu­ally. This is mandatory training, and your training here eliminates lethal problems, from bloodborne pathogens to hazardous chemi­cals. You should train at least monthly within your facility con­cerning the cleaning process. Break down the training into job classifications. Eliminate gaps in your operation and cleaning process. This can be done by observ­ing the cleaner in training, as well as while they perform their work in the facility. I said earlier to please train with enthusiasm; don’t make it a rote activity. The staff will see this lack of commitment on your part and will not take the training seriously. You set the exam­ple! If the cleaners lack the skill sets necessary to do the job, who

42 |

Vol 14 No. 2 |


Seven Ways to Recognise Staff Showing your employ­ees the recognition they de­serve doesn’t have to blow the budget or be a contrived, insincere gesture. Here are some methods of showing appreciation for your staff: 1. Write handwritten notes if an employee has done something outstanding. Notes take time and thought to write, and your employees will recognise that. 2. Ask an employee to mentor a new hire. That shows the seasoned employee that you trust them and have noticed their exemplary work habits. 3. Order some flowers for the break room. They can brighten the room and the day. 4. Make a personal policy of giving staff birthday cards on their special day. It’s always nice to feel remembered. 5. Hold an annual award ceremony and come up with unique awards to hand out. 6. Celebrate International Housekeepers Week (Sept. 8-14) by having an ice cream social and playing trivia about your facility. 7. Ask them what they want as a celebration, and try to make it happen.

is to blame? I suggest you plan your training around what you observe. This means you must be in the facility observing your staff while they work. Are they doing what you want them to do or can they improve quality and pro­duce more results through better methods? Always look to improve your operation. Remember turnover? Well, you can’t get to this level of operation if you have turnover. So, I ask, what do you desire? An engaged cleaner who understands your expecta­tion and understands their job responsibilities or a cleaner who just runs through the motions in a lackadaisical manner? If success is what you want to achieve, you must train. You must engage the cleaner to want to come to work and contribute to the team effort of success daily. You must create an atmosphere of respect toward all staff members.

Please don’t misunderstand the place for discipline either. It is an important ingredient that establishes the bounds of appropriate conduct and job performance. A manager must be firm in the application of what is acceptable or not acceptable behaviour at work. Progressive discipline means allowing people to change or to correct their imperfections. Reactivity in chemicals as well as in people causes damage, so think before you act. Your reactions to a situation could potentially destroy relationships. You are always being observed by staff, customers, engineers and other vendors. People will gauge you upon your ac­tions, especially how you respond in a bad situation. Yes, as I said before, we are vulnerable in our position as a manager. That is a major part of our job, being vulnerable. So ac­cept it and don’t be afraid of it. Fear will paralyse your mind and you can only react, not think and act. Also, don’t let your emotions ruin your image of being a fair manager. The greatest asset in your op­eration is the mind of the em­ployee/ cleaner. If you invest time in a meaningful, sincere manner, the result will be a smooth, con­tinuous operation. Show respect toward all staff members, and best practices will be achieved. Training is the cement that binds together the cleaner to the best process of equipment and chemicals. They must complement each other and the cleaner must be trained toward the correct application process.

Our service is the product we must deliver daily. Your disposi­ tion and your demeanour establish the tone of operation. Expect, engage, encourage and train your employees to a higher level of achievement. You must lead and demonstrate your commitment to making your operation effective. Cleaning personnel may be per­ceived as expendable. I encourage you to take the approach that all personnel are people desiring rec­ognition and respect. Good people are not expendable, but need the training to become the best. If they feel they are the best, you will be in an enviable position. Be smart, my friends. Oh yeah – don’t forget you need more training too! John M. Poole, Jr., is a trainer and consultant for the cleaning industry. He is Master Registered Executive Housekeeper (REH) with IEHA, a Registered Building Services Manager with BSCAI, an ISSA Certification Expert (I.C.E.) and CIMS Assessor, a LEED Associate, an authorised OSHA Outreach Trainer and a member of the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC). He may be reached at This article was first published in eht June 2013.


| Vol 14 No. 2 |


Quality vs Price Helen Hurst i National Sales & Marketing Manager of Bev Martin Textiles

“Price has no meaning without a measure of the quality being purchased.” ~W. Edwards Deming It has always fascinated me on how price can be the main axis on writing sales business, in some cases, pricing is the reason for purchasing particular items from certain suppliers.


ost people understand the relationship between quality and price to a certain degree. If you are in search of a hospital and you came across a “shack” with a sign that says “discount Surgery for $50”, you would walk the other way, fast! That’s because you know that in order for a company to slash their prices, there is a good chance there is a drop in their quality too. It’s the age old argument; the quality of the product versus the price. Commoditisation has made many products irrelevant in the quality versus price argument as generic and low cost equivalents. Baked beans are just baked beans right? Supermarket shelves are full of many generic brands to choose from. Just like Cars are cars, most having 4 doors and 4 wheels, with no real purpose other than to get us from A to B, only difference is the price and how we decide get there, are you after comfort, luxury and reliability or a uncomfortable drive with no extra luxuries included? The same can be said within our own industry. The marketplace has become quite price driven over the years, especially since the GFC in 2008/2009. In a rough economy, money can become tight and there may be times when quality is not your top priority, but you should keep in mind the concept “you get what you pay for”. Remind yourself that low prices do mean low quality in products. What at first seemed like an affordable choice could end up costing you more in money and wasting valuable time. In an ideal world we would have a balanced ratio between both, a product with a moderate quality and a moderate price, unfortunately this is hard to achieve, finding the equilibrium between the two. A decision could be made on the type of product you want? A cheap product with a questionable quality, or a more

44 |

Vol 14 No. 2 |


expensive product with high quality, giving you a longer lasting product that could give you a greater return on your product investment. Not needing to replace your stock levels as often within the budgeted year. Biggest mistake one could do is to try to maintain their own quality standards on product/services whilst purchasing low quality linen items for their rooms/restaurants. In a price driven market, product quality is not the only thing that suffers, so does price integrity and customer service. The value (quality) of anything determines its worth (cost). In tough economic times, it can become alarming how often we have to discount price before we can prove the value of the product. There are two sides to “value”, price and cost. Price is what one pays for a product or service; cost is what the investment is over the life of the product. If we question the “value”, then “price” becomes relevant. Pick two of the following three: price, service or quality. There is no way of obtaining all three options at once. If you choose to lower your price, something in service and/or quality will suffer. Prices can also be driven by the consistency of the product purchased. Are you receiving consistent quality from you current linen supplier? Are you confident that on every purchase order placed with your current linen supplier that you will receive the same type of linen product as previously before? We at Bev Martin Textiles can guarantee that you will receive the same consistent quality/product as previously purchased; along with great customer service, consistently. We strive to achieve this, by working closely with our offshore mills, making sure that our products are the same each time we import. We maintain our accreditation to ISO 9001. Next time you are looking at purchasing products for your business, consider the quality of the product, the value of the product and the cost of the product it can bring to your business, it just may save you in the end.

Outsourcing Vs In-house – or can you have both? Sean west i Laundry Solutions Australia

One of the most frequent questions that Motel proprietors are confronted with is whether to outsource all of their laundry, or to setup their own on-premise laundry.


e see that a higher percentage of motels located in rural areas tend to have their own laundry. This is due to several factors including the tyranny of distance and the lack of competing laundry services to name just two.

The main hurdle for motel proprietors in justifying an on-premise laundry is the processing of high quality sheets. All hospitality organisations recognise the importance of having high quality bed linen to present to their guests.

Some motel owners have reported savings of $20,000 to $30,000 per annum by using this initiative. This in-turn equates to a payback of less than 12 months. So, if you are looking at ways to lower your housekeeping costs without compromising the quality you present to your guests, simply take the time to analyse your outsourcing bill, arrange for a laundry consultant to provide a plan and schedule of equipment to see if this initiative suits your business.

The imposition here is in order to process high quality linen (linen with a high percentage of cotton), you need a roller-ironer. This piece of equipment is by far the most expensive piece of capital in your laundry and possibly in your entire organisation. It is for this reason that proprietors tend to continue to outsource. There is a growing trend these days to continue to outsource your bed linen but to process all of your towelling, bath mats and hand towels in-house. The reason for this trend is that when proprietors examine their outsourcing bill they notice that the highest cost per kg of laundry is in-fact their towelling. These proprietors also recognise that setting up and running an on-premise laundry that just processes their towelling is very much cost-effective. A laundry that is just processing towelling does not need to invest in an expensive roller-ironer. They don’t have to allocate a massive amount of space to handle sheets. They just need washers and dryers and an optimum amount of space to process these items. This initiative also provides you the ability to choose the quality and colour of your towelling thus possibly giving you a point of difference.


| Vol 14 No. 2 |


Incorrect Bed Valances ...the Housekeepers nightmare! Gary Coman i CEO HotelHome Australia

Most Hotel Executive Housekeepers, some from the world’s best Hotels, have had “the horrors” at some stage, having to deal with “ill fitting” and shabby Bed Valances. It is the one Bed Covering product that can continually upset housekeeping staff, Hotel management and most importantly the paying guest. However when the correct quality Picket Quilted Bed Valance (as shown above) is chosen, these problems disappear. The “quick fix” fabric covered bed base with exposed castors, or cheaper domestic quality Bed Valances, are only an alternative for lesser quality Hotels and motels, where true Hotel style is not an important factor.


Why is it, this seemingly basic bed furnishing product can cause so much grief to so many and bring down the overall presentation of a Hotel room?


Too many people involved in some form of supply to this industry, do not understand what is required to produce a properly fitting Bed Valance, using the correct fabrics which must give many years of hassle free neat and stylish bed presentation. Some of

46 |

Vol 14 No. 2 |


these people do have a certain amount of textile experience, however the Hotel Bed Valance has almost nothing in common with the cheaper retail style of product and it can be an expensive mistake in more ways than one, when not chosen correctly.

Wrong Decisions Decisions on Hotel room decor quite often involve a whole series of people. These can include architects and

specifiers,interior designers, FF&E operators, Hotel management and executive housekeepers. In most cases the housekeeper personnel know more about the requirements of the Bed Valance than all of the aforementioned people. However, fabric choice and product design are most often decided by people that are after a look and sometimes a price, without fully understanding the function of the product.

Fabric The fabrics chosen are very important because they perform a different function to most fabrics used in Hotel furnishings. The fabric must be heavy duty with a tight construction and it should have a high abrasive resistance to cater for pull along luggage and foot traffic. It should also be washable for boot polish scuffs and to reduce maintenance costs, whilst also being FR where applicable and non creasing for that perfect presentation for every guest.

HotelHome four sided Picket Quilted Bed Valance

room decor, from semi traditional to ultra modern commercial and anything in between. A Picket Quilted Bed Valance, when manufactured correctly and properly colour coordinated, should be that silent, well tailored bed accessory that tastefully blends in with the whole Hotel room decor and not stand out like white socks exposed with short dark suit trousers.

Style The older style pleated Bed Valance is not so often seen in recent years. One of the negatives with this style was its inability to always sit evenly on the bed base and if it were pulled slightly to one side or end, it would then become caught in the bed castors during the cleaning process. This would eventually shorten the life of the Valance and cause it to look drab and “ill fitting� in too short a time, not to mention the extra time wasted by housekeeping.

Correct Decisions The Picket Quilted Bed Valance style is the highest standard for discerning Hotel properties. This simple, yet very neat finish fits in with almost any Hotel

Valance height should cover half of the castor for ease of floor vacuuming and bed mobility. This automatically takes the eye off the fully exposed castor which is a bad trait of beds with covered bases that in most cases, are not trying to compete with higher standard Hotels requiring the more professional look of a quality bed presentation. The Picket Quilted style is only made four sided, to ensure a snug fit (not tight) because the quilting has a degree of give which helps the Valance slide over the base and stay there at all times, even during sheet replacement.

Housekeeping Efficiency Housekeeping staff are under enough pressure to keep to a time limit on room maintenance, a shabby Bed Valance is not something that can be made to look good, no matter how much extra time is wasted on it.

Final Result Specifications Required The bed base deck lining should never be exposed, even when guests draw back the bed covers, so a courtesy flange minimum 8 cm wide in the matching Valance fabric is always included. The

Hotel guests are definitely more discerning today, with much higher expectations of presentation and cleanliness in their choice of properties they wish to stay in. Something very obvious like a shabby Bed Valance can be the catalyst for them to be looking for other areas in the room and maybe the whole Hotel, where they can be more critical of the standard that is not up to scratch and thus another customer is lost. Hotel management are easily frustrated with the knowledge that their Hotel standard and overall room presentation is being let down by something as simple as the incorrect choice of Bed Valances and the associated costs in replacing them. They are also very aware of the expectations of Hotel guests as per the above. Executive Housekeepers do need to be heard.


| Vol 14 No. 2 |



On 1 March 2013 new Health Regulations came into force requiring all public swimming pools and spas to be fitted with automated or continuous metered dosing systems.


ailure to comply with the regulations may result in penalties, including closure of the facility and prohibition orders. The legislation Clause 3(1) of Schedule 1, Public Health Regulation 2012, requires that a public swimming pool and spa pool must be fitted with an automated or a continuous metered disinfectant dosing system. It is dangerous to hand dose a public swimming pool or spa pool while the pool is open to swimmers. Yet, disinfectant must be continuously added to achieve adequate minimum disinfectant levels and this must be done through an automatic or continuously metered disinfectant dosing system.

Continuous metered disinfectant dosing system A “continuous metered disinfectant dosing system” is a device or apparatus which delivers the disinfectant in a controlled continuous and steady rate. The disinfectant must be delivered at some point into the pool circulation system and not directly into the pool. A pump which delivers liquid chlorine at a particular rate i.e. millilitres per hour, is a good example of a continuous metered disinfectant dosing system. Other examples include dry chemical feeders, and electrolytic disinfectant generation. One of the cheapest forms of a continuous metered disinfectant dosing system is a peristaltic pump. These draw liquid chlorine (sodium hypochlorite) preferably from a shaded drum and slowly inject the liquid chlorine into the pool circulation system after the filter. The peristaltic pump can be set up to deliver a dose of chlorine at particular time intervals. A continuous metered disinfectant dosing system can also be controlled by a timing switch to activate it at some time prior to opening and de-activate it at some

time after closing. The dosing rate or frequency on some pumps can be varied allowing the pool operator greater scope in delivering disinfectant to the pool at varying continuous rates. These regulations will affect many smaller operators such as motels and caravan parks, many of whom have traditionally used salt chlorinators to sanitise their pools. In regional areas it can be difficult to access liquid chlorine, so a saltwater chlorinator can provide a reliable, convenient option – not mention the fact that many people prefer to swim in salt water pools. Unfortunately, a standard saltwater chlorinator is not going to be sufficient to satisfy the requirement of “automated or continuous metered dosing system”. It is possible to upgrade existing hardware with an automated controller designed to operate with any functioning salt chlorinator. Not only will this ensure compliance with the new Health Regulations, but it will also increase the overall efficiency of the pool sanitisation system.

Don’t let your guest dive into a nasty cocktail! Guests should be able to enjoy a cocktail by the pool, not feel like they’re swimming in one. With hospitality clients across Australia and New Zealand, PoolWerx understands that a hotel pool needs to be as clean and inviting as the rooms themselves. We ensure that your pools and spas are healthy and comply with legislation to fulfil your duty of care. Our services include: • 24/7 emergency hotline as well as free professional problem solving and advice by phone or email • Independent, expert third-party support in the event of litigation • Service all year round, with options to suit your seasons and location PoolWerx can do as much or as little of the work you require. As a Registered Training Organisation, we can also provide training for work you wish to be performed in house. Starting with a complementary on-site visual inspection, PoolWerx will then tailor a solution, keeping your current resources and budget in mind.

Call PoolWerx today on 1800 009 000 or email


| Vol 14 No. 2 |


Solutions to Common Pool Problems Lyn wicks i PoolWerx

One of the fist things customers notice at any motel is the pool. We asked Lyn wicks of PoolWerx for some tips on some of the common pool problems.

Phosphates Effect The higher the phosphate level, the faster the algae growth leading to higher chlorine consumption and increasing water problems.

Cause Phosphates are nutrients essential to the survival and growth of all living matter including algae. The removal of phosphate from swimming pool water will prevent the growth of algae. Phosphate is introduced into swimming pools by several means including; • Water runoff from lawns and gardens • Fertilizer over-spray/over-drift

• Maintain adequate levels of chlorine • Remove all organic material from pool water, empty skimmer baskets and regularly vacuum • Shower before entering pool • Test for phosphate levels regularly

• Dust

Cloudy Pool/Green Pool/ Blackspot

• Ducks


• Cleaning Solutions

Cloudy pool water can be from a number of sources including;

• Rain

• Swimmers (body fluids/phosphate based body soap/swimming costumes (washed in phosphate containing detergents) • Decomposing organic matter (leaves, bark, sticks)

Solution Water quality may be best maintained by introducing the following procedures • Regularly add maintenance dose of Phosphate Remover

50 |

Vol 14 No. 2 |


• Excessive combined chlorine, or free chlorine rapidly dissipated (bather load, phosphates etc) • Poor filtration • Calcium Hypochlorite (granular chlorine) added directly to pool water in large volumes

Solution In order to combat this issue check

filtration and backwash if necessary. Superchlorination may be required to reach ‘breakpoint chlorination’ and remove chloramines (the bad chlorine) from the water. Dissolving chemicals in a bucket of water before adding will assist. Maintenance doses of algaecide may be required. Green Pools indicate algae growth due to inadequate chlorination which can be caused by;  oor filtration and sanitation (is dosing •P system big enough to cope with the maximum load) • Increase in bather loads (number of swimmers) •R  un-off from gardens, fertilizers etc / phosphates Blackspot algae is very difficult to remove once in the pebblecrete and can also indicate poor circulation, sanitation and filtration.

Solution Regular algaecide treatment as a preventive or Granular Blackspot used to combat existing conditions.

Solution Maintain pH between 7.2-7.6 for best results as this will allow the metals to sit ‘in solution’ and not ‘fall out’ onto the pool surface. Assist with addition of IQ Metal Magnet and follow up with a clarifying treatment such as IQ Pool Shimmer.

Automatic Dosing Systems (On Demand) vs Continuous Dosing (Salt Chlorinator) Staining Staining can be caused by the addition of salt to the pool, usually iron and minerals in the salt will present as yellow to brown stains on the pool floor. Liquid chlorine can also cause staining after continuous use over many years. Bore water, algaecides containing metals, metal fixtures such as grab rails etc can all cause staining of the pool walls and floor.

Benefits of automatic dosing to prevent peaks and troughs in chemical readings, allowing sanitisers to work more efficiently as pH is maintained at the right level consistently and chlorine delivered as required. Chlorinators do not have the capacity for on-demand dosing meaning when many swimmers are in the water free chlorine is depleted quickly and allows the pool water to become more susceptible to problems and bacteria. In some states the Department of Health does not allow the use of salt water chlorinators in ‘public’ pools. Though for

the states that do, there is a requirement for manual photometric water testing frequency in some cases every 2 hours. Automatic dosing systems require once daily manual testing.

Kill Bills Energy Efficiency The Viron Evo P600 pool pump which can save up to 85% of energy costs as it is a true variable speed pump that can be matched for flow rates and turnover required to comply with regulations. Can be used in varying applications from swimming pools, spas, hydrotherapy pools, water features and even mobile vacuum units.

Robotic Cleaners A mobile unit can save time and increase productivity and efficiency onsite when cleaning large pools and water features. Time wasted going back and forth between pool deck and plant room, turning equipment off and on after blocking off enough skimmers to get enough suction to vacuum pool floor.

Why a Dolphin is right for you? Wave 75 - Pools Up to 20 metres

ProX - Pools Up to 25 metres

Make your Life Simpler with a Dolphin Pool Cleaner • Trust the Brand The Dolphin brand is recognised internationally as the Number 1 choice for pool cleaners

• Trust the Company The pioneers of robotic pool cleaning with over 25 years experience

• Trust the Support Maytronics training and service centres in Major Centres around Australia

Liberty Pro - Up to 15 m with islands and obstacles

Please Contact Us for more Information & Demonstration of Cleaners

Exceptional Pool Experience



maytr nics


| Vol 14 No. 2 |


mo Product News SPA Collection – Luxury amenities ranges by Swisstrade SPA Collection offers 5 star quality products at affordable prices. Swisstrade’s SPA Collection is the perfect amenities solution for contemporary hotels, motels, resorts and serviced apartments.

supplied in the bathroom. We therefore endeavour to assist you in pampering your guests in that area and making their stay an enjoyable and memorable one.

With SPA we recognise the importance of relaxation. SPA’s mild and soothing ingredients are formulated to help relax and refresh body and mind. SPA’s subtle and invigorating fragrances compliment the vibrant blue colour tones and help to unwind and recharge while creating a gentle spa experience. The luxury presentation and styling of our SPA Collection makes these products suitable for every quality accommodation.

For further information call Swisstrade Pty Ltd on (02) 9979 1500, fax: (02) 9979 2555, email:, or contact our distributor in your state.

All SPA products combine luxury Body Care with biodegradable packaging. This range is especially designed to minimise the environmental impact and wastage. SPA products are packaged in revolutionary biodegradable plastic tubes, which contain the innovative ingredient Reverte™. Developed and patented by scientists in the UK, Reverte™ allows plastic to biodegrade in a few short years (compliant with ASTM D6954). SPA products minimise your environmental footprint, whether they end up in landfill or anywhere else. This exclusive body care range is a well balanced composition of fresh aromatic notes that relax the mind, yet stimulate the skin. SPA hair care products are formulated to gently cleanse and restore the natural shine of the hair. The SPA skin care range will clean with a rich lather, maintaining the natural pH level of the skin. At Swisstrade we believe that your guests deserve superior products in the bathroom. We feel that the reputation of any motel or resort is influenced by the quality and presentation of products

Dometic compressor miniBars The economic solution for your motel – without compromising style or functionality. From the world leader in absorption miniBars comes a new miniBar range that lets you enjoy the benefit of compressor driven technology, without compromising style or functionality for your guest room requirements. Drawing on the experience of 85 years in refrigeration technology and the continuous feedback from customers all over the world, Dometic Group hold the most extensive knowledge in the sector in terms of hotel/motel room products. The new Dometic RH 440 LDC and the CL 460 LDC compressor miniBars provide reliable cooling even at high ambient temperatures, they are powerful in operation and are very economical in terms of energy consumption proving to be excellent value for money. Both compressor models can be integrated into the joinery of an existing cabinet or hold their own in style to be free-standing and can be hinged on either the left or right hand side. They both feature two multi-functional door racks with the 40 litre option having one adjustable

52 |

Vol 14 No. 2 |


shelf and the 60 litre offering two adjustable shelves. With a stylish black anthracite metal cabinet, these miniBars are sure to impress in terms of looks and performance. Consistent with the Dometic range there is NO FREEZER. Not only does this provide additional refrigerator space but eliminates labour costs associated with continuous defrosting. Having lead absorption miniBar technology to perfection, Dometic Group is now providing an option. So, whether your preference is absorption or compressor technology – the choice is yours! Enjoy a purpose built miniBar from a quality brand to suit the stylish décor of your guest rooms. For further information call 07 5507 6073 or email or visit

A Quick, Permanent Fix for Damaged or Leaking Pipes Managing a busy motel can be a challenge at the best of times. From cooking to cleaning to customer service, there are a wide range of demands on a team on an hourly basis. So when a pipe becomes damaged, either through an accident or general wear and tear, the fallout from any leakage can be massive. A burst high pressure pipe pumping out gallons of water can lead to damage, closure of facilities and high costs incurred by a motel owner. Keeping this disruption to a minimum is a high priority! The Fernco Pow-R Wrap can help in this situation. It is supplied as a kit which contains all you need to stop a high flow or a slow leak from any pipe – quickly and permanently. Activate the resin by simply pouring water into the foil pouch which contains the wrap, wrap it around the damaged area of pipe, and hold for up to 15 minutes. An advanced putty is also supplied for additional strength. No additional materials, no mess and no complex instructions. For wet, dry, dirty, corroded, hot and cold pipes – if you can wrap it, you can repair it.

The system has been used successfully around the world for many years, and has built a reputation in many countries as the quick, permanent and hassle free method for repairing pipes of virtually any material and any diameter. So next time one of your plumbing areas springs a leak, make sure you have a Fernco Pow-R Wrap ready to fix it. Think of the disruption it’ll save, and so all the cleaning, cooking and customer service you’ll be working on instead. The Fernco Pow-R Wrap is supplied in Australia by Fernco Australia Pty Ltd, part of the Fernco Group, the global leader in drainage and plumbing couplings. For more information, log on to or search online for Fernco Pow-R Wrap. You can also call the Fernco office on 02 9450 0766.

New Highly Efficient Washers and Dryers from Lavamac Lavamac have launched a new range of high efficiency washers and dryers – the SP range. Features include a 10kg capacity for large loads and fast drying, a high spin speed for reduced drying time, a high level of programmability for customised set up and a soft mount – free standing design and pump out drain for easy installation. The Lavamac SP range is perfect for washing and drying sheets and towels in Motel laundries. The range includes a front load washer and floor mounted dryer or to maximise available space, this range is stackable in either a washer/ dryer stack or a twin stack dryer.

Coin Operated versions for your guest laundry are also available. Throughout Australia, Lavamac is available from Total Commercial Equipment – enquiries call 1300 046 189.

Jean Charles Cosmetics Jean Charles is an Australian owned company that has been manufacturing hair and skin care products for over 35 years. Our Bathroom Amenity Products system is already in over 15,000 rooms throughout Australia.

The dispensers are installed on the walls using double sided tape and silicon only. THE WALLS ARE NOT DRILLED. This means that the dispensers can be moved/removed at any time without damaging the tiles.

We supply the dispensers in your choice of colour and unlimited supply of all six products for one simple cost based on per occupied room night.

A complete installation manual and all equipment need to install the dispensers are provided at no cost.

During the first week of every month, we will call you and ask for the occupancy for the previous month. We will invoice you for the occupied room nights only.

We will give you one month from the date the dispensers and stock leave Jean Charles warehouse to install the dispensers.

Dispensers are provided at no cost to the hotel. Two dispensers are installed per bathroom. The price is fixed per room regardless of the number of bathrooms or the number of guests staying in the rooms. We will charge you the same price each time a room is sold. The system uses cartridges. Once a cartridge is empty your housekeepers simply replace it and discard the old one. The cartridges are not refillable.

As the products run out, your housekeeping staff simply ring our office and place an order for the stock required. We arrange for the delivery of the goods directly to your nominated location at no charge. All products are manufactured in our factory in Sydney, so availability is not an issue. To find out more visit or email us


| Vol 14 No. 2 |


mo Product News Sealy New Product Release; specifically for accommodation providers Sealy’s new commercial product ranges feature major technology upgrades that provide unparalleled comfort and support options for the accommodation sector – packed with Sealy’s advanced technology, long-lasting durability and functional features.

Experts in the Hospitality Industry Sealy has been a leading partner of the Australian accommodation industry for over forty years. A comfortable bed and quality sleep are among the most important considerations for your guests. Investing in the right bedding solution will help keep them coming back.

Orthopaedically correct support and luxurious comfort The New Sealy Posturepedic Dynasty collection is at the forefront of technological advances, with Sealy’s new SRx Titanium support system, for ultimate strength and stability. The Sense & Respond coil design provides the orthopaedically correct support to help guests sleep soundly, stay after stay. Pressure relieving comfort layers and patented UniCased edge support system minimise motion transfer for undisturbed sleep.

Long Lasting Satisfaction Sealy of Australia is wholly Australian owned and Sealy beds are hand crafted in one of five Australian manufacturing centres. The performance of every component is rigorously tested to meet commercial

requirements. Your investment is assured with Sealy’s high quality standards, customer care and product guarantee. With a wide range of comfort and support options, Sealy can provide a solution for every situation.

Unique to the Australian Market, TECO Australia introduces 2 Door Bar Fridges with Separate Freezer Following its successes in supplying Split System and Window Wall Air Conditioners, LED/LCD TV’s, Bar Fridges & Small Vertical Freezers to Mining Camp Accommodation and Common Area Portable Building Units, Student Accommodation areas and Hotel/Motel Rooms, TECO have introduced a unique product to the Australian Market, a range of 2 Door Bar Fridges. Engineered to Perform with Super Quiet operation and Stylish Design, the TBF84WMTA – 84Ltr Freestanding or Under Bench 2 Door Bar Fridge is suitable for medium to large rooms. It comes with an Internal Light in the refrigerator compartment, Glass Shelving, and handy Vegetable crisper. The Door Shelf holds up to 2 litre bottles and with the handy Drink Can Dispenser, easily holds standard sized cans of your favourite beverage. The separate freezer is unique to this type of product. Designed to freeze and store foods, it is ideal for Student Accommodation or single room dwellings such as “Granny Flats”. To compliment the TBF84WMTA, which comes in brilliant White, TECO have also introduced the 2 Door bar Fridge in Jet Black (TBF84BMTA) and Cherry Red (TBF84RMTA).

54 |

Vol 14 No. 2 |


For easy installation this model comes with front adjustable feet, Flat Back Design, which eliminates the old style bar fridge dust collecting exposed rear coil, and reversible door to cater for varying installations. (850Hx485Wx510Dmm) To complement this range, TECO Australia also has Frost Free Refrigerators, (215Ltr, 258Ltr, 292Ltr & 410Ltr), Chest Freezers (145Ltr, 200Ltr & 300Ltr) and a range of 12 & 14 Place Setting, Freestanding Dishwashers, all with Aqua Stop, which protects from accidental flooding due to split or disconnected inlet hose. To view TECO Product Range or download product brochures, please visit TECO Australia website, TECO – “The Comfortable Choice”.


56 |

Vol 14 No. 2 |


Motel Owners Volume 14 no 2  

Motel Owners magazine

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you