AccomNews - Australia, Winter 2019

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The essential industry guide

Issue 68 | Winter 2019 | AUD $16.50 incl GST |

Budget Motel Chain: Fresh, welcoming and personal

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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 Winter issue

Front Desk__________________________________

Editor’s Note: Shiny awards... but tarnished rewards...................07

Industry____________________________________ TAA Report: A new era for TAA............................................................ 08

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.

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EDITOR Kate Jackson, STAFF WRITERS Mandy Clarke and Trish Riley PRODUCTION Richard McGill, ADVERTISING Tim Svenson, Trish Riley, SERVICE Gavin Bill, CONTRIBUTORS Ahmed Youssef, Alexis Batlle, Brendon Granger, David Lund, Dean Long, Doug Kennedy, Hugh Patrick, Judy Senn, Karen Dade, Kenneth Law, Leanne Harwood, Margy Osmond, Michael Johnson, Richie Cheng, Stephen Ferguson, Tambourine, Terence Baker and Vee Kessner

AoAA Report: Forward looking, but outlook not all blue skies............................................................... 09 AHA Report: Minimum wages, small business and the worker............................................................................................ 10 TTF Report: A month of peaks and troughs................................... 10 CIAA Report: It’s time to bring in the working holiday.................11


Supplier information or content 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!


AccomNews - Winter 2019

Train your staff to capture direct bookings...................................... 12 What is ‘Hospitality Financial Leadership’ anyway?...................... 14

Profiles_____________________________________ The Budget Motel Chain: Presents a united front........................16 The Pacific Hotel Brisbane: Terrific transformation complete!........................................................20 From dishie to director............................................................................. 21

What’s Hot............................................. 24 Refurbishment______________________________ Meet the game changers in holiday park refurbishments.........26 Mercure Sydney Liverpool and Hotel Interiors..............................28 Stylish refurb: Quality Hotel Batmans Hill On Collins................ 30

Guest Facilities_____________________________


Exploit the allure of the great outdoors............................................32 Free your guests of excess baggage...................................................34

Food & Beverage____________________________ What does your caddy say about you?..............................................36

Housekeeping______________________________ Odour control: How to ensure the suite smell of success........38 The cleaning conundrum: Why accom’s reputation is being savaged..........................................................................................42 The wash up on bathroom dispensers............................................. 46


Technology________________________________ Universal appeal: Why device charging matters to accom...... 50 The evolution of guest room TVs......................................................... 51 Can you finally say goodbye to Foxtel subscriptions? ................54 How accom can benefit from self check-in kiosks.......................55

Marketing__________________________________ Telegraph your accom with the right signage................................58

Energy & Resources_________________________

KEY Commercially funded supplier profile or supplier case study



How the right aircon can power your business ............................62

Safety & Security____________________________ Emergency lighting: How safe is your property?.......................... 65 Industry hitting back on housekeeper assault.............................. 68

Preferred Supplier Directory.................... 70

It’s awards season for the accom industry, and great to see star performers from GMs to apprentices recognised for their efforts.

Of course, our hardest workers are rarely the ones standing in the spotlight. Mum-anddad operations all over the country don’t survive without actual mums and dads working ridiculous hours for rewards which are increasingly being diminished by industry players competing to take a cut. Short stays and the unlevel playing field argument aside, there is a simmering anger among Australia’s small accom business owners at the way their profits are being eroded, bit by bit and day by day, by

knowledge. The result is punitive measures by the major OTAs against said operators, who feel utterly disenfranchised by the inability to control their own pricing - and destinies. Nustay, meanwhile, is complaining to European Union regulators that Expedia and are trying to erase competition by punishing properties listed on its platform. True or not, it seems no-one gives a damn about the human cost of the ‘race to the bottom’ on price.

Kate Jackson, Editor, AccomNews

‘industry partners’. Lately we’ve seen Danish start-up Nustay, the newest among a raft of similar operators, looking to take a chunk of the big OTAs’ market by trawling the internet for wholesale pricing and listing properties at bargain basement rates without the owner’s

It takes time, resilience and determination to fight your corner. Some operators have resorted to threatening action through their local MP or the ACCC to get their quality scores reinstated or properties removed from booking sites they have not agreed to list on. But every time a new threat emerges to

nibble away at the edges of their RevPAR, it lessens the enjoyment and heightens the stress level of running an accommodation business. As a former property owner with many amazing memories of my time in accom, it’s tough to hear competent, experienced operators saying things like: “They are destroying our businesses” and “How do you win? You sound like you have been in the industry. You are so lucky to be out”. Australia’s hotels are trailblazers for the concepts of ‘wellness’ and ‘sustainability’ right now. While we toast our high achievers this awards season, it’s worth remembering that as an industry, we need to keep fighting for the wellness of those not standing in the spotlight, and for the sustainability of their accom businesses.

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AccomNews - Winter 2019



Shiny awards... but tarnished rewards

TAA Report

A new era for TAA I try not to sound like I’m boasting when I talk about the state of hotels in this country.

Our industry now adds $8 billion to the Australian economy and employs more than 187,000 people directly and indirectly

But with so many good things happening, it’s hard. I am so fortunate to have taken the reins of our nation’s peak accommodation industry association at a time of profound growth and change - for us and the sector at large. TAA has a new CEO, a board made up of the best minds in the hotel industry, and we are about to move into new multi-milliondollar offices in the Sydney CBD. And despite global pressures and a changing landscape, the Australian hotel sector is riding the wave of a construction and design-driven boom. In the last three years more than 40 new hotels have entered the market, with a further 270 new hotels on the way. More than 50,000 new rooms are planned across the country with nearly 17,500 currently under construction, almost 7,000 of them in the luxury sector. Melbourne leads the growth with Sydney not far behind. Our industry now adds $8 billion to the Australian economy and employs more than 187,000 people directly and indirectly. But with the boom, comes challenges.

Michael Johnson, CEO, Tourism Accommodation Australia It’s no secret staff are in high demand right across the country and right across the board. Nationwide, the hospitality sector will need an additional 123,000 employees by 2020 – doing everything from food, beverage and front office, to engineering, sales and IT. If you look at chefs alone, there will be a 16.7 percent increase in demand for chefs by 2023 - equal to around 16,800 new positions nationwide. And at the same time the number of young people starting food trade apprenticeships has dropped by 43.5 percent over the past five years. In Victoria, TAA Vic general manager Dougal Hollis is working hard on lifting the profile of the industry from a skills perspective. And in NSW our hotel advisory group is working with TAFE NSW on the best way to boost support for hotel recruitment strategies across key areas including

school-leavers, apprentices and trainees as well as upskilling existing hotel employees. We are working closely with TAFE NSW on developing specific courses and curriculums for the hotel industry. Some options being looked at include: work placement to provide access to high school students studying Vocational Education and Training programs in hospitality and cookery pathways, developing tailored traineeships in hotel operations to meet the needs of the hotel sector and developing accredited pre-traineeship and pre-apprenticeship programs to promote careers. We are considering which option will have the most effect and will work together with TAFE and partners across Australia, on a long-term strategy to address the hotel skills shortage once and for all. On another topic, this is also the time of the year we recognise the hugely talented staff we already have. I was lucky enough to join

more than 500 guests at the TAA VIC Accommodation Awards for Excellence held at The Grand Hyatt on Thursday, 20 June 2019. In the sumptuous Savoy Ballroom 29 awards were handed out to some of the best venues and hotel employees in Victoria. The TAA NSW Awards for Excellence are also nearly upon us. This year, more than 300 nominations were received from 100 top NSW venues for awards in 32 different categories. The winners will be announced at a gala function at The Star Event Centre on Thursday, 25 July 2019. In both states the independent judges had a similar complaint; they are finding it harder and harder to separate hotels which continue to innovate and excel in service, facilities, training and staff. Everyone is a winner. As problems go, it is one we can certainly live with.


AccomNews - Winter 2019


AAoA Report

Forward looking, but outlook not all blue skies As with all great shows, they must always go on and I am really proud to be taking over from Richard Munro as the new CEO of the Accommodation Association of Australia, following his eight years as CEO. I am really excited to be coming back to the tourism industry and ensuring the accommodation sector continues to be a respected pillar of one of Australia’s export industries. I want to personally thank Richard for his leadership and contribution to the sector over this time and wish him every success in the next role! As with all new roles it is important to hit the road and meet as many of you as possible. In my first two weeks, I had the pleasure of attending AAoA’s Accommodation Market Update in Sydney and the general manager briefing session in Melbourne. I want to thank each of the attendees for warmly welcoming me back to the sector and demonstrating the passion and dedication that makes this industry so special and the envy of many. It was also great to hear from our government and industry partners at these sessions including Tourism Australia, Melbourne Convention Centre, Visit Victoria, City of Melbourne, Hostplus, Deloitte Access Economics and STR each

The association is proud to provide these opportunities for collaboration and to facilitate knowledge to ensure we are always seeking ways to continue to improve and to meet our guests’ expectations

Dean Long, CEO, Accommodation Association of Australia

providing an update on the challenges and opportunities for our sector in the year ahead. The association is proud to provide these opportunities for collaboration and to facilitate knowledge to ensure we are always seeking ways to continue to improve and to meet our guests’ expectations. While much of the discussion was positive and forward looking, it was clear that as we enter the next financial year, the outlook is not all blue skies. This was particularly evident in recent weeks with the majority of the state and territory governments handing down budgets, that are significantly downgrading the economic growth projections for the forward estimates. Each of these budgets presented a mix bag for the tourism industry with the winner being Victoria, increasing funding, while NSW decided to cut funding for Destination NSW

by more than 20 percent. This will have a direct impact on the programs that the industry has used for the last four years. What is clear however, is that the accommodation sector continues to do more than our fair share in contributing to increased construction activity and we continue to be a major employer across the country. We have an additional 50,000 new rooms being planned and according to STR, there are another 17,500 new rooms currently under construction, something that no government budget around Australia has recognised. Now is not the time for governments to be decreasing funding to departments that assist in driving demand for Australia’s largest services export. The industry and our contribution to the economy has always been maximised when the investments we are making


are supported by comprehensive destination marketing and event calendars. Governments at a minimum must commit to maintaining their funding to support the investments our sector is making. I, as well as the national board and state advisory boards, will be strongly advocating across the country that as our industry continues our record investment, governments should be increasing theirs. Finally, the association welcomed two industry leaders to our national board. Leanne Harwood, managing director Australasia and Japan, IHG and Heidi Kunkel, vice president of operations, Hilton providing additional knowledge, expertise and leadership for the sector. In joining the AAoA national board they will be enhancing the leadership of the association and I look forward to working with each of them and all members of the board to deliver on our strategic objectives. AccomNews - Winter 2019


AHA Report

Minimum wages, small business and the worker The lowest paid Australian workers by now would have started to benefit from the Fair Work Commission’s decision to grant its third consecutive aboveinflation wage rise. As many of you will no doubt be aware, at the end of May the FWC’s minimum wage panel handed down its verdict on the 2018-19 annual wage review. It decided to raise the minimum wage by three percent in modern awards - an increase of $21.60 per week, or 56 cents an hour (bringing it to $19.49 an hour).

TTF Report

As an editorial in The Australian newspaper noted a day after the decision was handed down, our minimum wage workers

We all want to see wages grow and businesses thrive and we need to all work together to ensure this happens Stephen Ferguson, CEO, Australian Hotels Association are among the best paid in the world - and the AHA has no argument with that. In the USA, for comparison, the minimum wage has been at $US7.25 ($AU10.50) an hour since 2009. Even in the socialist mecca of California the state minimum is $12 for employers

with more than 25 employees. Here in Australia we have seen minimum wage rises from the FWC for the last three years. In 2019, the AHA had originally argued for a wage increase of no more than 1.8 percent - or about $12.45 a week. We did this on the basis that it would see incomes

rise, while still protecting the bottom line for small businesses - many of which are struggling with ever rising costs (especially energy) or have the double whammy of spiralling costs and being based in areas like drought stricken regional NSW. They are the ones who actually keep people employed.

A month of peaks and troughs The last month has been full of peaks and troughs when it comes to tourism announcements.

Australia's accommodation sector is currently seeing its biggest transformation since the Sydney Olympics

Coming off the back of a high from seeing Queensland’s tourism industry come together with the Courier Mail to promote the importance of the tourism sector with the Future Tourism campaign. To TEQ’s recent campaign with Uber to introduce ScUber taking the world by storm. The campaign reach included: •

3921 news articles globally

Potential reach of 3.35 billion people

Publicity value of $121m

More than 152,000 entries in the competition to come and experience scUber


AccomNews - Winter 2019

Margy Osmond, CEO, Tourism and Transport Forum •

launch of Visit Victoria’s winter campaign which was developed with input from industry and market research to encourage travellers to find “Your Happy Space” in regional Victoria.

Goodness we have even seen our very first ScUber proposal!

Australia's accommodation sector is currently seeing its biggest transformation since the Sydney Olympics. Then there were recordbreaking crowds at Vivid and the

And the benefits of this type of campaign are reflected in the TRA’s IVS statistics heralding regional Victoria as the best performer in international visitation growth compared to all


other states - more than tripling the regional national average with a whopping 12 percent increase since last quarter. There has been some good industry news but then………… we suffer a major blow when the NSW tourism sector cops a $35 million cut to destination marketing funding and the SA government follows suit leaving the state with less funding than previous years.

Compare that to the whopping six percent increase - $43.15 a week - demanded by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) - a figure which, if adopted, would have been a slap in the face for the national economy. The AHA - and Tourism Accommodation Australia - was glad to see common-sense prevail, especially given the union scaremongering and the talk by some on the Opposition side that the May election was a ‘referendum on wages’.

having regard to the changes in the economic environment (in particular the recent fall in GDP growth and the drop in inflation) and the tax-transfer changes which have taken effect … and which have provided a benefit to low-paid households…” This is plain common sense - the last thing the economy needs is another hit and for everyone to suffer. It’s also important the FWC president was satisfied the determination “… will not lead to any adverse inflationary outcome and nor will it have any measurable negative impact on employment…” We all want to see wages grow and businesses thrive and we need to all work together to ensure this happens.

We support the ‘independent umpire’s’ decision on 30 May 2019 to arrive at three percent, when compared to the ACTU’s application which would have been a real hit for struggling businesses. We also note the FWC’s president Justice Iain Ross explained the increase was smaller than in previous years; “…

That’s why the Australian Hotels Association support’s the most recent decision by the FWC - which delivers a wage rise business can live with - especially in the face of a scaremongering campaign which could have drastically affected employment levels if the ACTU had had its way.

Sometimes it feels like we don’t know whether we are coming or going.

promotion delivers a return of approximately $16.

IVS stats released for March 2019 clearly show that when a state fails to invest or cuts back on their tourism spend the visitor market declines. And this is not time to be cutting back on marketing our beautiful states to the world with an obvious softening in some of the state’s markets and competition between states is fierce. NSW can’t afford to become complacent and its main competitors VIC and QLD have recognised that in either maintaining or increasing their investment in the tourism industry. And across in South Australia international visitor numbers, bed nights and spend have continued to decrease, which is a clear reflection of tourism budget cuts taking place two years in a row. The tourism industry is one of the most significant service industries delivering jobs for Australia. We know that every dollar invested into tourism

It’s time to bring in the working holiday By Hugh Fitzpatrick, Industry Researcher, Caravan Industry Association of Australia

Caravan and camping holidays are continuing to rise in popularity amongst young international visitors, with the 20 to 29-year-old age group leading the way. New figures from Tourism Research Australia have revealed 377 000 international visitors opted to caravan or camp in Australia for the year ending March 2019, marking a seven percent increase from the previous year. The millennial market; led by working holiday makers and backpackers, continues to be the strongest age demographic with 157 000 international visitors aged 20 to 29 choosing caravanning and camping in Australia. International caravan/camping visitors spent a total of 4.8 million nights in Australia, a two percent decrease from the previous year.

A recent survey conducted by TTF and Nielsen showed that Aussies see tourism as the most important industry when it comes to future jobs. 78 percent also believe tourists visiting our shores means more jobs here and a stronger economy. 31 percent see tourism as the leader when it comes to future jobs and 65 percent believe the government should be taking the industry more seriously. So, if every day Australians can see the importance of tourism to the country’s economy, it is difficult to understand why some of our state governments do not? You must spend money to make money and we all need to come together and get on the same page which means supporting the industry. This quarters IVS figures are proof we can’t afford to take our foot off the gas. So, when it comes to investing in tourism as an industry we need to ask, are we coming or going?

Although there is a high (and growing) number of international visitors who go caravan/camping in Australia, a challenge remains regarding length of stay; especially as core Western markets soften due to economic and political uncertainty in Britain, the Eurozone and North America. This softening over the past several years has had a severe impact on regional Australia, which is receiving its lowest market share of visitor nights in history at 18 percent. This highlights the need for an increased focus on getting more long staying visitors to Australia such as working holiday makers, who are higher yielding and significantly more likely to stay longer in regional areas. Recent data highlights that for the year ending March 2018, there were 306,000 visitors to Australia on a working holiday maker (WHM) visa who spent 46 million nights. Although significant, these numbers have not changed since 2013, while total international tourism has increased by 47 percent over the same period. Australia’s tourism marketing has historically been geared towards High Value Travellers (HVTs) who are measured by spend per


day. Whilst yield is important, where expenditure takes place is equally so when considering the sustainability of a tourism economic system such as Australia. WHMs are deceptively high value. In fact, they spend 29 percent more per trip than non-WHM visa holders during their time to Australia. Added to this, they stay for on average 149 nights per trip. This is seven times longer than non-WHMs visa holders and allows them to disperse further to regional areas. A total of 31 percent of nights from WHMs are spent in regional Australia, compared to 12 percent for nonWHMs. This highlights the vital role they play in generating nights and dollars in areas that need it – regional and remote Australia. The recent campaign by Tourism Australia; ‘Australia Inc’ is a welcome pivot as it recognises the importance of working holiday makers to Australian destinations, and the stagnation that has occurred in the wake of the ‘backpacker tax’ which severely damaged Australia’s brand as a working holiday destination. Recently, after much lobbying from institutions (Caravan Industry Association of Australia being one of many), federal changes to the WHM visa scheme such as extending the age from 30 to 35 for Canadian and Irish applicants, and the inclusion of more geographical areas that are applicable to work in, is a pleasing development. However, with the focus now firmly back on WHMs by Tourism Australia, there needs to be additional investment and policy reform that enables more people to experience Australia as a working holiday destination. This needs to include a larger cap on the number of visas available; continued reform and reduction of the ‘backpacker tax’ and a driving of demand for WHMs. This needs to be coupled with support for destinations and businesses in Australia wanting to host WHMs so they can facilitate a positive experience between visitor and host community. (Data Source: Tourism Research Australia, IVS, 2019)

AccomNews - Winter 2019


CIAA Report

I note the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry also asked for an increase of 1.8 percent, while the Australian Industry Group wanted two percent - both similar to what was pushed by the AHA.

Train your staff

to capture direct bookings Front-desk employees have the power to encourage known regular guests to book direct. Here are some tips on how to help train your front-line staff on increasing conversions. When I attend hotel industry conferences, it seems that hoteliers everywhere are talking about the growing costs of customer acquisition and how important it is to secure direct bookings. Yet when I conduct training workshops for front desk and reservations staff, it seems few are talking about this subject with those who are in the best position to actually do something about it. To illustrate this point, I’ll share a recent observation. While standing at the front desk of a hotel waiting to meet the GM for dinner, I overheard a phone conversation where a front-desk agent asked, “What website are you looking at, sir?” It became obvious that he was fielding a call from someone


AccomNews - Winter 2019

Doug Kennedy, President, Kennedy Training Network

shopping on an online travel agency and trying to match room types he saw there with the more extensive images he was seeing at the hotel’s own website. By the way, it was a slow night at the desk and there was another front desk colleague who was idle at the time. From my position at the side of the desk, I was able to watch as this polite young hotelier then visited the OTA website and patiently coached the caller through on how to locate the room he wanted. Later when I told the GM about this, she was a bit shocked, but I

Most hoteliers would be amazed how frequently channel conversion opportunities present themselves if they were to challenge their staff and measure the results actually was not surprised at all. When I conduct training for frontdesk and reservations agents, I always ask if they know why it is important to encourage guests to book direct and how much booking via an OTA costs the hotel in commissions and fees. Rarely do my participants have the answer; some even report thinking they are not supposed to sell against these OTAs. What would happen if I called your hotel and said I was looking online at Expedia or and just double-checking a rate? When our Kennedy Training


Network mystery shoppers make calls asking the above question, the most common response we hear is: “Yes, that’s the same rate I’m showing.” Our team then says “OK, should I book that with you, or…?” followed by a pause. The most frequent answer is “Whichever you prefer is fine.” Personally, I believe this is because too many distribution and revenue leaders seem to be so obsessed with online bookings that they have completely forgotten the role of real conversations.

Sure, online channels are extremely important and worthy of attention, but that does not mean we should forget about voice and in-person engagement.

These channel conversion opportunity calls are disguised as simple questions such as “Hi, I’m just checking a rate…” or “Can you tell me if the Premium Room has a direct view of…?”

To keep your attention, let’s do the maths. Let’s take an average daily rate of $129 and an average length of stay of 1.5 nights, giving us a booking value of $193.50. Based on an “average” OTA fee of 15 percent, it would cost $29.05 in acquisition fees, which flows straight to the bottom line and not out the door to a third party.

Beyond phone calls, the front-desk team can also convert known regular guests to direct bookings next time by simply engaging them in conversations at registration and especially at departure.

Most hoteliers would be amazed how frequently channel conversion opportunities present themselves if they were to challenge their staff and measure the results.

Here are some tips for implementing a channel conversion training program at your hotel: •

When our team listens in to real call recordings as part of our third-party call assessment service, we frequently hear evidence of callers shopping online while on the phone.


Share this article and discuss this topic at your next front-desk or reservations meeting. Take your team through the exercise of calculating the potential savings to the bottom line based on your transient average

daily rate. Ask them to estimate how many of the calls mentioned above they receive daily. Ask how many 'regulars' they know personally who book through third parties. •

Then ask them to help the hotel keep this revenue in-house. Let them know that when this 'currency' flows outside the building to an OTA, that OTA does not take any of the operating costs such as payroll and only money right off the top!

Share some sample language the staff can use and have them practice saying it in their own words. Examples:

“While I have you on the line, let me go ahead and secure this reservation for you right now so I can lock in the rate and put in that request.” “Ms. Flores, before I send you on your way today, may I book your next stay right now? I

know we’re already getting reservations for next month, so I want to make sure we have you taken care of!” •

Consider a small incentive. Even a $1 or one percent commission on each direct booking will help motivate front-line employees, especially if managers celebrate and recognise the staff members when paying out this reward. This is far less than any OTA commission or booking fee.

Post your phone number prominently on your website, especially when it displays on mobile devices.

If you have in-house reservations staff, indicate so on your website with a call-out button right next to the phone number that reads “Call in-house reservations.”

Originally published on



15TH - 16TH AUGUST 2019 QT Hotel Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Queensland Industry’s leading body, providing hotel engineers from across the nation with a forum for progressive thought whilst promoting best practices. Exhibition of up to 30 key industry suppliers | 150 delegates in attendance Delegates include key decision makers in hotel engineering


AccomNews - Winter 2019


What is ‘Hospitality Financial Leadership’ anyway? By David Lund, Founder, The Hotel Financial Coach

This is a question I have been asked many times. Exactly what is financial leadership and why hospitality? Finding the three words together in a sentence three years ago was not possible. I know because I tried to google them and came up with a bunch of leadership consultants and courses. Even the words “financial leadership” revealed surprisingly little. Some tidbits about CEOs and their role but nothing any broader. Financial leadership is in my opinion the cornerstone of any manager, executive or leader’s business acumen. It enables the individual to see the importance of being plugged into the strategy of the business regardless of their vocation or the industry that they are in. They could be a human resources manager, a facilities manager or the head of information technology but they are financially tuned to the business at hand. They know the role they play in delivering the results inside the strategy and they also use their financial leadership skills to communicate and lead their team. They make the numbers in their world just as important as the other disciplines like people, service and processes. Financial leadership skills enable these managers to create a level of understanding and sophistication around the business strategy. They


AccomNews - Winter 2019

Our hero makes darn sure the daily communication around the numbers is consistent, positive and clear can relate this understanding to their mission and vision of the team they are leading as well as the individual development and contribution of the team members. They see the numbers as a form of currency that provides fuel to ignite and mould the talent and contribution of their team’s collective efforts. The executive with financial leadership skills knows that the key ingredient that each of his or her squad needs to propel their individual careers is a sound grasp of the company and industry business strategy. They are in essence an enabler of the financial leadership knowledge within their group and, as a result, they produce leaders who help propel the company’s growth. Without these skills being brought out of the individuals by the functional leader, the contribution of the person and the collective team are restricted. Great leaders are developed, and they need the exposure to the financials to grow; without it they are limited. Hospitality Financial Leadership is the missing link for many hotel leaders and executives. It is hard to think or believe that some of

our senior members are playing the game with a short hand. If you have been in hospitality for your career you know exactly what I’m talking about. We promote people from operations, sales and other senior roles to be the general manager. It’s been this way since the dawn of time and again, if you’re in the business you know what I mean. It’s also quite frightening to think we have the most senior person sitting in the seat without the proper flying skills. In many instances they are winging it and if the owner knew just how green they were they would slip a disk. But don’t worry too much about the captain not knowing how to sail. He or she will be fine as long as they open up to financial leadership. This is where the rubber meets the road. Knowing you have the ability to manage your people, the owner and the brand is key, but knowing how to make the numbers work, that’s the nitro you must have if you’re going to get off the ground and stay there. So just exactly what is this fuel? The fuel is the commitment to make the numbers just another equal part to what you do. Holding the direct


reports accountable for their departmental results on all levels. Not giving anyone a pass when it comes to their budget just because they are a valuable team member with amazing soft skills in their area who to date has not taken the necessary time or made the required commitment to get their financial shtick together. They are the leader who does not blame the finance department when the operating department numbers are upside down. They are the quarterback who calls the plays and ensures the finance department also lives up to its commitment providing the necessary resources and living up to its own schedules. They make sure the forecasts and budgets all come from the department managers, not from the accounting department. This man or woman of steel ensures each department head writes and owns their own monthly commentary. Our hero makes darn sure the daily communication around the numbers is consistent, positive and clear. Making sure your team is provided with the resources and training to get it going, to get everyone to step up and they take no prisoners. Blame and victims are not allowed on this ship. That, my friends, is what Hospitality Financial Leadership is all about. David Lund is founder of Hotel Financial Coach, which helps hotel leaders with financial leadership coaching and workshops.

Membership with Budget Motels:

Looking to join a motel chain that gives you more? Being a motel owner is not always easy. At Budget Motels, we understand that it takes hard work to deliver great service to guests looking for clean, comfortable and affordable accommodation. The Budget Motel Chain is owned and operated by its members, for its members. We understand the accommodation industry and your needs. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to ask questions, share ideas, or a story or two, with people just like you?



Australian Owned

All money stays in Australia

Not for profit organisation

Member based organisation for members benefit

UseROSS Channel Manager

Included within your subscription, and an essential tool for any motel, UseROSS continues to be updated to meet the growing needs of the accommodation sector.


Each of our member properties are independently owned and operated. As a member, we won’t dictate how you run your business, but we will offer support and advice.

Official Marketing plan

Research conducted to identify target markets, how they are motivated to take action, who they are and where to find them. Structured short – mid-term marketing plan of activity to increase awareness and increase customers for our members.

Preferred Partnerships

Amazing companies choose to be partners such as; Accommodation Finance Australia, SleepMaker Commercial, the Accommodation Association of Australia and many more listed as Preferred Partners of the Budget Motel Chain. They offer specialised pricing and assistance and can help you with almost every requirement for your property.


With a member only Facebook page, where you can ask questions and get advice from fellow members on a variety of topics, as well as Head Office staff who have industry experience, ready to help you.

7 WAYS WE SUPPORT OUR MEMBERS Marketing & Advertising campaigns to promote the Budget Motel brand

Email marketing to past guest database of more than 100,000 contacts

New website with page 1 ranking and your property listed

A “BOOK NOW” button for your website so you pay zero commission on these bookings

UseROSS Chanel Manager included with membership, with links to OTAs and PMSs

Advocate to accommodation associations to help take back our industry

Regular newsletters to keep you informed of industry news and events



Channel Management Software

The Power of Collaboration Find out how Motels are succeeding in the Digital Era with Budget Motel Chain and the UseROSS Channel Manager. Have a greater voice and have your issues heard by working together to take back control of the accommodation industry! Call us on: 03 9784 4111 or email: w: w:


AccomNews - Winter 2019


The Budget Motel Chain:

Presents a united front By Mandy Clarke, Industry Reporter

The Budget Motel Chain is synonymous as a leading brand, providing excellence in accommodation for today’s diverse market. It is well recognised for offering good, clean, comfortable accommodation at affordable rates for cost-conscious travellers throughout Australia and New Zealand. Budget member properties can be found in all over Australia, delivering a unique balance of attractive aesthetics, great customer service and affordable pricing.

Christopher Fozard is Budget Motels’ operations manager. He brings years of defence, customer service and community organisation experience to his role as well as a passion for hospitality. He warmly welcomes interest from any accommodation providers, wanting to know more about becoming part of the Budget family. The Budget brand has some unique points of difference compared to other chains.

Finance Your Hotel Equipment & Refurbishment With Accommodation Finance Australia

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Accommodation Finance Australia are a specialist funder to the accommodation & hotel sector. The constant requirement for property improvements in the hotel market is essential but it can also be expensive. We offer finance solutions that enable you to improve your property without having to part with your hard earned capital. We pride ourselves on excellent service and strive to make the funding process as simple and painless as possible.

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The Budget Motels Chain encompasses four brands; the well-known Budget Motels, Orbit Inns, Paragon Hotels and their newest brand, Budget Motels Gold.

AccomNews - Winter 2019



Accommodation Finance Australia provides funding for Budget hotels refurbishments

Some of the benefits of membership that were highlighted by Chris are listed below: •

A simple fee structure ensuring equality for all members

A wholly owned and operated channel manager, UseROSS, which is included with membership and has been redeveloped based on feedback from accommodation providers

Secure, single use virtual credit card (VCC) for use by properties which utilise the

UseROSS channel manager. VCCs are designed to stop fake bookings and no-shows by charging the guest at time of booking to ensure that the property receives part or full payment for the booking •

With banks tightening their lending practices after the Banking Royal Commission, accommodation providers have been finding it difficult to access funding and are reluctant to go back to the bank for fear of having their business and home revalued in a depreciating market. By partnering with Accommodation Finance Australia, The Budget Hotel Group have enabled their members to gain access to funding and complete

refurbishments and business improvements. Budget hotels have been the beneficiaries of simplified application process, fast approvals (48hrs), flexible finance and a dedicated point of contact. Chrisopher Fozard from the Budget Motel Chain has said: “I love how Accommodation Finance Australia gives property owners a chance to renovate, without all the hassles the banks give them.”

A direct deposit system (DDS) again for use by properties which use the UseROSS channel manager. This DDS system is designed as an alternative to the VCC system, reducing the merchant fees charged by banks






AccomNews - Winter 2019


A Book Direct (or Book Now) button. Although there are a lot of book now buttons available, our one is designed specifically for the UseROSS channel manager, making the booking process simple and secure

Annual conferences and AGMs in beautiful locations

Ability to display signage of one of Australia’s most famous motel icons, the Budget Motels black and gold ‘B’.

In-house IT support for members who use the UseROSS channel manager

The Budget Motel Chain’s team...

Advertising of member properties to a database of over 200,000 people

Access to bookings via our corporate contracts

Inclusion in social media campaigns

An ever-growing list of preferred partners, specifically focused on providing the best service to our members

Keeping members up to date with regular newsletters containing the latest industry news

An invitation to our closed, members only, Facebook group. Have a question or comment, ask our members for their suggestions

Chris attests to the strength and spirit of the team at Budget Motel Chain. He said: “The team consists not only of our dedicated head office staff, but also our board of directors, who are themselves moteliers with vast experience and backgrounds. Their dedication, decisions and leadership have helped direct not only the future of the Budget Motel Chain, but the industry as well. “For over 40 years, we have also been supported by some of the accommodation sector’s leading organisations, focusing on providing the best levels of service and knowledge to our members and stakeholders.”

We all understand that a strong, united front empowers us to make changes to benefit the entire industry and therefore individual operators. Tell AccomNews readers why you think it is so important to be part of a team. Chris told us that it is now more important than ever to band together, as an industry. “In the current climate, with the OTAs controlling so much of the online booking market, we as an industry need to work closer with organisations such as the Accommodation Association of Australia to push back against these behemoths. This could be partly achieved by educating the public about how the OTAs operate and the commissions they charge every property for every booking. These commissions can vary greatly, between 15 percent and 40 percent, and go offshore, without paying the same business taxes that every other business pays. I’m sure you all saw ‘Dick Smith’s passionate video’ on the OTAs. We were grateful when Dick Smith reached out to us about this and applaud his actions.” Chris is convinced that the way forward is to show a united front. “One challenge the industry faces is the decision to operate independently. This reduces the influence that properties have when dealing with OTAs. We all understand that a strong, united front empowers us to make changes to benefit the entire industry and therefore individual operators. The recent announcement by Expedia to no longer enforce Rate Parity in Australia highlighted


AccomNews - Winter 2019


how working together can have a greater impact. Some accommodation providers are willing to push the boundaries in terms of what they can achieve and change but provide little motivation for innovation in the industry. If accommodation providers stop operating autonomously and begin to collaborate, we could see several (almost) immediate benefits to industry providers.”

Such as? "OTAs no longer commanding price parity, dictating promotions, guest relocations and OTA commission based on location; “Pushing technological providers to innovate and bring convenience to their day-to-day operations; “Making decisions not on ‘gut feeling’ but instead based on predictive analysis and support from the industry; “Influencing the government and other decision-making agencies to ensure a continued growth in the industry; “Being better equipped for change and collaboration with other industries to create ‘win-win’ situations.’” Finally, Chris added: “The Budget Motel Chain would like to get to a point where we can deliver such benefits to all accommodation providers and will continue to be a voice for the ‘little guy’. “I’d encourage operators to make contact with us today and benefit from being part of one of the country’s biggest and friendliest accommodation families!"


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The Pacific Hotel Brisbane:

Terrific transformation complete! By Mandy Clarke, Industry Reporter

Presenting the completely refurbished Pacific Hotel Brisbane offering a selection of beautifully renovated rooms and suites that have been brought to life with a sparkling new vision. Taking full advantage of the breathtaking views across the Brisbane skyline and centrally situated on the previous Hotel Urban site, this property now offers a stunningly spacious and truly welcoming hotel experience. The hotel has been through a remarkable renewal of its 179 guest rooms and suites, as well as the function rooms, restaurant, bar and swimming pool. The magnificent transformation happened under the creative eye of talented Australian hospitality designer, Janine Lauder of Janineous Design. The project also included range of technical upgrades to cater for the needs of contemporary business and leisure guests, with Smart TVs and streaming capabilities, and free highspeed wifi. Moreover, the lobby now features plenty of relaxed seating and a co-working hub perfect for casual meetings or working remotely.

AccomNews asked... Tell us about the refurbishment design, what was the inspiration? “A sense of calm was the inspiration for the Pacific Hotel Brisbane. The demographic for this property is varied and so there was a need to ensure all guests were considered. Sensory furnishings to lounge in or dine at, a variety of table options as well as a separate area for co-working and meeting, were all considered for guests. Beautifully appointed ensuites, supreme comfort and retaining the large room sizes were all high priorities. “Working in with the existing floor where charcoal and white is featured, the hotel lobby was upgraded with soft hues of blue mixed with natural linen and charcoal. Window treatments were upgraded to textural natural linen fabrics, providing privacy and seclusion with hidden LED strip lights providing a warm glow in the evenings. “Seating style is a mix of single swivel seats and lounges to promote conversation and enjoyment for guests and visitors. A co-working space has also been created beyond the lounge area providing high tables and seating with a backdrop of soft cloud wallpaper.

“The accommodation rooms ooze comfort which was at the forefront of design planning. Oversized linen lounges, some of them sofa beds, dominate the lounge areas of the one-and-two-bedroom suites working as a visual invitation upon guest arrival. Large cushions are provided for extra depth and comfort. Occasional chairs, in soft blue velvet with charcoal arms, connecting with the sense of calm in abundance at the lobby. “Suites also feature a luxurious marble topped dining table with beautifully detailed chairs to encourage a full in-room experience. The beds are large, super soft and have custom extra-long lumbar cushions adding an unexpected extra layer of luxury. A subtle patterned grey carpet provides a soft landing underfoot and connects corridors with rooms, providing a tangible sense of direction for the newly arrived guest.” What is your favourite refurbished feature? Andrew said: “I love the inviting and functional co-working space in the lobby that is really a necessity for the modern business traveller. This area encourages guests to collaborate, hold casual meetings or dine whilst they work,

AccomNews - Winter 2019

What was the most important thing to get right? “Functionality for our guests is key. There’s no point having a beautiful product that isn’t user-friendly.” What went well? “What went extremely well was being able to condense a 12-month refurbishment into just six months. This limited the impact on our guests and staff allowed us to present a new product for the new financial year.” What has the reaction been from staff and guests to the hotel refurbishment? Andrew stated: “I am extremely proud of the way the entire team worked together to complete this refurbishment. In addition, the support and encouragement received from our past and regular guests throughout the project only reinforced the significance the property has to so many and the feedback we have received now that the works are complete is truly gratifying.” Tell our readers something about yourself and your team - what do you do best? “The new look coincides with the launch of the Pacific Terrific promise with a spotlight on the hotel’s friendly, relaxed vibe that flows easily through the stunning design and outstanding service. We’re passionate about providing guests with a truly relaxing and memorable stay that captures the Pacific Terrific spirit. It’s all about how we want the guest to feel from the minute they walk through the door to the minute they leave, whether here on business, with family or to attend an event,” Andrew concluded.

The proud Pacific Hotel general manager, Andrew Hudson said: “With Brisbane set to embark on an incredible journey over the next few years, we are delighted that the Pacific Hotel Brisbane is ready to contribute to that evolution.”


utilising the electrical umbilical cords installed from the ceiling direct to the workspace.”


From dishie to director Minor Hotels’ new chief talks humble beginnings, accom’s biggest challenges - and the view from the top… By Kate Jackson, Editor

The COO of Minor Hotels has the greatest office view I’ve ever seen - but he’s not happy. “It’s torture,” he groans, gazing out across a wide blue expanse of river to distant mountains and the Pacific Ocean. “At Christmas there’s all those people out there surfing and paddling and you working - it’s terrible!” Craig Hooley is chief operating officer of the 600-hotel Minor group and his head office is not in Auckland, Sydney or Bangkok. It’s in the laidback surf-loving metropolis of Maroochydore on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Minor does have some small city bases, but its financial, technical and human resources staff are all located in a location which genuinely offers an appealing work/life balance. Minor’s original brand, Oaks, was run from the same building, but the decision to stay on as the company has expanded from ten to 600 hotels is all about looking after employees. “We find that because of the business model we operate, a lot of the services here don’t need to be in Sydney they can be anywhere in Australia. So it’s fantastic that we can employ local staff on the Sunshine Coast and have them work for a global company but live a lifestyle that’s quite relaxed,” says Hooley.

as he travels all over the world (his wife Vicky is also a frequent flyer as an H&M executive), but he sees the value for staff. “It’s a work environment that’s open plan with different zones so people can work in different ways. What we try to create here is a much more relaxed work environment. All the people who work in this office don’t have to commute an hour or two hours a day on a train to get to work. We provide car parking or if they want to ride to work there’s showers here. Employees can take their lunch down to the beach. I think it’s important as an employer these days that we try and make life and work integral, not exclusive, and I think we achieve that.” Care for employees, guests and community is a mantra adopted by numerous hotel companies and brands worldwide, but while some do it lip service, Minor delivers. The fact that Hooley has worked his way up from the humblest of hospitality roles - as a recruit straight out of school he was drafted into the Royal Australian Navy’s food, beverage and housekeeping operations means he’s a COO with rare insight into how things work on the ground.

The father of two grown-up children is rarely onsite himself


AccomNews - Winter 2019


Having clear brand definition and strong brand presence is really important to penetrate through all that data and get to the consumer and grow the organisation and the brand strength

He transitioned out of the forces into a role with Mirvac Hotels before rising up through the ranks with IHG and ShangriLa in Australia and overseas, while always remembering where he came from. Asked if his coalface experience is an advantage, he says: “It’s really, really important and particularly in this organisation as we grow. Probably 75 percent of my time is coaching and developing the team, from talking to housekeepers and food and beverage attendants in hotels all the way through to my senior executive team, my legal counsel, head of commercial and head of finance. It’s really important, I think, in a senior leader’s role that you understand how the business operates. I’ve cleaned rooms, I’ve worked in kitchens, and that handson approach gives the team confidence because when we have discussions, we can always solve problems, we can always address issues, we can always grow from every situation.” Hooley understands that in a world where millennials are predicted to make several career changes over their lifetimes, job satisfaction is key to retaining the best people. Feeling good about where you work - as well as where you stay - matters, he says, and one initiative which has helped Minor drive that is Soap Aid, through which discarded hotel soaps are turned into new product and shipped to some of the most deprived countries in the world to boost health initiatives. Many hotel groups are supporting the initiative, but Oaks is the one leading the charge and in January was named Australian and New Zealand hotel champion by the not-for-profit charity. “It started off in one hotel and we’ve just signed an agreement so all our soap gets centrally brought together and sent to the charity from the whole Australia and NZ region. So it’s actually turned into a very powerful agenda for us - simple things like this actually become lifesaving - and the staff see value in that. “Guests and employees; they want to be proud of the organisation they work for, they want to be proud of the brand


AccomNews - Winter 2019


that they’re using and I think it’s important that companies are aspiring to be good corporate citizens and have a multitude of dimensions, not just selling a product but supporting communities, supporting employees, being family-friendly. “All those sorts of attributes of an organisation are becoming more and more important. I want to walk into this building and feel comfortable - feel like I can be part of this organisation and also that I’m contributing to something. I can go and tell friends and family ‘this is what I do, this is who I work for’ and be proud of that fact. “That’s why we’ve spent a lot of time and money designing this office to be the way it is, casual and inviting. Our responsibility as senior leaders across any industry is not just to drive shareholder returns, but to do that in a way that is socially responsible, corporately responsible and ethically responsible.” Minor hotels is Thaiowned, with hotels in 25 countries worldwide, but Australasia is one of its key development markets. Hooley says: “Minor sees Australia particularly as a big growth market and a big part of the company’s future globally. There’s a lot of resources being put into Australia and our goal is to grow significantly over the next ten years and play a valuable part and an important part in the hotel scene in Australia. We’re committed, we’re excited to invest, we’re bringing overseas money into Australia to invest and I think that’s important for the country and very excited to be part of it.” Asked what the group does well, Hooley says: “The model we operate is quite light, we call it the centralised model of hotels, where in a hotel itself we have very few back-ofhouse operations; they’re all up here and not on property. “We’ve invested significant amounts of money in enterprise systems that allow us to have end-to-end, cloud-based processes so that actually, we can operate anywhere. The investment in that over the past three or four years, and with the team we’ve got here, means we’ve developed

an ability to operate a hotel, particularly in Australia with hotels of 100-200 rooms, with very little overhead and I think that’s one of our strengths.” What Minor needs to work on, says Hooley, is establishing new brands in a crowded arena. “The challenge is to clarify our brands and make sure the market understands those brands. Avani, NH and Atara, those brands haven’t really been seen on Australian shores, and our role is really to bring those into the market in the next five years to give ourselves a greater brand presence in Australia.” As the volume of data people are bombarded with daily grows exponentially, cutting through the static is hard, says Hooley. “One of the big challenges is that because there’s so much data out there, you’ve got to ensure you have strong brand definition and people can understand what that brand is. For instance, we call Oaks ‘a hotel room with a kitchen’ so people will know straight away ‘if I want a long stay or something with a bit more space or cooking facilities, Oaks is the brand for me’. “Having clear brand definition and strong brand presence is really important to penetrate through all that data and get to the consumer and grow the organisation and the brand strength.” Asked if he feared the growth of internet giants such as Expedia,, Amazon and Google owning customer data, Hooley says: “To own guest preference data actually is incredibly powerful, but we’re focussed on building our database of our loyal guests and using that to drive our business. Outside that, I guess the challenge of using different channels is you then don’t control a lot of the data that comes through. I think data storage is going to be a challenge, but ultimately our challenge is to grow our brand, to grow our direct business which holds our own database.” One way of growing that business is to position yourself to tap into a booming tourism market. Last year Oaks was awarded Best Hotel Partner for Oceania by Ctrip at its annual hotel awards, and also took out

the Chinese travel agency’s Guests’ Choice Award for Australia and New Zealand. “With the Oaks brand, we found the ‘room with a kitchen’ was a really compatible type of product for the China market,” says Hooley. “The Chinese like that space and they usually travel in twos and threes so they like the apartment-style product and we decided to focus our resources. We branded all our supplies in the room to have simplified Chinese writing on them all, we’ve done a lot of work around being China-ready - having people on site who can speak Mandarin, for example - so that we can actually try and grow that market and become well known in that market. It also allows us to understand how learnings from that market can be applied to other markets, and we’re seeing now the Indian market is similar to that, so it’s been a good learning for us and it’s a strategy that we’ll

continue to pursue as long as its growing the way it is.”

They’re all just channels that people have a preference for.

Hooley says the single biggest challenging moving forward will be for Minor to understand its role in defining hospitality for the future.

“An example is that Airbnb don’t usually want two to three days, they don’t need servicing for their room, they look for a different type of product, so if we sell through Airbnb, we position our product slightly differently in what the inclusions are.”

“People say a hotel room will always be a hotel room, but we know that but there’s a lot of things happening around that hotel room that really change the way hotels operate,” he says. “Airbnb is changing not just the room but the model of the hotel by definition, and I think that’s an opportunity, but what we’re finding now is that we are starting to understand that really there’s different markets and that comes back to the brand point. “There’s people that will shop through Airbnb and there’s people that will shop through an OTA like and there will be some that shop through what we call, which is the owning website.


After almost a year at the top of the speedily-evolving world of accom, Craig Hooley says he is relishing the pace of change. “Ten years ago, we only had ten hotels, now we have 600 and we’ve grown astronomically fast,” he says, “so it’s an exciting time for anyone at my level to come on in and be able to create the future. “There’s lots to do, it’s a very challenging role, but the company is very supportive, we’re in a very strong financial position and we have a really defined mandate of how we’re going to grow the organisation.” AccomNews - Winter 2019


REVOLUTIONARY CASTING SOLUTION Your guests travel with their own devices and content. They expect your hotel to have up-to-date technology they can connect their own devices to. That’s why casting is now the norm. But in the hotel environment, it’s not as simple as installing a Chromecast dongle on every room’s television. streamCAST is an integrated casting solution that eliminates the risk of guest theft and damage since it doesn’t require dongles in guest rooms. This also enables faster and more affordable installation. streamCAST is scalable for properties of all sizes, regardless of whether there are 5 or 500+ rooms.

NO FINGERPRINTS A titanium-look finish is a feature of the high-strength double recycling bin. Smart in any guest room or common area, Weatherdon’s range of 10 and 20 litre recycling bins do the dirty work for you. With a non-slip rim, each canister, has two coloured bins, a green one for recycled refuse and a black one for standard scraps making it a no-brainer to be an environmentally astute titan too. Named after the Titans, the divine beings of Greek mythology, titanium is known for its luxurious silver sheen and in this case, resistant to greasy fingerprints making it ideal for hospitality rubbish bins.





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HANG ON Hang on to your guests and show them you care. Enhance each in-room experience with a proper coat-hanger as it is the smallest details talk the loudest. There’s nothing standard in Weatherdon’s hangers, which include the black or blonde wood, deluxe models with moulded shoulders, so suits and jackets look just as good the morning after. Pilfer proof, security hangers, come with metal clips for skirts and pants. They outsmart sticky fingers and keep the bottom line plump at the same time. Clothes hanging up, with everything off the floor and bed, rather than strewn around, draped and tossed will make every housekeeper’s day. Savour the sight and double the delight.


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INTRODUCING ECOSTICKS Australian hotels use an estimated 100,000,000 bottles of shampoo, conditioner and bath gel a year (*assuming 1 bottle used per room night) – and although most of these will be packaged in recyclable bottles, the majority will go straight to landfill. If you’re looking for a way to eliminate these single use plastics from your business, then our world first paper-based packaging solution is perfect for you. Ecosticks are designed to breakdown in landfill, no complicated sorting or special treatment needed, you simply throw them in your general waste and they will then break down in landfill in just a few short years. Not only do degradable Ecosticks use 95% less packaging than a tube or bottle, every one used is





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AccomNews - Winter 2019


ATLANTICO AND ALFA SUNLOUNGER’S 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.


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Customer expectations are changing creating new demands for in-room infotainment. Bringing your own content and viewing your content on the Hotel TV is now expected. Introducing the new Philips MediaSuite, ensuring that hotel guests are always connected. Our latest models are the first in the market to be equipped with built in Chromecast Ultra, as well as Google PlayStore for accessing entertainment apps. We also offer an upgradeable operating system ensuring you have the latest TV features. Plus guest survey tools and TV analytics. All this delivered via a customised multi language UI that promotes your hotel services and brand.





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AccomNews - Winter 2019


Meet the game changers in holiday park refurbishments By Kate Jackson, Editor

Ask Aussies about their best family times and many will revolve around golden days spent at holiday parks. They may have surveyed Paris from Sacré-Coeur or ridden camels in the shadow of the Great Pyramid of Giza, but it is the simples pleasures of summer days spent bike-riding, mini golfing, trampolining and BBQing that evoke the greatest nostalgia. Holiday parks are an environment where families reconnect in a timeless embrace of fun, and when we find a good one, we return again and again. Of course, what guests will fail to appreciate are the levels of investment and maintenance which go into ensuring each park visit is as good as the one before. While the appeal of holiday parks is universal and timeless, the expectations of consumers are not. When once a chilly and uninspiring outdoor pool sufficed, now families will seek out a tropical oasis or pirate-themed water park. They don’t expect to go home with veruccas from shared bathrooms anymore, they assume spotless facilities are a given. Expansive leisure facilities, wellappointed accommodation and dream-inducing bed mattresses are just the starting point for your average holiday park family - not the gold standard. Add to that the inevitable wear and tear exerted by active children and it means regular refurbs are a must.

Children’s entertainment Being ‘family friendly’ is one of the top three reasons why people choose a holiday park.


AccomNews - Winter 2019

Modular accommodation is changing the face of holiday parks. Space for kids and families to play, and facilities to encourage littlies off electrical devices, are among the greatest pulls.

and offer the added bonus of decreased water evaporation and lower water sanitisation costs than traditional options.

Because holiday parks are a lot more lenient than other accommodation options when it comes to noisy kids, parents can relax as their raucous offspring backspring across the bouncy pillow, secure in the knowledge that no-one will complain.

According to Michael Hoy, director of Beau Corp Aquatics & Construction, the ‘dwell time’ around well-designed splash park areas can be as long as four hours, allowing surrounding kiosks and eateries to cash in on a captive crowd. They also provide an opportunity for guests and parents to introduce water to their children safely, acting as a ‘feeder’ facility to the resort swimming pool.

Kids clubs and facilities to keep little bodies active, such as adventure bike tracks, rope play areas, and splash parks, are among the drivers for families looking to book a holiday park break, as are opportunities to get close to nature through walking trails and eco tours.

Water parks Water parks are beginning to take precedence over traditional swimming pools at parks as parents seek a fun, low-risk aqua environment for their children on holiday. Zero depth water parks lessen the chance of drowning incidents, so providing a more relaxed experience for parents,

“Water play provides a rich sensory experience for the developing child,” says Michael. “Splash pads provide a safe introduction to water, encouraging children of differing ages and all abilities to experience water play. “A well-designed splash pad will guarantee repeat clientele coming back to the holiday park or resort.” When it comes to what’s on trend right now, Michael says water slides, bespoke themed areas,


geysers and cannons are all in, with interactive elements in high demand from park owners.

Beds Remember cabin bunk beds with saggy mattresses and the clearance height of a fridge shelf? They don’t make them like that anymore. Regardless of budget constraints, reputable manufacturers understand the folly of skimping on quality when it comes to mattresses for space-saving beds. Consumers expect guests to enjoy a comfortable night’s sleep, whether they’re a child sleeping in a bunk bed, a couple using a foldout or the lucky ones luxuriating in the king-sized master bed. Modern bunks are equipped with either foam or innerspring mattresses generally not more than six inches thick to ensure sleepers are protected from falling out or banging their heads. Both offer good comfort and have their strengths; innerspring

are sturdy, long-lasting and provide good airflow while foam are dust-mite resistant and good for allergy sufferers. Upright folding beds and stand-up beds on wheels are good temporary bedding solutions for extras that fold to full-size bed height and can offer a surprisingly good night’s sleep - as can that old favourite, the rollaway trundle stored below decks. Simple wooden and wire under-bed luggage trays with built-in caster rollers can be used for under-bed storage to help guests stow luggage.

BBQs While there is something elemental about cooking outdoors, holiday park visitors expect to sizzle those steaks on modern gas or electric BBQs. Latest models are built to withstand the harshest extremes of weather and are designed to look sleek and modern, fitting in with modern landscape designs while providing easy-care practicality.

Look for quality models that are rugged, long lasting and easy to clean.

are standard and manufacturers offer a choice of finishes depending on budget.

Accom options

Glamping tents are similarly changing the game for holiday parks. From yurts to large-scale safari tents, they are growing exponentially, thanks to its double charms of offering stylish home comforts with just a hint of wild.

Modular accommodation is changing the face of holiday parks. The option to have a cabin assembled offsite and delivered plumbed and ready for action within a day means upgrades are quicker and simpler than a generation ago. They also allow greater input into design, with most manufacturers offering a range of styles and building materials in sizes ranging from studios to three-bedroom cottages. Weathertex and Colorbond cladding are among the most common exterior surfaces, with Colorbond the preferred roofing choice and verandah rails ranging from stainless steel to timber. Internal cabin fittings are comprehensive - from stainless steel door handles and ornate cornicing to fully fitted kitchens and bathrooms. Aircon units

Premium quality canvas provides up to 20 years’ longevity when supported by sturdy steel or wooden frames. 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. Standardised pre-fabricated glamping kits allow operators to assemble the structure and while less customisable than more bespoke options, are the cheapest alternative. Many include wood-burning stoves and insulation, making them a year-round accom solution. Glamping provides flexibility

through changeable bed options and can accommodate everything from stag parties to backpacking groups, families to couples in a range of bedding configurations from basic bunks to king-size luxury. But be warned, making your tents unique and providing cosy and luxury touches is imperative if you’re looking to charge hotel-room rates.

Kitchen and bathroom blocks Ancient brick and tile amenities are being replaced in their hundreds with portables designed to weather Australian conditions - and families. Again, buildings can be customised based on needs such as wheelchair accessibility, kitchen setups, family bathrooms and laundry facilities with features like entry keypads and signage included. Manufacturers will also advise on council rules, energy efficiency and sustainable materials.



AccomNews - Winter 2019


Mercure Sydney Liverpool and Hotel Interiors By Mandy Clarke, Industry Reporter

The popular Mercure Sydney Liverpool is partway through a threeyear refurbishment project and AccomNews caught up with hotel general manager Chris Donovan for an update. The property first opened in late 2009 as a new build, one of only a handful of hotels in Liverpool, a vibrant hub for business and industry in the


AccomNews - Winter 2019

heart of south west Sydney. This expansive hotel is perfect for the modern traveller, featuring 104 contemporary and spacious rooms with luxuriously soft beds, LCD televisions, complete wifi connectivity and media hubs, plus unbeatable facilities including a gym, ice rink and mini golf course.

Chris told us: “We discovered this buoyant local corporate market, and the first few years have produced results far better than we anticipated. Subsequently the decision was made to invest and extend the hotel.

Inset image shows the previous refurbishment from 2016 “A new 88 room, ten-storey tower was completed at the end of 2017. At this stage the original wing was still in very good condition but when we compared it to the rooms in the new tower, they had begun to look somewhat worn and dated.

Adjoining the Liverpool Catholic Club, it is an ideal destination for all kinds of events, also boasting conferencing facilities for up to 1200 guests along with a range of bars and dining options.


This was the point at which we decided it was time to undertake a refurbishment of the original hotel wing, which was now over eight years old.” The project was a full refurbishment of the hotel’s original 104 guest rooms (excluding bathrooms) as well as the corridors and lift lobbies. According to Chris, in the interest of cashflow and impact on inventory the project has been staggered over a threeyear duration, with the first floor completed last year.

“The design is grounded in a neutral-dark colour palette of earthy-grey tones contrasted with blues and yellows for impact. Finishes are designed to be as durable as possible with granite, glass and laminates used extensively for the joinery and loose furniture. “The refurbished wing ties in with the new tower visually by using the same corridor carpet, recoloured to match the new theme.”

Levels two and three are underway and are due for completion in September, with the final two floors to be refurbished from April to September 2020.

Trusted industry manufacturer and supplier for all hospitality furniture, Hotel Interiors, supplied the fit out for Mercure Sydney Liverpool including: desks, chairs, occasional chairs, coffee tables, bedside tables, lamps, cushions, bed runners and artwork.

Chris said: “We decided early on that the refurbishments did not need to mirror the design of the rooms in the new tower. The architects were given broad creative scope, with a brief that the design needed to demonstrate longevity, durability, usability as well as some ‘wow factor’.

Chris stated: “They suggested collections of items to match the architects’ design and then incorporated custom changes that we requested along the way. For example, we requested that all furniture have powder coated steel legs, both for consistency of design and durability against wear and tear.

We specialise in furniture for hotels, motels, serviced apartments, resorts and refurbishments.

We insisted all lamps have switches on the lamps themselves rather than on cords. These changes required Hotel Interiors to go back to the drawing board and redesign items for us. This was a surprisingly easy process; as a manufacturer, Hotel Interiors was able to take our change requests and have a new prototype roughed out at their factory within days.” Census Advisory were the project managers and superintendents and the designs were produced by Altis Architecture, with Hotel Interiors also suppling loose furniture. How did the project go? “Refurbishment is never as straightforward as planned. We discovered after pulling down walls and ceilings in corridors that there were several noncompliant items from the original build that needed to be rectified before we could proceed. This added delays and additional expense to the project that was not in the original budget or timeline” admitted Chris.

However, the results of the renovation project have been well worth all the efforts, with Chris reporting on “overwhelmingly positive feedback” from both staff and guests on the updated rooms. He said: “Our guests love the design and spacious feel of the rooms, and our housekeepers appreciate the ease of cleaning which is a result of some considered design decisions. It’s hard for me to choose a favourite feature or piece – each element contributes to what I feel is an outstanding result that meets the design brief perfectly and is more than the sum of its parts. For me the carpet design and the artwork really make a bold statement.” Finally, Chris recommends the engagement of Hotel Interiors skills. He said: “This is the first time we have used Hotel Interiors and I was genuinely surprised by the quality of the finished product and how easy they were to work with. I have no hesitation in recommending them based on our experience.”

Call Dennis Clark now on 0421 384 212 212 Or Mark Flintoff on 0426 646 822 • 1300 130 876 055


AccomNews - Winter 2019


Stylish refurb:

Quality Hotel Batmans Hill On Collins By Mandy Clarke, Industry Reporter

Melbourne accommodation Quality Hotel Batman’s Hill on Collins recently completed a six-month, $1.75 million renovation and presented guests with stunning upgrades to all 190 rooms. This project is part of a wider initiative which will see building improvements continue into 2020. Highlights of the new guest room design include an artdeco hanging light and wooden detailing in the bedrooms and living spaces, along with an etching of the hotel’s façade within the bedheads. Glamourous black tapware in the bathrooms accentuates the tastefully created accommodation aesthetic. Glamour is important but not everything, therefore inspired environmentally friendly initiatives have also been introduced. Branded shower timers are gifted to guests in all rooms to encourage water conservation and a house credit of $10 per room is given to guests who decline the daily housekeeping service. Guests are also encouraged to leave used soap in the room for recycling. Hotel general manager Kevin Birchall said that the hotel team was proud to unveil the modernised rooms. “This exciting project demonstrates our commitment to providing our guests with quality, affordable accommodation in the heart of Melbourne and we have options to suit everyone, whether you’re staying with us for business or leisure.” According to Kevin this hotel’s biggest point of difference is its variety of room types and star rating. He told us: “We are


AccomNews - Winter 2019

spread across three separate but interconnected buildings and have a room suitable for all market segments and price points. They range from standard rooms (great for budget conscious travellers to premiere rooms (great for weekend leisure and corporate markets), and apartments (great for families; long stay guests and groups of friends).”

What was the inspiration behind the design of this upgrade? Kevin said: “We needed a quality level that would be acceptable to the corporate market as a lead-in room type. Before the upgrade, the rooms in the economy wing of the hotel were small and dated but now, we can offer a beautiful standard quality room. The floorplans were also cleverly re-designed to maximise space and light, with large reflective surfaces and light paint in the rooms. “To top it off, we used black fittings for taps and switches to give a touch of modern elegance, and some accent colour soft furnishings. The bathrooms were made open plan, and by removing a small dividing wall we doubled the usable space

for both bathroom and bedroom areas, with privacy only for the shower recess and the commode. “Finally, we added desks for the corporate market and adjusted the layouts and furnishings of each room to queen beds for a consistently high product and de cluttered the floorspace to create more space.”

What is your personal favourite refurbished feature? “I love the black highlights - taps and lamps, light switches and rims on the desk and mirrors. I think it really adds a modern stylish twist to our spacious and light guest rooms.”

What was the most important thing to get right? “The finish – it was exciting to bring all the individual design concepts together and see the main eye-catching elements like carpets and blinds complement all the separate fixtures and fittings.”

What went well? “We had great tradespeople, who put everything together and worked well with each other to meet tough deadlines.”


What has the reaction been from staff and guests to the hotel refurbishment? “Staff - the housekeepers love it because it all new and easy to clean. Ditto for the maintenance crew, and our front office team love that guests are so happy with the new rooms.” “Guests - The target market was corporate, and by lifting the standard we were able to sell to this market with positive results. Leisure (especially inbound leisure) guests also love the ‘bang for your buck’, as it still very competitively priced for inner Melbourne.”

And finally tell us something about yourself and your team – what do you do best? Kevin stated: “My team and I have a passion for environmental awareness and these rooms reflect that passion. We looked for every opportunity to make them energy efficient and embrace our own environmental policy - The Green Dream.”

Exploit the allure of the great outdoors resort they intend to spend most of their time, I would suggest the balcony and pool area would be their answer. “Given this, the furnishings offered in those areas should be of prime importance.” Our sunburnt country with its sweeping plains, ragged mountain ranges and flooding rains presents a unique set of weather challenges. Images courtesy of Daydream Leisure Furniture By Kate Jackson, Editor

Aussies have a reputation for living a sun-drenched outdoor lifestyle, but the reality is, few of us actually do.

So when holidays come around, we seek out those al fresco moments away from screens, strip lights and aircon units. Appealing outdoor spaces make guests happy - and more likely to order a few sundowners and

tasting paddles as they recline on their cushioned loungers surveying the vista or pool deck. Jason Condon, owner of Daydream Leisure Furniture, told us: “If you were to ask potential patrons where in the

The right balcony and outdoor furniture will only entice your guests if it’s quick drying, faderesistant and not susceptible to taking flight in gusty winds. The first thing to remember is that you are buying for a commercial environment where the furniture will get ten times the physical pummelling of that in a domestic home.







Cnr Main Drive & Nicklin Way, Warana, Qld 4575 1/37 Gibson Rd Noosaville 4566 Email:

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Ph: 07 5493 4277

Ph: 07 5594 0788 / 0418 765 257

AccomNews - Winter 2019


Kudos for design,

quality and style Kudos has supplied the Hospitality industry with outdoor furniture for more than 30 years.

Image courtesy of Kudos You want it to look like a cover shoot for Country Style, and visual appeal is important, but value for money and practicality are paramount. Managers beware of getting carried away and opting for extravagantly cushioned, Balinese-style pieces which fade quickly under the Aussie sun. Only high-end resorts with expansive budgets and large maintenance teams will have the resources to keep them pristine. On the other hand, avoid adopting a Scrooge approach - buying cheap and nasty is a false economy.

Industry view We asked Kudos Australasia director Dean Gesterkamp to join Jason Condon in talking us through the best approach to outdoor furniture.

What are the best materials, coatings and covers for poolside, balcony and garden furniture? According to Jason, the four main materials used for outdoor furniture construction are polypropylene/resin, aluminium, timber or aluminium frame with woven synthetic wicker, while steel or steel-framed furniture should be avoided as they are “guaranteed” to rust. “A quality polyprop is the most practical low maintenance, value-for-money material and offers the most durability and comfort,” he says. “If opting for a sling (woven yarn covering) you need commercial quality and should ask the question, ‘can it be replaced and who does this?’.

From our beginnings in Dubai, Kudos became one of the most successful outdoor furniture suppliers in the Middle East region. Our client list includes global names in hotels, resorts, clubs and apartment buildings. Kudos products are equipped for the Australian sun, salt and humidity and are sourced with experience born from the harsh climatic conditions of the Middle East. Today, Kudos works with carefully selected manufacturing partners in Europe and Indonesia to supply anything from a single balcony setting, to a five-star resort’s poolside and balcony requirements.

Kudos works with resort designers to plan and deliver creative individual themes in styles, fabrics and colours. Our furniture products are constantly evolving in terms of design, style and raw materials; including teak, rattan, all weather wicker and resin reinforced polypropylene. All Kudos products are specifically sourced for the commercial hospitality market, and to meet the strictest requirements of durability and longevity, with warranties ranging from two to five years. In addition to chairs, tables and sun lounges kudos offers commercial quality umbrellas, outdoor cushions and mattresses. Kudos supplies nationwide thoughout Australia and to the Pacific Islands.

Is your outdoor furniture

looking tired?

“Next best would be aluminium, followed by timber and wicker.

Australia wide service supplying all types of premium outdoor furniture for the accommodation industry, including chairs, tables, sun lounges, commercial quality umbrellas, outdoor cushions and mattresses.

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Image courtesy of Kudos


AccomNews - Winter 2019


Free your guests of excess baggage Let’s face it, nobody wants to lug an overstuffed suitcase around unless it’s entirely unavoidable. Whether before check-in or after check-out, excess baggage slows us down and makes exploring new locales slow and painful. Arriving in Paris on honeymoon is not as fun as it sounds when dragging heavy valises across numerous arrondissements under the glare of an August sun. It’s the reason storage platform BAGBNB is gaining traction with travellers - offering the chance to book secure luggage lockers at a low daily charge in handy locations around the globe. Storage for the new generation of adventure-fuelled experience seekers is a big deal, which means offering an out-ofhours stowing solution might just be the one factor in a

Timber generally requires ongoing maintenance and wicker has a limited life in full UV, while both generally involve cushioning, which has its draw backs. “Most people think rain is the biggest threat, whereas UV is actually a more destructive force and dictates the use of high-quality materials for furniture longevity. “Glass tabletops are popular because of their low price but be aware of their potential to shatter. Also, is the glass secured to the table? Loose glass can become a projectile in high winds.”

crowded online marketplace that swings their booking. While many hotels around the world have a dedicated luggage room where bags and valuables get dumped before and after check-out, those spaces are often chaotic and susceptible to theft or accidental damage.

balcony and thereby an extension to indoor living, or exposed to direct sun,” he says. “A good commercial quality table / chairs and sunbed should last for many years while a Bunnings lookalike may suffice for a couple of years. “Cushions and covers should be best quality such as Sunbrella or Warwick, they are worth the extra cost.”

What should accom managers consider when installing balcony furniture?

Dean argues there is no one best material, but there are numerous choices depending on budget and environment.

Dean says: “I believe that some uniformity within a building is best. So many blocks have 100 balconies with 100 different settings.

“It depends if it’s on a covered

“The number of design and


AccomNews - Winter 2019

Once guests have checked in, keeping their valuables safe as they explore your raft of onsite activities - gym, pool and spa treatment suites, for example - is an expected essential for modern travellers. Security is a big issue for those away from home. Taking

colour options today makes for interesting choices. “Furniture which is good value with durability and longevity is good economic sense.”

care of guests’ valuables not only removes an element of stress from their itinerary but engenders loyalty towards a brand which demonstrates care above-and-beyond expectations. Safe storage should be a priority, and luggage lockers are the answer.

“Any outdoor furniture should receive regular soft washing with only warm soft, soapy water and a soft brush. Hose it off to keep clean from dust and sun creams and spills etc.

Jason adds: “Durability aside, they should consider space.

“Any wood should be cleaned and oiled to remain fresh.

“Do they require a compact or armless chair? Does the table leg design allow efficient arrangement of chairs? Is it likely to be ongoing if extra chairs are needed, and can it be repaired?”

“Dust creates mould and makes for difficult cleaning.”

How can operators limit repairs and maintenance on outdoor furniture?

“UV-inhibiting waxes and sprays can be used, but in a commercial environment are usually time-prohibitive.

Dean advises products with five-year warranties wherever possible and says it’s important to buy through reputable experienced suppliers.


.Jason adds: “Check that any bolts are tensioned and check slings for wear.

“In many cases it is possible to re-sling furniture or have the frames powder coated. But be aware that many massproduced products are designed to be a throw away.”

swish cloakrooms. Phenolic laminate, the newest kids on the block in locker manufacture, is made using alternating layers of resin and material (usually cloth, paper, or glass-based fabric). These materials are sandwiched under extreme heat and pressure forming a solid thermoset plastic which is corrosion resistant, durable and scratch-resistant and can be found in myriad colours, patterns and finishes.

Lockers for guests Thanks to recent advances in keyless technology, automated luggage lockers eliminate the horror of lost keys. Available self-serve 24/7, they are a perfect solution for out-ofhours guest movements and are remotely managed, so require no on-site staffing. The new generation of lockers are more Wall Street than High School Musical. They can be stylish and unobtrusive additions to a gym, lobby, washroom or pool area, blending seamlessly with a property’s interior styling. Some even provide an option for mobile charging within their compartments. There are also potential revenue benefits from charging guests for use, creating a return on

investment which helps cover the cost of installation.

Versatility rules Quality locker manufacturers can tailor configurations to suit vertical and horizontal space requirements, providing water and corrosion-resistant cabinets in a range of colours, styles and finishes, dependent on location, which will stand up to sustained use. Beware though, imported imitations with less robust joins will not. While heavy-duty steel lockers and even wire lockers are appropriate in certain situations, the most common material for commercial lockers found in and around hotels is compact laminate. The lockers are durable and widely configurable, with timber laminates a popular choice for

Obviously, locker size will be dependent on location and storage requirements and manufacturers will work with clients to ensure those requirements are catered to. Heights can be adjusted through raised or lowered plinth bases.

Don’t forget the staff With staff comes baggage. If the sous chef rides her scooter to work, for example, there’s a minimum helmet, jacket, wallet and phone to store away somewhere. Times that by hundreds, and well-managed staff storage becomes a necessity. Staff paraphernalia cluttering access areas in compact commercial kitchens can present a serious health and safety hazard. And chaotic hotel back-of-house staff


storage means possessions get lost, accusations get thrown and morale gets dented.

Access control systems There are a growing range of automated access control solutions, from keyless electronic locks (these can be hardwired to negate the need for batteries), to touchpad combination pin codes and a smart fingerprint padlock for optimum staff security and convenience. User interfaces range from terminals with simple four-digit displays to centralised RFID management systems and RFID readers on each locker door. RFID (radio frequency identification) technology offers seamless access management and access via anything from smartcards and wristbands to fobs and barcodes. Lockers can also be linked to PayWave cashless payments and offer a solution that assigns access along with a cash credit amount. Electronic locking can be easily retrofitted into new or existing lockers of varying materials. And quality latest-model access control systems are as water and corrosion resistant as the lockers themselves, remain problem free in wet areas or in the face of adverse weather conditions.

AccomNews - Winter 2019


What does your caddy say about you? By Kate Jackson, Editor

More and more guests are not just looking for, but actually asking for, quality ethical and environmentally friendly products. Gone are the days when you could pop a few generic teas and coffees into the kitchen or mini bar and think you were covered. Sustainability and wellness and the two major trends in accom, and that extends to the green packaging and ethically sourced ingredients of the drinks in your guestrooms. Just as minibars are evolving to include flavoured and sparkling waters among their soft drink options, so sachet ranges are reflecting the demand for a variety of quality offerings. Green and herbal teas jostle for caddy space with Earl Grey and English Breakfast, while coffee options are increasingly likely to reflect the national obsession with a quality brew. AccomNews asked Jimi KennedyGrant, sales general manager for eco-friendly consumables supplier HealthPak, to explain the standards expected of guest beverages in 2019. He said: “Teas and coffees are, by their nature, almost exclusively imported either pre-packed or in bulk to be packaged locally.


AccomNews - Winter 2019

These world class teas are all taste tested prior to being packed into 100 percent degradable individual envelopes for guests to enjoy guilt free. We chose to import quality bulk tea and coffee and package it locally specifically so that we can test every batch prior to packaging it for your guests to enjoy. “We have three main brands that we supply to the accommodation market. These world class teas are all taste tested prior to being packed into 100 percent degradable individual envelopes for guests to enjoy guilt free. “From instant coffees to plunger coffee, all our coffees are crafted and roasted by our international master roaster. Our premium freeze-dried coffees are all blended specifically for the Australasian palate and again are all taste tested prior to foil packing for freshness.

“That’s nine million beverages for which the farmer got paid a fair price. “Not only are the contents all Fairtrade certified, they are packaged locally, and you guessed it, we taste test every batch.” Jimi says accommodation managers and owners are increasingly discerning about the details that help define their brand and the ethos of their property. In this era of hyper-personalisation, ‘owning the customer’ is increasingly becoming key to success and little touches add up to a big deal when helping establish enduring guest loyalty. Catering for children is becoming a vital part of establishing

guest rapport as family travel increases its share of the visitor market, so accom properties should be looking to provide beverage options for the littlest members of the party, too. HealthPak has developed a cold orange squash sachet specifically designed for the New Zealand and Australian accom market, Jimi says, for “keeping kids happy while traveling”. “Its little innovations like this and the fact that we taste test every batch of tea and coffee that gives customers the knowledge that they are providing their guests the best possible beverage solution,” he says.

“On Fairtrade, our Fairtrade range of beverages has proved such a hit that in just a few short years we’ve brought the Fairtrade message directly to over nine million hotel guests.


Odour control:

How to ensure

the suite smell of success

While odours may not provide a great sensory welcome to a hotel or motel room, fresh air is also important to the health and wellbeing of your staff and guests. Accom managers have a duty of care to provide a safe environment and this includes circulating fresh air, controlling strong smells and preventing the spread of airborne disease. Odours are most often generated from microscopic bacteria, mould and chemicals and can be relentless, even after cleaning with strong chemicals and disinfectants. It’s more effective to prevent or capture them at source rather than just masking them, and there are some simple and affordable ways to effectively control indoor air pollution. They are: Remove. Ban products and materials that smell or pollute your property. A nosmoking policy is a must. Reduce. Put the source away somewhere safe; store cleaning chemicals in a locked cupboard and keep the bin area away from the property. Clean. Ensure all hard and soft surfaces are thoroughly and routinely cleaned to prevent mould and bacterial growth.

By Kate Jackson, Editor

Let’s face it, people smell. Whether we shower three times a day or three times a year, we all exude those unique scents attractive to our partners but repugnant to our parents, siblings and much of the general population.


AccomNews - Winter 2019

Then there’s the odours we create through our daily routines and habits - from cooking breakfast to, well, disposing of breakfast… Keeping the air fresh-smelling and clean is a challenge in any enclosed space frequented by people, particularly those guest rooms without easy access to opening windows.

Steam. Effectively remove the source of many bad smells with steam. This method is environmentally friendly, using only pure water to penetrate all surfaces, destroying odour-causing residues and leaving surfaces deep-cleaned, sanitised and refreshed. Dry. Keep on top of all maintenance issues; neglected leaks and drips cause mould and smells. Separate. Keep wet and dry areas apart. Keep bathroom and laundry doors closed to reduce humidity.


Ventilate. Install an exhaust fan close to the source of pollutants or moisture, such as the cooking stove, dishwasher, tumble drier and washing machine. Open windows and run well-maintained ceiling and bathroom fans when needed. To supplement source odour control actions, there are a number of products available to improve guest room air quality. Odour neutralisers minimise unpleasant odours by reacting with the offensive molecules, but this tends to be a shortterm fix until the source of the odour is eliminated. Air purifiers remove contaminants from the air and are marketed as beneficial for allergy sufferers and asthmatics through their ability reduce or eliminate second-hand tobacco smoke. Purification traps and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters force air through super-fine folded fibre-like material that reportedly capture some 99.97 percent of particles. Activated carbon technology is another form of filtering found in ventilation systems. It involves a form of porous carbon which provides high absorbency, effectively capturing pollutants such as chemical emissions, gases, tobacco smoke and other odours. Carbon filters also absorb formaldehyde found in carpet, wood panelling, and furniture upholstery, and perfumes, as well as chemicals in household cleaning items. They make the environment more breathable for asthma sufferers, the young and the elderly but do have limitations; they have a lower efficiency level because only air that passes through the filter is purified.

Destroys Bacteria Fast facts. Baxx is an environmental pathogen and air-borne pollutant removal system. The Baxx cold plasma technology kills Bacteria, Virus, Moulds & Fungus spores by disrupting the metabolism of their cell walls – no toxins, no chemicals, no radiation. There are neither filters to replace nor consumables – no servicing and requiring only an occasional clean. Install it and let it do the work. Ceiling or wall mounted. 220v -240v. Unique cold plasma technology to create Hydroxyl Clusters which naturally kill all airborne pathogens. These groups also react with odour causing chemicals such as ammonia and methane gas to produce neutral compounds such as Co2, Nitrogen and Water. The harmless way to create a safer and cleaner environment.

As used in UK and European hospitals, and now fast being adopted in stainless steel versions with resin fan motor for the food manufacturing industry as well.

Protection for Guests & Staff.

Hydroxyls are the single most important cleansing agent in our environment. * 33% more effective at oxidizing pollutants than ozone. * 2.5 times more germicidal and fungicidal than liquid chlorine * Perfectly safe to breathe and use in occupied spaces In a room of 28m2 at 27ºC the Baxx reduced bacteria levels by 99.9% within 90 minutes, and viral traces were reduced by 88.96%. Ammonia levels reduced from 100% saturation down to zero in 30 minutes - without Baxx intervention the levels are 48%. Decomposition and ethylene gases are also effectively reduced/eliminated by Hydroxyls produced by Baxx. TESTS INDICATE EFFECTIVE ELIMINATION OF THE FOLLOWING ESCHERICHIA COLI (E COLI) STAPHYLOCOCCUS AUREUS LISTERIA MONOCYTOGENES PSEUDOMONAS and ASPERGILLUS NIGER CAMPYLOBACTER BACILLUS SUBTILIS SPORE SALMONELLA SACCHAROMYCES CEREVISIAE MRSA, C.DIFF(SPORE FORM) AND NOROVIRUS (Singapore)

Negative ion air purifiers use negative ions (oxygen atoms that have gained an electron) to magnetically attract airborne particles such as pollen and dust, until the newly formed particle is too heavy to remain in the air. Fan-less ionisers use little power and are quiet but are less efficient than fan-based ionisers that can clean and distribute air faster. UV technology, used with a particle filter, can sanitise and purify the surrounding air and surfaces. Microorganisms are destroyed by passing through UV light. The effectiveness of this type of air purifier is dependent on the wattage of the light and the time of exposure. Ozone odour elimination is popular in the hospitality industry because one machine can be utilised for multiple areas and can quickly and effectively eliminate odours. To be effective, the machine must produce ozone at high levels and this has been known to exacerbate respiratory illnesses, so guests should not be allowed in the area during and for a time after treatment. If you are considering using ozone air cleaning technology, always ensure that it is used correctly, fit-for-purpose and engineered for the task. Plasma air purifiers aid removal of airborne and surface contaminants using a variety of sources of energy to produce ‘plasma’. They can work by emitting both positive and negative ions which have the same makeup to water, allowing them to


AccomNews - Winter 2019

separate and rejoin around the harmful particles. When the ions join with the toxins, they become trapped within the plasma filter, effectively removing them from the air. Plasma filters are marketed as a low-cost, energy-efficient, low-maintenance solution that does not require frequent filter replacements. Shaughan Syme, managing director of Baxx Australia says their airborne bacteria killers rid the air of numerous odours simply by the way they operate. “They don't filter - they produce Hydroxyls which is a water molecule missing a hydrogen atom. Nature seeks to right an imbalance, so hydroxyls go looking for single celled bacteria and airborne contamination, attach to the

cell walls and rip out their missing hydrogen atoms. The hydroxyls return to being harmless water molecules and meantime the ruptured cells die and are rendered inactive. Hydroxyls are found in nature and are completely harmless to organic life, unlike natures other cleaning agent ozone." “We know they are used heavily in Singapore in the rubbish rooms because in the hot climate hotels and restaurants are not allowed to leave their rubbish on the streets for collection and all have dedicated garbage rooms. They are used to reduce the obnoxious smells in these garbage rooms. “We also know they are effective against smokers and can reduce or eliminate smoke smell in hotel rooms

and hostels in half the time of conventional methods. “Hydroxyl production slows the ripening of fruit by eliminating the ethylene gas emitted from ripening fruit. Eliminating the ethylene in the air slows banana's ripening up to an extra four to five days. It’s another one of the many benefits of introducing hydroxls to your environment.” Remember, whatever odour control system you use should be sized to the room, properly installed, used per instruction and well maintained. Always purchase from an industry supplier and factor maintenance and replacement filter costs into your considerations.

A BAXX Cold Plasma Bacteria Eliminator, Image courtesy of BAXX


The importance of air quality

and reducing your risk HVAC is short for Heating, Ventilation and AirConditioning and covers everything from the airconditioner in your home or office to the extensive system used in hi-rise apartment buildings and industrial complexes. Air-conditioning maintenance and cleaning are very important to ensure that the air being breathed is not making inhabitants sick and to avoid the development of ‘sick building’ syndrome. The rapid increase of communitystyle living combined with the requirement to minimise energy usage is putting greater demands on building HVAC systems.

Steamatic offer a comprehensive building health management service to assist clients effectively manage the indoor environment and ensure compliance with their legislative obligations. Our aim is to ensure that potential health risks associated with the building environment are suitably managed and comfort criteria optimised. This is achieved by consideration of the three principal aspects affecting air quality and comfort: Air Quality Testing, Building Ventilation Assessment and Cooling Tower Inspection. So, whether it’s a residential or a commercial building, Steamatic has the cutting-edge technology to provide you with a solution.

Steamatic is a proud member of National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) and Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA) and all our work is completed as per their guidelines.

Kitchen Exhaust Related Services The relevant Australian Standard for Kitchen Exhaust Systems is AS 1851-2012 which outlines the requirement for a monthly routine service schedule as it relates to the filters and canopy hood to minimize any risk of fire. A commercial kitchen exhaust plays an important role when cooking. This system removes smoke and other odours in the area by absorbing the

vapours and blowing them safely out of the kitchen area. However, the kitchen exhaust’s efficiency can’t last forever. After a while, its interior surfaces will be filled with grease, oils, and other flammable residues. To ensure that your commercial kitchen exhaust continues to function properly and doesn't become a potential fire hazard, it needs to be cleaned regularly. In case of an event of fire your insurance claim can be rejected if you are unable to provide evidence that your filters, canopies and exhaust system had been professionally cleaned and maintained.

... R E H T NO A E M ECO B T ’ N DO

Nowdays, it’s all too common to hear of commercial properties succuming to fire damage. While your exhaust fans may look shiny and clean on the outside, most units tell a more daunting story when you expose the hard to reach interior.

Air quality and clean air solutions Ducting Canopies

Air-conditioning maintenance and cleaning are very important to ensure that the air being breathed is not making inhabitants sick and to avoid the development of ‘sick building’ syndrome. With more and more guests and staff suffering from allergies, it is cruical to ensure that your HVAC is operating at it’s maximum efficiency.

Exhaust Fans All our processes conform to Australian Standard-AS 1851-2012 and International Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning Association’s (IKECA) standard.

Make the call and get peace of mind


1300 783 262 AccomNews - Winter 2019


The cleaning conundrum:

Why accom’s reputation is being savaged By Kate Jackson, Editor

In May, a former housekeeper at a luxury Melbourne hotel blew the whistle on the hygiene standards employed within the industry. The woman told the ABC she would never stay at a hotel again after cleaning rooms at the undisclosed five-star property and other hotels around Australia. The housekeeper, identified as 19-year-old Vee, told the national broadcaster it is common for hand towels to be used to clean toilet bowls, for bedding to be left unwashed and for cleaning jobs to be rushed. And she advised travellers to bring their own towels, even if the ones provided look clean. "When you always visit five-star hotels, you think you are getting the best services, clean linen and everything," she told ABC


AccomNews - Winter 2019

Our housekeepers with 14 rooms daily feel mad, exhausted, tired and unhappy at the end of each day

News. "But when you actually go behind the scenes to do the work, you realise that not everything goes as you expect." The exposé came five months after secret filming revealed sub-standard cleaning practices at a number of luxury international hotels in China. Eleven of the 14 hotels featured in the video were forced to apologise after footage posted online showed cleaners using dirty guest towels to wipe down cups and sinks and, in some cases, the same towel used to clean the toilet. Among the five-star

establishments identified were The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, The Peninsula in Beijing and the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai. The 11-minute video showed cleaning staff washing cups and mugs with the same sponge used to wipe down the shower and sink, the filmmaker also highlighting a cleaner washing dishes with a cloth that had been stored next to a used toilet brush. Revelations of shocking cleaning practices, while they made headlines worldwide, are not new. A 2010 survey by the then Liquor, Hospitality


and Miscellaneous Workers’ Union concluded seven of the top Melbourne hotels had a “hygiene crisis” because staff were not given enough time to clean properly. The union revealed rooms had dirty toilets, mouldy showers and bathrooms, stained mattresses and infectious bacteria, findings reflected in a 2015 report by hotel website Oyster which identified hotel mugs and glasses, light switches and remote controls as breeding grounds for bacteria, including E.coli. The Melbourne whistle blower also put the blame for shoddy work on time pressures, saying housekeepers rushing from room to room simply don’t get enough time to clean properly, a reflection corroborated by other local sources according to the ABC investigation. Cleaners and advocacy groups say dirty rooms are the consequence of an industry in which workers are routinely underpaid and overworked.


AccomNews - Winter 2019


Helen Alvarez told Quora: “I work as a housekeeper in W Hotel in the centre of London. It’s a luxury 5-star hotel. We have to make 14 rooms during 8-hour working day…. This includes a long checklist from cleaning mirrors to arranging stationery. It’s a very difficult job and requires more than 30 minutes to be made without mistakes and leave housekeepers happy. Our housekeepers with 14 rooms daily feel mad, exhausted, tired and unhappy at the end of each day.” Another contributor, who wrote on Quora under anonymity, said: “30 minutes is a reasonable time for a double/twin standard room with toilet. That should make quality and quantity well together and balanced as possible. But i have been forced to finish the job in less than 15 minutes, taking me to extreme stress and burn out.” A 2016 inquiry by the Fair Work Ombudsman found housekeepers working at four and five-star hotels in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne were routinely underpaid, many of them international students and backpackers on working holiday visas.


AccomNews - Winter 2019

Sarah Kaine, a workplace relations expert from the University of Technology Sydney's Business School, told the ABC: "A workforce made up of predominately women, often non-English speakers, often relatively low-skilled, is kind of your perfect storm for exploitation, for the skirting of industrial conditions." United Voice, the union representing hospitality workers in Australia, says a

new industry-led Cleaning Accountability Framework (CAF) launched in April will help enforce ethical labour practices which will drive better pay and conditions across the industry.

have respect and rights at work through decent work, fair pay, job security, safe working conditions, and very importantly, a voice at work for a hidden workforce.”

“What is so exciting about CAF is that it will reset the floor in a sector that for too long has been engaged in a race to the bottom,” said the union’s national secretary Jo-anne Schofield. “Cleaners working in CAF-certified buildings will

Schofield says the framework will lead to better working conditions, more responsible procurement practices for cleaning contractors, and reduced financial, legal and reputational risk for property owners and investors.


Wuhan Kunteng Laundry has revealed it will implant microchips into bed sheets, towels and quilts which can be scanned by guests' cell phones to reveal the date of their last clean.

Cleaners and advocacy groups say dirty rooms are the consequence of an industry in which workers are routinely underpaid and overworked A new national advisory board for employment was also launched in April by the Australian Accommodation of Australia naming recruitment, retention and education of hospitality workers as a key focus. Chair David Mansfield says “placing potential job-ready candidates within our industry” is the board’s primary role, an indication from the peak representative body of its support for a consistent, recognised housekeeping training standard. Moves towards improved pay, conditions and training are undoubtedly giant steps

forward, but cleaning standards are ultimately destined to be dictated by the number of minutes establishments allots for room cleaning. As the squeeze on profits intensifies in this OTAdominated world, it’s hard to see accom relaxing those timeframes anytime soon.

The chips will reportedly be placed in the corner of the products provided by the laundry to its numerous accom clients across the city, each chip containing a QR code that can be read by a smartphone. The chips can withstand temperatures of up to 180°C (356°F) and be washed 200 times, according to designer Bluesky TRS.

Yes, we want clean - but is this a step too far?

Wuhan has a population of more than ten million and is popular with tourists because of its 3,500year history as one of the most ancient and civilised metropolitan cities in China.

While cleaning standards are a major concern for the accom industry, one laundry service in Wuhan, China, is going to extreme lengths to reassure guests about room cleanliness.

Located in Hubei Province, it is known as 'China's Thoroughfare' due to its status as a major transport hub connecting major cities throughout the country.


The state-run Xinhua news agency revealed that following cleanliness investigations in 2018, 79 of the city’s 110 commercial laundries were shut down when government inspectors deemed them substandard. According to The Star Online, social media commentators have broadly welcomed the laundry's move, although some remain sceptical and have questioned the durability and longevity of the system. "This system needs to be implemented throughout the country," one said on Weibo. "I take my own bedsheets every time I travel. Once I got a bad rash after a hotel stay and was covered in red spots." Another said: "What's the point in knowing how many times a bed sheet has been washed or the time when it was last in a washing machine without knowing whether the sheet was actually changed after the previous customer checked out?".

AccomNews - Winter 2019


The wash up on


dispensers By Kate Jackson, Editor


Accom in Australia is at the forefront of the global push to reduce plastics.

The latest dispenser designs bear no resemblance to the chunky monstrosities of the eighties. They come in sets of one, two or three chambers - for customisation of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash combinations - and provide a choice finishes from white through to chrome and satin silver.

Around 30 key accommodation, hospitality and events providers signed up to a City of Sydney pledge to reduce single-use plastics in May, just one in a spate of commitments providers are making nationwide to reduce industry reliance on non-biodegradeable products.

Top quality eco-friendly and organic brands are as available for refillable dispensers as they are for small amenity bottles - including brands like AVIVA,TOCCA and Tommy Bahama.

Under the spotlight for accom are the billions of individual plastic amenities bottles found in hotel bathrooms. While a number of manufacturers are working to create authentically biodegradable or recycleable versions, the large-scale amenity dispenser is becoming an increasingly valued alternative. As Peter Weingartner, principal of hotel toiletries and amenities supplier Swisstrade, says: “Bathroom amenities dispensers have never been more sought after than now, and rightly so. “The mounting pressure from the public domain for hotels to lift their game in the area of waste reduction and elimination of plastic is rapidly changing the way accommodation providers are thinking of offering guest amenities.”


AccomNews - Winter 2019

Environmental benefits

packaging during a recent stay at an Italian hotel.

Hotels, motels, resorts and spas across a wide spectre of pricing brackets are beginning to adopt large-scale refillable or non-refillable dispensers as a means to eliminate individually packaged products and create significant waste reduction.

Cost savings

Modern travellers expect good toiletries and amenities in their bathrooms, but they also increasingly expect their accommodation to meet green standards. Among them is Prince Harry, who made the news worldwide after a polo pal revealed he’d requested no plastic

One of the great benefits of bathroom amenity dispensers is that operators only pay for what’s used during a stay. Individual packaging means half-used product is often thrown away. There's a housekeeping cost to the daily chore of restocking the cart, cleaning up the bathroom mess and restocking the room. Large dispensers need topping up or replacing far less frequently, while purchasing liquids in bulk leads to economy-of-scale savings.


Practicality With an ageing population, it’s worth considering that amenity bottle labels can be difficult to read, stiff tops can make opening difficult, contents are often hard to get out and the little bottles and caps can be messy. Wall mounted dispensers are easy to access and easy to differentiate from each other, and they don’t present a slip hazard in the shower. Quality models include pump and valve systems which are guaranteed for life and recyclable refill bottles with inbuilt reservoir tanks which allow the full contents to be used without any waste.

SmartCare – the environmentally friendly, slim-line amenity dispenser system Discover Swisstrade’s attractive and cost efficient SmartCare System, the future of factory-sealed and tamper proof bathroom dispensers. Choose from a comprehensive range of high-quality brands to match your property style. •

100% recyclable dispensers

Significant cost and time saving

Elimination of waste and plastic

Ultimate hygiene

Premium formulations

Quality brands

Available as liquid soap, shower gel, shampoo, hair & body shampoo, conditioner and body lotion across a wide variety of brands.

Contact us for an obligation free consultation and free in-room trial. | 02 9979 1500 |

Bathroom amenities dispensers have never been more sought after than now, and rightly so

vertical pump mechanism have primarily found their way into hotels/motel via the retail channel as they have grown in popularity over the past years. However, the refillable aspect of the system and the fact that the receptacles are generally not emptied and cleaned on a regular basis make them prone to bacteria growth, thus not the ideal choice for the shower or bath in a hotel room. Nontamper proof containers can be interfered with by guests, and vertical pressure on the pump can cause wall holders to fall off over time. That said, in public washrooms where ‘only’ hands are washed, pump dispensers can offer a cost-effective solution, although the stainless wall brackets can be a costly upfront investment.

Washrooms Public area dispensers come in traditional or electronic touchless versions and are made of sturdy ABS plastic or stainless steel. Whether wall or basinmounted, quality washroom models include functions to aid restocking - like a level indicator and an easyto-use locking system.

Industry view AccomNews asked Peter Weingartner to explain which dispensers work best, and where. There is more to the dispenser game than meets the eye. Firstly, it is important to understand the differences between the various offerings available in the marketplace in order for operators to choose the dispenser that is right for them. Here are the options: 1.


Pump Dispensers – these refillable vessels with a AccomNews - Winter 2019


Factory-sealed dispensers – these 100 percent hygienic dispenser

solutions reduce plastic waste up to 90 percent and offer the operator total piece of mind. Not only do sealed/nonrefillable dispensers eliminate the risk of litigation due to hygiene issues, they are also the most visually appealing and mechanically sound. Smart Care and Press + Wash are two examples of such leading dispenser solutions. What is more, the attractive chrome wall fixtures are generally offered on a free-on-loan basis, making the startup cost very affordable. 3.

Public area dispensers – generally dispensing a generic liquid or foam, guests have come to associate these with a ‘public toilet’ dispenser and they should under no circumstances be used in the personal spaces of a guest room, such as by the bath or in the shower


When it comes to eco friendly - what are the options for choosing a greener amenity for your guests which also minimizes wastage? Aside from eliminating as much plastic from our environment as possible, we also have the opportunity to implement ‘closed-loop’ recycling processes as well as the use of biodegradable materials in packaging. What gets overlooked in most cases however, is the waste that unused formulation (the liquid inside hotel toiletries tubes and bottles) causes. The volume of liquid formulation waste ending up in landfill is far greater than the plastic packaging itself. Even more reason to implement a dispenser mechanism that dispenses only as much formulation as the guest requires. In addition, it is worthwhile choosing an Eco Certified or Nordic Swan Certified product, to be assured of greatest environmental sensibility.

style comfort power The best equipped guestrooms. Add value to the guest experience, reflect your brand and complement your dĂŠcor.

A family-owned and operated business established in 1975, Weatherdon is the preferred supplier to more than 1,600 hotels in Australia and New Zealand. Our team of designers and manufacturers is able to specify standards to meet the unique demands of the hospitality sector. Phone: 02 9906 2202 Email:

Universal appeal:

Why device charging matters to accom

Images courtesy of LuxeTech Commercial

By Kate Jackson, Editor

Universal chargers, like free wifi, are becoming a guest expectation. Only if you accom is a remote Alaskan fishing cabin or a Colombian SAS training camp can you get away without providing easy connectivity. Otherwise, you should be eyeing the latest device chargers as a way to make an ever-techier clientele feel at home in your establishment. The average Aussie travels with three devices; that’s an ipad, smartphone and laptop all in need of charging points. The biggest industry players understand this and cater to market demand for ever more charging opportunities - InterContinental Hotels Group's patented WorkLife Room, for example, puts placement of charging stations and warp-speed internet at the heart of its design. Charging options must be plentiful, reliable and universal (capable of charging a range of devices across different brands and specs). It also helps, in this millennialdriven era of ‘less is more as long as its bespoke’, if the design is sleek and visually appealing. Providing a designated public charging area within your accom encourages people to come in and sit down. A captive audience, your guests are highly likely to spend money as they linger to recharge.

Wireless Wireless charging is achieved by embedding wireless power


AccomNews - Winter 2019

transmitters beneath surfaces or inside furniture and connecting those transmitters to the property’s mains power. If a user places a wireless charging-enabled device such as a smartphone above the transmitter, it will draw power from the transmitter and recharge. Almost any horizontal surface can be turned into a mobile device charging point and the wireless charging system is compatible with any Qi enabled smartphone, tablet or portable device including Apple, Google and Android latest models. Wireless chargers can sit under benchtops, desks, bars and even couches with only an understated icon in view, making the unit either practically invisible or a statement of modern minimalism. They can be fitted or retro-fitted in solid surfaces such as timber, plywood, MDF and particle board. Speed is a main requirement when it comes to connectivity and the latest wireless charging solutions are just as, or more, efficient than wired charging. Inductive charging automatically stops when the device is fully charged, a technique that isn’t available in 99 percent of the currently available adapters. An elegant solution to connectivity, wireless charging negates the need for a proliferation of ugly power cords and chunky, expensive wired sockets.

Industry view: Adam Heelis, managing director of LuxeTech Commercial, explains how to tackle the charging needs of millennial guests.

The world’s consumer tech manufacturers continue to innovate the functionality of their devices. Whether as a tool of communication, navigation or capturing images, the portable device charging demands of guests has never been greater. If you eliminate “flat battery and lost cable anxiety”, you will have happier guests.

Things to consider: Access touch points Whether for business and conference rooms, lobbies, front counters or in-room access, each location will require a different solution. Common areas are most suited to larger based units with several charging tips, while a single room could require a more personalised solution. Décor integration Your tech should complement and enhance the space. You invest significantly in fixtures and fittings to create comfortable relaxing accommodation environment. Keep away from cheap plastic solutions. Look for high quality ABS plastics and even fusion of natural timbers. Charging solutions that are subtle and can be either retro-built into existing furniture or planned into builds are also an opportunity. LuxeTech Commercial, for example, have developed a charging channel system which supports conventional cable charging for all guest devices. Wireless charging integration is an emerging technology. Although conceptually an amazing


convenience, in practice when applied to broader surfaces it has its challenges. Induction charging creates excessive heat. It’s efficiently is poor (75 percent) and currently power output of 1A limits its charging to only phones and wearables. Tech compatibility Make available to guests multiple cable types, power outputs and wireless. Sick of providing universal travel adapters? Search for the most flexible charging solution. Quality charging products can be beautiful in design and offer amazing flexibility. You should provide USB ports / wireless charging and universal power points for all plug regions. Portability Powerbanks for off-site day use could be a game changer. Would your guests appreciate the convenience of backup portable power while exploring a city? Powerbank hardware is relatively inexpensive and there are a number of different activations. LuxeTech Commercial have designed a wireless powerbank integration to all its charging station solutions. Another option to explore is powerBank vending machines. Security Solutions which minimise the visibility of cables decrease the temptation for theft. Desk top stations should always be surface secured. Employee line of sight for station placement is encouraged. ■

The evolution of guest room TVs By Richie Cheng, Hospitality Channel Manager – Australia, Westan Australia

experience, reduce cost, and offer a genuine return on investment? A television display of today needs to address the following:

Many of us remember the days when hotel guest room entertainment was all about the ‘premium' movies that were on offer when you spent the night at a hotel. It had the latest-release movies you couldn't get from free-to-air TV channels or local video stores. As the television set has evolved over the years from CRT to LCD to LED panels, the standard of sizes has increased from 32 inches to the more popular 42-inch to 55-inch screens in most hotels. As we move into a new phase of guest room technology, we see a shift from simple entertainment to infotainment, with the guest room television set becoming a technological portal that allows guests to be entertained by unique content or to accommodate guests to access their own content. Over the last 20 years, we have seen guest room movie systems become a major part of hotel entertainment; where movies were housed in the basement of the hotel with videotapes that needed rewinding after each play to the use of set-top boxes to the current trend of Smart IPTV. As an old head in the hospitality

Guest experience •

The ability to support BYOC via casting solution such as Chromecast

Access to a variety of content that is tailored for the guests, such as Google PlayStore

A professional presentation of the hotel’s facilities and services with easy access

Hotel operators technology industry that focused on movie systems and IPTV systems, I am often told that people don't watch movies anymore. But this statement cannot be further from the truth. Guests are just as excited to watch movies and be entertained in a hotel room now as they were 20 years ago, we simply value the entertainment a little differently. With the introduction of the internet, guests have wider access to a variety of content, and inter-net-ready devices such as smart phones and tablets have become the easiest form of bringingyour-own-content (BYOC). Television sets have now evolved into an IT product rather than the traditional AV product.

Manufacturers of TVs have taken charge of this trend and are building smarter televisions that not only entertain but address the need to support the new technology. The role of movie system vendors has traditionally meant providing technology with the movie-ondemand system, interactive portal, digital compendium, and other interactive services. But they come with a cost for their services. The debate is always how much value does this service add to our hotel and are they providing the hotel with a realistic ROI. As we enter 2019, feedback from operators and owners is very simple. How do we use technology to meet guest

A content management solution that showcases the hotel's facilities and promotes its services

Meets all of the guest experience expectations

Removes the operational expenditure

Hotel owners and investors •

A solution that meets guest experience

Meets all the key requirements for the hotel operators to provide their quality services

A television solution that evolves with technological upgrades, rather than just another AV device that is stuck in a time capsule. ■

Charging furniture solutions for any accommodation space.





Conference Room



AccomNews - Winter 2019


The Westin Brisbane guests are treated to a memorable entertainment experience Marriott’s luxury Brisbane city centre hotel, the sophisticated Westin Brisbane, instructed HoneyBadger Technologies to install interactive technology to engage their guests in an incredible entertainment experience. HoneyBadger Technologies introduced North America’s SONIFI suite of solutions to the Australian accommodation industry and have succeeded in maximizing guest engagement and adding amazing guest experiences. Westin Brisbane engaged with HoneyBadger Technologies to deliver a Marriott-approved guest room entertainment experience that allows communication and promotion of their brand, amenities and services. The SONIFI technology delivers easy-to-use menus, an interactive programming guide, HDTV quality picture and sound, and the ability for guests to seamlessly cast their own content wirelessly to the guest room TV.

out of North America. SONIFI is the market leader in hotel guest entertainment systems approved by all major hotel brands.

“We recognize that delivering exceptional technology is part of our guest’s expectation and enhances their stay.

“We sell, deploy and support the SONIFI system in the Asia Pacific, chosen by hotels because it is a trusted and mature technology serving 500 million travellers in over one million hotel rooms annually.

“Since opening in November 2018, the hotel has been well positioned to service the influx of both domestic and international travellers seeking a hotel that focuses on technology, health and wellbeing, whilst providing a level of style and elegance synonymous with the Westin brand.”

“It is important that hotels, choose a system that is widely deployed, from a vendor that is approved and local.” Asked about the installation of this technology at Westin Brisbane, Grant said: “We deployed a fully interactive guest TV entertainment solution that operated on an IP network. The solution is Marriott GRE approved and comes with STAYCAST guest casting solution powered by Google ChromeCast. “We also provided and installed LG Smart TVs, brackets and a full IPTV system. As always, we met our milestones and were fully operating prior to the opening.”

AccomNews spoke to Grant Wilkins from HoneyBadger Technologies.

According to Grant, guest usage and feedback are consistently exceptional.

He told us: “We are an authorised distributor for SONIFI Solutions

The hotel’s general manager, Brad Mercer, told AccomNews:


AccomNews - Winter 2019

About HoneyBadger Technologies: We Are Passionate At HoneyBadger Technologies, the one thing that sets us apart from our competitors is how passionate we are about our industry. Not only do we have the experience to provide you with a higher quality solution for your hospitality business, but we also love creating innovative entertainment solutions for you and your guests through the use of digital technology. Because we are so passionate about what we do, we've been able to provide better services and better outcomes for all our clients. In room entertainment systems


have been used across a wide variety of industries including hotels and motels, serviced apartments, mining camps, hospitals and aged care facilities.

Research and Development One of the major advantages of working with HoneyBadger Technologies is knowing that our team is based in Australia. We are proud of the fact that our engineers and our technical teams are all locally based and it allows us the flexibility to be more proactive, yet very reactive, to your needs. Our technical team is constantly developing and refining our system to ensure we are delivering the best service we can. Our approach is to encourage you to tell us about your needs and wants. We tailor our system to your needs and ensure that the end product is matched to your brand. We are also a multicultural organisation and employ local and indigenous people throughout the South Pacific and Australia. Our company aim is to empower local tradespeople where possible to assist with our maintenance and support programs. Contact us on 1300 428 808 to discuss your technology needs.



SAFE . SECURE . SUPPOR TED. • Private, secure streaming only to your in-room TV • 2000+ apps – family, sports, international & more • Website pairing – no additional apps required • Automatically disconnects at checkout • Integrates with any iTV or Free-to-Guest system

Interactive TV




1300 428 808 | Copyright © 2018 SONIFI Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved. SONIFI and STAYCAST are trademarks or registered trademarks of SONIFI Solutions, Inc. Google Chromecast is a trademark of Google Inc. All other trademarks used are the property of their respective owner. Some features described may require additional software, hardware, subscriptions, licensing and costs. Contact Honeybadger for details.Information deemed accurate as of 090817 – S1352SE17


Can you finally say


to Foxtel subscriptions?

Foxtel has become one the largest monthly expenses for accommodation providers; however, it seems to be being used less and less by guests. From conversations I’ve had with accommodation providers, sport appears to be the main reason most are still supplying Foxtel in their complexes as so many sporting codes were unavailable under any other streaming service. Until now. We’ve recently come across Kayo which is Australia's first subscription video service dedicated to sports: rugby league, rugby union, Aussie rules, cricket, soccer, and more. Kayo is powered by Foxtel and has more sport to share than any other streaming video service around that we’ve been able to find. There are over 50 different sports and multiple international leagues; live matches and replays. From what I can see, Kayo does not have Sky so horse racing is not available, but if the guest has a TAB account they can stream on their own devices. This is a game changer for accommodation providers. Guests can bring their own Kayo, Netflix, Stan and other subscriptions and use your wifi to watch everything they want as they do at home.


AccomNews - Winter 2019

to your Smart TV or plug in their Google Chromecast and watch it on the big screen.

Judy Senn

Director, Time Out Internet

Most subscriptions have a trial period or a short period to join up for so the guest can cancel their subscriptions at any time. They can sign up when they arrive at your site and create an account and once they’ve left, if they don’t want to keep the service they don’t have to. Guests are already bringing their own video on demand subscriptions and Foxtel Now boxes can also be brought to complexes by guests and plugged in to watch Foxtel in their unit. You must provide unlimited data be able to give them the ability to cast, stream and watch their content. Casting - One of the top three sought-after features a guest wants is wireless casting. It is a core feature that must be included in your guest wifi system. If you have casting ability on your guest wifi, guests are going to want to cast their own content

With Netflix identified as the number one most commonly used application by guests, wireless casting must be a top priority for your guest wifi system. Guests want to bring their own devices and content and cast, stream and watch on your wifi. Securely. They want to use their own subscriptions to cast and not enter their username and passwords into an app on the television. Security is the main reason for this. Online streaming is the first choice for in-room entertainment among guests and the three key elements for a successful guest experience for casting, streaming and viewing. are: 1.


You need an in-room guest wifi system - where every unit/room has its own wireless modem or access point to connect to. Good strong signal. 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 Smart TVs, casting devices, gaming devices, home assistants. They don’t have to keep


going through a login screen to access the internet. 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 eg: 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.

Casting is going to get more and more popular and you need to ensure you have a secure and safe network in the unit/room for your guest to be able to safely do so. Foxtel, Kayo, Netflix and Stan can all be brought to the site by the guest, covering sports through to movies, so why provide it anymore? Put those funds toward a better wifi system or faster connections and give the guests what they are asking for. ■

How accom can benefit from

self check-in kiosks In the age of convenience, self-service kiosks have become commonplace in fast food restaurants, retail outlets, international airports, and increasingly at hotels.

desk staff are freed up, they can step in and suggest upgrades and additional services in a more natural manner. If guests are approached when they’re more relaxed and settled in, they’ll feel less pressured and be more likely to make a purchase.

The hospitality industry prides itself on providing personal service, so it’s understandable that some hoteliers believe installing self-service check-in kiosks might erode that experience. In truth, a growing number of travellers value the independence, flexibility and freedom that self-service technology offers them during a stay.

In addition, guests can find information about the property’s amenities and services at their own convenience, which creates more opportunities for impulse purchases. In contrast, a hectic front desk team might simply not have the time to provide all the relevant hotel information on arrival.

With that in mind, here are five ways your accom can benefit by implementing self-service check-in kiosks at your property.

1. Say goodbye to queues The most obvious benefit of a selfservice kiosk is that guests can start enjoying their holiday sooner. During the traditional check-in process, they have to stand in line and fill out paperwork that often involves information already supplied during the booking. With a self-service kiosk, they can check-in by simply looking up their name, email, booking number, or by scanning their passport. Kiosks also let guests select their room and create their own room keys. Suffice to say, this scenario is a huge advantage for weary travellers looking for a hassle-free experience on arrival.

Brendon Granger Director, Technology 4 Hotels

more personal and meaningful interactions with guests. With an automated check-in kiosk, your team have more time to focus on the moments that matter. That might include providing advice to a guest as they head out for a day trip, attending to an urgent service issue, or simply taking the time to engage with guests through friendly conversation. All of these interactions allow your accom to build rapport and offer helpful assistance to enhance the overall experience of staying with you.

3. More upsell opportunities Automated check-in solutions also increase upsell opportunities. Using a kiosk, guests can upgrade their room, redeem special offers and purchase additional extras, all in a leisurely and effortless way. Of course, because your front

4. Increased personalisation Self-service kiosks are able to collect a wealth of invaluable guest data, such as room preferences, past purchase decisions, and special requirements. Because the kiosk is connected to the property’s PMS, this data can be quickly accessed to help provide more personalised experiences. This stored information can also be used to devise personalised marketing emails, featuring enticing offers that appeal to the preferences and needs of different guests. Properties can also ensure previous requests are catered for ahead of time to enhance the guest experience and exceed their expectations.

There are obvious benefits to providing an automated check-out process too. For instance, cruise ship guests or anyone running late for a flight can depart quickly without worrying about getting caught up in a long queue.

An increasing number of people want to interact with companies and services on their own terms. In fact, research has found that 66 percent of customers prefer self-service over traditional interactions with retail sales associates. Providing the option to check in via kiosk simply meets the expectations of consumers who are used to flexibility, endless choice and instant gratification in their digital lives. Put simply, providing guests with the degree of control they have elsewhere can only help to improve overall satisfaction levels. Some kiosks also have the option to select multiple languages, so anyone travelling from overseas will have a much smoother experience when they check in at your property.

The role of the selfservice kiosk Self-service kiosks allow hotels to enhance the guest experience in numerous ways. A frictionless check-in experience means more convenience, more control and the elimination of frustrating queues. In addition, staff have more time for face-to-face interaction where it matters most — from making a great first impression on arrival, to encouraging upgrade and additional purchases in a timely manner. Kiosks can also reduce labour costs, not only at the front desk but also in the back office. The automation that kiosks provide eliminates much of the behind-the-scenes processing of data, reducing the workload for the night audit and finance teams. Of course, many guests value personal interaction and the traditional check-in process still has its place. Self-service kiosks shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for old fashioned service, but as a way to enhance the modern-day hospitality experience. ■

2. Easier to interact with guests There’s a misconception that self-service takes away from face-to-face human contact. On the contrary, it actually frees up staff so they can have

5. Enhanced customer satisfaction


AccomNews - Winter 2019


Lumiair lights the way

for a new era in guest entertainment From hotels and holidays to activities and entertainment, consumer expectations have rocketed over the past few years.

With such a rampant rise of streaming video on demand, consumers won’t settle for less which is why it was important for us to make sure Lumiair was Chromecast compatible and available for any smart phone, tablet or laptop.

Spurred on by the rapid rise of technology, our (constant!) connection to smartphones and sheer craving of unique and personable experiences, consumers want what they want, when they want it. And if they don’t get it, they are quick to complain, not only privately, but more so publicly across social media platforms.

Due to the simple interface and without the need for any hardware or equipment, all guests need to do is simply download the app from the Android or Apple store. While many people enjoy flying on a plane as it’s a chance to get access to new movies, think of Lumiair in the same manner as it gives your guests instant access to the latest movies and TV series.

As a result, the onus on product and service providers to stay ahead of the game and give the consumer exactly what they want has never been more important than it is today. A curated and tailored consumer experience has become the number one priority for any business that wants to succeed and to keep succeeding. In our quest for better entertainment and a seamless entertainment experience for a guests’ stay, we have launched Aimed at the smaller, more bespoke accommodation providers with 10-100 rooms per site, Lumiair is our latest Netflix-style premium content offering that gives guests what they want - easy access to box-office content on whatever device they want.

compatible, can be activated in minutes and doesn’t require any expensive equipment or installation costs. It works by whitelisting the IP address of the accommodation provider, runs on the existing Wi-Fi and setup can be done instantly online. There are no hefty costs as it’s less expensive than a traditional hospitality entertainment system – all whilst giving guests access to hundreds

of titles from legendary major TV networks and blockbuster movie houses. From Warner Bros and 20th Century Fox to Dreamworks, Sony Pictures, Foxtel, Village Roadshow, BBC and more – Lumiair has it. When people choose to, or at times, have to, stay away from their home comforts they want an even better experience that what they are used to at home. For an increasing amount of people, that involves immersive entertainment at their fingertips.

Allow your guests to watch what they want, when they want it. Start your 30-day trial today.

Lumiair, 100% Australian owned by entertainment and communications company Swift Media, is Chromecast AccomNews - Winter 2019

Just because you may be running a smaller site, does not mean that you can’t offer just as much, if not more, than some of the larger accommodation providers. Mackay Rose Motel signed up to Lumiair because they wanted to find a cost-effective way to improve their guest experience, “As a budget motel, it’s great to have a low-cost alternative to other pay tv sites. The guests have enjoyed it & even my staff have asked if they could have it in their homes!” That is exactly what has fueled the development of Lumiair – not just the desire to meet the demand from modern-day content savvy consumers, but the aspiration from the industry – meaning they can still tick the box of providing entertainment services, only at a very inexpensive rate for the industry.

Designed exclusively for hospitality and accommodation environments, the easy to install, use and navigate entertainment platform has hundreds of titles to choose from and goes way beyond the realms of a regular set top box solution – all at a cost that barely impact on the venue’s ADR.


This isn’t about showing historic re-runs and classics, this is about cutting-edge Hollywood blockbusters and leading TV shows that are fast-tracked to the hotel– many that don’t make it to free to air TV for years.

Visit or call (08) 6103 7590 TECHNOLOGY

First class guest entertainment at economy rates. Lumiair is a new cloud based entertainment system that can be activated in moments, and does not require any expensive equipment or installation. With a regularly updated library of new release movies and shows, expect rave reviews from your guests. Visit Lumiair.Tv to sneak a peek.

Get 30 days free! Call 08 6103 7590, or visit www.Lumiair.Tv

Lumiair is just a part of Swift’s Hospitality offering. A proven background in providing large scale, bespoke solutions including digital compendiums, guest messaging and additional revenue opportunities means Swift has something for businesses large and small.

Powered by Swift |


AccomNews - Winter 2019


By Kate Jackson, Editor

Signage is not only essential for ‘landmarking’ your accom, but helps guests move around your property efficiently and safely. When visitors arrive, a sign is their first point of contact with you and a well located and designed one will set up expectations for a quality experience.


Once a visitor enters your world, they must be able to easily orientate. They don’t want to think too hard, so assistance with a quick and easy mental map is recommended. Making your environment user-friendly creates order, stops confusion, and promotes relaxation. Signs are a way to share essential information with your visitors. This might include rules and regulations

or safety requirements, it may also inform them of risks. Make sure that your signs comply with the law not only to protect visitors and staff from potential dangers but to protect yourself from prosecution and liability. Safety signage is especially important around pools and spas. Emergency exit signs and no smoking and fire safety signage should also be carefully displayed on every premise. Warning signs might include barbecue rules, maximum height bars in carparks and slippery when wet signs, or property protection and operating hours. One of the most important elements of signage is not necessarily how it is designed, but how the sign is received. For instance, it may be important to you to have a list of ‘do not’ rules. ‘No running. No Smoking. No jumping.

A moving image is three or four times more likely to be noticed than a static image, and LED screens are the best method of display


AccomNews - Winter 2019


No parties…’ But how are these signs perceived? ‘Do not’ signs may come across as pett y, at a time when your guests most want to have fun and relax, these signs may be received as too directive, too bossy, or even bullying. Simple welldesigned signs that use diagrams, symbols and pictures tend to be better received and cross language barriers. Signs can be used to attract people to places, either within your direct environment, such as the restaurant, or within your locale, such as a beach or entertainment centre. They can also promote your business and upcoming events, specials, gift incentives, your business or staff achievements and awards or the history of your property. Your signage should flow naturally from the front entrance throughout the property and compliment the environment. While it’s important to have enough signs around your accom, don’t go crazy having too many is offputting, so prioritise and be objective. AccomNews asked Travis Anderson from MiView to point the way on signage best practice.

What are the best manufacturing materials and their advantages? When it comes to building signage for hotels, we naturally think LED display should preferably be part of the mix,

but it needs to be constructed and controlled in such a way it does not present a fire hazard. Nonflammable materials and safety circuitry is a must.

Are illuminated light boxes and letters important to creating a first impression? Yes illumination in hotel signage is important, as so often guests will arrive at night and you only have one chance at a first impression.

What are the options for LED or neon tubes? Not surprisingly we think LED should be the illumination technology of choice. As a light source it’s far more durable than neon or fluorescent tubing. It’s also more energy efficient. Whether you need to take this LED preference through to picture quality LED display is another matter. Outdoor LED display certainly makes sense for hotels with lots of passing traffic, whether to offer to advertisers or to promote events at the hotel. If used

‘Do not’ signs may come across as petty, at a time when your guests most want to have fun and relax, these signs may be received as too directive, too bossy, or even bullying artistically, LED display can also be a great way to get a hotel noticed. There are some great examples of this overseas.

We can’t speak for the signage industry at large but we do have some strong advice concerning LED display technology.

How can your pylon/totem signage create maximum impact?

It requires a level of expertise that is usually beyond conventional sign makers. You need the screen content to look right on the screen, the brightness level adjusted relative to prevailing conditions, and the screen to be monitored remotely. Not everyone can do these things. You also need proper ongoing product support and maintenance in order to keep up appearances.

That’s very simple to answer. A moving image is three or four times more likely to be noticed than a static image, and LED screens are the best method of display. However, a moving image does face regulatory hurdles in many jurisdictions. You may have to settle for static images that can be gently cycled instead. From design to installation, what should operators consider when choosing a signage company?


LED display is regenerative technology that needs attention occasionally. Nothing conveys indifference like a neglected LED display. ■

AccomNews - Winter 2019


LED display or canvas? Realising the commercial and artistic value within the screen Screens that match the architecture have greater impact.

Recent advances in LED display technology mean large screens can now be integrated almost anywhere. Safety is no longer an issue and nor is there necessity for noisy cooling fans. Screens today can be located indoors in close proximity to people or located outdoors to successfully compete with daylight even at an angle. You simply need to choose the right LED product for your application. Outdoors your standard factors to consider are brightness, weatherproofing, viewing distance, viewing angle, maintenance access and durability - (The harder the sign is to access, the more durable you need the product to be). If affixing the screen to the side of a building, you may also wish to consider the extent to which the screen allows light to pass through. Unlike billboard posters it is entirely possible to have LED screens that are effectively see through from behind. The giant screen on the corner of the Emporium Shopping Centre in Melbourne


AccomNews - Winter 2019

is a good example. Anyone in the food court behind it can readily look through it to the world outside oblivious to what is being displayed. Indoors the factors to consider are viewing distance, surface finish, viewing angles, electrical safety, impact resistance, maintenance access and durability. It is the surface finish that will determine whether the screen is splash proof, impact resistant and capable of touch interaction. The viewing distance, on the other hand, determines how far apart you can afford the pixels to be. The further apart the pixels, the bigger your screen can be for similar cost. This highlights a fundamental difference with LED in comparison to LCD - size is not proportional to price. The same number of pixels can vary in the space they occupy. There is certainly ample motivation for large screens to proliferate our cities and spaces with the growth of technical possibilities. For the accommodation industry specifically, such screens can add considerable value through

enriching the guest experience or through generating advertising revenue. Depending on the location of the property, the advertising revenue on offer can be really substantial, giving you a much better return per sqm than accommodation. Adding value through the guest experience on the other hand is an entirely different proposition. Screens can become unique interactive canvases, digitally painted with dynamic images and visuals, which allow guests to interact and respond to the unique experience they see before them. Guests form memorable experiences associated with your brand by interacting with your lobby screen or using it to navigate to their next tourist destination, which promotes local tourist attractions or businesses. Another source of value proving a success overseas is the provision of digital art in the hotel lobby or concourse. The use of public art subscription is becoming increasingly popular for this purpose. This initiative entails accessing digital art collections that are curated to match the rhythm or intended atmosphere of your space and can be updated


on a periodical basis, thus keeping your content fresh and continuously engaging. The most prestigious examples overseas, however, involve site-specific art commissions. Such bespoke works might be data-driven, purely artistic or be guided by cultural narrative embedded in the space. Australia’s very own Bruce Ramus is considered a leading provider of such services internationally. Locally, he is perhaps best known for the screen content and lighting display design found at Perth’s acclaimed Yagan Square. His advice when it comes to content is illuminating in its own right, “Integration, not imposition. The inspiration for content already exists within a space and content should be reflective of the site, the people and the environment. We animate, enliven and bring this reflection to life through content”. “In an age of such high screen literacy, to merely feed screens more content is missing an opportunity to engage guests. A considered balance of display, content and light can provide meaningful substance that connects your guests to your space at a deeper level.”

Simply authorise MiView to explore the feasibility of a digital billboard on your premises. You may be able to access a guaranteed income stream without spending a cent.

You can increase your property return with no capital outlay or effort required.


To learn more, contact 1300 MIVIEW Sydney | Melbourne | Brisbane Adelaide | Perth | Canberra Townsville | Singapore | Taipei Hong Kong

How the right aircon can

power your business

By Kate Jackson, Editor

If your accommodation is cooled by an inconsistent, noisy, leaky or strangesmelling air conditioner, you will lose clientele.

The idea of a tropical getaway might be particularly appealing right now, but the success of any steamy holiday experience tends to hinge on decent aircon.

Why upgrade?

Everyone loves to languish waterside soaking up a few rays, but no-one wants to sweat through the night, cursing a frequently-clanking unit with underwhelming cooling abilities.

“World’s worst air conditioning,” said one irate two-star TripAdvisor reviewer of his otherwise perfectly satisfactory Queensland accommodation.

According to Trip Advisor’s TripBarometer, travellers rate air conditioning higher than breakfast or a pool on their list of holiday accommodation priorities.


AccomNews - Winter 2019

Social media and review websites are littered with guest comments about room temperature and air quality not meeting their expectations.

“A trip to the Gold Coast in summer was ruined by the lack of air-conditioning in our apartment. We booked and paid for two nights but the unbearable heat left us no choice but to leave early,” said

another. Units that require constant maintenance will cost money and bookings, while recent technology ensures efficiencies mean a latest-model ducted system is almost twice as cheap to run as an equivalent model from the early 2000s. Variable refrigerant flow systems are becoming a popular choice with hotels because of the ease of retrofit and the energy efficiency they offer. They consume less electricity than a conventional system and require less maintenance over their estimated 25-year life. Each indoor unit is individually controllable by its user and a variety of unit styles can be mixed and matched to suit individual requirements. New systems are not only more


efficient and tailored, they’re also more environmentally friendly. Older systems use ‘R22-type’ refrigerant which is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon, a group of gases known to deplete the ozone layer, whereas new systems use 410A which is believed to have no ozone impact.

Controls Automated aircon systems can detect whether a guestroom is occupied through information transmitted via infra-red detectors and micro door sensors to a central module. When a room is occupied, a guest has control over all temperature settings. But when they leave, climate control becomes regulated by the module, which initiates energy savings.


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If the room is unoccupied for a period, control modules can turn on air conditioning for a few minutes every two hours to prevent stuffiness. And importantly, they can also alert managers to equipment faults before a guest even knows about them. Latest models can be programmed with an operator’s own minimum and maximum temperatures, so while guests believe they have set the temperature, their aircon usage is being managed remotely. Beware, though, online reviews reveal guests can get pretty irate if they feel Big Brother is overriding their aircon choices.

The latest air conditioning models are up to 40 percent more energy efficient than some older models

“If hotel staff fail to clean the filters, or at least clean the top visible portion, simply turning on the unit can cause these particles to fill your room and your lungs.”

With the rising costs of electricity, it's worth considering how you can save energy. The latest air conditioning models are up to 40 percent more energy efficient than some older models.


Filters should be changed at least every other month - and more often if you operate in an allergen-heavy environment.

Whatever units you choose, installing the proper filters and replacing them on a timely basis is a key component of combatting any allergy problems caused by the circulated air.

While ordinary paper filters help remove dust from the air, High Energy Particulate Air (HEPA) filters are designed to trap smaller particles such as bacteria, mould and pollen.

The key to a high performing air conditioning system is keeping it clean. Filters need to be cleaned at regular intervals, as per manufacturer’s specifications, to maintain good airflow and avoid excessive power consumption. Other parts of the unit such as the heat exchanger, fan and air ducts are a little more difficult to maintain.

Media stories about the dangers of uncleaned hotel systems have put poor maintenance in the spotlight and guests are increasingly savvy about demanding clean air.

HEPA filters consist of densely packed glass fibre layers as opposed to paper, and the best ones can block about 99 percent of those particles responsible for air conditioner allergies.

Last year, Britain’s The Sun newspaper featured former hotel manager Chris Johnston saying: “One often overlooked source of germs is the HVAC unit in the room.

Industry view


AccomNews - Winter 2019

Jessica Millard, marketing manager for Mitsubishi Electric, explains the advantages of latest aircon systems.

To solve this problem, Mitsubishi Electric developed a Dual Barrier Coating designed to reduce dust and greasy dirt from collecting in the unit, providing longlasting protection to the heat exchanger, fan and air duct. Two factors affecting comfort are providing the right room temperature and a quiet environment. Air conditioning shouldn’t be noisy. A quiet


mode on a quality new model is as low as 18 dB(A) on heating for the 2.5 kW model. Multi-split systems reduce the number of outdoor units required per system, with multiple indoor units connecting to a single outdoor unit. Some systems allow connection of up to 12 indoor units with individual controls. Look for models with a reduced height of 981 mm to provide less obtrusive installation. Operators can mix and match different indoor types, such as wall mounted, floor console, bulkhead, ducted or cassette. For easy comfort control, touch remote controllers are an alternative to handheld remote controllers which can be easily lost, stolen or damaged. Customisable colour LCD touch panels feature big visible sized icons and are easy to operate. Brand the display with the property’s logo and colour scheme. An optional interface adapter is required per unit. ■

Emergency lighting:

How safe

is your property? By Kate Jackson, Editor

Emergency lighting isn’t something that guests are likely to notice until they need to. But if the unexpected hits and evacuation is required, it is imperative that there’s adequate lighting to guide staff and visitors to exits and illuminate their path to safety. In accom properties, internal emergency lighting generally kicks in when the main power supply is cut and normal illumination fails. The loss of mains electricity could be the result of a fire or a power cut, plunging buildings into sudden darkness and putting occupants in danger of physical injury or panic. Emergency lighting impacts each facet of protocol in an evacuation; from crowd control and directional cues to hazard avoidance throughout stairwells, hallways and external grounds. It also helps ensure carpark safety and it aids security footage visibility in the wake of an incident. Correct fitting and maintenance

are as important as the quality of the lighting product, and accom operators should ask for assurance from any supplier that their services and products adhere to national standards for emergency lighting. In terms of maintenance, tests should be carried out every six months and fittings should also be cleaned regularly.

Standard issue AS/NZS 2293.1:2018 is the latest standard covering emergency lighting in buildings. This joint benchmark was approved by the Council of Standards Australia and by the New Zealand Standards Approval Board last year.

installers and certifiers of emergency lighting and exit signage schemes with the relevant requirements and guidance for the provision of emergency lighting and exit signs to all designated spaces within a building in order to ensure an acceptable level of illumination for the safe evacuation of occupants from those spaces in an emergency situation”.

Light fantastic

AS.NZS 2293.3 – governing emergency luminaries and exit signs

Emergency lights for commercial properties are either non-maintained, which means they only come on when the power supply to the normal lighting fails, or maintained, which means they are illuminated 24/7. A risk assessment can help identify what will work best where for your property. Alongside time-honoured electrical systems, latest technology includes photoluminescent lighting - a sustainable alternative which meets all building code requirements.

The objective of the series, according to the two standards bodies, is to “provide designers,

Exit lights all feature the same green with white detailing and symbols readily associated

It involves three parts: AS/NZS 2293.1 – governing system design, installation and operation AS/NZS 2293.2 – governing inspection and maintenance


with an exit sign. These vital emergency beacons vary in energy efficiency and width, with weatherproof covers and containers available. Features such as mounting, length of life, and whether the light is single or double sided are all considerations, depending on use and position of the light. Whether you want your emergency lights to work standalone or as part of a networked system is a critical point of discussion with any chosen supplier. Satellites and emergency luminaires come in a range of shapes and sizes and should be selected based on the layout of your property and the scope of planned evacuation routes. Again, weather-proof versions are available. If you are looking to refurbish an older property, it’s worth having risk assessment carried out so you can be sure that all emergency lighting meets the latest requirements. You may find that the lighting needs to be rearranged, for example, to satisfy standards revised just a year ago. AccomNews - Winter 2019


The benefits of self-testing luminaires is keeping the maintenance and testing process simple, automated, cost effective and, importantly, helping ensure compliance Industry view Craig Alexander, marketing and communications coordinator for Mpower, talks us through the ins and outs of emergency lighting What are the latest supply and installation options for emergency lighting in new buildings and refits? The best option would be lithium-powered LED exit and emergency lights for increased longevity, reduced maintenance, lower energy consumption and extended warranty periods. For example, our BARDIC range of new lithium powered luminaires feature built-in selftesting as standard, five-year warranty on battery and fitting, and the ability to integrate each fitting into our central monitoring and control system. What are some of the solutions available for emergency lighting control and is it important that, like DALI (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface) solutions, they can coordinate into existing systems? Mpower’s range of BARDIC Emergency Lighting does not offer a DALI solution, we instead offer a stand-alone Central Monitoring and Control System. Although a DALI system does have its advantages as it can be incorporated into an existing building management system, offering a centrally controlled solution works just as well. DALI seems to be a buzzword amongst electrical consulting engineers, being an established protocol for many years, and supported by many luminaire and control gear manufacturers. Within a DALI system, every emergency and exit luminaire will need to have a DALI compatible device or controller installed into it in order to be compatible with the DALI integrated backbone of the building control system.


AccomNews - Winter 2019


At BARDIC we offer a conventional, stand-alone centrally monitored system which serves a similar, if not better purpose. The beauty is its wireless operation, simple set up, basic componentry and scalability, purging the need for any additional wiring between fittings and additional costs. A DALI system traditionally has specific cabling requirements between all connected DALI devices and base control. A DALI system often requires more specialised installation, commissioning, service and operational skills, normally outsourced to specialists. The BARDIC system, once installed and commissioned, can be easily managed and controlled by the end user themselves. The BARDIC system is a web-based platform that can be controller via any smartphone, tablet or computer that has a browser and is connected on the same network. How do properties ensure compliance on maintenance and testing? It is mandatory to follow the guidelines of AS2293 Standard as relating to emergency lighting, dictating an essential six-monthly testing, post commissioning, and a maintenance regime for all emergency and exit luminaires. The benefits of selftesting luminaires is keeping the maintenance and testing process simple, automated, cost effective and, importantly, helping ensure compliance. Of course, additional benefits come into play when using a system which provides full flexibility in terms of control and monitoring, offering a completely automated process, with all testing outcomes fully visible and the ability to pinpoint the exact requirements of individual luminaires. This simplifies, as well as speeds up, the maintenance process, saving time and money for the end user. ■


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Industry hitting back on housekeeper assault By Robb Monkman, SAGlobal

They’re often alone on a floor, cleaning a vacant room, back to the door, the vacuum’s loud drone silencing all sound. A perfect setup for a horror movie. Housekeepers perform the most physically demanding work necessary to operate a luxury hotel. Assigned 10 to 14 rooms a day on average, they strip beds, dump sheets down laundry chutes, remake beds, scrub bathroom floors, clean tubs and toilets, empty trash, polish mirrors, clean glasses, vacuum carpets – and the work does not end there. On top of that, they have to be sexually accosted by guests? Sadly, yes. And more often than you’d think. These words lined the beginning of a New York Times article, Behind Closed, Sequentially Numbered Doors, penned by Jacob Tomsky, which detailed the commonly under-reported risk assumed by hotel staff, especially housekeepers. The hospitality industry is built upon the provision of outstanding, guest-centric service. Day in and day out, hoteliers and their staff make it their utmost responsibility to cater to each guest and provide them with a home away from home. It is within this guestcentric model, that staff safety can take a back seat.


AccomNews - Winter 2019

Identifying the problem With these realisations in mind, it becomes no surprise that the hospitality industry falls victim to an alarming rate of workplace safety issues. In fact, a recent survey in Chicago shows that 58 percent of all hotel workers there have experienced sexual harassment by guests and nine out of ten hospitality workers say they have suffered abuse. Further, in a 2014 paper in the journal Gender, Work & Organization, a team of researchers interviewed female hotel workers employed by fivestar hotels on the Gold Coast. Of the 46 women who participated in the study, 44 had experienced some kind of inappropriate advance from a guest. From assault and harassment to abuse or injury, sweeping guest indiscretions under the rug for the sake of client satisfaction and public reputation had become something of a painful tradition in hospitality. Luckily, that tradition has finally come to a grinding halt. On September 6 2018, the CEOs of Hilton, Hyatt, InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott, and Wyndham joined the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) in announcing the 5-Star Promise. This included a pledge to provide hotel employees with safety devices. Until recently, most hotel panic buttons have been known

as ‘noise-makers’ – handheld devices which emit an audible alert/noise to signal an incident or threat. While these were, undoubtedly, a good initial step in the right direction, we arrived at a resounding issue: The size and complexity associated with modern hotel infrastructure call for more robust hotel technology and support platforms.

Technology: The key to a safer workplace If a staff member experiences a medical emergency or impending threat behind the closed door of a room and support is not within range to hear that signal, the old-school panic button simply cannot effectively protect the user. Not only that, but some instances may require a more discrete alert system, to further protect the immediate well-being of the user and ensure the perpetrator doesn’t act out in response to the alert. This brings us to the modern employee safety device.

So, what does the next generation hotel panic button look like? Today’s hotel panic button should be more than just an app or a noise-maker; rather, it should be a dedicated safety platform that is configurable and customisable to the demands of each individual hotel. Our best-in-class hospitality safety platform is cloud-based, easy to use and integrates


seamlessly with a hotel’s existing property management software to provide location-based alerts in the event of an emergency. Hotel staff can press their sidekick panic button, which is paired with a smart device via Bluetooth, to transmit an SOS signal. Utilising Bluetooth beacons placed throughout the property, support staff can immediately identify the precise room location of an incident to respond in a faster, more effective manner. Those staff members who do not have a smartphone can rely on a standalone LTE panic button which transmits the same, location-specific information to help hoteliers locate an employee within seconds of a distress call. Outside of the hotel, the system relies on GPS coordinates to follow an incident in real time, relaying that information back to support services while also maintaining a digital log of all distress reports and incidents. This technology not only helps to provide immediate response in emergency situations but equips hotels with the software they need to better track and report incidents. It is an exciting time to be part of the hospitality industry with the continued evolution of innovative new technology platforms. With improved measures, and the right safety technology in place, hotel personnel can approach their work with new-found peace-ofmind – and that is precisely what the industry’s important new movement, the 5-Star Promise, was created to achieve. ■

ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions & Vostio Location Solutions

Staff safety Housekeeping and other staff members are exposed to threats and harassment too often. Incidents can be life threating situations where every second until help arrives counts. Staff Safety solution from ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions provides the real time location of a staff member when a distress button is pressed. The portal provides dashboard view on the hardware status, active alerts, and a log of all distress alerts with their forensic data from a web portal that can be accessed from any PC or tablet with internet connection. As the system is built on Bluetooth and wireless technology it has low capital costs, is fast and easy to

Hotel Property

- Staff Safety Portal

Alert Device

implement with accurate metrics, geofences and devices have 4-5 years of battery life time.

Hotel Property WiFi 802.11, 2.4 GHz radio, unique secure SSID/VLAN, must not employ a captive portal for login.


The system can also be expanded to include Asset Tracking, Proximity Messaging, Wayfinding and Condition Monitoring on the same network.


BluFi Gateway BLE-WiFi

Local regulations in USA require hotels to provide hotel employees with an alert device to aid in emergency situations and major chains in USA have committed to enhance employees safety in all their hotels by 2020 – 5-Star Promise driven by AH&LA (American Hotel & Lodging Association). It is expected that these standards will expand globally within the next few years to meet Occupational Health and Safety Standards.

Web browser

Internet Communication on port 443

ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions Staff Safety System

Internet Mobile Network


Vostio Location Solutions

A text message is sent to Responders when Alert Device is activated.

For more information contact us on: 1300 796 233, email: or visit

Reimagining Hotel Security

Mobile Access

Staff Safety

At ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions, we’re dedicated to reimagining how people move through their world — and as the world leader in hotel security technology innovation for over 40 years, we secure millions of hotel rooms around the globe with our industry-leading brands, VingCard and Elsafe. With integrated software platforms, as well as advanced Mobile access and location solutions, we help our customers enhance the hotel guest experience while maximizing security and improving operational efficiency.

VingCard Locks

Elsafe Safes

Energy Management


Tel.:1 300 796 233


AccomNews - Winter 2019


Preferred Supplier Programme


Proudly Australian Made & Owned Since 1981

204 Holt Pde, Thomastown VIC 3074

03 9465 6444

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

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



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


AccomNews - Winter 2019


remote The Ultima II remote gives you more control over your air conditioners. Programmed for you to save you money! ARTISTS & ARTWORK

Beautiful art for every wall

Custom made in Australia. Fast delivery and ready to hang

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 – 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.


Phone: 1300 181 546

A professional service for resort cleaning

✆5474 3299 FAX 6474 3099



manufacturers of quality bedding QUALITY WITHOUT COMPROMISE

Your Hotel TV and Digital Signage Specialist

FACTORY PRICES DIRECT Sunshine Coast (07) 5446 7541 Cairns (07) 4032 5133


ISO 9001:2015


All suppliers must receive a nomination from a property currently using their services that is completely satisfied with their levels of service and are prepared to recommend them to another complex in the industry (ie. if asked by another manager they could comfortably recommend the required supplier).


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.


T 1300 659 053 M 0412 974 878 E W

Quality Certified AU1135-QC

TheFURNITURE sign of an Industry Specialist



Australia’s Leading Hotel Bedding Suppliers

Specialising in:  Hi-Rise Repaints  Large Complexes  Interior and Exterior  Hi-Pressure Cleaning  Concrete Spalling Repair (Concrete Cancer)  Waterproofing & Roof Membranes

Australia wide service supplying all types of furniture


07 5437 8544

Save time... Do it Online... business-directory

The sign of an Industry Specialist FURNITURE

Hotel Products Direct Hotel Products Direct is the Industry leader in online sales and supplies to the Accommodation Industry


Table • Kitchen Bed & Bath Linen


Ph 5520 1256 QBCC Lic No 1050861 NSW Lic No 179886C

Phone: 1300 651 355



1800 4 LINEN (54636)


FURNITURE - OUTDOOR business-directory

Ph: +61 2 9472 2000

Suppliers of Quality Commercial Outdoor Furniture & Accessories • New Chairs • Tables • Sun Lounges • Umbrellas • Cushions & Accessories • Prompt Service Guaranteed REPAIRS - RESLINGS AND SUPPLY OF REPLACEMENT SLINGS TO P.V.C AND ALUMINIUM OUTDOOR FURNITURE

0418 765 257



VISIT OUR SHOWROOM AT: Unit 4, No. 2 Cnr Captain Cook Drive and Kendor St, Arundel, QLD

Commercial Specialist Direct Importers Sales, Service & Repairs ¾LARGEST RANGE¾FURNITURE ¾UMBRELLAS¾SUN LOUNGES


Cnr Main Drive & Nicklin Way, Warana, Qld 4575 | Ph 07 5493 4277 Acres Centre, 1/37 Gibson Rd Noosaville 4566 | Ph 07 5449 9336

We don’t rest on the seventh day South Pacific Laundry specialises in the provision of quality linen and supplies for the hospitality industry (03) 9388 5300 |


AccomNews - Winter 2019