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AccomNews The essential industry guide

Issue 65 | Spring 2018 | AUD $16.50 incl GST | accomnews.com.au

Registered by Aust. Post Print Post No. 100024635

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Armidale

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Colac Warnambool

South Pacific Laundry (SPL) has been a provider of commercial laundry and linen services to the hospitality industry in Melbourne for the last 20 years.

Sydney

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Currently, the South Pacific Group is establishing a strong network of modern laundries across Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia with plans for several more facilities up the East Coast of Australia. The relocation of our Sydney operations to a new larger facility in Bankstown together with the relocation of our Brunswick plant to Broadmeadows will establish South Pacific Laundry as the single largest privately owned laundry in Australia and in the Southern Hemisphere.

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South Pacific Laundry specialises in the provision of quality linen and supplies for hospitality facilities. SPL provides: • A 365 day service to all clientele with a 24 hour turnaround (depending on location) • A leading edge technology in RFID to assist housekeeping and managerial staff in time reduction and efficiency • Dedicated account managers and experienced support staff who are available 7 days a week • A dedicated software design package and centralised billing system enables seamless transactions, paperless and customised reports • Delivery rationalization systems, providing and streamlining efficient delivery routes which will reduce the company’s carbon footprint. • Building of partnerships and sharing benefits with the customers from savings made through its constant laundry process innovations and group purchasing power of linen products. • Dry Cleaning & Uniform Cleaning Services • Provision and supplying of corporate uniforms/work wears and customised hotel room amenities.

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AccomNews is distributed quarterly to hotel, motel, resort and apartment properties throughout Australia by Multimedia Pty Limited. The views and images expressed in AccomNews do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. The information contained in AccomNews is intended to act as a guide only, the publisher, authors and editors expressly disclaim all liability for the results of action taken or not taken on the basis of information contained herein. We recommend professional advice is sought before making important business decisions.

Inside our Spring Issue Front Desk We chose looks and books..

Industry 06 A time of change.. Caravan parks embracing influx of Chinese tourists

Advertising Conditions The publisher reserves the right to refuse to publish or to republish without any explanation for such action. The publisher, it’s employees and agents will endeavour to place and reproduce advertisements as requested but takes no responsibility for omission, delay, error in transmission, production deficiency, alteration of misplacement. The advertiser must notify the publisher of any errors as soon as they appear, otherwise the publisher accepts no responsibility for republishing such advertisements. If advertising copy does not arrive by the copy deadline the publisher reserves the right to repeat existing material.

Disclaimer Any mention of a product, service or supplier in editorial is not indicative of any endorsement by the author, editor or publisher. Although the publisher, editor and authors do all they can to ensure accuracy in all editorial content, readers are advised to fact check for themselves, any opinion or statement made by a reporter, editor, columnist, contributor, interviewee, supplier or any other entity involved before making judgements or decisions based on the materials contained herein. AccomNews, its publisher, editor and staff, is not responsible for and does not accept liability for any damages, defamation or other consequences (including but not limited to revenue and/or profit loss) claimed to have occurred as the result of anything contained within this publication, to the extent permitted by law. Advertisers and Advertising Agents warrant to the publisher that any advertising material placed is in no way an infringement of any copyright or other right and does not breach confidence, is not defamatory, libellous or unlawful, does not slander title, does not contain anything obscene or indecent and does not infringe the Consumer Guarantees Act or other laws, regulations or statutes. Moreover, advertisers or advertising agents agree to indemnify the publisher and its’ agents against any claims, demands, proceedings, damages, costs including legal costs or other costs or expenses properly incurred, penalties, judgements, occasioned to the publisher in consequence of any breach of the above warranties. © 2018 Multimedia Pty Limited. It is an infringement of copyright to reproduce in any way all or part of this publication without the written consent of the publisher.

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PO Box 1080, Noosaville BC, Queensland, Australia 4566 Phone: +61 (07) 5440 5322 | Fax: +61 (07) 5604 1680 mail@accomnews.com.au www.accomnews.com.au

EDITOR Kate Jackson, editor@accomnews.com.au STAFF WRITERS Rosie Clarke, Mandy Clarke and Trish Riley PRODUCTION Richard McGill, production@accomnews.com.au ADVERTISING Tim Svenson, advertising@accomnews.com.au SERVICE Gavin Bill, service@accomnews.com.au CONTRIBUTORS Alan McKernan, Brendon Granger, Carol Giuseppi, David Beirman, Doug Kennedy, Gerry Comninos, Judy Senn, Justin Steele, Melissa Kalan, Richard Munro, Sam McDonagh, Siobhan Baumber, Stuart Lamont and Sylvia Johnston.

One step closer on OTAs

Commercially funded supplier profile or supplier case study Suppliers share their views in one-off, topical pieces General editorial. Case studies and features may cite or quote suppliers, please be aware that we have a strict ‘no commercial content’ guideline for all magazine editorial, so this is not part of any commercially funded advertorial but may be included as relevant opinion. Happy reading!

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08 09

Management 10 Airbnb, ghost hosts, and riding the wave Private letting channels shrinking your letting pool?

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Why accom operators are using Airbnb as their channel of choice Pushing the switch

14 15 16

Need a new property management system? – Switching is easier than you think. 17 What to consider when choosing a trustworthy PMS

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Profiles 20 Nightcap Hotels: Nightcap the perfect tonic for Australian accom NoVacancy a showcase for industry’s best 26 Quest invests in Penrith

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Refurbishment 31 Indulging the lust for luxe without spending a fortune Move-in furnishes the all-new Punthill Ivanhoe Serviced Apartments

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Happy on the inside: how well-designed interiors make guests feel

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Sydney’s new cool led by ground-breaking hotels

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Inside the evolving guest bathroom

40 43

What’s Hot

46

Energy & Resources

48

How to MPower your business

Human Resources

50

The human touch vital for staff training

Housekeeping 52 Hygiene, health and happiness boost guest satisfaction

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What makes the ultimate guest experience? 56 Cutting-edge hotel room may soon appear Down Under Bathroom amenities: Do guests really know what they want? Taken to the cleaners... When fakes are better than the real thing

61 62 66 68

Marketing 70 Why being ‘China ready’ matters Price optimisation: Nailing the sweet spot 71

Technology

KEY Supplier information or content

04 05

72

Sign of the times

68

FRONT DESK

Unlimited data and easy and secure casting – it’s what your guests are asking for! 74 Artificial Intelligence: Coming to a hotel room near you

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Preferred Supplier Directory

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Spring 2018 - AccomNews


We chose looks and books.. Hi readers,

You’ll notice AMG has evolved into a sleeker and sexier version of its former self. We’re now AccomNews magazine - in line with the AccomNews website and newsletter. We’ve dropped any remnants of daggy noughties styling. What we haven’t dropped is quality editorial, expert commentary and practical guidance on issues that matter to accom professionals. As one of the world’s few truly independent publishing houses, we’ve always set the industry standard for excellence. Pretenders may come and go, but we’re the industry bible and our readers know it. “Australia really needs critical-thinking media like AccomNews covering the sector,” one prominent industry player wrote this week. So rest assured; while we may have had

Spring 2018 - AccomNews

So please do let us know what you think. Your opinion counts and our graphics team is on tenterhooks. Kate Jackson, Editor, AccomNews editor@accomnews.com.au

a facelift, we certainly haven’t lost sight of the fact that it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Champion of all things Aussie, Dick Smith, has come out swinging against the American online travel agents dominating our accommodation booking scene. The entrepreneur’s campaign against the “standover men” of the industry is helping swing momentum towards a law change which would free operators to set their own online

room prices independent of OTAs. Industry bodies have been lobbying consumer watchdog the ACCC with quiet confidence of gaining ground on this, but it seems an eight-minute viral social media rant may just prove the tipping point. Accomnews says watch this space. By the time our next issue hits the presses, a rate parity clause ban may well be in place. If it’s not, we’ll be on the blower to our mate Dick. All over Australia, from Moruya to Margaret River, state governments and local councils are grappling with how to tame the Airbnb behemoth. While taxes, stay limits and conduct codes are mooted as regulation tools, accom operators are

FRONT INDUSTRY DESK

wondering whether to fight or join the revolution. For those of the latter persuasion, our feature on using Airbnb as a channel may help. As the national tourism boom continues, so does Australia’s unprecedented hotel building blitz. With so many new players presenting the kind of gorgeously-styled, innovative offerings highlighted in our refurb section, AccomNews magazine takes a timely look at what will make your accommodation enduringly popular. Fluffy bathrobes? Fashion decor? Fullon connectivity? You’ll just have to turn to our Ultimate Guest Experience feature to find out…

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A time of change.. Ovolo Brisbane

There’s no doubt the Australian economy is going through a time of political and economic change. At our recent Hotel Market & Economic Outlook, Hostplus pointed to a continuing positive outlook for the economy, which is likely to benefit from positive global conditions stemming from a synchronised global recovery which began in 2017, not to mention increased spending in Asia, the revival of commodity prices, recent tax cuts in the United States and low interest rates around the world. However, in the Australian market, a potential slowdown in jobs growth, rising household debt, low wages growth and stagnant house prices point to more conservative consumer spending. This is offset by continued government spending on infrastructure projects with long-term benefits. While National Visitor Survey figures for the year to June 2018 are still to be released, early indications are that there continues to be strong growth in visitor nights. However, the biggest year-on-year growth in accommodation type is now in visiting friends and relatives (VFR) and noncommercial camping. The International Visitor Survey release has been delayed once again until the end of October

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dominate the ‘sharing economy’ like to paint the hotel industry as having ‘old-style thinking’ the reality is very different. Our Hotel Innovation report shows the hotel boom is being driven by both international and domestic hotel groups launching new boutique brands and innovative ‘lifestyle’ hotel concepts for the first time. Carol Giuseppi, CEO, Tourism Accommodation Australia

2018 due to data integrity issues around the collection of ‘purpose of visit’ and coding of a couple of ‘countries of origin’. Resolving these issues remains a major priority as this is essential to benchmarking visitation trends. Early indications, however, are that visitor night growth remains strong overall, albeit with some moderating of growth in markets like the US and China.

Transformation of the Australian hotel industry As a result of this growth mentioned above, the Australian hotel industry has seen a significant increase in supply, with more than 40 new hotels entering the market since 2016. There are a further 272 hotels in the development pipeline with Melbourne leading the growth push, followed by Sydney and then Perth. While the online platforms which

This is reflected in Hilton’s introduction of Curio, Marriott’s debut of their Autograph and Aloft brands, Accor’s extensive rollout of MGallery, Fraser’s Capri, IHG’s Indigo, Voco and Moxy projects and Holiday Inn Express’s EVEN hotels. Locally, EVENT has concentrated on expanding its QT brand and Ovolo, Veriu and DOMA Group have expanded.

Labour and skills With this growth comes the increasing demand for labour and skills. The Tracking 2020 report shows we are only 38 percent towards our employment target in the tourism sector. The tightening of the skilled migration program and the increase in supply have exacerbated this shortage. Our meetings in Canberra recently reinforced that the federal government continues to be focused on the integrity of the temporary visas, with an increasing emphasis on facilitating migration regionally. The opposition has indicated it will support the continuation of

INDUSTRY

the 190,000 migration cap and sees no reason to reduce the numbers. Where there are larger differences is in the approach to temporary migration with a stronger emphasis on Australian jobs, tightening the labour market testing requirements and supporting apprenticeship growth. They have advised they will be setting up the Australian Skills Authority – an independent labour market testing body, which will determine genuine skills needs and restrict temporary work visas to only those areas of need. The regeneration of Australia’s hotel industry, together with a tightening of skilled migration settings, is being complemented by a new approach to training and career development to attract the employees of the future. The emphasis is on highlighting the diverse range of skills applicable for a career in the hotel industry, along with a nurturing of individual skills and talents which will ensure the Australian hotel industry remains well ahead of the curve in servicing the future needs of the country’s tourism sector. TAA is currently developing the next generation Hotel Careers Expo targeted at school students, to ensure the new programs being developed by hotels in training and career development can be effectively communicated through partnerships with government, industry, TAFE and schools. Spring 2018 - AccomNews


The fastest growing accommodation listings website Listings from all the leading brokers on the one website

Motel

Sales Specialist

“A website for buyers/sellers such as Accom Properties has been well overdue for years. Buyers don’t want to view multiple websites to see whats for sale in a particular region or town, they want all properties on the market with relevant criteria at their fingertips now and you’ve been able to provide a platform which is fantastic. Well done.” – Brett Salter, National Accommodation Manager, ALH Group Limited

www.accomproperties.com.au


Caravan parks embracing influx of Chinese tourists Over the past ten years, Chinese visitors have been a key source of growth for tourism around Australia. In 2017, the Chinese tourism market brought 1.3 million visitors to Australia, generating over 50 million nights around the country. This is an extraordinary growth of 276 percent and 235 percent respectively from 2008, with China now representing the largest inbound market to Australia. In previous years, Chinese visitors have often focused on tourism experiences in cities, but new research has revealed tourists are now seeking more authentic, ‘Aussie’ experiences and are connecting with the quintessential Australian caravan and camping holiday. Earlier this year, Caravan Industry Association of Australia released the 2018 Chinese Visitors to Caravan Parks report; one of the first research reports in the world designed to provide insight into Chinese travellers staying in caravan parks. The report aimed to provide insight into the modern Chinese traveller and examined their preferences and purchase behaviours when choosing a caravan and camping trip in Australia. Chinese tourists are a new addition to our market and an exciting opportunity for individuals and businesses in the industry to introduce Chinese visitors to the caravan and camping lifestyle! Whilst caravan and camping trips are somewhat traditional in

It may seem cliché, however the provision of a rice cooker, hairdryer and chopsticks in a cabin are items many respondents indicated they wanted

Stuart Lamont, CEO, Caravan Industry Association of Australia

places like North America and Europe, the Chinese market are new to caravan and camping, with 80 percent of visitors now experiencing this type of holiday for the first time. In fact, 73 percent of respondents surveyed throughout the research (conducted in Victoria in 2018) had never been to Australia prior to their current trip. According to the report, the typical Chinese tourist is a female aged between 30-54 and will spend 11-15 days in Australia. 70 percent of respondents also said they would be likely to return to Australia, and 80 percent said they would recommend Australia to family and friends at home. In order to help the industry engage with our fastest growing international source market, the research also highlighted key issues that need to be explored further. This includes: • The need for improved communications such as information sheets and maps

in Mandarin, in areas prone to high Chinese visitation for parts of the year (especially Chinese New Year). • The provision of driver and product education to better support Chinese visitors while travelling which can include ‘how to’ guides such as how to empty grey-water tanks as well as information on how to use the facilities in a caravan park. • Creation of new services and products that specifically meet the needs of Chinese consumers. It may seem cliché, however the provision of a rice cooker, hair-dryer and chopsticks in a cabin are items many respondents indicated they wanted. This initial research highlights that Chinese visitors are seeking the flexible and the unique experiences that caravan and camping can offer, and although they are keen to embrace this style of travel, additional services and engagement will help them transition into the new product and style of travel that they have never previously experienced.

Chinese tourists are now seeking more authentic, ‘Aussie’ experiences and are connecting with the quintessential Australian caravan and camping holiday

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INDUSTRY

Chinese local exposure to the caravan and camping lifestyle is set for a boom in China as the government looks to expand the number of RV friendly parks to 2000 by 2020 (from an estimated 200 in 2015). RV ownership is also forecast to explode; in 2016 approximately 25,000 RVs were purchased in China, with that number set to reach 500,000 by 2020 (US department of commerce). With more camping product exposure locally, confidence in renting internationally will be boosted and Australia looks to be in a strong position to capture this segment. The quicker the Australian industry can learn how to better cater for the Chinese traveller, the more engaged the market will become. This will fuel consumer content, positive reviews and increased use of caravan parks and rental companies in Australia. Australia appears to be in an excellent position to capture Chinese caravan and camping visitors, as the research done by Caravan Industry Association of Australia’s research indicated that 73 percent of visitors said a stay in a caravan park was an authentic ‘Aussie’ experience. Caravan Industry Association of Australia contributors can request the full report by contacting: research@ caravanindustry.com.au. State association members can request the full report from their state association. Spring 2018 - AccomNews


One step closer on OTAs The number one issue affecting our members is the impact two big online travel agencies (OTAs) are having on their business. This was sourced from a survey of 6500 businesses that we talk to and the impact is profound. The biggest issue we have is price parity or in simple terms, a business operator cannot advertise a room rate on their own website which is lower than the room-rate listed on an OTA. The reason this is the case is in 2016, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) were told by the OTAs that no-one would book with them if the price parity was banned. This single decision gave unprecedented powers to

heavily favoured these off shore “wrecking balls” over compliant Australian businesses. The Accommodation Association continues to strongly advocate for change. Occasionally a member will tell me we are being too harsh and the OTAs are doing a great job for their business, which I accept. Richard Munro, CEO, Accommodation Association of Australia

these two global behemoths to ramp up, advertise and drive a wedge between our guests and the businesses you run. A lot has transpired since then and we are still waiting for the outcome of the ACCC’s latest investigation into this issue. It’s vital the competition regulator overturns what was a farcical decision that

I will say, however, that we are simply fighting for your right as a business owner to make the decision, not have the decision made for you. I accept that if a business wants to run 100 percent of their bookings via OTAs, then that is your decision, but conversely, you should have the right to set your own prices and be able to offer the lowest rate direct to your guests. You might be aware that prominent Australian Dick

Smith has mounted his own campaign which is encouraging consumers to book direct. It has struck a chord and following on from this, it is up to operators to convert the phone calls into bookings by offering exceptional customer service and a reward to guests for making contact by phone rather than clicking on to the OTAs and seeing large chunks of commission go off shore untaxed. There is a lot more to come on this issue and rest assured, the Accommodation Association is fighting hard for your rights. The best way to support us is to become a member today. We are growing as an association as our industry moves to a tier one sector of the economy and your membership is the best signal to government that we have a credible voice which is worth listening to.

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INDUSTRY

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Airbnb, ghost hosts, and riding the wave Ghost hosting occurs when someone claiming to be a legitimate longterm tenant subleases the property to a third party

Airbnb is never far from the headlines, and many industry segments are clamouring for regulation. In June 2018 the NSW government announced severe restrictions on short stay accommodation. It remains to be seen how that will work in practice, and how Queensland will implement our own version.

on Airbnb. Any lease should be very clear about the approved occupants of the property, and that any kind of sublease or licence of the property is prohibited. Absent owners, who are not in the letting pool, can easily be targets of ‘ghost hosts’. Owners can be responsible for the consequences of Airbnb-ing, even if this is done without the direct knowledge of the owner. Owners who suspect something should consider if they need to take action to minimise this risk.

Industry concerns Body corporates, owners, and on-site managers are justifiably concerned about the rising popularity of home sharing services, and other online accommodation booking platforms, for properties wxithin community title schemes. Naturally, I can’t condone self-help remedies I have heard about, such as supergluing locks, or building managers disconnecting the electricity. All situations are different, so seek legal advice before taking action. This article isn’t a substitute for that advice. Top ten current legal issues related to home sharing services that you need to know about: 1.

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occupiers in its by-laws. This means the body corporate does not have power to make by-laws preventing short-term letting in a residential building. There have been a few cases about this, and the issue is now fully resolved in Queensland based on current legislation. Changes in NSW announced in June 2018 will allow NSW body corporates to change their by-laws to restrict shortterm accommodation in some ways. It remains to be seen if Queensland will follow the lead.

Alan McKernan , Special Counsel, McKays Solicitors

Hopefully the legislative response will be informed by the lessons learned from the regulation of ride sharing services such as Uber.

2.

By-laws: In Queensland, current laws provide that the body corporate cannot discriminate against different types of residential

3.

Noise: There is room to deal with the consequences of Airbnb-ing indirectly, via the more mundane by-laws. In at least one case, a lot owner was compelled to take steps to replace tiles to prevent disturbance to other owners by that lot

owner’s Airbnb guests. 4.

Insurance costs: There has been a recent adjudicator’s decision where a lot owner was ordered to pay the body corporate’s additional insurance costs, incurred as a result of that lot being used for short-term occupation. I do wonder if this was the correct decision.

5.

Liability of lot owner? Many by-laws contain rules which, at least on the surface, appear to make lot owners responsible for by-law breaches by any occupants of their property. This could include breaches of ‘amenity’ by-laws, such as noise or damage to the common property. Some body corporates are using security cXameras to help track responsibility for that damage to occupiers of particular lots. There are

‘Ghost hosting’ is an emerging issue. This occurs when someone claiming to be a legitimate longterm tenant subleases the property to a third party - e.g. over Airbnb. In Victoria, the Supreme Court recently found that Airbnb-ing a property by the tenant allowed termination of the lease by the landlord. Individual results may differ depending on the exact circumstances. I have had several reports from managers who are approached by prospective tenants offering to rent multiple units and pay more than the market rent. Those people could be ‘ghost hosts’ - re-letting and managing the apartment/s MANAGEMENT

Spring 2018 - AccomNews


many rules about by-laws, and they can’t always be taken at face value. Even with proof of damage, there can be major legal problems with trying to make specific lot owners financially responsible for the behaviour of their occupiers. 6.

Party houses: In 2014, Queensland planning laws were amended to allow local councils to take action targeting party houses. Enquire with your local council.

7.

Town planning conditions: It’s possible that a change in use of the building over time could breach town planning conditions. Individual development approval conditions need to be checked and specialist advice obtained in each case.

8.

Building classifications: The body corporate and lot owners are required to ensure that the use of a building complies with the certificate of classification issued under the Building

Spring 2018 - AccomNews

Act 1974. Most residential buildings are in Class 2. There is an argument that ANY short-term letting could breach the building owner’s obligations, on the basis that short-term use of the premises requires a Class 3 building, i.e. a classification as a hotel. Several years ago, the Watergate case decided (at least in Victoria) that except in the most obvious case of a large-scale hotel, there is little, if any, restriction on a Class 2 building being let for short-term accommodation. It is unclear if this decision would be followed in Queensland. Although the laws are similar they are not identical, and the matter technically remains open. Queensland lawyers would love a test case on town planning and Building Act issues if anyone is interested! Beware; in the Watergate case, I understand the body corporate’s legal costs in unsuccessfully pursuing these issues were almost in the seven-figure range.

9.

Caretaking and letting agreements: Resident managers should check their agreements before conducting a short-term or Airbnb operation - in some rare cases, these agreements restrict the manager from conducting short-term letting operations as an agent for the lot owners.

10. Reputational damage: Managers of holiday and corporate let buildings who are experiencing Airbnb-ing need to carefully consider their reaction to those guests. The guests do not necessarily understand that the on-site manager’s services (new towels, cleaning requests, etc) are not available to third-party guests. It is worth being polite and helpful to these people. They may, after all, re-book directly, or leave negative social media reviews.

The future There is some talk of the state government or particular councils taking steps to

MANAGEMENT INDUSTRY

impose limits on short-term occupancy. There are many competing interests. Of course, an attack on Airbnb could easily be used as an instrument of attack on traditional management rights. If short-term accommodation in residential buildings can be limited, this could have a vast impact on the tourism industry. Such an outcome is unlikely to be beneficial, which may be why the issue hasn’t been tested in Queensland.

Riding the wave There are a number of services (including Airsorted) which provide host management services such as cleaning, laundry and keys. Some of Australia’s most successful Airbnb ‘super hosts’ are letting agents who control multiple properties generating millions of dollars in revenue. With disruption in almost every field, those who can adopt and adapt will prosper. Those who can manage, and take advantage of this opportunity, can build value and strengthen their businesses.

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TFE HOTELS – GROWING TO

Adina Apartment Hotel, Brisbane

TFE Hotels is in its biggest growth phase yet, as it heads towards 100 hotels in its portfolio. TFE Hotels is in its biggest growth phase yet, as it heads towards 100 hotels in its portfolio. TFE Hotels was formed as a joint venture in 2013 between TOGA Group’s TOGA Hotels, established in Sydney in 1963, and the hospitality arm of Singapore’s Far East Orchard Limited. As the only international hotel group headquartered in Australia, TFE Hotels has 72 hotels in Australia, New Zealand

Adina Apartment Hotel, Canberra

and Europe and another 28 in the pipeline. That’s an extraordinary 41% growth in the next five years. Its brands encompass Adina Apartment Hotels, Vibe Hotels, Travelodge Hotels, Rendezvous Hotels and TFE Hotels Collection.

FOUR NEW HOTELS IN 2018 TFE Hotels has added four new hotels to its portfolio in 2018 and has many more on its horizon. In 2018 it added Adina Serviced Apartments in Dickson, Canberra, followed by the cool and contemporary Vibe North Sydney, which captured the business and corporate markets. The redeveloped Northpoint offers guests access to an exciting “eat

street” and new retail precinct, then early next year a rooftop bar and pool, all developed by Cromwell Property Group. In July, TFE opened the doors to the stunning Adina Apartment Hotel on George Street, Brisbane, in a beautifully redeveloped former Government Bank built in 1920. Its river views and lobby are major talking points, as is the basementlevel bar and chic ground floor restaurant, Donna Chang. TFE Hotels has also just opened Australia’s first urban resort, The Calile Hotel, in Brisbane’s premier fashion and lifestyle precinct, James Street. This falls under TFE Hotels Collection brand, a portfolio of beautiful

The Savoy Hotel on Little Collins, Melbourne

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discovery hotels with a sense of story, place and purpose. The Calile Hotel adds a cool new lobby bar and flagship poolside restaurant Hellenika with cabanas for dining under the stars. An adjoining laneway is filled with eateries and bars, and there are premium Australian fashion boutiques fronting the street. Next month, TFE will unveil a reimagined Art Deco gem, Savoy on Little Collins, Melbourne (once the famous Savoy Plaza), after a multi-million-dollar refurbishment, and in 2020, The Hotel Britomart will open in Auckland’s sophisticated urban precinct, both under the TFE Hotels Collection brand.

Adina Apartment Hotel Melbourne Pentridge

MANAGEMENT

Spring 2018 - AccomNews


100 HOTELS WORLDWIDE SEVEN HOTELS UNDER CONSTRUCTION As part of its development pipeline of 28 new hotels, TFE Hotels has an extraordinary seven hotels already under construction in Australia, as well as seven new hotels in its pipeline in Germany. Construction is underway at Vibe Hotel Hobart; Vibe Hotel at Darling Harbour, Sydney; and Vibe Hotel in Queen Street, Melbourne – and a Vibe Hotel Adelaide has just been signed. Vibe Hotels are known for their appeal to those in a millennial mindset with social spaces and inspired design. This marks a huge milestone for the brand, which will soon have 12 hotels around Australia, after launching in Sydney in 2003. The Adina Apartment Hotels brand has evolved from its beginnings in Sydney in 1982 to become a major brand with 36 hotels in five countries – and at least another 13 in the pipeline. These include several hotels that will create new lifestyle precincts for the cities in which they are located. The former Pentridge prison in Melbourne will be transformed into a spectacular lifestyle precinct, complete with Adina Apartment Hotel, outdoor cinema and microbrewery. An Adina in Canberra will offer a “Theatre

Lane” forming a new foodie and retail precinct for the city centre. At Melbourne’s West End, an exquisite Adina hotel draws on a rainforest and futuristic elements in its design, with a yoga pod, massage studio, Jacuzzi, indoor lap pool and indoor garden “social hub”.

The Calile Hotel

debuts in Brisbane

Australia’s first urban resort opens its doors

In the second half of 2019 an Adina will open in Southbank, Melbourne, and in 2020 there are three new Adina hotels set for Fremantle in Western Australia and Macquarie Park near Sydney, as well as a spectacular new-build on George Street in Sydney. Also on the horizon are Travelodge Hotels in Auckland and Adelaide, with a fresh new design ethos for the brand.

MAKING A MARK IN GERMANY TFE Hotels is the second largest operator of serviced apartments in Germany, with 11 Adina Apartment Hotels under management (Horwath HTL report). Last year the brand added two beautiful new Adina hotels in hip Leipzig and in the port city of Hamburg as it celebrated its 10th year in Germany and has signed contracts for seven new hotels. For more information please visit development.tfehotels.com

The Calile Hotel

Brisbane’s most anticipated new address, The Calile Hotel, has officially opened its doors as Australia’s first urban resort. It offers premium rooms, with a medispa, flagship fashion boutiques and sophisticated bar and dining options, in the heart of James Street, Brisbane’s foremost retail and lifestyle precinct. The hotel is managed by TFE Hotels under the TFE Hotels Collection brand. The Calile Hotel’s 175 generous guest rooms include nine suites and two premier suites. Each is designed with an individual balcony, Bluetooth sound bar, motorised blackout blinds, 55” flat screen television and complimentary new-release movies. Beautiful and flexible event spaces cater to intimate culinary soirees, poolside cocktail parties, a grand ballroom celebration or wedding for up to 500 people.

Vibe Hotel, Melbourne

Spring 2018 - AccomNews

The Lobby Bar, on the ground-floor of the hotel, offers a sophisticated space to enjoy cocktails inspired by the local area. Flagship restaurant, Hellenika, opens out on the pool terrace and has an exciting modern Greek menu, similar to its MANAGEMENT INDUSTRY

award-winning sister restaurant by Simon Gloftis on the Gold Coast. The restaurant has a vast 600 square metres of dining space and poolside cabanas. Ada Lane offers five new street-level tenancies dedicated to eateries and bars. One of Australia’s top wellness and spa facilities completes the experience. Meaghan South, of Brisbane’s famed Dome Retreat, has opened KAILO Wellness Medispa on the pool deck level and it boasts 10 treatment rooms. A holistic wellness experience combines ancient wisdom with modern approaches to skin health, medical aesthetics and beauty essentials. Brisbane Cosmetic Medicine Specialist Dr Edwina Morgan heads up a team of therapists and doctors. Forme Fitness offers technologically advanced gym equipment and personal training, in a boutique space with well-considered and luxurious facilities. Australia’s most sought-after fashion labels have opened their Queensland flagship stores on the ground floor of the hotel, fronting James Street: Dion Lee, Bassike, Venroy, Bec & Bridge and Love Stories. Hotel bookings can be made at www.thecalilehotel.com or by phoning 13 86 42 in Australia, or +61 2 9356 5062 from outside Australia.

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Private letting channels shrinking your letting pool? Here’s how to reclaim lost revenue By Siobhan Baumber , Marketing Co-ordinator, HiRUM Software Solutions

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would have seen the quick rise of private letting channels such as Airbnb, Stayz and HomeAway. If you’re the owner of a management rights business, you may not be their biggest fan. Disruptive companies, in any industry, often cause issues for existing operators within that industry. In the case of property management, you may be worried about losing properties in your letting pool to owners wishing to let privately, or you may have had bad experiences with the guests or bookings from these channels. Whatever it may be, this article is intended to help you understand what it means for you and how you can manage any consequences for your business proactively.

How big are private channels really? No one can argue the significance of these channels within the global tourism market, considering the massive impact they’ve had on holiday accommodation supply levels. Airbnb is now the largest shortstay accommodation supplier in the world with approximately three million rooms currently listed[i]. In Australia, in the 2015-16 financial year, the platform hosted a massive 2.1 million guests over 3.7 million nights, contributing approximately $2 billion to the Australian economy[ii]. Airbnb is not the only prominent private channel either, other big players include Stayz, HomeAway, Flipkey, Travelling Frogs, Aura and Tripping are playing within this space. According to industry experts, these channels are expected to grow over the coming

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years, with the use of ‘sharing economy lodging services’ to increase by approximately 33% by the year 2020[iii].

What does it mean for you? As the owner of a management rights business, you’re probably accustomed to the threat of losing properties from your letting pool to external agents. However, what is becoming more prevalent is the threat of owners choosing to manage their letting privately, meaning you lose revenue. In addition to lost revenue, it has been reported that some property types (usually strata properties with a high proportion of owner-occupiers) have experienced additional conflicts between residents and ‘party guests’, with the potential added security concerns of having an increase in foot traffic. However, it’s not all bad news. Other property managers feel like it’s the perfect channel to fill their vacancies. Regardless of how it may affect you, the extent to which these issues affect your business can be managed.

How can I reclaim some revenue if my letting pool has shrunk? There are other ways to earn a cut of the pie from privately let properties in your complex, despite the loss of rental commissions. Whilst property managers are still coming to terms with the effects, some savvy operators are using it as an opportunity to reclaim some of their lost revenue, and you can too!

Why not introduce a concierge service for your owners that are switching to private letting? Companies like Bnbsitter, andchill, Airbnb hands free

and MadeComfy, all specialise in providing complementary services to private letting channels. They provide the services that most property managers do on a daily basis, such as facilitating check-in and check-out, managing guest request’s and reviews, providing owners with financial reports, and organising housekeeping and laundry services. Some also offer additional services that include styling advice, pantry stocking, photography and copywriting services for their listing, with some even advising on pricing strategies. By offering these services to your owners that have chosen to privately let, you have the potential to regain some of your lost commission. Most of these services are going to go hand-in-hand with your current daily routines anyway, so why not reclaim your profit!

Capitalise on your position as an onsite property manager Most private letters opt for littleto-no face time with their guests, giving you the opportunity to step in and build rapport with the guest yourself. Some onsite managers choose to ignore privately let guests’ requests because they are not on their ticket (so to speak). Why not try a different tack…making contact

MANAGEMENT

with the guest, demonstrating the above-and-beyond services that a guest would receive by booking direct, enticing the guest to join your loyalty database to receive special promotions and discounts. Adding them to your database will allow you to market directly to them, encouraging future bookings - direct to you!

If you can’t beat them, join them If you’re feeling the pressure or have the inclination that your owners are about to jump ship and manage things privately, why not consider connecting to a private letting channel yourself? It may be exactly what you need to fill your vacancies. Lucky for you, a few select channel managers now provide direct two-way integration between these private letting channels and your PMS, allowing you to capitalise on any opportunities they present without risking overbookings or costing you hours in manual updating of inventory. [i] https://www.airbnb.com. au/about/about-us [ii] https://www2.deloitte.com/ content/dam/Deloitte/au/ Documents/Economics/deloitteau-economics-airbnb-economiceffects-in-australia-010517.pdf [iii] https://www.statista.com/ statistics/292556/number-lodgingsharing-economy-users-us/

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Why accom operators are using Airbnb as their channel of choice By Kate Jackson, Editor

Airbnb the home-share pioneer has evolved. Over the last few years, an increasingly diverse range of property types has joined the ‘family’, including boutique hotels and traditional B&Bs such as Little Albion Hotel in Sydney. These hospitali-ty providers see themselves as aligned with the company’s commitment to offering local, unique, authentic travel experiences. There are now more than 24,000 boutique hotel rooms listed on Airbnb globally and in the past year the number of boutique hotel listings increased by 520 percent globally. There are also more than 180,000 B&Bs listed with Airbnb - an increase of 100 percent from last year. For many hospitality providers, a key reason for working with Airbnb is access to a global network of guests in more than 191 countries. There have now been more

Spring 2018 - AccomNews

than 300 million guest arrivals at Airbnb listings worldwide. In Australia, there are now more than 5 million Australians using Airbnb - that’s nearly one third of the adult population. Research also suggests more Australians, particularly younger Australians, are likely to use Airbnb in the future. A study by YouGov in 2017 found half of all Australians and 74 percent of millennials would consider using Airbnb in the future when they travel. According to Airbnb’s Country manager for Australia and New Zealand Sam McDonagh, traditional hospitality providers choose to list with Airbnb for a variety of reasons including because it handles all payments and through its ‘Super-Host’ program offers a suite of support services. “We are also working to make our platform even easier for traditional hospitality providers to use,” he said. “Our global hotel technology partnerships with software

providers such as SiteMinder or ResOnline allow properties to quickly and seamlessly list on the platform.” Earlier this year, Airbnb announced plans to target travellers who have previously preferred or only used hotels, introducing property categories of Holiday Home, Unique, B&B and Boutiques and Airbnb Collections. McDonagh says of the move: “Importantly, we welcome listings hosted by traditional hospitality provided they meet our community’s standards. “We look for hosts who offer unique spaces and personal hospitality. “Some of the specific qualities we consider are things like access to common gathering areas or events, guest rooms with personal touches that are individually unique, local influences or amenities, unique design characteristics which set the property apart and local maps or tours of neighbourhoods. “Going forward, we are committed to working together

MANAGEMENT INDUSTRY

with hospitality providers across Australia and offering local, unique and authentic hospitality experiences to even more travellers.” One such hospitality provider is Pyrmont’s Terminus Hotel. General manager Belinda Clarke says Airbnb provides an effective booking channel for the property’s three distinct demographics - weekday commuters, weekend leisure guests and - surprisingly - locals. She told the audience at July’s NoVacancy expo: “There’s lots of apartment accommodation in the city so when locals have family to stay, there’s no room to host them. They come to us - people use us as a branch of their homes and we support that.” She added: “80 percent of people on Airbnb want to live like a local. They want to really experience these cities the way they would if they were a local or insider.”

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Pushing the switch Modern cloud PMSs are deployed online, which means they can be accessed remotely on computer or mobile

By Kate Jackson, Editor

The purpose of a property management system is quite simply to make your life easier. It should synchronise systems to simplify and speed up myriad everyday tasks, covering everything from taking bookings to tracking housekeeping. Manually duplicating data, dealing with double-ups and booking errors or clicking through multiple screen to complete routine processes means you’re working with a system that is out of date or incapable of handling your requirements. If your property management system is not helping you, it is holding you back.

Why switch? Technology is advancing so fast that systems which might have been cutting edge five years ago are not capable of handling the requirements of a modern hotel, motel or resort. Flexibility: Property management software that is installed only on a front-desk computer, for example, requires staff to stop what they’re doing and return to the front desk every time they need to check information. Modern cloud PMSs are deployed online, which means they can be accessed remotely on computer or mobile, giving staff flexibility to log in from anywhere and improving operation response times and communication.

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Data is far too valuable to lose, so make sure you talk this one through with various providers before making a decision Integration: A PMS which doesn’t integrate with your other hotel systems (point of sale, payment processing, customer relationship management software, in-room entertainment etc) means manually re-keying and managing data from multiple systems. This is time-wasting and error prone, slowing down important tasks and potentially hampering speedy and effective customer service. Packaging: Packages and special offers comprise a large part of modern accom marketing, allowing properties to differentiate their offer and providing guests with a value proposition. If your current PMS doesn’t support an integrated approach to features such as booking addons and ancillary sales, it may be inhibiting sales growth. Connectivity: Properties that do not provide the ability to book online are becoming a rarity in accom and may be losing a significant chunk of business. It’s vital that a PMS connects to online sales channels (online travel agents, global distributions

systems, etc) and automates availability and rate updates across those channels. If your PMS doesn’t integrate with a mobile-friendly online booking engine for your property’s website, it’s time for a change. Loyalty: Guest relationships are ever more important in this era of hyper-personalisation. A PMS that doesn’t allow you to record guest profiles or doesn’t integrate with CRM is not compatible with the modern approach to building guest loyalty. Analysis: Most property management systems provide some level of reporting, from booking, occupancy and revenue reports to custom reporting features. A good PMS will offer the ability to generate customised reports, allowing you to easily filter, sort and export the data you need.

What to consider when switching The thought of switching systems may be a daunting one, particularly if you have a

MANAGEMENT

large amount of data to migrate from one system to another. A big factor to consider whenever you change PM is whether you’ll be able to shift all the data you currently have logged over to the new system. You’ll also want to make sure that the new system will let you migrate data in the future. Data is far too valuable to lose, so make sure you talk this one through with various providers before making a decision. The quality of internet coverage is another factor when choosing whether to opt for an onsite or cloud-hosted PMS. Cloud-based systems require a good internet service and offer great easeof-use, with data managed and stored externally but accessible from any number of devices. They tend to be fast and have a lower initial investment. Data security is the main drawback as it will always be a risk to store all your data externally. Hacking is a very real threat and in recent years, hackers have targeted the accommodation sector. With onsite hosting, security is tighter and internal operations are not reliant on an internet connection, although many of these systems can be integrated with online features. The drawbacks with onsite hosting come down to the maintenance responsibilities, energy consumption and higher purchase cost. Combined systems that act like hybrid solutions are available at different price-points. Spring 2018 - AccomNews


Need a new property management system? Switching is easier than you think.

Gerry Comninos

By Gerry Comninos, CEO, RMS

Need a new property management system? Switching is easier than you think. Technology and the way people use it is changing fast – are you keeping up? If the answer is no, then it’s probably time to consider switching your property management system. It’s one of the most important decisions you will ever make and has the potential to completely transform your accommodation business. Of course, switching property management systems takes time, effort and commitment. But it’s often easier than people think, and the rewards can be huge.

Still not sure? Then consider this: the longer you stick with outdated technology the further your business will fall behind and the harder it will be to catch up.

Move to cloud The biggest trend right now is operators switching from onsite server-based property management systems to cloud hosted products. Spring 2018 - AccomNews

Fewer and fewer operators are heading in the other direction, it’s virtually one-way traffic. However, there is still a long way to go with an estimated 75 percent of the market still using onsite systems bought many years ago.

RMS has also started working on a pilot program with one of the world’s leading serviced apartment operators.

Over time there is no question that balance will change. Indeed, this was a fact recognised by Melbourne-based property management system developer RMS, which moved to the cloud more than five years ago.

Right decision The move took a lot of work but has been worth it, says Gerry Comninos, CEO of the company now known as RMS – The Hospitality Cloud. “We had to move with the times or get left behind – it’s exactly the same risk faced by hospitality operators using served-based technology,” Comninos says. Growth has really taken off as a result and RMS software is now used by more than 6000 hotels, holiday parks and serviced apartments in 30 countries. “The market has spoken,” says Comninos, adding that this year alone more than 500 properties have switched to RMS. Major signings include the

Scenic Hotel Group in New Zealand, plus significant client wins in Australia, the United States, Dubai and India.

“This kind of growth wouldn’t have been impossible if we hadn’t moved to the cloud. It’s where the demand is and is what clients want.”

Cloud v. serverbased systems RMS Founder Peter Buttigieg says switching to cloud-based technology is smart move for properties of all sizes, reducing infrastructure costs, increasing data security and boosting online sales. He says cloud-based technology suits properties of all sizes and advantages include: • • • • • • •

Fast, flexible and easy to use Automatic upgrades No heavy upfront costs No bulky infrastructure Mobile friendly Superior connectivity Cost effective

“The properties we work with love the fact our system liberates them from costly servers, allowing them to focus on the business of selling and marketing rooms.”

MANAGEMENT INDUSTRY

Mr Buttigieg says cloud systems are also more secure than oldschool server-based technology. “We’ve really been able to step up our security since moving to a cloud-based operating environment, which is guarded by extremely robust firewalls.” As a result, RMS has become the first hospitality technology company to achieve US Government FedRAMP security certification, enabling it to win a game-changing contract with US Marine Corps Community Services earlier this year.

More than just property management When switching systems, make sure you shop around and choose the one that’s right for you. It should be robust and cost-effective, automating mundane tasks and creating greater efficiencies. Make sure there are no hidden costs and the property managements system is simple to operate while giving you access to a range of tools that can assist with revenue management, trust accounting and banking. At the end of the day, your property management system has to work for you, not the other way around.

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What to consider when choosing a trustworthy PMS By Sylvia Johnston , Senior executive, HiRUM Software Solutions

onboarding program which guides you through the ‘switching’ and/or changeover process to effortlessly migrate historical data and overcome any obstacles that may arise. Thorough training for you and your staff will reduce any frustrations down the track, and regular ‘refresher’ training sessions are highly beneficial.

Is an onsite solution or a pure cloud solution preferable? In short, there are pros and cons for both. ‘Cloud’ has become somewhat of a buzz word recently, predominantly because it allowed PMS providers to bring a ‘mobile’ solution to market quickly. The ability to access your critical business information from anywhere (on any device) is priceless and can improve efficiency and the guest experience immensely. However, pure cloud solutions manage and store your data externally with a third party, which results in two major drawbacks: internet dependency and heightened exposure to data security risks. A property should not rely solely on the cloud, because poor/disrupted connectivity can result in lags or worse - if the internet fails you’ll lose all functionality of your system and won’t be able to access your critical business information. Having your data stored externally with a third party will also always make it more vulnerable to hackers who have unfortunately been targeting the accommodation sector in recent years. In order to circumvent these two major drawbacks associated with cloud solutions, HiRUM’s core development plan has been focused around the need to continue with a premise-based solution while providing ‘mobility’ and ‘ease of use’ in another way - mobile-first technology. Essentially, it involves developing stand-alone applications, which integrate with your front desk system rather than relying on an uninterrupted connection to an external server. Development of mobile-first technology is no small feat and it is the only truly mobile, secure and reliable solution available. Ultimately, we believe that if the underlying platform can offer mobility, while still catering for any scenario, your business will never be interrupted.

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Does the PMS integrate with third-parties to provide a full solution? The team at HiRUM Soft ware Solutions

Customer support is probably the most undervalued factor when it comes to choosing a PMS Is it more beneficial to rent or buy your software outright? The average lifetime of management rights ownership falls within the two to fouryear timeframe, so the most affordable short-term option for managers is usually to rent their software. This generally eliminates large monetary outlays for a system which may only be required for a relatively short period of time. Renting also often includes ongoing software maintenance and upgrades as part of the overall annual fee, thus affording the manager the opportunity to budget accurately. Conversely, the option of purchasing outright should not be dismissed; as renting does come with a drawback. Data within software is held in a database and without the relevant program in place to open this database, the data itself can’t be reached. Where business data is involved, it is generally imperative that ongoing access to this information is available and therefore the option to purchase the solution outright should be available. An outright purchase could be financed

through a broker and spread over the envisaged length of ownership, resulting in similar monthly payments to any rental agreement. Ultimately, the best arrangement depends on the business – permanent residential properties tend to benefit most from outright purchase. The key thing to ensure in any agreement, is that there are no hidden costs. Some systems may seem cheaper on the surface, but then charge more for extra users, additional devices and integration with other programs. Make sure you ask the right questions so you aren’t hit with unexpected costs.

What’s the gold standard in client support? Customer support is probably the most undervalued factor when it comes to choosing a PMS. A local, industry-trained and experienced team is of course impossible to beat, and you also want to ensure your requests will be responded to quickly, to minimise any disruption to your operations. To complement ‘live’ support, the provider should have an online self-help database with tutorials, videos and work sheets available. HiRUM also believes it is equally important to provide a comprehensive

MANAGEMENT

Integrating with third parties always comes with risks. If one provider makes a change to their product that impacts another, the client can be left in limbo whilst the providers scramble to make the two ends knit together again. However, the risk for problematic integration reduces as more pieces of the connectivity puzzle are provided by a single supplier, e.g. a PMS provider which also has a natively maintained Channel Manager is highly favourable. In saying this, integration to existing technology within your property (such as a POS, phone systems, room entertainment systems etc.) will greatly improve guest experience. There are also a rising number of powerful ‘complementary applications’ available (e.g. Snapshot/TrustYou/ CartStack) and a modern PMS should have the ability to integrate with these should you wish to make use of them.

How do you stay compliant with trust accounting legislation? Trust accounting is a serious business, with very strict regulations mandated by the government. The key to staying compliant is opting for a trusted PMS provider that has a robust solution incorporated into the software - not just an add-on module, as many in the industry do. The PMS should provide precision accounting and transparent record keeping, with accounting wizards to ensure lightning fast speed. This saves time and gives you peace-of-mind, allowing you to focus on other important matters like delivering great guest experiences. Spring 2018 - AccomNews


ATTAIN THE LIFESTYLE YOU ASPIRE TO WITH HiRUM Better Than Cloud 0RELOHȴUVWWHFKQRORJ\WKDWLV always reliable and highly secure

An End-to-End Solution Seamless integration with everything you will ever need to succeed

Superb Support Local, industry trained and experienced software experts

Transparent Pricing Rent or purchase software outright ZLWKFRQȴGHQFHQRKLGGHQFRVWV

Australia’s Trusted PMS 20 years’ experience providing software to over 1600 properties

“HIRUM has made the entire process easy as it is a simple and easily managed program that looks after everything including bookings, housekeeping, maintenance and accounting.” The Point Coolum

Phone: (07) 5574 4990 Email: sales@hirum.com.au www.hirum.com.au


Nightcap the perfect tonic for Australian accom Nightcap at Cheeky Squire

By Mandy Clarke, Industry Reporter

Learning more about Nightcap Hotels

A market leader in hospitality, the ALH Group is well known across Australia for the diverse range of experiences it provides.

Take a market leader in Australian hospitality that already has a multitude of great venues, form a dedicated accommodation department and add an incredibly talented and passionate team, led by ALH Group national accommodation manager Brett Salter. Allow three years for tireless hard work to build an innovative new accommodation concept… and the result is Nightcap Hotels.

Whether those experiences involve sports bars, bistros, restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, retail liquor, or accommodation; the consumer is always centre-stage. The group is a major Australian employer, with more than 15,000 people in 300+ licensed venues and 550+ retail liquor outlets.

2000 rooms across 98 locations and is rapidly growing, with new assets sprouting nationwide.

made a splash with its new national accommodation brand, Nightcap Hotels.

Its property portfolio boasts four-star international hotels, such as Narrabeen Sands Hotel in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, as well as classic resorts like Mission Beach Resort in Far North Queensland, and comfortable pub accommodation like the Skyways Hotel close to Melbourne Airport.

An affordable accommodation option, it is designed to meet the needs of travellers, business or pleasure. Its centrepiece is friendly service and comfortable rooms, the group stating: “Our guests can enjoy a variety of onsite facilities such as restaurants and bistros, licensed bars, sports and entertainment. Once they have arrived, there’s no need to leave.”

As property developers, The ALH Group also acquires, redevelops, and refurbishes venues to offer state-of-the-art, comfortable, and engaging places to visit.

Stirring the property pot

The group offers more than

In May, the ALH Group

Fresh. Exciting. Personable. Nightcap Hotels aren’t just capturing another niche, they’re full of personality in the hotel sector and offer incredible value for money, along with high quality, consistency and comfort with pub-style dining, bistros, entertainment and an unmissable laid-back atmosphere.

We aim to deliver a truly unique and creative offer with extensive coverage Australia wide. We want our guests to enjoy the key elements of our brand promise and most importantly save money – Brett Salter, National Accommodation Manager

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PROFILES

Spring 2018 - AccomNews


Launching Nightcap Hotels with a small team has given us all the opportunity to be intrinsically involved in every aspect of the brand - even better is watching the positive impact on the business after the hard work! It is also exciting to see the enthusiasm from the teams onsite as they too embrace the brand – Jackie Laynes , National Accommodation Support Manager Brett Salter believes that what differentiates Nightcap Hotels is quality, consistency and value in distinctive locations across the country, including suburban and regional areas.

The Nightcap Hotels points of difference: A consistent experience for travellers who want to eat, drink, play and stay without having to leave the hotel. • Licensed bars, pub-style dining, and entertainment all with a casual laidback atmosphere. • Fresh, modern, well-designed rooms featuring Premium King Koil beds, all at affordable rates • Destinations across Australia ranging from suburban to regional locations.

Nightcap’s management team... Getting to know Brett Salter: “My early introduction to business was spending time in the familyowned party hire business. It taught me a lot about customer service and the importance of a ‘yes’ attitude. When it’s your own family business that pays the bills, you can’t afford to say no! “Like many of us, I left high school not knowing the direction I would head and landed my first hospitality job as a breakfast waiter in a suburban motel. This was my first introduction to accommodation where I gradually learned all aspects

of the business, from food and beverage, housekeeping and front desk reception.

to the next level. And so, the Nightcap journey begins…”

“Several years later, I joined Choice Hotels International where I spent over ten years travelling extensively throughout Australia and New Zealand. During the later years in national development team, I led the successful launch of international brands Econo Lodge and Ascend Collection into the Australasian market. “In 2014, I joined the ALH Group and saw huge potential to build a new team and take the accommodation portfolio

Brett, tell our readers about your plans for the future of Nightcap? “Nightcap Hotels launched in May 2018 with 33 sites and over 600 rooms. We are focused on growth with a plan to have 100 sites open by 2022. Brett said: “With multiple renovations on the go, we’re excited for the future of Nightcap Hotels. Current projects include destinations such as Cairns, Brisbane, Nowra NSW, Lilydale Victoria, Adelaide and Perth.” ALH are also planning to re-open

accommodation rooms that have only been used as storage spaces over the years. “Many of these we have inherited through past acquisitions and we have more than ten sites to re-open in suburban locations.” Incredibly, Nightcap Hotels is also pursuing and developing new accommodation projects. “We own and operate 330 hotels across the country with sizeable car parks.” Brett added. “We have a huge opportunity to develop accommodation on underutilised real estate. Our purpose is to make Nightcap accommodation more available for consumers across Australia.

Creating the new Nightcap Hotels brand from scratch has been a very rewarding challenge. Having created the brand as a team is something we are very proud of. In every instance we have always tried to put ourselves in our guests’ shoes to build an excellent experience which is great value for money. – Grace Keath, National Accommodation Support Manager

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Spring 2018 - AccomNews


Powering RMS Technology

Nightcap Hotels

RMS – The Hospitality Cloud, the world’s fastestgrowing property management system, has been with Nightcap Hotels every step of the way, from concept to execution. It’s a natural progression of the long-term relationship between RMS and Nightcap’s parent company, ALH Group. All ALH Group properties – there are almost 100 now – have been using the RMS Enterprise system for many years. The latest iteration, RMS Enterprise 9+, is a state-ofthe-art cloud-based system specifically designed to simplify the complicated business of running hotels and motels across multiple locations. Brett Salter, National Accommodation

times.” Mr Salter said another significant advantage of RMS Enterprise 9+ is the integrated RMS Channel Manager, which connects to all the world’s major booking channels and cuts the cost and inefficiency of using a third-party system.

Manager at ALH Group, says RMS Enterprise 9+ is a real step up in terms of quality and usability. “One of the major benefits is that we only have to use one system across all our properties and I think the fact it’s cloud-based gives us a real competitive advantage,” says Mr Salter. “There’s a single login and that offers many benefits, particularly in terms of mobility.

“For example, our area managers can pull data through their iPad while on the road and easily segment and compare performance metrics such on a single property, regional or national basis. “It means our workforce can be truly mobile, which is extremely important for a business such as ours which requires a lot of travel. It’s vital to be productive at all

“The RMS Channel Manager simplifies distribution, doesn’t cost extra, and means we don’t have managers wasting time logging in and out of a separate system to manage rates and inventory - it can all be done in the one place.” Optimising direct web bookings through the RMS Online module is a further benefit of RMS Enterprise 9+. Users can automatically upload rates/ availability and receive bookings in real time, automatically populating the reservation management system with guest details and processing deposit payments.

RMS Enterprise The complete property management solution for multi-properties and groups. Seamlessly combine data from all or a selection of properties to generate substantial, accurate and timely reports. RMS Channel Manager Improve

efficiency with real-time distribution, connecting your business to all the world's major booking channels, without the need for a third party channel manager.

RMS Book Now Button (IBE) Reduce distribution costs by maximising bookings from your property’s website, fully integrated to all other RMS distribution and property management features

www.RMScloud.com Spring 2018 - AccomNews

sales@rms.com.au INDUSTRY PROFILES

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With the widest range of Belgian Beer in WA, you can enjoy the finest imported beers, great quality pub food, then wander upstairs to your boutique hotel room with the best money one can find, right here in the middle of Perth city centre

Our guests love the fact we are providing exceptional value and growing significantly around key destinations. The feedback from new clients has been amazing – Simon Kelleway, National Accommodation Business Development Manager

– Jason Dick, Nightcap at Belgian Beer Café Hotel Manager Presenting the newly opened Nightcap Hotel at Belgian Beer Cafe in Perth CBD... Renovations started five months ago at the Belgian Beer Cafe, Perth which is now open as the Nightcap at Belgian Beer Cafe. The historic CBD landmark property has sat on the corner of Murray and King Street since 1898, when the City Hotel was erected on the site by Mr Robert Wolfe. It’s now known as popular Belgian Beer Café but sadly its accommodation rooms have been closed for over 15 years. In the early days, this was considered to be the rough end of town. It was dotted with coal yards and workers’ cottages but now, over a century later, King Street is an iconic pedestrianfriendly fashion district that is home to many local and international luxury brands. Here, the newest Nightcap Hotel is perfectly positioned to meet the needs of a myriad of visitors.

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Nightcap at Belgian Beer Café has not just been beautifully renovated, it’s also tackled one of the hottest industry travel trends...seamless check-in.

Delivering on promise

The team understand how precious time is for travellers and check-in time needs to be convenient, so they do things differently. With no dedicated reception desk, guests receive a text and email 48 hours prior to arrival with a unique code to enter via the accommodation entrance.

AH Beard’s relationship with ALH began in 2013, when they were asked to provide a higher quality product; a bespoke bed that delivered a better quality sleep experience.

Once guests arrive they pick up the phone to alert the team and help themselves to a complimentary beer, wine or soft drink. The hotel manager will come to greet their guest and complete the seamless check-in process.

Peter Deveny, AH Beard’s group commercial manager, said: “When we first started to work with Brett Salter, he had a vision in mind of what kind of bed he wanted for the Nightcap Hotel brand. Brett’s experience in the hospitality business meant that he understood what guests were looking for, and one of the key factors in the room design was a great bed.

This is truly a ‘home-awayfrom-home’ for repeat guests, who can enter their mobile phone number into a key safe to access their room key. What a simple and effective checkin process, where no-one needs to wait more than five minutes after a long day of travel.

“We worked to develop a product that used pocket coil support systems - this is the support technology used by almost all of the world’s leading hotels - combined with high quality, Australian-made foams and luxury stretch knit fabrics to

PROFILES

Peter Deveny - AH Beard’s Group Commercial Manager

deliver a product well beyond the expectation of the guests. “The Nightcap Hotel model has now been rolled out nationally. The guest reviews clearly tell the story of how successful the model has been, and we are excited to be part of the growth of the Nightcap Hotel brand as it continues to expand across Australia. The Nightcap Hotel’s brand promise, including their signature bed model, is clearly resonating with guests and creating a real buzz in the market.”

Spring 2018 - AccomNews


Passions personified AF Sourcing drive the interior design and furniture selections for all Nightcap Hotels. Erica Richardson, senior interior designer at AF Sourcing said: “We work closely with Nightcap Hotels from initial scoping of projects through to design and installation. We liaise with Nightcap staff at various levels, builders, trades and architects to implement each unique design. “We love rejuvenating these iconic buildings in communities across Australia

and creating interiors which are unique but recognizable as the Nightcap brand. “One standout moment was seeing the result of using a graffiti artist to spray paint bedheads at Chardons Hotel. This created a real punch in each room and helped this venue stand out! “Our goal is to be faithful to the Nightcap branding but to ensure the local environment is represented in each venue. We want the furniture and design to be functional without being boring!”

Be excited by what we’ve already done, and inspired by what we can do for you. Come to the source.

T 1300 668 069 E info@afsourcing.com.au PO Box 172 Northgate QLD 4013

www.afsourcing.com.au Spring 2018 - AccomNews

INDUSTRY PROFILES

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NoVacancy

a showcase for industry’s best By Kate Jackson, Editor

More than 3,000 accom owners, operators and managers descended on Sydney’s International Convention Centre in July to network, hear from industry experts and testdrive latest products and technologies. Unusually for an industry event, entry to NoVacancy was free. The event’s managers reasoned that removing high ticket costs opened up the feasibility of attending for more delegates, particularly those having to travel long distances to the Darling Harbour site. The strategy worked, with operators from around the country making the trip representing accommodation properties great and small from as far afield as North Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia.

So what was it all about? 1. A trade show / exhibition

2. Seminars and presentations More than 40 free seminars covered everything from wellness tourism through personalisation to the power of PR stunts. Seminars and discussion panels that offered standing room only included sessions on

direct bookings, how to drive higher occupancy, social media, refurbishments on a budget, dealing with bad reviews, and industry trends such as listing boutique hotels online. To cut out the conversational buzz on the expo floor, seminar audiences were presented with ‘silent disco’-style headsets

3. Networking It’s hard to overstate the value of connections and insights shared in person. Certainly AccomNews found this an invaluable part of the NoVacancy offering and helped us put a face to our product for many of the industry players we talk to on a regular basis.

If you’ve not visited a tradeshow before, think of it as a shopping centre for a particular industry, stocked with the products, technologies and services you could need for your business. There were more than 160 exhibitors showcasing products and services including bedding, technology, operating software, amenities, energy management, furniture, art and, most importantly, coffee (thank you Laughing Pug Coffee Co).

As event director Brad Langton says: “We caught conversations happening across the networking lounges, before and after seminars and in aisles, it was truly exciting to see so many people with common challenges all together.”

Particularly for regional and smaller operators, it provided a rare opportunity to touch, feel and demo potential investments. Many of the visitors we spoke with met existing suppliers and contacts in person for the first time at the expo.

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which cancelled distractions and allowed them to hone in on presenters voices. AccomNews can attest to their quality - they allowed for perfect audio.

What happens next year? NoVacancy returns to the ICC Sydney Exhibition Centre in Darling Harbour on July 24 & 25, 2019. Here Brad Langton talks about what attendees can expect: PROFILES

Spring 2018 - AccomNews


they’ve created their unique room and the elements within.

Speed networking In addition to the matchmaking, we’re exploring the creation of speed networking sessions where you get to meet other motel/hotel owners and operators, share your story, challenges and build out a network of like-minded industry connections.

Larger exhibition and new categories Matchmaking We’re investing in matchmaking technology to help you navigate to the right companies for your needs quickly and effectively. Serendipity at an event is nice, but we want to help you secure one-on-one time with the products and services you’re interested in, it’s also useful to connect with past colleagues or other visitors. We’ve had such a positive response to this in some of our other events and are excited to offer it to NoVacancy visitors in 2019.

Bigger theatres Due to popularity of the seminar

sessions this year, we’re expanding each of our theatres to accommodate more seats, headsets and learning. Seating will still be on a first-come firstserved basis and the program will be released with plenty of time to plan your days.

New F&B Experience Tailored for those operators that have food and beverage as part of their offering, The F&B Experience will showcase exhibitors including table, glass and flatware; table décor and styling; menu design, branding and uniforms; and catering supplies and equipment. It’s not about

ingredients, rather enhancing the dining experience and will be supported with seminars dedicated to F&B growth.

Hotel room design competition Four fully built and furnished rooms will be themed and styled in the exhibition by leading architecture and design firms. The firms are being handpicked by invitation only and will be given a brief and a theme with under 2 days to construct the entire room before the exhibition opens. You’ll get a chance to meet the teams and get insights into how and why

Since the event we’ve been inundated with solution providers to the industry looking to get involved. We continue to curate the products and services on the expo floor, but will see the event grow to an expected 220 suppliers next year – bringing you more innovation and new brands all under one roof.

Details What: When: Where: Cost:

NoVacancy 2018 July 24 & 25, 2019 ICC Sydney Exhibition Centre Free (pre-registration online prior to event essential)

More: www.novacancy.com.au

TAKE BACK CONTROL with

Budget Motel Chain What an amazing experience this years’ NoVacancy Expo was for the Budget Motel Chain! During the expo our stand had a never-ending procession of visitors who wanted to know more about Budget Motel Chain and the UseROSS Channel Manager. The amount of industry related companies that were in attendance was fantastic, a number of which approached us to enquire about our Preferred Partner Program and how they could join. Post expo has been an incredibly busy time for the Budget Motel Chain with; •

our members generously donating over 125 room-nights to our drought affected farmers,

Dick Smith reaching out to us

Spring 2018 - AccomNews

after hearing our Chairman, Charles Ikstrums, on ‘Australia All Over with Macca’ talking about the impact of the OTAs and starting the “Book Direct and Save” campaign, and •

us finalising the redevelopment of our Channel Manager, UseROSS

Budget Motel Chain is proud to be the largest fully Australian owned accommodation chain. We believe that strength in numbers gives property owners a louder voice in this ever-evolving industry, fighting together against the OTA’s and pushing for Direct Bookings. So, TAKE BACK CONTROL and contact the Budget Motel Chain to find out more. We’re looking forward to seeing you next year. Would you like more information about Budget Motel Chain? Call 03 9784 4111 or email admin@budgetmotels.com.au

INDUSTRY PROFILES

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InnQuest Australia unveils

Eventory event management software and roomMaster hosted at NoVacancy 2018 InnQuest Australia is a leading technology provider for the hospitality industry. Since 1996, the company has combined their in-house hotelier experience with innovative technology to deliver software solutions that empower hotels to attract guests, drive customer loyalty, and increase profits. More than 5,500 properties across 100 countries trust InnQuest with over 440,000 rooms managed daily through the flagship property management system, roomMaster. Exhibiting at this years’ NoVacancy event, InnQuest Australia launched ‘Eventory’ - event and function management software alongside ‘hosted roomMaster PMS’ for clients wanting to move their PMS to the cloud without losing their on-premise functionality.

roomMaster hosted is exactly what you have in the on-premise solution, accessible via a web browser. When it comes to event management, we’ve been in your shoes; diaries, calendars, filing cabinets filled with event detail folders, revising menus and guest numbers, checking, re-checking and endless spreadsheets! It should not be this hard so, we took our industry experience into creating a program to simplify event management’. Eventory event & function management software is designed to improve client communication and provide an entire team with every detail at their fingertips. The ability to handle every enquiry professionally, logging details, templated emails and the ability to personalise the message and send with attachments in one easy step then set alarm reminders to follow up.

Events added onto the grid-based chart follow the reservation from enquiry to setup to completion time. Bookings contain contact information, comments and every intricate detail from quotations, full menus (either templated or bespoke), seating plans, floor plans and full run sheets by department. All the while enabling your team to communicate and share these

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details with your clients and team members easily to ensure you meet client expectations, the ultimate in function management. As always, the ethos of InnQuest Australia is based in service. We have all worked in the industry and we just ‘get’ it. It is not rocket science… we might be a software company, but we are very much in the business of hospitality.

roomMaster

by innQuest Software

Eventory

event management software A full circle solu�on, from point of enquiry to invoice on departure. Spend more �me selling and running events, less on manual administra�on processes.

roomMaster provides you with intui�ve so�ware tailored to your requirements to enable cost-effec�ve management in every facet of your business, an�cipate your guests needs and op�mize your property’s profitability.

eventory.com.au

roomMaster.com.au

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PROFILES PROFILES

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Quest invests in Penrith

Phil Willey - Quest Franchisee

By Mandy Clarke, Industry Reporter

Quest franchisee Phil Willey is proud to introduce the new Quest Penrith Serviced Apartments, another modern property for this respected brand keen to increase its accommodation offerings in New South Wales. Positioned to capitalise on the ever-evolving Sydney, Penrith is transitioning from a regional centre to the state’s third major city. Therefore, Quest Penrith is ready and able to take full advantage of the area’s huge growth potential. The property features 115 comfortable apartments over seven levels. Comprising studio, one and two-bedroom configurations, it includes on-site parking, a conference room and gym. The hotel is well located, adjacent to Penrith railway station and within walking distance of Westfield Penrith. After months of preparation Phil recently welcomed his

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first guests to Quest Penrith. “We are delighted to provide a ‘home away from home’ for our guests, this is our core business, with a focus also on the short-stay traveller,” he said. “I sold the Quest Wollongong franchise in March 2018 before moving to Penrith in July 2018 to begin work on opening Quest Penrith. When I took on the Quest Wollongong franchise I had no hotel experience, and I felt like my head was spinning for the first few months. I’ve enjoyed being on a steep learning curve ever since! “With the Quest Penrith property there has been even more to learn, and I am in no doubt that I will continue to grow and develop my skills at Quest.”

We asked Phil... Tell us about your team? “I have a great leadership team, all with many years of hotel experience and I am fortunate to learn from them every day. Ravi Satyavolu is the property manager, Jim McGrath is the front office manager, Carly Allen is the business development manager and Loleta Morgan, the housekeeping supervisor.

What advice can you give others? “When taking on a Quest franchise, recognise that it’s a massive commitment and you will need to be totally focused on the business. Goal setting and planning to achieve those goals is vital to success.” What do you enjoy most? “Working with great people to create a business that we all can be proud of in terms of satisfying customer needs and being involved in the local community. It’s a great industry to be involved with, as it is a people centred business.” How has your property been received? “We are in the early stages of the business so the challenge for us right now, is to get our name known. Marketing, advertising, networking and getting involved in community events are all activities that are helping us achieve this.” The brand’s story... Quest Apartment Hotels has over 150 properties in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. They are in central business districts, suburban and regional areas with close proximity to head

PROFILES

offices, business centres and key tourist destinations. Property manager Ravi Satyavolu told us: “When Quest was established, accommodation options available to travellers were limited mainly to hotels and motels. For business travellers, this meant working, sleeping and eating in the one, often cramped, space. It also made travelling for families and groups expensive, with multiple rooms required to accommodate everyone. That’s why apartment hotels are an excellent option. “Quest was born from humble beginnings in 1988, with one property in Fitzroy on the fringe of Melbourne’s central business district. Since then, Quest has emerged to become the largest and most successful apartment hotels brand in Australasia. Today, travellers choose Quest, because it is widely recognised for providing spacious and convenient accommodation for guests travelling for extended periods of time. “No matter where you do business or choose to holiday, from central business districts to regional areas, Quest is there for you.”

Spring 2018 - AccomNews


Indulging the lust for luxe without spending a fortune steel or wooden frames are a must. The canvas needs to be tough, waterproof and fire retardant (essential if you are going to fit a wood burner). Top quality will result in a better return on your investment as the materials will last longer.

By Kate Jackson, Editor

Glamping is the accom phenomenon taking the rough out of roughing it. It allows a reconnection with nature without any of the headaches normally associated with sleeping under the stars. There’s no frantic packing of towels and bedding, tin mugs and dented frying pans, gazebos and barbeques. There’s no climbing into a grit-laden sleeping bag. But there is the romance of a night under canvas listening to the sounds of the bush or the ocean - still audible over the gurgle of your Nespresso milk frother. More ‘Out of Africa’ than ‘Carry on Camping’, glamping is unashamedly stylish and comfortable.

So what do would-be glamping operators need to know? Glamping requires sturdy, permanent tent-like structures, equipped with luxuries such as comfy beds, throws, aircon and ensuites. The most luxurious command price tags equivalent to a top hotel room - but can be put together for considerably less. According to the blog www. fdomes.com: “It might look like the owners invested their seven-figure nest eggs to get those luxury camping sites rolling, but no. “Hundreds of glamping sites already out there, and still more popping up, are a living proof that the business pays off and is here to stay.”

Spring 2018 - AccomNews

Standardised pre-fabricated glamping kits allow you to assemble the structure yourself and while they’re less customisable, can save a lot of money. Many include woodburners and insulation, making them year-round solutions. The first step is to define your guests and their expectations are. From families and couples to business groups, diverse needs must be considered; honeymooners and VIPs may not enjoy sharing their glamping experience with families, whereas activity tourists might be more amenable. When it comes to facilities, will you provide a laundry room, a games room, spa, pool? Will you have cooking areas and shared bathrooms or include those facilities within each tent?

Location A plot of land away from traffic but with good access is a perfect starting point. It must be well-drained, offer wind protection and allow for parking. Any luxe camping environment will need power, waste disposal facilities, fire safety measures and sanitary facilities.

proposed site, it’s imperative to check that zoning is appropriate prior to applying for approval. Wherever your setup, you will need to acquire a development permit for any change of use when it comes to your glamping site. Once approval is given, it will need renewing at regular intervals - those timings again varying from state to state.

Pandering to glamping A business which creates tourism and employment with minimal environmental impact is generally welcomed with open arms and may be eligible for a supporting development grant. Diversification which supports a primary business, like glamping on farmland, is particularly sought after.

Choosing your structure

Regulation

Glamping covers everything from yurts and safari tents to converted caravans, pods, barns, cabins and domes.

Each state and council within it have their own rules governing camping, but wherever your

If you go the tent route, premium quality canvas with up to 20 years’ longevity and sturdy

REFURBISHMENT INDUSTRY

Making your tents unique is vital and providing cosy and luxury touches is imperative if you’re looking to charge decent rates.

Money and maintenance At the beginning of each season, you’ll need to hose down tents and rub any marks clean with a cloth. No chemicals are required so this is perfect for environmentally sensitive areas. The cost of a quality 6m x 7m safari tent is around $7000. Allowing around $3,500 for the base and internal decoration, you could recoup the cost of that tent in a few months by charging an average glamping rate of around $290 per night. Across Australia, pricing varies from around $100 to $800 per night (dependent on location, amenities and season). Remember, it’s OK to start small. Two or three yurts may not break the bank but enable you to learn what works before you decide to decide to invest wholesale in your glamping empire.

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Specialist

Hotel Refurbishment and Fit-Out Company

Since 2005, Reward has been Australia’s leading provider of refurbishment and fit-out services to hotels Australia-wide, partnering with clients to deliver the highest quality solutions and complete projects on time and on budget. With an impressive list of successful projects and a commitment to providing exceptional customer service, Reward prides themselves on finishing projects to the highest standard and working consistently with repeat clientele. “Our Experience is Your Success” Reward’s extensive experience, depth of knowledge, and diverse resources means they are well equipped to handle projects from cafes, restaurants, bars and boutique hotels to large scale 600+ room hotels. Construction knowledge, a vast logistics network and custom joinery skills in-house, means Reward has great scope to efficiently deliver national projects in any metropolitan or regional location in Australia. With over a decade’s experience in the hotel industry, Reward aim to achieve the best possible results at every stage of a project, coordinating and managing all facets of the project requirements within operating hotels, with minimal disruption. Understanding that every hotel is unique, the Reward team can

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strategically plan and stage refurbishments to suit your individual hotel, their client driven approach is why Reward are the preferred refurbishment company of many large hotel groups. “Delivering Great Results is What Defines Us” Aiming to always exceed client’s expectations, Reward’s entire team of experienced professionals have a passion for producing high quality hotel refurbishments. Their high quality, innovative and cost effective approach to every fit-out and refurbishment project sets Reward apart. The vast hotel refurbishment experience of this industry leader gives hotel operators and clients the security and certainty that all project expectations will always be met with a proven standard of quality, and consistency. Reward’s Services • Hotel Refurbishment • Hotel Fit-Out • Custom Joinery Reward’s Recent Projects Novotel Sydney Darling Square Novotel Surfers Paradise Desert Gardens Ayers Rock Pier One Sydney Harbour Crowne Plaza Alice Springs Pullman Sydney Olympic Park View more projects at reward.com.au FEATURE PROJECT Novotel Sydney Darling Square Reward was engaged to completely transform and refurbish the guestrooms,

corridors, conference/meeting rooms and public areas of the Novotel Sydney Darling Square, including the lobby, reception, restaurant and bar. Reward implemented innovative solutions to facilitate the fresh, modern and creative design. The team at Reward developed visually stunning solutions to achieve the refurbishment design objective in a cost-effective and engineered viable manner. The use of limed oak and white washed timbers, gold detailing and stack stone feature wall, along with a variety of natural materials and textures, and low level lighting, throughout the hotel’s lobby and bar/restaurant areas reflects modern trends and appeals to a wide market.

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Reward executed a successful 10 month construction program aimed at minimising disruption to guest and hotel operations. Consistent and detailed communication between all parties and adherence to a strict schedule ensured the project went smoothly and was completed on time and on budget. Reward’s Christopher Donohue said of the project “We are delighted to have been involved in such a stunning transformation of such a great Sydney hotel. To discuss an upcoming refurbishment or fit-out project, or if you need construction or planning advice, please contact the team at Reward on 02 9669 4122 or info@reward.com.au to maximise the value of your project. Spring 2018 - AccomNews


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Move-in furnishes the all-new Punthill Ivanhoe Serviced Apartments By Mandy Clarke, Industry Reporter

Punthill Apartment Hotels recently revealed their newest accommodation; the beautiful, stylish and spacious Punthill Ivanhoe Serviced Apartments. This property adds to their already expansive list of superb serviced accommodation offerings in Melbourne. One of Melbourne’s oldest and most exclusive suburbs, Ivanhoe is known for its leafy and green characteristics. The apartments sit opposite the Austin Health Precinct

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Our design team worked closely with the artist to curate a selection of prints that would fit best within the scheme and reflect the Punthill brand and Olivia Newtown-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre, making this the perfect accommodation choice for visitors of a sick relative or friend. These one and two-bedroom apartments all offer fantastic sweeping views of the city’s skyline and Dandenong Ranges. This skilfully designed and appointed state-of-the-art accommodation was furnished

by Move-in, a company that provides Australia-wide FF&E furnishing solutions. Specialising in complete turnkey furniture packages, Move-in offers “contemporary selections of furniture and accessories, tailored to suit every project and budget”. According to Brittany Britten from Move-in, they can provide

REFURBISHMENT

high-volume packages for hotels, resorts, serviced apartments, student and workforce accommodation, as well as individual packages for display homes, marketing suites, corporate and executive leasing, investment properties and private residences. Punthill Apartment Hotels previously tasked Move-in with furnishing their CBD Northbank Serviced Apartment Hotel. The collaboration was a huge success and now at Ivanhoe they have done it again! Here, the interior design team present a fresh and colourful FF&E solution for 52 serviced apartments, making a point of using local artists and makers to give it a Melbourne/local feel.

Spring 2018 - AccomNews


MOVE–IN COMPLETE FURNITURE PACKAGES

... Hotels Hospitality Serviced Apartments Student Living Social Spaces

Brittany said: “The interior was brought to life using colourful styling and artwork by local artist Ellie Malin - who supplied limited edition prints exclusive to Punthill Ivanhoe - along with customised ceramics by The Mod Collective. The artwork and styling were specified to highlight the brand and add colour to the apartments. “Our design team worked closely with the artist to curate a selection of prints that would fit best within the scheme and reflect the Punthill brand.” Move-in designed, delivered and installed everything from sofas to beds, pots and pans and electrical items, along with artwork and functional styling items.

Laura White, Punthill’s group operations manager told us: “Move-in took care of every detail, they provided a contemporary and comfortable furniture package for us, a turnkey solution with full customer service and project management. The team really took care of us, having worked with us on our prior development Punthill Northbank. Melissa Molnar on the interiors team was incredible and really assisted in achieving our vison for the new opening. We are delighted with the fit out, as are our guests who are offering positive feedback about the modern styling and homely feel of the apartments.” Photography: Martina Gemmola - gemmola.com Styling: Ruth Welsby - ruthwelsby.com

We are proud to be Australia’s leading FF&E designers. With over 15 years’ experience, we specialise in complete turn-key furniture solutions Australia wide. From sofas to beds, pots and pans, white goods and electrical items we take care of absolutely everything so all you need to do is move in. • • • •

Customised FF&E solutions Concept design & schedules Obligation free quotations Finance options available

Contact us to discuss your project needs. TELEPHONE +61-3-9686-7111 ENQUIRIES@MOVE-IN.COM.AU WWW.MOVE-IN.COM.AU

Spring 2018 - AccomNews

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ll-d how we

gu ests l fee

Happy on the inside:

By Kate Jackson, Editor

Humans respond emotionally to good design. Over the past 40 years, numerous academic studies have shown how the physical environment affects our moods and behaviours. The look of a lobby and the ambience of a guest room elicit feelings which will influence whether a guest chooses to stay again. Consciously or subconsciously, we all respond to design elements that make us feel comfortable, inspired, happy, relaxed or excited. With careful curation of furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E), accommodators can create an atmosphere that keeps customers coming back for more.

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Marc Conias of PPS Tailored Furniture Solutions says: “Common areas are very important as these create the guests’ first impressions. Ensure the entrance is functional as well as inviting. This alone will have an impact on the vacancy rate and who you attract to the property.” FF&E must do more than match wall colours with carpet and furniture. It needs to define spaces that are functional yet appealing, polished yet comfortable, enduring yet flexible. It is a major factor in the success or failure of any venue - and constitutes a significant percentage of spending for any new project or refurbishment. Put simply, it is vital that any accommodation business gets FF&E right. Which is why using an expert team to craft your vision is imperative.

What the experts do FF&E specialists provide services ranging from refurbs of existing motel rooms to complete turnkey solutions for new hotels. They work with managers within the confines of set budgets, with teams comprising interior designers through to builders and electricians, to ensure quality standards and timelines are met. Packages include, for example, floorplan assessments to compile furniture package quotes, production of marketing material to help in the sales process, concept and design services, manufacturing and procurement, and full installation. They can meet specifications unique to a project and produce bespoke furniture solutions for high-end developments. Interior designers can envision

REFURBISHMENT

spaces and atmospheres for which guests are willing to pay well. They should be involved from the beginning when working with architects and builders to provide those artistic elements that create experiences guests love and seek to repeat. Design is just one piece of the puzzle though. FF&E must meet safety codes and standards for flammability, toxicity, and slip resistance. Selecting appropriate materials and finishes for a project requires considering more than aesthetics. Furniture, fixtures and equipment should be durable, functional, and meet the sustainability, budgetary and safety needs of the project. FF&E specialists deliver all these elements in one package, while understanding the essential factors of time, noise and disruption to business that affect any refurb or new project. Spring 2018 - AccomNews


TAILORED FURNITURE SOLUTIONS For Hotels, Motels, Resorts, Serviced Apartments & High Rise Residential

F F E & T U R N - K E Y PA C K A G E S | 3 Y E A R* WA R R A N T Y | A U S T R A L I A-W I D E S E R V I C E

info@PPSAUSTRALIA.COM

1300 884 914

www.PPSAUSTRALIA.com

*3 year warranty on all furniture packages. Electrical goods are as per manufacturer warranty. E&OE PPS4 659


Industry View: Marc Conias of PPS Tailored Furniture Solutions. What are the benefits of all-encompassing tailored FF&E solutions? A full FFE solution encompassing interior design, manufacture and supply, delivery and installation through a single supplier provides the accommodation operator with a single point of contact for the entire FFE refurbishment project, greatly simplifying overall coordination of the project whilst reducing the possibility of issues arising from engagement through multiple contractors. Quality FFE commercialgrade furniture offers features such as metal runners with soft closing draws, sofa and armchair covers in commercial quality fabric, full steel inner frame chairs with commercial quality fabric, coffee & dining

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FF&E needs to define spaces that are functional yet appealing, polished yet comfortable, enduring yet flexible tables with powder coated bases and comfortable quality beds. Trusted electrical brands backed by factory warranties & local service centres are also very important for great follow up and client peace of mind. Above all, a full FFE solution company will relieve the stress of shopping around for the right product and price, provide expert design work fitting the style of a property within a specified budget, and delivery and installation can be completed within a short timeframe.

Are there finance and leasing options available? There are a number of finance options available in the marketplace, but some of the leading FFE providers offer low rate Chattel Mortgage finance options, allowing the project to be funded using the inventory as security. These facilities generally operate on a five-year term allowing properties to depreciate the equipment and expensing the interest charges whilst constantly upgrading on a recurring cycle, allowing the property to continually maintain

REFURBISHMENT

the highest standard for FFE. How is a wholesale refurb achieved with minimal disruption to guests? The refurbishment of a development can be timed to suit the operational requirements of the property, with the inventory installed around the current bookings in targeted rooms/floors to minimise disruption to guests. Is it important to use specialist architects & builders on these projects and if so, why? FFE providers often work with specialist architects and builders on large and mediumsized projects. Experienced FFE providers offer a full design service, including provision of samples and installation prototype rooms, reducing the need to engage external architects and builders on smaller refurb projects.

Spring 2018 - AccomNews


BREAKING AN ACCOM INDUSTRY FIRST...

NEWS

All the brands you trust, For the first time... the industry leaders have come together to offer you affordability for furnishing and maintaining your accommodation. Why pay cash when you can get access to all the best brands to fit out your properties with quick and simple leasing? Start today without the need for your upfront cash or credit.

LEASE YOUR DESIGN + SUPPLY + INSTALL with Rubix Don’t wait any longer, let us help you refurbish today

CALL 1300 049 531

FIND OUT MORE www.rubixcollections.com.au

INDUSTRY FIRST: ALL OF THESE BRANDS NOW AVAILABLE SUPPLIED AND FITTED FOR NO MONEY DOWN OTHER THAN YOUR FIRST MONTHLY INSTALMENT


Sydney’s new cool

led by ground-breaking hotels

West Hotel, Sydney Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour

By Kate Jackson, Editor

Sydney’s collection of unique hotels is putting it at the epicentre of a national ‘innovation revolution’ and setting the design agenda for some 11,000 new rooms across the city over the next decade. Not since before the 2000 Olympics has the city seen such a fervour of hotel building and renovation - and this time around, the newbies are all decidedly different. The Collectionist, Little Albion, Spicers Potts Point and the Paramount House Hotel are leading a new generation of urban lifestyle hotels which borrow from the Airbnb ‘experience’ mantra.

The hotels cover all price points and feature advanced technologies such as mobile check-in, cutting-edge design and restaurants aimed as much at the local community as guests Tourism Accommodation Australia last week released its Innovation Revolution Transforming Australia’s Hotel Industry report identifying the NSW capital as leading the Australian pack when it comes to innovation and sheer volume of projects on the drawing board. The latest Nation Visitor Survey, released this week, has confirmed Sydney’s

ascendancy, showing an 11.87 percent increase in domestic visitor nights in NSW hotels, motels, resorts and serviced apartments to the year ending June 2018, with a 5.5 percent increase in visitor nights in Sydney. This, together with the yearon-year growth in international visitor nights, is helping to drive the unprecedented investment in hotel innovation.

They offer curated experiences aimed at providing guests with a distinctive taste of the local community through art, heritage, tours, food and drink.

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New hotels are not only bringing diversity to the market, says TAA, but they are also activating urban spaces through their integration. For example, the Old Clare on Broadway is an essential element of the Kensington Street dining precinct, while the Skittle Place food, retail and entertainment precinct will be created as part of the Skye Hotel Suites project in Skittle Lane in the city. Outside the city centre, suburban hotels are developing along similar lines, with the Felix Hotel at Sydney Airport a new take on the traditional stopover offering, and the William Inglis Hotel at Warwick Farm raising the accommodation stakes in Sydney’s West. TAA’s report shows the new wave of hotels is being driven both by global groups introducing new designer brands and local groups responding to millennialdriven travel attitudes.

Even Sydney’s three major new international hotels; the Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour, the Curio (West Hotel) and the Four Points by Sheraton at Central Park, tap into the latest appetite for individual. They may not be quite as ‘out there’ as the smaller boutique offerings, but there is a definite personality to each.

The city has already seen significant hotel development over the past year, with more than 1000 rooms added to inner city, airport and suburb locations. A further 23 hotels are either under construction or approved.

Ovolo Sydney

REFURBISHMENT

“Sydney is undergoing the most fundamental change to its accommodation sector since the arrival of international hotels in the 1970s,” said Ms Giuseppi. Spring 2018 - AccomNews


SAGUARD SOFA BEDS

that never sag If you are planning a refurbishment and require quality sofa beds that not only look amazing but more importantly provide your clients with an exceptional level of sleep, call Skyways Furniture the guest accommodation specialists. Manufacturing and designing sofas and sofa beds since 1994 we noticed a huge void in the accommodation

industry particularly the lack of quality spare bed options. This was mainly due to the limited and poor choice of sofa bed mechanisms available in Australia. These “uncomfortable’, traditional bed mechanisms made such an impact on hotel clientele that the mere mention of the words “we have a sofa bed for additional bedding” made them cringe. Guests expected an uncomfortable night’s sleep due to the lack of support, rolling into the centre, bars poking into their backs and were far better off sleeping on the floor! It was these common complaints of the traditional

unsightly sofa bed that led us to research and develop Australia’s leading sofa bed that provides the highest level of sleep usually compared to that of a regular bed. Moreover just as importantly to be able to use the sofa bed as a comfy firm sofa that doesn’t sag! Today, as a family owned and operated business we are proud to be the Australian Industry leader in the manufacturing and designing of Saguard quality sofa beds that never Sag. The combination of our Exclusive Italian Bed mechanism and Saguard the anti-sag protector has resulted

in the development of Sofa beds that do not sag and provide your guests with a true level of exceptional sleep and total comfort. Our in-house design team have worked closely with many commercial clients some of which are the Austin Hospital (The Olivia Newton John Cancer Centre Melbourne), The Marriot Hotel (Lonsdale St Melbourne) and Quest apartments (Sale Victoria). We look forward to creating a guest bed solution for your next project. Get in touch with us on (03) 8555 0456 or visit our website www.skyways.com.au

SAGUARD SOFA BEDS THAT NEVER SAG Saguard Sofa Beds provide optimum comfort and total level of support to the user as a bed and as a sofa. Features our exclusive Posture slat bed mechanism and Saguard the anti sag protector. Choose from our extensive range or custom made option. All are manufactured with the utmost attention to detail and we ensure design, size, function and delivery deadlines are all met by working directly with you. Call us to discuss your next refurbishment project today.

(03) 8555 0456 info@skyways.com.au www.skyways.com.au

Spring 2018 - AccomNews Release - Year - Issue - XX

REFURBISHMENT INDUSTRY SECTION

accomnews.com.au

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Ovolo Sydney

“Already we have seen international groups like Hilton bring their cutting-edge Curio brand to Sydney, while Marriott has introduced the Autograph Selection, and Accor their boutique MGallery by Sofitel collection. Ovolo has its unique lifestyle hotels, IHG is planning Voco and Indigo hotels and there have been many other announcements of boutique brands planned for the city. “They follow considerable innovation by home-grown brands (including QT, Art Series, Spicers, Skye Suites and Veriu), and the massive expansion in new accommodation has prompted a large number of existing properties to undertake significant upgrades, introducing distinctive

Ovolo has its unique lifestyle hotels, IHG is planning Voco and Indigo hotels and there have been many other announcements of boutique brands planned for the city design influences such as Rydges Sydney Central, which has incorporated a local brewery in its expansion and refurbishment. “The strength of the development boom is reflected in the diversity of both the locations where the new hotels are being built and the diversity of hotel styles being introduced. There is development across the CBD, Central Park/Broadway/ Surry Hills, Darling Harbour/

Pyrmont, Sydney Airport, Parramatta and Sydney’s West. “The hotels cover all price points and feature advanced technologies such as mobile check-in, cutting-edge design and restaurants aimed as much at the local community as guests. “It is an unprecedented and comprehensive upgrade of Sydney’s accommodation sector which will support major new tourism infrastructure such as the International Convention Centre, the Sydney Airport expansion, the Parramatta urban regeneration project, and the development of the new airport at Badgery’s Creek. “The regeneration of Sydney’s accommodation sector is vital to the tourism market as international and domestic travel continues to grow strongly.

Felix Sydney Airport

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“Sydney Airport recently reported that international arrivals grew 5.2 percent in the six months to June 30, contributing to an overall 3.3 percent rise in passenger movements to 21.6 million. “With a full calendar of highREFURBISHMENT

profile events and conferences, the new wave of hotels across the city will ensure Sydney is able to cater for future growth in demand for the foreseeable future.” Giuseppi did, though, issue a warning about relying too heavily on high-end hotels to service Sydney’s visitor market. “More three and four-star hotels will be required to meet future demand, but at the moment, making some of these projects work in the Sydney CBD is constrained because developers believe greater value can be delivered by constructing corporate office towers,” she said. “It will be important for City of Sydney and the NSW government to encourage the development of mid-market and economy hotels to provide a comprehensive range of accommodation for the future.” It will be interesting to see the extent to which Airbnb, architect of modern travel habits, will fill that gap and whether it will take from the city’s affordable housing stock to do it. Spring 2018 - AccomNews


Inside the evolving guest bathroom

By Rosie Clarke, Industry Reporter

Keeping up with the revolving door of bathroom trends in an ever-changing and demanding industry is something of a nuisance. Even when it pays dividends. To keep it simple, today we focus on the hardware and technology trends, rather than beautifying aesthetics. Of course, the two do intertwine.

Showering off the old and bringing in the new If there’s one piece of hardware in a bathroom that gets people talking, it’s the shower. Water pressure has a massive presence in guest reviews, as

If there’s one piece of hardware in a bathroom that gets people talking, it’s the shower does ease-of-use, cleanliness and plain ol’ sparkle. An impressive looking shower will hold a certain amount of sway with guests but what they really want to know is how well it works. Whether it’s an overhead, wall-mounted, adjustable rail shower or hand-held shower head with a hose, there are a plethora of design options available. Each type has its pros and cons for users as well as different compatibility with space. If you are short on space and looking for a shower to go

over a bath, you’ll also need to look at shower converters when shopping for taps. Taps are a huge consideration because if they’re poorly constructed or ill-fitting they may break easily or guests may have trouble figuring out how to use them. On the flipside, statement taps can give your bathroom an edge, so choose something that’s in-keeping with the style you’re going for whether that’s a geometric design or something more rustic.

Lighting up your best assets Your best asset being your guests: mirror lighting is a huge plus! We are living in the age of the vlogger and the beauty guru. The ladies (gents and many in-between) want a ring light so they can see every freckle and pore. They can make sure their skincare regimen is carried out to perfection and have the perfect place to sit and do their makeup. Having to hover by the window in broad daylight to put your makeup on before sunset or use your phone as a torch because the room is moodlit, is just no way to prepare for cocktail hour. Backlights have a minimalist glow but any variation of LED vanity wall lights, or even Hollywood-style mirror lights do a fabulous job of adding functionality and liveability to a bathroom space.

seats for your senses www.pressalit.com

WE’VE THE BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE, HAVE YOU? When you’re looking for commercial grade toilet seats, there’s only one name to remember – Pressalit. Used in Aussie bathrooms for over 25 years. For more information please contact Tim Knowles, T : 0415 425 461 E : tkn@pressalit.com W : pressalit.com

Spring 2018 - AccomNews

REFURBISHMENT INDUSTRY

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It’s important to drown your wet room in plush lighting wherever possible. This will change depending on your layout but have a well-lit shower and/or bath that feels warm and inviting to guests. A single light in the centre of the bathroom ceiling may not be the best option, as the corners of the room will be cast in shadow and this is usually where the shower and vanity or toilet sit. Adding creative lighting choices that focus on highlighting the spaces your guests will be using most frequently will really help.

Trending toilet seats (the underrated guestwinner-overer) Toilets, and particularly toilet seats may be an overshadowed item in the standard guestroom but if chosen properly they can be a unique selling point. At AccomNews, we’ve seen all manner of toilets come on the scene, from marble to brass, oval to square. There’s no limit to the types of toilet seat design that are out there. It is vital, however, that seats be well-made. Particularly in accommodation spaces where people of all shapes and sizes are going to be using the in-room loo, it’s good to choose a sturdy tried-and-tested product that your supplier can vouch for. Guestroom seats should expect to be higher weight-bearing than the average: industry insiders recommend starting with 240kg and looking out for steel hinges. This should keep you worry-free for a good while but if housekeepers spot a wobbly or cracked seat – replace it as soon as possible to avoid guest complaints. One thing to focus on from the get-go is privacy. Openplan bathrooms have become something of a trend in recent years but beyond business travel, there are few situations where a guestroom will only have one guest and an openplan bathroom has its privacy concerns. Even a frosted class barrier can get the job done.

Automatic tech: for the lazy or hygienic? There’s a quote floating around the internet about laziness factoring into necessity as the precursor for invention. There might be something to be said for that, as some of the coolest inventions we now enjoy have an element of laziness thrown in – the remote control, Google Home,

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Chromotherapy is the use of coloured lights to shift and generate energy in the body Introducing Aurajet: Our most advanced, most invigorating shower experience ever, that turns conventional showering on its head with invisible nozzles generating jets of water, colliding against angled surfaces within contours of its unique, halo-shaped showerhead. - Nick Swan, Methven cars, vacuums, the internet. When it comes to automated bathrooms, at first glance it might seem a bit lazy to watch motion sensors, virtual light switches and smart mirrors come into vogue. But it’s much more than invention for the sake of technology. The less touch required in a bathroom, the more hygienic and the more accessible. The flatter and smoother the surfaces and walls are, the easer to clean and maintain. Chromotherapy in a guest bathroom can calm visitors and create mood without the need for fire hazardous candles or old fashioned lamps. The nature of a guest bathroom being in such close proximity to the standard guestroom, means that installing these features in the bathroom will also benefit the bedroom without having to carry out an extended refurb. Chromotherapy, for instance, installed in the bathroom may also light up the bedroom. Particularly if you have frosted glass separators. REFURBISHMENT

Spring 2018 - AccomNews


Atlantico and Alfa sunloungers An International exclusive to Daydream Leisure Furniture and Coastal Casual Furniture . What’s hot from Daydream is actually very cool, it’s the cool fabric colour slate grey on offer with Atlantico and Alfa sunlounger’s. It may not sound so exciting but it is when you realise that the only place on the planet you can get this extremely popular colour is right here in Queensland from Daydream Leisure Furniture and Coastal Casual furniture. Not content with the absence of this option from the Nardi range of commercial grade lounges Daydream and Coastal Casual have commissioned it and made it their own. Slate grey is available on white or anthracite frames on both lounges. Daydream Leisure Furniture 07 5493 4277 www.daydreamleisure.com.au sales@daydreamleisure.com.au

Introducing Aurajet® Indoor Rattan Slippers Guests have come to expect slippers in their room. This small detail will enhance your reputation and upgrade even a basic Airbnb or B&B.

Do you have the best seat in the house? With a fantastic reputation for making toilet seats with a difference, you cannot afford to ignore what your hotel guests will always appreciate. Ensure that one point of difference in your guest’s bathroom is what you invite them to sit on, which will also give years of faultless service to your establishment. Pressalit has a wide range of designs to suit most toilets in the Australian hotel market, so if you have a desire to seek a better outcome in your bathrooms, we can definitely help. Pressalit 0415 425 461 au@pressalit.com www.pressalit.com

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Our closed-toe rattan slippers are indoor one-size-fit-all footwear that comes in two choices of colours: Ancient Earth in beige and Palm Tree in green. Both are made of fine quality rattan fabrics and have a thick foam base for comfortable feet support. Ideal if you’re looking for some fashionable alternative to cliché plain white slippers. Make your accommodation a place to come back to with the addition of this service which shows you’re a caring host! Hotel Products Direct 1300 651 355 www.hotelproductsdirect.com.au sales@hotelproductsdirect.com.au WHAT’S HOT

Our most advanced, most invigorating shower experience ever, that turns conventional showering on its head. Invisible nozzles generate individual jets of water that collide against precisely angled surfaces hidden within the contours of the unique halo-shaped showerhead. The Aurajet Rua Rail Shower features dual adjustable mounting points which allows for easy retro-fit to existing rail shower installations. This allows a quick upgrade option to an existing bathroom without needing to re-tile. The Aurajet Rua is also available in Hand Shower and Handset configurations to suit a range of situations. Methven 1300 638 483 www.methven.com Spring 2018 - AccomNews


Saguard Posture Slat Sofa Beds that never sag Saguard sofa beds are a unique Australian first innovation combining an Italian Posture slat bed mechanism with Saguard the anti sag protector to create beautiful long lasting sofa beds that never sag. They are the ‘must have’ sofa bed in any hotel living space when a clients quality of sleep is of utmost importance. Your guests sleep experience will be comparable to a firm and extremely comfortable “regular bed” We custom design and manufacture every single sofa bed in house and with a combined 50 years of industry experience will ensure we meet your design and custom size brief. Skyways Furniture, 03 8555 0456, www.skyways.com.au

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NEW from Livi®, the Basics 7009 toilet tissue is a 2ply, 400-sheet conventional toilet tissue available in a multi-pack of 6 rolls for optimal convenience.

Tested under paediatric supervision and designed to be tear-free, the organic hair & body gel (30ml), organic nourishing cream (29ml) and organic extra gentle solid soap (20g) in this mini-collection are made in Italy and safe for even the most sensitive skin. Interior Images, 03 9673 1444, www.interior-images.com.au, info@interior-images.com.au

Designed to provide a value alternative for establishments wanting to keep their ongoing costs down. The minimalistic approach of the product helps reduce packaging waste compared to individually wrapped rolls. Each pack of 6 enables maintenance of multiple bathroom stalls in one go making them an ideal solution for medium traffic washrooms. Livi® Basics range of tissue products provide the reliable, affordable solutions to keep up with your daily washroom demands. Solaris Paper, 1300 832 883, www.livitissue.com.au

Quick Sticks Smart, light and user friendly are the key criteria in every hotel. The Cyclonic engine separates dust to keep filters clean, while tiny filters pick up fine particles, so dust is actually removed rather than just rearranged and resettled. There’s no need for replacement vacuum bags and just a single click empties the dirt canister. Weighing in at only 1.8 kilos it’s easy to manoeuvre over ceilings and those crevices that rarely see the light of day. Weatherdon, 02 9906 2202 www.weatherdon.com.au sales@weatherdon.com.au Spring 2018 - AccomNews

WHAT’S INDUSTRY HOT

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How to MPower

your business By Mandy Clarke, Industry Reporter

Moorabbin Hospital opened in 1975 and is one of Victoria’s leading medical and research facilities, offering high quality healthcare to the people of southern Melbourne. The 147-bed hospital is also home to the Monash Cancer Centre, it is one of Victoria’s premier integrated cancer treatment centres, a major centre for cancer-related and other medical research. The busy hospital also hosts the Southern Melbourne Integrated Cancer Services

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and Breastscreen Victoria’s Screening and Assessment Service Monash, which supports a network of seven community screening centres. MPower was commissioned to install a large amount of emergency lighting for the hospital site - a BARDIC system. Why? Frank Croarken, the site engineering manager for Moorabbin Campus, told us: “The hospital lighting system was 25 years old, and we were given the go-ahead to have it upgraded. MPower won the contract to fit approximately 788 lights and a remote testing system. We are very happy with the system and the service provided by M-Power.”

MPower installed: EZYLEDs (all-in-one, slideconnect exits) and LG1s (non-maintained emergency downlights) scattered throughout the building, with a handful of LB14LSWPs (weatherproof LED battens) in plant rooms and stairwells. Tying all these products together is the WiNetRF™ Smart Wireless Monitoring System for Exit and Emergency System. This system allows all fittings to be wirelessly monitored and controlled. Danny Ang from MPower explained: “The site has over 800 exit and emergency luminaire; if tested in the conventional way it would require many manhours. The wireless monitoring

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system allows the luminaires to be tested without interruption to the general lighting and without the need for personnel to be physically present to visually inspect each luminaire. The WiNetRF system has made the site compliant in terms of wiring and testing, while not requiring complete rewiring work to be done sitewide. “The site was installed in several stages and the hospital opted for system commissioning at each stage. The luminaires were provided to the contractors, which installed them on site at their own schedule and when they were ready. The commissioning process generally took a couple of days, barring any issues with the installation or luminaires.”

Spring 2018 - AccomNews


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Much of the attention paid to online learning for staff loses sight of the human experience that hoteliers strive to give their guests. In the ever-competitive world of hotel branding, CEO-level leaders continue to look for ways to differentiate their brands. Yet as soon as an innovative amenity, new loyal program feature or web widget is launched, other brands catch up. In recent years, it seems the focus has turned back to personalisation of guest experiences as a differentiator. Yet, the focus seems to be mostly on personalisation through systems, data-mining, automation and artificial intelligence. It seems to me that too many hoteliers have lost focus on the fact that we are in the human travel experience business, not the room rental business. The corporate level obsession with automation over human engagement has spilled over even to the training and development divisions. Based on my observations, most brand-sponsored training is now delivered via online learning. I guess this is partly driven by economics, as the perception is these mediums cut costs and save time. But I suspect another major driver is that leaders believe this is the best way to reach today’s hotel workers. Like their counterparts in marketing, too many corporate training executives are overly obsessed with the completely theoretical, imaginary and overhyped psychographic of the so-called “millennial generation”.

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assistant managers - most brands and management companies are doing little if any traditional workshop-style training.

CEO-level leaders should schedule cluster training on a regular basis, rotating topics and outside trainers to keep it fresh.

From what I see, the only traditional training taking place these days is limited to:

Individual hoteliers can reach out on their own to the leaders of sister hotels, or work with your brand’s regional franchise groups.

• new-hire orientation training;

Doug Kennedy, CEO, Kennedy Training Network

More than once, I have personally heard corporate-level learning and development people say: “We need to dummy-down the training into soundbites” or “Those millennials have short attention spans ...” or “We need to do it in a smartphone app so people will actually use it.” Now don’t get me wrong, I still am and always have been a huge advocate for eLearning, online and remote training. At Kennedy Training Network, we continue to embrace online training and will continue to innovate with remote training methodology as emerging technologies enable us to do so. That being said, I think it is a huge mistake that too many hotel brands have moved almost entirely away from offering any traditional training for the majority of their colleagues. Oh sure, there are still educational break-out sessions at brand conferences, GM and marketing conferences and industry association events. But when it comes down to developing those who have the greatest impact on guest experiences - the frontline staff - and developing those who are the future of the industry the first level supervisors and

• training legally required by regulations (sexual harassment, safe serving of alcohol, food safety); and • stand-up/pre-shift meetings that are too often poorly lead by supervisors who have never been exposed to proper training methodologies. Yes, you can educate someone online, and it may be the best method of teaching systems and processes (such as how to use a property management system, central reservations system or revenue management system), but it is impossible to inspire and to mentor. It is difficult to teach soft-skills such as sales and hospitality excellence. That being said, I should recognise the wisdom of the many hoteliers who still highly value traditional training, though they are an increasing minority. It is no coincidence that these hotels, more often than not, are at the top of their game. If you are looking to get your brand, management company or individual hotel back in the game of traditional hotel training, here are some tips: Schedule “cluster” training. Most training companies like us charge per day, not per person. You can split costs with sister hotels in an area or region, thus making it a negligible expense.

HUMAN RESOURCES

If not part of a brand, work with leaders of local tourism associations (hotel associations, destination marketing groups, visitor information centres and chambers of commerce). Partner with your competitors. During my training career, I have often seen hoteliers coordinate plans for training with their direct competitors, understanding the old adage that “The rising tide raises all boats.” Finally, if you are having a hard time convincing ownership to invest the money, do a simple return on investment (ROI) study. For sales training, calculate the value of just one new sale, and divide the total investment by this number so show how even a small bump in conversions generates an ROI many times over. Similarly, for hospitalityrelated training, calculate the average revenue spend per guest, divide the investment by that number, then ask: What is the cost if we lose a repeat booking when service falls short? What is the benefit when we gain a new booking from a referral or social media posting? How many potential guests will read a guest review? How much do we currently pay for “pay-per-click” search engine optimisation? Spring 2018 - AccomNews


EXPERIENCE EXPERTS.


Hygiene, health and happiness

Boost guest satisfaction By Rosie Clarke, Industry Reporter

Public washrooms are the underestimated, under-appreciated face of your accommodation property. More often than not the first and last facility guests will use, they can make or break a guest review. Hygiene is the most important element but there are other factors that should be taken into consideration, including technology, green products and odour control. Maintaining a hygienic washroom sounds easy enough with the range of cleaning products and services available today. However, things can quickly go awry. The majority of complaints made about a property involve poor standards of hygiene and consistency is the key to avoiding these complaints.

Regular cleaning throughout the day is essential for any public washroom to replace toilet paper, replenish soaps and make sure there have been no mishaps. A high quality, well-designed facility can also give your property the edge over

competitors, particularly if you have invested in green materials or impressive technologies. Hands-free technology is the cornerstone of a five-star public washroom. The latest products to incorporate this technology include toilets, taps, hand dryers, soap dispensers and doors. Not only are they

more convenient to use, they are infinitely more hygienic and far easier to clean. Hand dryers are one way for you to be more environmentally friendly by eliminating the need for paper towels. This will also reduce queuing as dryers can now dry hands in less than five seconds. Older hand dryers attempt to evaporate the water on wet hands and are generally lukewarm, ineffective and bacteria-riddled. Highspeed and hands-free options have become the industry preference and for a good reason - they are effective. The air used is filtered to remove 99.9 per cent of airborne bacteria and the machines are regulated by NSF International to make sure health and sanitation requirements are maintained. There are a range of toilet hygiene products available for public washrooms. From disposable toilet seat protectors, to antibacterial seat sprays, wipes and cleaners; you can install dispensers in each cubicle to encourage good hygiene.

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These sanitisers also help protect the plumbing from lime scale and long-term wear. Taking a harder look at your toilets’ flushing mechanism is also worthwhile in terms of hygiene and environmental health. High pressure flushes might be more hygienic but water wastage is a huge concern particularly for more rural properties relying on tank water so this is something to consider. State-of-the-art sanitary bins and units also have automatic vapour sprays installed that disinfect and help eliminate bad odours. This type of technology goes a long way towards upgrading your facility. Silent air fresheners with motionsensitive systems are energy efficient as well as beneficial to guests. These should all be researched prior to installation to ensure their effectiveness as many are just temporary solutions. Proper air ventilation is also crucial; if your facility has no windows, an extractor fan might be what you need.

doors, motion sensitive locks, are all valid options for public rest-rooms. Door signage is also something to consider. Etiquette reminders are a simple yet effective way to foster a hygienic space. Reminding visitors not to throw on the floor, to turn off taps, wipe down seats with sanitiser after use, etc, are all ways to improve washroom cleanliness and make life easier for cleaning staff. Another element of public restrooms that is often overlooked, is baby-changing facilities. Particularly in men’s toilets these are often absent but if your property caters to families they are a vital inclusion. Parents are far more likely to revisit accommodation where they feel welcomed and installing basic baby-

changing solutions is a simple way to show a higher level of care and boost your service. Hygienic nappy bins, changing tables and even vending machines that offer infant-related essentials would make impressive additions to any public washroom. There are also various staff considerations to put in place when maintaining a hygienic public washroom. The idea behind these is to minimise health risk and uphold a consistently good standard of service. Any member of staff working in the hospitality industry should adhere to the following basic guidelines: 1. Clean clothing or uniform - workers should change into/out of a uniform at

Though often neglected, door handles harbour the same germs as taps and toilet flushers so it is vital to consider them as part of your facility. It makes no sense to have hands-free taps, soap dispensers and toilets, but regular door handles as this will negate the germ-free ideal. Automatic doors, swing

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the beginning and end of their shift where relevant. 2. Hair should be kept clean and secured. 3. Jewellery should be kept to a minimum. 4. Wounds should be covered with a waterproof dressing. 5. Hand contact should be kept to a minimum. Disposable gloves and/or utensils should be used for food handling. 6. All workers should follow a daily hygiene regime, maintaining good personal hygiene. 7. Thorough hand washing procedures should also be maintained. Guests will continue to be impressed by a hygienic, well-thought out public washroom facility. Babychanging amenities, handsfree technology, consistent cleaning maintenance, effective ventilation and airfreshening are all ways for an accommodation provider to show guests they care about the quality of service they provide. Most bad reviews will cite poor hygiene and disappointing washroom or bathroom amenities are a common complaint of unsatisfied guests. So investing in a solid restroom space for your property is a good way to combat negative reviews and encourage repeat visits.

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Spring 2018 - AccomNews


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What makes the

ultimate guest experience?

By Kate Jackson, Editor

Tanning butler? Tea sommelier? Perfume concierge? Ritzy experiences offered by hotels from Miami to Mayfair may ooze opulence, but they feel a little overthe-top for Down Under. Which isn’t to say Aussies and Kiwis don’t like to be spoiled on check in. As nations admired around the world for the quality of our fresh produce, the beauty of our landscapes and the freedom of our lifestyles, we are attuned to quality. But a 2017 report commissioned by HotelsCombined found in-room pampering to be among the main ingredients Antipodeans rate as important for a perfect getaway. “It seems that traditional

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It seems that traditional offerings of a comfortable room, a bit of luxury and the opportunity to relax and recharge will always be core to the guest experience offerings of a comfortable room, a bit of luxury and the opportunity to relax and recharge will always be core to the guest experience,” the research by Pureprofile states. Australians and New Zealanders may not be particularly turned on by Jeeves proffering sun tan lotion poolside or a masterclass in lapsang souchong, but we do appreciate the finer things in life - which means the ultimate guest experience must make us feel a little bit special. HOUSEKEEPING

Spring 2018 - AccomNews


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Luxury towels are among those amenities that’ll leave a memorable impression on any guest by assuring ultimate satisfaction.”

Towels, Robes and Slippers One of the great joys of a hotel stay is ‘me time’. Lying around in a cloud-soft bathrobe or padding gently to the ice bucket in comfortable slippers is enough to make guests feel they are truly cared for. But beware, robes so starchy that stand by themselves and slippers that mimic the undesirables in a Kmart specials bin are capable of ruining long-dreamt-of moments. Stepping out of a spa bath into a vast fluffy towel is another one of life’s great holiday joys - just as exfoliating with a threadbare quasi-flannel leaves us feeling as fiery as our flailed skin. As one industry insider puts it: “When guests step into their hotel rooms for the first time, the overall aura they’re immersed in usually sets the mood for their entire stay. “A room’s atmosphere is made up of several elements - and those that ooze comfort are the ones that have guests affiliating a pleasurable experience with the hotel brand. “Luxury towels are among

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those amenities that’ll leave a memorable impression on any guest by assuring ultimate satisfaction.” Towel weight is measured in GSM (grams per square metre). While some accommodation houses provide speedier-drying and lighter towels of 400-600 GSM, no ultimate guest experience is complete without towelling products in the 600-900 GSM. Although they may take longer to dry, they are super-absorbent, kind to the skin and decadently soft across the entire range of robes, face washers, hand and bath towels. Weight is only important, though, if the cotton is of a premium quality and this has to do with the length of the fibre, or staple (the average length of a group of fibres of any composition). Premium 100 percent cotton and thick pile ensure a soft, strong and hardwearing towel that can efficiently absorb water and maintain softness over numerous washes.

to make guests feel soothed. When Westin tested its trademark Heavenly Bed, it discovered an all-white bedding ensemble created a serene “halo effect’’. Almost every luxe accommodation bed now features three high-quality white cotton sheets (long fibres and high thread count combine to produce softness) which are breathable and help guests stay cool. A fluffy mattress topper is also part of the seduction, providing maximum comfort without compromising mattress

support, so guests can indulge in cloud-like softness that promotes deep, restorative sleep. Whether down-filled or featherfree, mattress toppers help in taking the pressure off joints, improving guests’ blood flow. While most hotel pillows are generally polyester rather than down-filled these days, the upside is that they boast odour & allergyfree fill beneath their 100 percent cotton covers. Good pillows must be supportive, yet soft enough to cosy into, with the best including a double gusset design allowing for optimal ‘spread’ of their filling.

Bedding The key to luxe bedding is going au naturel. Earth tones and allnatural fibres combine in soft, breathable sheets, down-filled comforters and plush blankets HOUSEKEEPING

Spring 2018 - AccomNews


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Mattresses Westin was the first hotel group to craft a signature sleep experience, after consumer research conducted in 1999 revealed a good night’s sleep was the service rated most important by guests. Many major brands followed, with W Hotels developing the Do-Not-Disturb Bed, Rydges the Dream Bed and Four Points by Sheraton the Comfort Bed. These days, a comfortable bed is the starting point for any accommodation provider and should be the number one focus for hoteliers and moteliers when it comes to room design.

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One of the keys to a good mattress is the number of coils it contains. A typical mattress might contain 250 to 1,000 coils; a top-quality one will contain between 1200 and 4,900. As opposed to inferior mattresses, the ultimate guest room bed will boast pocketed coils with each coil contained in its own fabric ‘envelope’, ensuring it can move independently, instead of being tugged up and down by its neighbour. That means if your partner tosses and turns, it’s not going to keep you awake. A top-quality spring system offers superior support through 200mm-high springs and stronger coil wire, with individual manufacturers

patenting coil structures which cover more surface area and provide greater support across the entire mattress. A good mattress should support the hip region and help to maintain optimal spinal alignment.

foam structure offer maximum breathability, durability and comfort, enhancing the mattress’ pressure-relieving properties as it contours to the body.

Heat management fabric, designed to react to changes in your body temperature, is another feature of a quality mattress. It helps to keep sleepers at the optimum temperature, working independently across the bed reacting to the different body temperatures of each individual to ensure a more comfortable sleep. Multiple layers of components made from high loft fibre with super-fine

There are many elements that make up a memorable stay. But one thing’s for sure - the perfume concierge won’t smell as sweet to anyone who wakes up with backache. Nailing the key elements of a guest room is vital to creating customer loyalty. If a guest is cocooned in comfort and made to feel like a VIP, they’re more likely to spend like one and splash some cash on a return stay.

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The ultimate result?

Spring 2018 - AccomNews


Cutting-edge

hotel room may soon appear Down Under

By Kate Jackson, Editor

A US hotel room has been judged so groundbreaking it has been granted its own patent. InterContinental Hotels Group’s WorkLife Room, to be rolled out in a $200 million overhaul of Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, is considered sufficiently new for the US Patent and Trademark Office to approve its registration. The room is born of the bleisure generation – blurring the lines between business and leisure through a ‘third space’ concept which allows easy transition from work to after-hours activities. And while the WorkLife room roll-out is currently limited to US properties, it is believed elements of the design could soon appear in Australia as Crowne enters discussions with several owners Down Under. It offers ultimate connectivity, both through 14 charging

stations for digital devices and through the relationship between furniture pieces within the space. Beds and sofas angled away from walls with an emphasis on ultimate comfort and optimal TV viewing are one of the signatures of the new design. Patents for hotel rooms are rare. Intercontinental is the only major hotel chain to have apply for one in recent years, although Disney successfully patented its Star Wars-themed suites in 2016. According to the Crowne group, the rooms feature: • An angled bed, which opens

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“Timeless

legance meets

up more space for the room’s distinct zones. Also, a cocooning headboard, Beautyrest mattress, plush linens and Sleep Advantage aromatherapy kit. • A sofa nook, a multi-purpose space for reading, watching TV, working, meeting with colleagues or kicking back with room service. • A desk area with an uncluttered work space where you can focus on work. • A welcome station, which gets you settled with a space for keys, bags and coats.

M

odern inimalism�

ANCIENT EARTH                                 

           

• A bathroom, with modern and bright design to help you feel re-energised. “The WorkLife Room was carefully conceptualised, tested around the world in prototype format and in fully built hotels,â€? said regional vicepresident Meredith Latham. “We fine-tuned until we had a product that was the best version of a hotel guest room for the modern business traveller. “Our guests have voted, and this room delivers improved satisfaction, our teams love it and now the US Patent office sees the uniqueness.â€?

              

        

     

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INDUSTRY HOUSEKEEPING

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Bathroom amenities:

Do guests really know what they want?

By Mandy Clarke, Industry Reporter

You choose your collection of bathroom amenities based on the presumption that guests want those products and will use them. But what if they are left unopened and unused? Does this mean your efforts have been wasted? Not according to the results of the recent study by Cornell University School of Hotel Administration: What Do Hotel Guests Really Want? Anticipated Versus Actual Use of Amenities.

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Guests really do love their bathroom amenities and will use them more than they realise Because guests really do love their bathroom amenities and will use them more than they realise. The study of in-room amenities details both the overpredictions and, in some cases, underpredictions of amenity use by 724 guests in 33 hotels operated by six hotel brands. The use of some amenities was highly overpredicted such as a spa, or in-room dining but guests under-predicted how much they

would use bathroom amenities. The study helps managers determine which amenities make the most sense for their brand. With hotel amenities being a multi-billion-dollar business worldwide, having a good idea what the most valued amenities are is gold. The unexpected underpredictions tended to be the free amenities... including lobby seating, valet parking, and concierge service, for

HOUSEKEEPING

which the percentage of guests expecting to use the service was noticeably smaller than the percentage who did use them. Packaged bathroom supplies are included in the list of amenities that’s use was woefully underpredicted by guests. The data suggests that both sexes underestimate how much they will use the bathroom amenities, and not only do they use them more than they expected, in higher end hotels they are also more inclined to purchase amenities. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that providing amenities that guests predict they will use at a high rate will have a positive effect on their initial stay and may influence repeat visits. Spring 2018 - AccomNews


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Over the decades Molton Brown has built up a reputation for being London’s bath, body and beauty connoisseurs. Their iconic perfumes, shower gels, body lotions, candles and hand care products blend exotic ingredients from around the globe with a touch of London eccentricity for bold fragrances and bright, impactful colours. Available from International Interior Images

How can this study help you to tailor your amenities to your brand and your guests? It suggests that a “newly opened destination might consider skewing its amenity offerings to those that their analysis shows tend to attract customers; while another brand that operates in a mature market, in which success depends on generating repeat visits through customer loyalty, would do well to focus on amenities that analyses show encourage such loyalty”. Matching your guestroom amenities to your property can have a surprisingly profound impact on the quality of your guests’ stay. And being able to choose the product match for your accom is essential. To do this, know your property and your guests, know what makes them special.

Tips... If your accom is a small local business, choose simple amenity products that showcase your locale. You could lean towards soap bars and natural scents, taken from your unique environment. If your property is a five-star business hotel with sleek and modern design, you could offer products that appeal to future-forward, busy business guests; dental kits and luxury well-known branded products. For luxury accom, research trends

Matching your guestroom amenities to your property can have a surprisingly profound impact on the quality of your guests’ stay that appeal to these discerning travellers. Vegan products are a trending force right now, these popular products tend to double up as environmentally friendlier and cruelty-free. They are usually more expensive, which is why they are associated with luxury in 2018. Do not forget your men! Male grooming is a hot trend right now in the amenity realm. Think beards, think beard oil, hair wax, facial exfoliators and travel razors. Customise. Many suppliers offer customised packages for your property and brand. You can convert your guestroom amenities into a brilliant branding tool. This is particularly good if your guests like to take a few mini tubes of shampoo home with them, or if you find you have guests staying more than one night. Instagram-able. Make your amenities “shareable”; get your custom brand known on social media and ask guests to review and take pictures using your amenities - there is nothing better than genuine word-of-mouth publicity.

Industry views Val Harding, founder of Interior Images. “If your guests enter their room and don’t find a legitimate skin care brand on the bathroom counter, you’re missing one of your only opportunities to ‘partner upward’ and elevate your brand,” says Val. “A trusted, recognisable brand delivers a level of credibility that excites your guests and enhances their experience. Conversely if your amenities have a famous name but are of poor quality, they only thing your guest will experience is disappointment.” Val on industry trends... “Without a doubt, dispensers are the biggest trend in amenities at the moment. They’ve always been part of our portfolio but both the industry and guests have been slow to warm to them. Now, with the world focused on reducing singleuse plastics, hotels are really giving them a second look.

“Dispensers now come in all shapes and sizes, so we really can find the right solution for any property. “It’s important to remember that until dispensers really take hold, most of the collections Interior Images offers contain EcoPure, a plastic additive that aids in their biodegradability. We are very focused on helping our hotel partners and their guests lessen their environmental impact.” Jimi Kennedy-Grant, sales & marketing general manager for Healthpak. “Guest hair and body care products represent a very small investment for the hotel but play a disproportionate role in impacting a guest’s overall perception of the hotel. “Choose brands that fit your décor, absolutely, but make sure that the contents live up to the hype. Products must reflect your geographic location; guests, both domestic and international, want an authentic connection to your destination. ■

Bathe Marine Skincare Hair & Body care products are enriched with Kelp Extract and Phytoplankton. The combination of these two super ingredients with Healthpak’s salon grade formulations represents the very best in guest hair & body care.

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HOUSEKEEPING

Spring 2018 - AccomNews


Taken to the cleaners...

By Kate Jackson, Editor

While AccomNews readers may be squeaky clean, some of the contract companies employed by Australian hotels are clearly not. In September, the Federal Circuit Court fined David Leslie Hinchcliffe $25,000 and his company Davdot Pty Ltd $119,000 for underpaying three casual employees, two of them migrant workers, following legal action by the Fair Work Ombudsman. The three employees performed cleaning duties at various hotels at which Davdot Facilities Services held cleaning contracts. The company underpaid them a total of $10,428 between October 2015 and August 2016.

$471,904 in unpaid wages for 616 workers. The most common breach, 38 per cent, was underpayment of hourly wages. Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the substantial penalties handed to Hinchcliffe and Davdot served as a warning to any employer who fails to act on advice about workplace laws. “All employers have a clear obligation under Australia’s workplace laws to pay correct wages and entitlements and rectify areas of concern the Fair Work Ombudsman raises with them,” she said. “If companies do not improve compliance with workplace laws, we are clearly prepared to take court action that can lead to heavy financial penalties.

“The underpayment of overseas workers is particularly serious as they may be more vulnerable and unaware of their workplace rights, face language barriers or are reluctant to complain.

worker underpaid $8,294 for work performed at two hotels in Melbourne. The worker was in Australia on a bridging visa until becoming a permanent resident on February 1, 2016.

“We encourage any workers with concerns about their wages or entitlements to contact the Fair Work Ombudsman.”

Judge Grant Riethmuller noted the respondents had “a history of non-compliance”, having been involved in two small claims proceedings in the Federal Circuit Court where declarations and orders were made against them.

The Court found Davdot and Mr Hinchcliffe underpaid the employees, failed to make any payments for various periods of employment, did not make and keep employee records, did not provide payslips to the workers, and failed to comply with a notice to produce records or documents. Most of the underpayments related to a South Korean

The case is a cautionary tale for all those operating within a hospitality sector where underpayment of workers is rife and the exploitation of foreign nationals is an everyday occurrence.

He said the underpayments were “very significant” to two of the employees, given their income levels. The underpayments were rectified by Davdot after the legal proceedings began. In addition to the penalties, Judge Riethmuller made orders for Mr Hinchcliffe and his company to pay interest on the workers’ back-payments, sign-up to the My Account portal, complete online courses for employers, commission an external audit of its pay practices and rectify any underpayments discovered. ■

A recent compliance blitz by the Fair Work Ombudsman found 72 percent of hospitality businesses in Sydney’s Glebe, Richmond in Melbourne and Fortitude Valley in Brisbane to be breaking workplace laws. The audit of 273 businesses across the three cities uncovered

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In his judgement, Riethmuller accepted the evidence of the Fair Work Ombudsman that the respondents “were clearly on notice as to their obligations” and had therefore “deliberately ignored that advice”.

HOUSEKEEPING

Spring 2018 - AccomNews


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When fakes are better than the real thing By Kate Jackson, Editor

Artificial plants have come a long way since the seventies monstrosities that were more yucky than yucca. These days, it is almost impossible to tell the difference between a quality fake and a real plant wall or spectacular lobby arrangement. Adding eye-catching artificial plants and florals to strategic positions around your accommodation allows yearround decoration that doesn’t wilt, fade, die or drop leaves. Artificial greenery will not need sunlight, soil, fertiliser or trimming. It will happily sit in a dark, cold corner without turning brown or stretching wizened tendrils toward the light. Nature at its best may boast a spectacular array of flora and foliage, but its high-class imitators are not as susceptible to drafts, humidity, cold or the destructive bent of malevolent children. They can be tailored around a particular theme or brand, whether you’re aiming for cutting-edge modern, country hotel or sub-tropical hideaway. Floral displays announce your business as customer friendly and create a space where people enjoy spending time. Well-kept plants also signal

a well-kept business, just as withered pot plants can represent neglected upkeep.

their best and last longer (at least five years) if they get a regular spruce up.

And remember, while real plants may create oxygen to help your guests breathe, they can equally be responsible for high pollen counts which make them wheeze.

Regular cleaning should be carried out at least a few times a month, particularly when placed in high-traffic areas like a hotel lobby.

There are two main options for fake greenery and floral arrangements. Silk plants should ideally not get wet but can be wiped down using a duster or dry cloth. The more common are plastic plants, which display better strength and durability and can be cleaned using water.

Cleaning your artificial greenery While some manufacturers claim artificial plants are maintenance free, in reality they only look

Cleaning is a straightforward process: Dust - like real plants, artificial ones collect dust, the amount varying on where they are placed. Using a feather duster, or for more delicate flowers a paint brush, lightly dust leaves and stems. Remember to start dusting at the top of the plant and work your way downwards so no debris falls onto clean leaves. Spray - after you’ve used the feather duster, you can spray the plants with a nonabrasive window cleaner or multi-purpose spray. Some manufacturers recommend this practice, while some just

advocate water. If plants are silk, avoid chemical cleaners as they may cause colours to run. Allow to dry a little. Wash - after around ten minutes, wash off the product using warm water from a bowl or a shower head. If your plant contains flowers or is delicate, a wet cloth or paint brush may be a better alternative. Wipe - wipe over the stems and leaves with a soft dry cloth. If that sounds like too much work - never fear. Some suppliers offer artificial plants on a rental basis and will deliver a new display every season. ‘Technicians’ arrange the pickup and delivery and displays are totally maintenance free. ■

Adding eye-catching artificial plants and florals to strategic positions around your accommodation allows year-round decoration that doesn’t wilt, fade, die or drop leaves 68

HOUSEKEEPING

Spring 2018 - AccomNews


Why being

‘China ready’ matters

Both the Australian tourism industry and the Australian economy have enjoyed massive benefits from the rapid growth in Chinese inbound tourism in recent years. In figures released by Tourism Australia in May 2018, China is now the single biggest source market for Australian tourism both in absolute number and in money spent. In the year ending March 2018, just over 1.4 million Chinese citizens visited Australia and they spent almost $11 billion dollars or just over $8,000 per visitor. Almost one-in-six international visitors to Australia are from China and one quarter of the $44 billion spent by international visitation to Australia comes from China. What makes the above figures truly remarkable is that from minimal Chinese outbound tourism in 1998, China has become the world’s leading tourism-generating country. Australia currently attracts 1 percent of the 140 million Chinese outbound tourists. However due to the inspired marketing strategies of Tourism Australia and the state tourism boards, Australia attracts China’s big spenders. To illustrate this, the 9 million Chinese tourists who visited Thailand in 2017 spent the same money as the 1.4 million who visited Australia. Australia has benefited enormously from being the first non-Asia country to have signed an agreement with the Chinese government in 1999 granting Australia approved destination status. Today 147 countries hold this status, but Australia benefited from being at the head of the queue and since then, millions

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David Beirman , Senior lecturer and coordinator of tourism, University of Technology Sydney Business School

of Chinese have followed on from returning Chinese tourists who have overwhelmingly enjoyed their stays in Australia. The potential for growth remains strong. Currently about 10 percent of China’s population travels internationally and this percentage is almost certain to grow as Chinese living standards and earnings grow. Dr George Chen, chief forecast analyst at Tourism Research Australia, believes that based on current indications, the number of Chinese tourists visiting Australia will exceed 3 million by 2025. While the numbers and the potential for growth in Chinese tourism are truly staggering, actual and potential growth is challenging for all sectors of the tourism industry. The accommodation sector is at the pointy end of the challenge to ensure that the Australian tourism industry is China ready. Tourism Australia, the state tourism boards, The Australian Tourism Export Council and Tourism Accommodation

Australia have actively helped Australian accommodation providers to enhance their services to match the needs of Chinese visitors. Recently, Tourism Accommodation Australia’s CEO, Carol Giuseppi spoke to my tourism students at the University of TechnologySydney. In a broad-ranging talk she highlighted the need for Australian hoteliers to be China ready. This means more than hotels serving conjee soup on the menu for breakfast, but adopting a holistic approach to matching the cultural, dietary and service expectations of Chinese visitors. Many Australian tourism professionals, including hotel managers and staff, have visited China to examine service expectations of Chinese hotel guests on home soil - but more need to do so. It is important that hotels have printed material, websites, apps, menus and signage, maps, safety and tourist information with a Chinese language translation. Many capital city hotels have done well in adapting to a growing Chinese clientele, but in regional Australia there is a long way to go before many are ready to properly welcome Chinese visitors. A major challenge for Australian accommodation providers is the acute skills shortage in the hotel sector. Currently the entire Australian tourism industry has a skills shortage of about 50,000 people, most of it in the accommodation sector. Some of these job vacancies are filled by workers on temporary work visas in the short term. However, this is a

MARKETING

band-aid solution. The anticipated growth in all international tourist visits to Australia (especially Chinese) means that there is an urgent need to train, recruit and motivate young Australians to work in the accommodation sector. The opportunities for young Australians, with varied ethnic backgrounds and appropriate language skills to make a real contribution to the accommodation sector, have never been greater. The demand for hotel staff fluent in Mandarin and other Chinese dialects is already great and will continue to grow. Language skills are vital to service an international market, especially the Chinese visitors who generally do not speak English. There is a need to ensure that Australian training and education providers from vocational training colleges, TAFEs, private hotel schools and of course, universities are training their students to be both job ready and China ready. Scott Morrison (a former CEO of Tourism Australia) is the most tourism-savvy Prime Minister in Australian history. We can only hope that this may translate into greater government support for the tourism industry, tourism trainers and especially accommodation providers in ensuring that Australian tourism is indeed China ready. Dr David Beirman is a senior lecturer and coordinator of tourism in the management discipline group, UTS Business School, University of Technology Sydney. Prior to joining UTS in 2009, He had 30 years’ experience in the tourism industry as a travel agent, wholesaler and destination manager.

Spring 2018 - AccomNews


Price optimisation: Nailing the sweet spot

The function of setting effective price points for your products is part art and part science. How do you determine the optimal value for price relationship that attracts that optimal quantity demanded? Pricing is one of the most challenging aspects of selling a product. Knowing how to set them and how, when and why to change them is critical in driving revenue from your product. Yet many operators find it very difficult to determine what their exact price points should be, and there are many factors that influence your price points which can also vary amongst type of operators. Ideally, effective pricing is where your needs meet the customerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. They must see value, be engaged and psychologically guided

Spring 2018 - AccomNews

factors are never stable and are always changing and should be reflected in our pricing. Holding at one static price point will always only attract a certain amount of market demand. Using varied pricing techniques allows you to tap into a wider pool of product demand, driven by different customer needs and sensitivities and their varied propensity to pay. By using flexible, demand-driven pricing you can maximise all key metric areas of average rate, occupancy, revenue, yields and profits.

Melissa Kalan , Founding Director, (ARMA) Australian Revenue Management Association

through the process. Price point equilibrium or your competitive price point is determined by three key factors of pricing. Also known as the triangular effect, these three factors are market demand, property supply and market willingness to pay. Pricing in the sweet spot is the intersection point of these three factors, but of course these

Other factors that influence pricing more so today than ever before are guest reviews. Reviews influence product perception which influences your demand and market price points. Properties in competition with one another are not always basing their pricing decisions off the same type of market data i.e. some properties work with unconstrained market demand

INDUSTRY MARKETING

with the support of automated revenue management software, and others work in a more constrained manual environment. There are many elements to establishing effective pricing and this article has just touched the surface of what is quite a complex, fluid process. The key is to regularly and accurately forecast, know your costs of distribution and the cost to sell one product, analyse customer volume across all channels by day of week, season, product, type and spend, review your competitive set and on-line review scores, ensure you have established the correct competitive set as determined by the customer, constantly check your price positioning in the market makes sense, understand the impact of economies of scale on your costs for your property and ensure a flexible demanddriven pricing structure exists with real-time speed to market.

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Sign of the times the most common found in accommodation are large-scale wall-mounted screens used to attract and brand, and mediumsized standalone or wallmounted units which promote, navigate, educate and assist.

By Kate Jackson, Editor

At the heart of most accommodation businesses is the lobby. It’s where guests become oriented and where they wander and linger, searching out food, friends, charging stations and a social space in which to work. It’s where they make up their mind about return visits - research showing guests form their impression of a hotel within the first ten minutes of being there. If your lobby provides dynamic movement through digital displays, it shows consumers you understand their digital world and provides a sense of connection. Digital signs establish communication and share information with guests quickly and effectively; but just as importantly, they allow businesses to deliver marketing and informational campaigns efficiently to a targeted audience. They allow interaction and, with the addition of a sensor, can even gather audience analytics which track factors such as how many

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Readerboards are used to convey large amounts of information that people can easily consume on the go. In the lobby, they can present important information to guests like check-out times, weather and traffic news.

people viewed the screen, their age and their gender to allow content delivery based on demographics.

Which means digital signage may be useful for consumers, but it also improves accom’s ability to sell itself.

As technology becomes prevalent in architectural design, digital signage used in ever-more-inventive ways will become key to the customer experience.

What works best where?

A 2017 report by Digital Signage Today found some 60 percent of retailers surveyed listed ‘improved customer service’ as a key benefit of digital signage, and almost half chose ‘branding’ as the top reason companies will invest in digital signage in the next two years.

There are many different ways digital signage can improve the guest experience while enhancing your business. Readerboards, wayfinding screens, video walls and virtual concierges all provide access to important information. While signs can be anything from small digital door mounts to large multi-screen displays,

TECHNOLOGY

They can also be used to direct guests to the various revenue-generating areas around a property, including conference rooms. They allow the display of localised information like meeting times and company descriptions. And the screen can be customised into multiple zones for different events or provision of additional content. Targeted messages can steer guests to specific areas you want to promote. For example, a Thursday night ‘special’ offered at your restaurant. In the event of an emergency, readerboards can provide upto-the-minute communication to minimise confusion. Spring 2018 - AccomNews


Wayfinding screens with navigation soft ware can guide guests through your accommodation. Hotel lobbies can be a confusing hive of activity; digital signage that directs people relieves pressure on a busy front desk. In addition to the lobby, they can be placed strategically around lift s, common areas and hallways and can again be used to guide guests to areas that increase revenue - bars and casinos, for example. Video walls provide a real wow factor in open areas. Their large-scale size and placement is designed to capture guestsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; attention. A video wall can be a unique piece of art that promotes the hotel brand, sets a tone for the space or displays revenuegenerating advertisements.

interaction or displaying prices to upsell rooms. Virtual concierges are another form of interactive touchscreen effective in directing guests through travel-related information (like how to find shopping hubs). They can allow promotion through the use of QR codes to unlock hotel packages and can plug specials, coupons and vouchers. External advertisers such as tour operators can also advertise through them to promote themselves, proving additional revenue for your hotel.

Scalable and flexible Whether youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a multimillion-dollar Gold Coast hotel or a motel in Maroubra, digital signage is flexible and scalable, allowing for a single standalone sign all the way through to an integrated system to guide guests around.

Uniqueness is a key factor for many providers, and video walls provide ultimate flexibility through traditional, grid or Quality manufacturers mosaic-style displays. They will design and deliver also offer value as a large-scale custom solutions and offer educational space promoting comprehensive content events and attractions, planning, design and welcoming conference management support services. guests, inviting social media ci_gxp_half_page.qxp 12/10/18 11:59 am Page 1

Spring 2018 - AccomNews

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iVisual.com.au

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Unlimited data and easy and secure casting

There are numerous and various ways in which digital signage can transform the way of communication to guests and increase their experience Of course, you can get creative with signage. Just like lighting, foliage and furniture, latest digital signage solutions can be used to define spaces, create style and direct guests’ gaze to certain areas. One American style-setter, the Aloft Philadelphia Downtown, features a narrow curved sign that follows the shape of an arch over one of its lobby doorways. While it flashes news headlines and keeps waiting guests entertained, it also draws them to the centre of the lobby so they can then find key spots, such as the lifts.

Industry view Travis Anderson of Corporate Initiatives told us: “Something that is often asked by accommodation managers is how to get better communication with guests. Hoteliers and moteliers are aware that guests want to be engaged by their accommodation with the latest in information, and this information needs to be relevant to their stay whilst at the property. “Accommodation managers also needs to be able to provide their own staff with good strong communication as well. Overall,

digital signage needs to be able to empower the relationship between guests and staff. “Whilst digital signage has been part of the industry for years, it has only recently ventured further than the accommodation televisions we see in the rooms. “General use of digital signage was limited to ideas of promoting restaurants and in-room movies. But there is a trend for accommodation to meet the next generation of guests who are interested in real communication and this is where there is a new revolution. “There are numerous and various ways in which digital signage can transform the way of communication to guests and increase their experience. “They include promotion; informing your guests about opportunities, specials and other types of promotions within the accommodation or even through the vicinity of the property. This can create new and additional return on investment with affiliates. “And information about hotel amenities; having guests interact and explore within the accommodation by showcasing other amenities throughout the property such as fitness gyms, restaurants, gift shops, spas and conference rooms.”

It’s what your guests are asking for! The average household in Australia is going through on average 200Gb of data per month and this figure is set to rise dramatically. The growth is coming from the ability to stream everything – Netflix, Stan, Foxtel, and YouTube. You name it, we are streaming it. Even free-to-air TV can be streamed and all the freeto-air sites have on-demand channels now to download and watch shows later. Adam Turner from Brisbane Times Technology wrote on the September 5 2018, that house-hold fixed data usage grew 40 percent in the last 12 months to July 2018 which is a steady year on year growth for the last five years, according to the latest Telstra figures.

wireless modem or access point to connect to. Good strong signal. 2.

You need a guest wifi system that allows for an ‘at home’ experience, whereby every unit has a secure network within it. Login once with a device and you are online – just as you would at home. This allows for the easy and secure connectivity of SmartTVs, casting devices, gaming devices, home assistants. They don’t have to keep going through a login screen to access the internet. Without this set up, devices need to be MAC Authenticated which the guest generally cannot do themselves and will require support from your wifi provider.

3.

You need a fast and reliable internet connection or connections – you may need multiple NBN connections or a fibre connection depending on your complexes size. You need to offer unlimited data to your guests – it is suggested to give a minimum of 12Mbps per unit (equivalent to three standard definition Netflix streams occurring in that unit at the one time). This should go up depending on the size of the unit,

The data demand is being fed by the NBN roll out, with monthly households leaping by 50 percent once on the NBN; however, households on ADSL are still managing to download 23 percent more data in the last year too. The average Telstra household now consumes 196GB per month, breaking down to 210GB for homes on the NBN and 153GB for those still on ADSL. So now that we Aussies have the hunger for streaming at home, we want to be able to do it whenever we go on holidays. We expect to be able to do it whenever we go on holidays and overseas visitors have expected it for some time. As an accommodation provider, you need to provide the correct environment for them to watch their own content at your site: Three key elements for a successful guest experience. 1.

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Judy Senn , Director, Time Out Internet

You need an in-room guest wifi system – where every unit has its own

TECHNOLOGY

Spring 2018 - AccomNews


e.g a three bedroom may need more speed for more people and devices. The demographic is important too and younger people may require more speed with YouTube being a favoured site and heavy in usage – it can deliver high definition video streams. If you have more bandwidth, give them more. We understand that guests have their own subscriptions to Foxtel, Netflix, Stan etc and can take them wherever they go. How they watch them is where you come in.

So how do you offer this to your guests? Unfortunately, it isn’t as simple as having a SmartTV connected to your guest wifi in each unit. Supplying a SmartTV in each unit – every SmartTV is different and has their own capabilities and features. Some have a casting application within them which means that the guest can bring their own subscription e.g Netflix and cast it on to the SmartTV from their device (smartphone, pad device, laptop) and continue watching their own content. None of their personal information or login details are left stored or accidentally left stored on the SmartTV, only on their device.

So now that we Aussies have the hunger for streaming at home, we want to be able to do it whenever we go on holidays

Some examples are: will update automatically. Some older SmartTVs can’t be updated to the latest apps. If you do have the latest streaming apps on the TV, the guest can login on the SmartTV app with their own subscription login details and continue to watch their own content. They must remember to delete their history once finished and departing your site otherwise the next guest will have access to their account and see their viewing history. You may want to provide a Netflix account for your guests on the SmartTV. The problem with

this can be privacy as the next guest can see what the previous guest has watched. Netflix hasn’t yet in Australia released a commercial product suited to the accommodation industry. What are all these devices guests are bringing with them and wanting to connect through your guest wifi? What do they do? We feel one of the easiest ways to allow guests to watch their own content at your site is for the guest to be able to bring their own devices to connect to your guest wifi and TV to view their

Your SmartTV may have all the apps for Netflix, Stan, Hulu, etc on it which will show as icons on the screen. However, you will need to ensure that you keep those apps updated at all times to the latest versions. Newer SmartTVs Spring 2018 - AccomNews

own content. Alternatively, you can supply the device or hire the device to them. You need an “at home” guest wifi system as most of these devices do not have a browser to allow login details to be entered to access the guest wifi. Casting devices generally won’t work securely unless you have a separate secure network for each apartment.

Google Chromecast and Apple TVs – they plug into the HDMI port of the television (does not have to be a SmartTV) and turns the TV into a SmartTV so the guest can cast their own content securely. They don’t have to remember to delete anything from the TV afterwards. Just unplug the device from the TV. Some other examples of the devices guests are bringing are Telstra TVs, Amazon Fire TV, X Box and PlayStation gaming devices and home assistants such as Google Home, just to name a few. The biggest mover and shaker we have seen of late is the Foxtel Now device that allows guests to bring their own Foxtel subscriptions with them. They are a cheap device to purchase (approx $99) and you choose the subscriptions you want that you can turn on and off as you need them (check Foxtel’s terms and conditions for all the information). Investing in the correct guest wifi system is important so that you are future proofing you site. Fast, easy and secure connectivity so guests can bring their own content is something you need to start considering now.

TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY

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Artificial Intelligence: Coming to a hotel room near you In recent years, the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) has become a major point of intrigue in the travel sector. Right now, travel brands are using AI to power a new generation of chatbots that can communicate with customers and handle requests through textbased “conversations”. But chatbots represent a stepping stone towards something much bigger. In the future, hotels will begin to use AI in far more dynamic ways, including within the hotel room itself. Soon enough, guests may be able to control devices and make requests entirely through an in-room voice-controlled device. It’s a scenario that might not be so very far away. AI assistants such as Google Home and Amazon Echo are already being used by consumers to play music, receive news and weather updates, shop online, and more. AI no longer exists in some far-flung future. It’s here now, and it’s advancing quickly. With that in mind, here are a few ways AI might be used in the hotel rooms of the future.

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are experimenting with ways a room can “pay attention” to preferences so that things like favourite TV channels and temperature settings can be made instantly available. This kind of experimentation could pave the way for a new generation of “smart” rooms that observe preferences and tailor devices to meet the unique needs of every person. Brendon Granger, Director, Technology 4 Hotels

Controlling in-room tech The technology needed to control every device in a room purely through voice is already being used. Just recently, Aloft Hotels debuted their voice-activated rooms to enable guests to change the temperature, adjust the lighting, and turn on the TV using an Aloft App and iPad linked to Apple’s Homekit and Siri. But while controlling devices in this way is undoubtedly a useful and interesting perk, the true potential of combining in-room tech with AI lies in the possibility that a room can learn about preferences and remove the need for interaction altogether. For instance, Starwood Hotels (the owners of Aloft)

Ordering hotel services While chatbots provide a fast way to order services and make requests, an AI assistant would make this process even easier. Instead of being fixed to their smartphone, a guest could ask for more towels, request room service, or make a reservation at the hotel restaurant - all while getting on with other things. It would also be possible to make requests and receive tailored recommendations. After a long flight, a weary guest might want to book a spa treatment to help unwind and relax. Instead of listing every possible treatment, an AI assistant would be able to suggest the most suitable options to help with jet lag. By monitoring booking history and enquiries during a day, hotel staff would also be

TECHNOLOGY

able to access that data in the future. For instance, if a guest had asked for extra pillows or requested that specific drinks be topped up in their minibar, hotel staff would be able to prepare a room accordingly to meet those needs ahead of time.

Acting as a local guide AI would also act as the ultimate destination guide, acting as an invaluable resource on local sights, landmarks, and attractions. Asking a question like “where can I get a great cappuccino?” or “what beaches in the area are great for families?” could result in a tailored recommendation based on information sourced from review sites, travel blogs, tweets, and Facebook posts. A guest might also ask to be updated about upcoming events of personal interest such as music festivals, gourmet food markets, art exhibitions and theatre productions. Coordinating travel plans and bookings would also be possible during the same interaction. For instance, after finding out about a great restaurant across town, an in-room assistant could then reserve a table, send the restaurant directions to a person’s smartphone, and book an Uber to pick them up. Spring 2018 - AccomNews


Amazon Echo Family

Providing information on the hotel

person can reach a destination on time with minimum hassle.

All the practical details about a hotel’s amenities and services are typically available in a series of printed documents. But a hotel room of the future would remove the need to manually check for relevant information.

Clearly, this kind of service would be of major benefit to hotel guests. In addition to easier planning and arranging transport, they could ask their in-room device to have front desk come and collect their luggage or bring their car around for collection.

A guest could simply ‘ask’ their room a question such as “when does the pool open?” or “does the gym have a crosstrainer?” When asking about the hotel restaurant menu, a guest might also request tips on recommended dishes that match their tastes, or even pairing suggestions from the hotel wine list.

AI no longer exists in some far-flung future. It’s here now, and it’s advancing quickly

The future of guest experience AI has advanced rapidly in recent years and hotels have an opportunity to use it in a number of game-changing ways. Soon enough, a person may check into a hotel room and use an AI assistant to order room service, turn on the TV, book a massage treatment, and plan their latest trip.

If information about particular amenities or services was repeatedly requested, an AI assistant could identify these as preferences and make relevant suggestions about other services that might also be appealing.

Travel assistance Checking out of a hotel can sometimes be a pretty hectic experience, especially when there’s an early flight involved. But assistants such as Google Home can already remove a lot of the stress associated with travel. Along with checking the status of flights, Google Home can set an alarm, call an Uber, and provide real-time traffic data - all of which means a Spring 2018 - AccomNews

Smoothing out the checkout process ultimately means that a guest would leave the hotel feeling both positive and relaxed.

Google Home

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Not only can AI provide a more personalised experience, it can free up hotel staff from dealing with requests that don’t always require personal interaction. While it’s still early days, it’s clear that this technology will play an increasingly central role in hospitality. By at least considering its potential now, hotels can begin to prepare themselves for a time when it becomes increasingly central to the guest experience.

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assisting the industry For over twenty one years in australia the preferred supplier programme and directory has been an extremely valuable and effective tool for accommodation managers.

Control your aircon Costs! the then go on to the Preferred Supplier Database. Only Preferred Suppliers in this database have the opportunity to utilise the Preferred Supplier logo and make their contact details available to managers via the Preferred Supplier Directory, located in every issue of the A and online at accomnews.com.au.

Listed below are the stages of the process that ensure only the best industry suppliers can participate in the Preferred Supplier Programme:

2.

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All nominations received are then qualified through a secondary questionnaire process to ensure nominated suppliers are able to provide the highest levels of service required and expected by managers. Suppliers that still qualify are then asked to commit to the required levels of service for the next 12 months guaranteeing their commitment to the industry. Subject to the satisfaction of these processes and commitments suppliers

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Preferred suppliers have their status reviewed every 12 months to ensure they still qualify and that their commitment to the industry is being met.

With these criteria in place it means that you as a manager have access to a complete range of specialist suppliers who are actively seeking to improve their services to the accommodation industry. For your own peace of mind when dealing with any supplier ask if they are a Preferred Supplier. This can be verified by viewing a Preferred Supplier logo â&#x20AC;&#x201C; made available for use in any of their stationery or marketing material or more simply by locating them in the Preferred Supplier Directory. So when looking for products or services give yourself the peace of mind that you are dealing with a recognised industry specialist and support these suppliers who are committed to servicing your needs.

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It allows managers to access industry specialists who are committed to the highest levels of service and dedicated to the accommodation and hospitality industries. This is extremely helpful for all accommodation providers but especially new managers as it allows them to benefit from the positive experiences other managers have had with their suppliers.

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AccomNews - Spring 2018  

Issue 65

AccomNews - Spring 2018  

Issue 65