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AccomNews The essential industry guide

Issue 44 | Autumn 2019 | NZD $16.50 incl GST |

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AccomNews is distributed quarterly to hotel, motel, resort and apartment properties throughout New Zealand by Multimedia Publishing 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 Autumn Issue Front Desk Editor’s note: In the face of adversity

Industry Hospitality NZ Report: Duty to regulate

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

Disclaimer Any mention of a product, service or supplier in editorial is not indicative of any endorsement by the author, editor or publisher. Although the publisher, editor and authors do all they can to ensure accuracy in all editorial content, readers are advised to fact check for themselves, any opinion or statement made by a reporter, editor, columnist, contributor, interviewee, supplier or any other entity involved before making judgements or decisions based on the materials contained herein. AccomNews, its publisher, editor and staff, is not responsible for and does not accept liability for any damages, defamation or other consequences (including but not limited to revenue and/or profit loss) claimed to have occurred as the result of anything contained within this publication, to the extent permitted by law. Advertisers and Advertising Agents warrant to the publisher that any advertising material placed is in no way an infringement of any copyright or other right and does not breach confidence, is not defamatory, libellous or unlawful, does not slander title, does not contain anything obscene or indecent and does not infringe the Consumer Guarantees Act or other laws, regulations or statutes. Moreover, advertisers or advertising agents agree to indemnify the publisher and its’ agents against any claims, demands, proceedings, damages, costs including legal costs or other costs or expenses properly incurred, penalties, judgements, occasioned to the publisher in consequence of any breach of the above warranties. © 2019 Multimedia Publishing Ltd. It is an infringement of copyright to reproduce in any way all or part of this publication without the written consent of the publisher.

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EDITOR Kate Jackson, STAFF WRITER Mandy Clarke PRODUCTION Richard McGill, ADVERTISING Tim Svenson, Dee Dawson, SERVICE Gavin Bill, CONTRIBUTORS

HAPNZ Report: HAPNZ leading the charge 08 B&B NZ Report: When guests are unhappy, despite you best efforts 09



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!



Personalisation: What it is, and what it is not Large, free-to-attend expo delivers New Zealand accommodation industry to Sydney


What happens when the growth stops?

11 12

What’s Hot


Profiles Quest Dunedin: Sports-mad guests love the upgraded SKY TV system 18 The Headwaters, Camp Glenorchy: New Zealand’s first net-zero energy accom




Are we destined for a robotic hotel workforce?


See the whole picture with next-generation TVs


How cloud can transform the accommodation industry


Housekeeping How to use amenities to tell your story

28 32 The new age of steam 34 Meet Annalise, housekeeper extraordinaire 35 Helping guests sleep easy

Refurbishment Creating a world-class hotel Inside story: the design trends of 2019 Great untapped opportunity?


KEY Supplier information or content


TIA Report: Conference to tackle big issues 08

Rayma Jenkins, Fergus Brown, Julie White, Sally Attfield, Stephen Hamilton, Matthew Goss, Judy Senn, Brendon Granger, Vee Kessner, Andrew Morgan, David Lund and Doug Kennedy.

Commercially funded supplier profile or supplier case study



38 40 41

Safety & Security Safe, secure, seamless: Does door lock technology deliver?


Accident prone: Why accom needs first aid 45

Marketing What are the positives of franchising?


Quest Apartment Hotels: The keys to your business future


Marketing for the ages: How to attract intergenerational guests


Human Resources Climb every mountain


Property The search has evolved



Editor’s columns are generally a light-hearted, chatty reflection of the events shaping the quarter. But when one of those events is the murder of 50 people gathering quietly to pray at two Christchurch mosques, there is no room for flippant and casual. It’s hard to find words to talk about what happened in Christchurch on March 15. Our senior reporter Mandy Clarke expressed it best when, in the aftermath of the shootings, she wrote: “It is incomprehensible to us at AccomNews that the dignified and diverse Christchurch we know and love has been the target of such hatred and destruction.” The response of the city, and the nation, to the terror attacks at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques has shown so much about the spirit of Aotearoa. We are proud of AccomNews’

Despite our healthy tourism picture, many mum-and-dad operators are not finding it easy to make a living right now. Kate Jackson, Editor, AccomNews

association with Christchurch, a major player in the growth of this publishing house, and proud of a prime minister whose incredible strength, warmth and healing spirit have led the way in responding to the tragedy. Finding the balance in growing sustainably over the next decade will be key to New Zealand’s long-term prosperity. Despite our healthy tourism picture,

many mum-and-dad operators are not finding it easy to make a living right now, and minimum wages rises designed to improve life for the lowest-paid Kiwis are genuinely frightening small business owners experiencing shrinking spare time and incomes. Whether wage rises stimulate spending in hospitality businesses remains to be seen and the question is a part of that difficult sustainability balancing act. One motelier wrote to me of her colleagues: “We suspect many are working 80-100 plus

hour weeks and only taking sufficient income to pay for food etc. while they pay business expenses and wages to others.” Yes, we want a society we can be proud to call equitable, and the response to the Christchurch attacks has only served to underline the national determination to see all Kiwis treated with dignity. But hospitality’s small business owners also need help - and tax breaks touted to run alongside the minimum wage rises have been slow to materialise.

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Autumn 2019



In the face of adversity


Duty to regulate We know that a duty of care is of the utmost importance to Hospitality NZ members, and professional accommodation providers across Aotearoa. It is our unique hospitality version of the Hippocratic Oath: it is the essence of what it means to offer hospitality, and to do so professionally. Meanwhile, on the proverbial wrong side of the bed that is peer-to-peer accommodation providers; overnight guests that opt to stay at a private home rented out through sites such as Airbnb and Bookabach could find that at best, they are damaging the community they wish to visit, and at worst, they are endangering their own safety. Just a quick scan of the most recent media reports related to Airbnb in NZ shows unsafe properties, hosts secretly filming guests, and neighbouring tenants forced to move out due to disruptive behaviour. On the flipside of that, news from the government regarding Airbnb is a proposed tweak to the tax obligations of short-term accommodation providers. Hospitality NZ welcomes attempts to begin regulation of short-term accommodation providers. If the IRD’s new tax proposal goes ahead, it should encourage peer-to-peer accommodation providers



have paid for meets minimum legal and safety requirements. As with any competition, all participants have to be playing by the same rules, and that means that individual suppliers need to be regulated.

Julie White, Chief Operating Officer, Hospitality New Zealand

to declare their income from providing accommodation more transparently, and to pay tax on it (as commercial operators already must do). It is a step in the right direction, towards treating peer-to-peer as a business when it operates as such. It is, however, a small step considering the industries and communities impacted by the likes of Airbnb have called for much more significant and far reaching regulation, and for some time now. One could say, it is a drop in the ocean, to relieve a drought. The time has come to impose meaningful regulations on the sharing economy. We now need a well thought out, sustainable, centralised strategy for managing this issue across the country. Hospitality NZ and the accommodation sector welcomes competition. Fair and honest competition is what drives businesses to evolve and improve. Consumers should benefit from fair and honest competition, and be confident that the room they

According to Airbnb’s own data, globally the company have hosted approximately 300 million people, while hosts have earned a collective $60 billion, over just a decade of operating. The next global target for Airbnb is to host a billion guests a year by 2028. To put that in perspective, Airbnb is aiming to host approximately one eighth of the world’s population each year. In NZ, Airbnb is already big enough to be pushing (and pricing) local residents out of popular holiday destinations such as Queenstown. The issue, and the number of unregulated hosts operating across the country, is already large enough, and significant enough, for local councils to push back on requests for regulation that the task of collating and tracking down all hosts is too difficult and/ or too expensive to achieve. If only even a fraction of Airbnb’s own growth target is achieved, local councils can expect this task to get a whole lot tougher, and we can expect Airbnb’s growth to exacerbate the issues its unregulated hosts already pose to both the industry and guests.


Local and central government have sought, and been given, feedback from affected parties regarding the effect of peerto-peer accommodation. The impact of peer-to-peer accommodation formed a key part of Hospitality NZ’s recent submission to the government on New Zealand’s tourism strategy. Hospitality NZ has been meeting and sharing with MBIE’s dedicated team tasked with investigating the sharing economy. We want to work with central and local government on this, and provide all necessary information needed to make a positive change. It is typically ordinary Kiwis that are most affected by the impact of Airbnbs, whether they are struggling to find long term housing in the area where they live and work, or an ordinary family, working hard and honestly to operate a small, independent motel. Like professional hospitality operators, governments are typically tasked with a duty of care towards their citizens. If a government is interested in the welfare and wellbeing of both citizens and international visitors, not to mention the health and wealth of a nation’s housing market, employment market, and overall economy; a duty of care towards small business owners (who are creating jobs, and running a significant lion-share of the tourism industry, NZ’s number one export earner), should be of the utmost importance for government as well.



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Conference to tackle big issues After several years of spectacular growth, the New Zealand hotel sector is now in the unfamiliar position of facing a ‘reality check’. Although the number of international arrivals continues to grow, the speed of growth is plateauing. This summer season has seen generally flat hotel occupancy and revenue levels around the country. New properties continue to open and while this may be bringing new brands and standards to New Zealand, it inevitably impacts on existing competing hotels. Local councils in our tourism hotspots continue to look to the commercial accommodation sector as a potential source of revenue to fund the infrastructure needed to support their growing communities and visitor numbers. In short, we are living in interesting times! We will be discussing these big picture trends at the 2019 New Zealand Hotel Industry Conference. Registrations are open at www. and we suggest you register as soon as possible, as the conference has

to interact with more than 30 leading specialist providers of goods and services to hotels. NZHIC 2019 will culminate in a gala dinner and the presentation of the New Zealand Hotel Industry Awards. These awards recognise and celebrate individuals who are doing an excellent job in key roles in their hotels. Sally Attfield, Hotel Sector Manager, Tourism Industry Aotearoa

Stephen Hamilton , Director, Horwath HTL

sold out for the last four years. Now in its thirteenth year, the conference will extend over two days, June 19-20, at Cordis, Auckland. Looking back over the last 13 years, it is hard to see a time when our sector has faced more rapid change. There is certainly a lot to talk about and plenty to learn from our excellent speaker line-up.

Other confirmed speakers include Hilton Hotels vice president of operations Australasia Heidi Kunkel, Tourism New Zealand chief executive Stephen England-Hall and SKYCITY Entertainment group chief executive Graeme Stephens.

We are excited to announce former prime minister Sir John Key as a keynote speaker on 20 June. He is sure to offer us fascinating insight in his trademark engaging manner. Philip Poole, the chief marketing manager for chocolate maker Whittaker’s, will give delegates ‘behind the scenes’ insight.

Panel discussions will take on hot topics including managing change, managing growth, the changing role of GMs, and the living wage. The first day of the conference, on Wednesday 19 June, will focus on operational and investment issues affecting hotels. For the first time, the conference exhibition will continue to take place over both days of the conference, giving delegates plenty of opportunity

New in 2019 is the Technology Award recognising an employee who has made an exceptional contribution in championing a technology project which has led to increased guest satisfaction and operational efficiency. Entries are open until 29 April at The awards are a fantastic way to celebrate the achievements of your team members, so do take the time to enter and reward your best staff. As co-hosts of the Conference and Awards, we look forward to welcoming you to the premier annual event for New Zealand’s hotel sector. There has never been a better time to embrace new thinking to keep ahead of local and international trends affecting our businesses.


HAPNZ leading the charge Back in January, Holiday Parks New Zealand revealed plans for the installation of 54 electric vehicle chargers at holiday parks around the country. The 22Kw AC chargers, partfunded by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, are available at 14 holiday parks across the North Island and ten across the South Island, providing a much faster charge time for electric vehicles than the old DC chargers. Now we have just put in a second application to the EECA’s Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund looking for funding to double the number of chargers in holiday parks during 2019. There are many places in New Zealand where



them when they take their holidays. Electric vehicles are ideal for holiday transport as they provide emission-free travel and help us move to a sustainable tourism industry. But we also see opportunities for park owners to switch their own vehicles to EV’s - especially courtesy vans and people movers. Holiday parks want to be part of a sustainable approach to operating in the tourism industry, and it will be encouraging to see these chargers used.

Fergus Brown , Chief Executive, Holiday Parks New Zealand

there are no charging facilities and should we be successful with our application, this will go a long way to filling those geographical gaps. As an increasing number of Kiwis purchase electric vehicles, they will want to use

Representing over 300 holiday parks and counting 75 percent of the commercial holiday park sector as members, Holiday Parks New Zealand has signed up to the New Zealand Tourism Sustainability Commitment and encourages and educates


its members on how they can contribute to sustainable operating practices. Our latest investment is likely to prove a winner environmentally and economically, with data by the Australian independent energy advisory Wattblock, for example, confirming an escalating demand for electric vehicle charging facilities in tourist resorts. Research director Ross McIntyre said in Accomnews: “This is a huge opportunity for well positioned resorts and other holiday accommodation. “Electric vehicle charging is a premium service offering. Installing electric vehicle charging facilities should already be attracting premium tourist dollars.”


In the B&B world we are rated highly for guest satisfaction so when guests arrive who are not happy we are rather shocked, but it does happen.

enjoying conversation with us and the other guests) so imagine our shock when she came back from dinner and told us she had decided she could not stay here beyond that night.

There are some lessons to be learned from these anecdotes. The guests arrived by bus and were collected by the host who drove them to her B&B, welcomed them and showed them to their room. A few minutes later she popped down to check all was OK. In the words of the host, “Well, knock me down with a feather, he said NO, everything was not all right. ‘Oh’, said I. Heart started to pound and I must say, I was secretly hoping he was attempting to make a joke. He wasn’t!” “You advertise this place as a resort”. I clearly do not so I think the travel agent somehow got it lost in translation. My long training in five star management kicked in and I agreed, he was right, we are not a resort however we have never advertised as a resort. Was that what they were after?” It turned out they wanted their own space, apartment style and also a flat area to be able to walk to and from beach and shops. As they were booked in for four days, the host knew that this was not going to be a guest she

Rayma Jenkins, President, Bed & Breakfast Association New Zealand

could appease. She arranged for them to view the local motel to see if that was what they wanted and arranged a booking for them there. The guests asked about remuneration and were referred back to the agent.

Our experience: The guest booked a couple of days before she was due to arrive, also by bus. I picked her up and drove her through the city and to our B&B. On the way she commented she thought she was staying in a hotel with a swimming pool and bar. There is no hotel like that in our city. We do have a number of photos on the OTA’s site but none of a pool and we are clear we are a B&B. It seems her friend booked it.

We mistakenly believed our friendliness and the standard of our facilities would win her around but we also did not want a dissatisfied guest so agreed, but as she had booked through an OTA we suggested she cancel the second night to avoid commission charges. She could not do that as it was within our cancellation period. As she stayed one night and hence entitled to score us we were reluctant to insist on full payment however she offered to pay the commission and even said on departure she hopes to come back with her friend later! The difference between the two anecdotes is we were out of pocket (I know we could have insisted) whereas the other host referred them back to the agent who had booked the guests however we both averted dissatisfaction.

The lessons from this kind of difficult situation: •

It transpired that she ran a B&B herself so naturally I thought she would be understanding and would enjoy the hospitality of our B&B, which she did (afternoon tea on the veranda and pre dinner wine and nibbles,

The answer is always ‘yes’. As long as it is legal and moral … the answer is definitely yes! In this case the answer was ‘Yes, I see this is not what you expected’, ‘Yes, I can find you something

more to your liking’ and of course we will take you to the place you chose. •

It wasn’t personal! We could have gone into a complete and utter flap. In these cases, we were confident that what we advertise is what we offer. We are authentic.

Always ensure you have a cancellation policy. When the guest discussed remuneration with the first host, she was able to say: “I’m sorry, you will need to talk to your travel agent and I’m happy to contact them on your behalf.” She is unsure what happened, but they were not out of pocket. In our case we did miss out on one night’s accommodation but the one we did have was a bonus as the room had been vacant two days previous and we did not have to pay the commission.

Both of us offered understanding, both of us averted a hostile situation and both of us will continue to provide an experience that is valued by the guests who stay with us. I gratefully acknowledge the assistance given by our board member Donna Brooke.

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When guests are unhappy, despite you best efforts

Personalisation: What it is, and what it is not There’s nothing that makes a stay feel less personalised than poor attempts at personalisation. Being in the field of hospitality training, it grabs my attention when I see the word “personalisation” in a headline or the title of a conference session.

Being on the road for around 140 days each year, I am also on the receiving end of the hospitality industry’s attempts to deliver personalisation. From my perspective, there is a huge disconnect between what too many leaders believe personalisation is all about and the reality of what it feels like when one experiences it. As a result, I put together this list:

Using a scripted, impassive welcome statement saying “Thank you for your loyalty”

Being ‘Mr. Kennedyed’ to death by a server who uses my name in every sentence

Having a room service server who, when I open the door, greets me with: “May I enter your room?” because of brand standards and rating services instead of a personalised “Good evening, Mr. Kennedy, dinner is served.”

Doug Kennedy, President, Kennedy Training Network

Lately this seems to be a more popular buzzword than ever. However, when I read the post or attend presentations, it seems the recommended solutions always seem to centre around data collection and then some tech solution.

Guest personalisation is not: •

Sending a generic text message saying: “Welcome to the hotel. How is your room?” Using an email template listing “local area attractions”

Making an intrusive phone call while I am busy unpacking to ask “How is your room sir, good?”

Using a scripted welcome message to be read verbatim, for example when checking in very late and asking about a ride to the airport at 5am then I am told: “OK, sir, now breakfast starts at 6:30am.” Being asked: “What brings you to the hotel today?” only to hear about the spa (which has hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) after replying that I’m there for an all-day meeting

When my name appears as I revisit a website as it doesn’t win long-term loyalty

Forcing me to use a smart TV to order room service because it takes longer and it’s less forgiving when forgetting to order something extra.

Knowing if I like foam or feather pillows

Attempts at personalisation such as these generate about as many ‘warm fuzzies’ as the Happy Birthday texts and emails I get from my doctor, dentist and auto dealership.

arrival. “By the way Mr. Kennedy, since you are leaving at 5 a.m.—before breakfast opens—we do sell to-go snacks in our lobby marketplace.” •

An authentic statement that welcomes me back specifically

When someone sincerely asks: “How was your trip in today?” and listens attentively when I share my travel dramas

A personalised room assignment, such as returning to the same room from a previous visit

The feeling I get when walking down a long hallway and hotelier looks me in the eye, smiles and says: “Good morning!”

A sincere compliment such as “Nice tie you have on today, sir”

Personalised recommendations of authentic local restaurants and attractions

When I ask to reconfirm travel times or for driving directions and someone suggests a shortcut or better routing than Google Maps

An easy-to-find local phone number when I really need to call the front desk for a quick question

Pronouncing a difficult-tosay last name (when guests call to book or reconfirm, smart hoteliers enter the phonetic pronunciations into ‘guest comments’ field)

When someone returns a call about a lost-and-found item and says: “Yes, we found it” or “regretfully we did not locate it” to give a sense of closure

Offering to store personal items that are hard to travel with and costly to check for guests who return frequently multiple times a month. ■

Guest personalisation is: •




A personalised text from the same front-desk colleague who checked me in saying “Greetings Mr. Kennedy, this is John from the front desk, just checking to make sure your stay is off to a good start…” A front-desk colleague who proactively volunteers relevant information upon


Large, free-to-attend expo delivers New Zealand accommodation industry to Sydney Last July, hundreds of New Zealand hotel and accommodation professionals hit Sydney for Oceania’s largest industry tradeshow and conference, NoVacancy. They joined thousands of Aussie hotel and accommodation owners and managers across two days at the new ICC Sydney Exhibition Centre in Darling Harbour. Feedback from those that made the trip from Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and as far as Timaru, Napier, and Dunedin has been extremely positive. Irene Benfell-Herron who made the trip from the Red Tussock Motel in Te Anau commented:

“Amazing, Amazing, Amazing! I’m heading back next year and taking the team from NZ with me!”

Q. What kind of things can visitors expect to see?

We caught up with Brad Langton, NoVacancy Event Director, to understand what’s new and in store at this year’s event:

A. It’s a great question with a broad answer. Our team spends 12 months curating hundreds of suppliers across many categories; from software for PMS, revenue management and marketing to decoration, art and furniture that enhance your guest experience, energy and cost saving solutions, food & beverage products, virtual reality, robots and everything in between. It’s everything you’d expect and more importantly, amazing things you’ve not thought about that can help you be more profitable.

Q. Is the event still free, how, and why? A. Yes, NoVacancy is completely free for professionals working in the accommodation industry. Suppliers fund the production of the event by participating in the expo; it gives them a platform to showcase the products and services you may already purchase or others that can make a difference in your business. It’s equally as beneficial for your readers to see everything under one roof across two days. Editors note: Readers can use the code ACCOMNZMAY to claim a free ticket at

Q. Last year there were a mix of seminars, is this the same in 2019? A. A slight change, we’ve launched seven specific summits to run across the event, still all

completely free, each speaking to different job functions. This includes: Hotel Leaders Summit, Small Hotelier Summit, Restaurant Reinvented Summit, Hotel Engineering & Maintenance Summit, Hotel Marketing Summit and a Design Summit. More details on these can found on the website at

The details: What:

NoVacancy Hotel+Hospitality Business Expo


Wednesday 24th and Thursday 25th July, 2019

Where: ICC Sydney Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour Details: Cost: Complimentary ticket using code ACCOMNZMAY

protel Services Marketplace Next-generation, vendor neutral, online marketplace that simplifies hotel technology integration, reduces cost, and enables hotel freedom of choice. Imagine a world where you can go online, browse an online marketplace just as you do with your smartphone App-Store, see all the leading systems and latest available, get reviews on the myriad of systems from an independent authority (HotelTechReport), and then, simply click-to-install to integrate any one of these systems with your property management system. Let’s go one better. Stop imagining! It’s here, and it’s called protel Services Marketplace. Visit Technology imagined. Technology delivered. Last year we wrote an article here about building an online enterprise hospitality framework (EHF) that seamlessly integrates many property management systems

business risk. Will it work with existing hardware? With software from other vendors? Will it grow with demand? How good is the support? And can it be switched out again, if it doesn’t deliver?

with as many other systems in the cloud, any, all. Back then we were well underway building the EHF. Now it’s a reality and even in use by many hotels around the world. Not only does this remove what was previously high cost barriers and reliance on different vendors and lead-time, but it’s now so evolved that we can now say “click, click, done”. Let’s explain. When a hotel buys software today, it’s mostly not easy, it’s not fun, and piled high with real


A key component of protel’s Hospitality Platform is this Services Marketplace - an easy to use App-Store for hotels. Our online store for browsing and integrating new hotel apps as easily as on a smartphone! Apps are preconfigured to integrate with each other, removing all traditional integration barriers. And with oneclick-install simplicity, exciting new apps can even be managed and deployed on its own or centrally across multiple properties. This ground-breaking concept is now reality and quickly gathering momentum in the industry. But its way more than just a collection of 3rd-party software. Working closely with AWS, protel engineers guarantee system reliability, security and performance going forward, even for the largest of customers and tech-stacks. Its


why one of the world’s largest hotel chains have already signed up. The Developer Toolkit empowers all vendors to take advantage of HTNG real-time messaging to keep critical hotel-data synchronised between apps, on the fly, and as standard. If you are a vendor wanting to be a part of it, simply signup and start integrating. Visit and join the community. To ensure speedy and consistent industrywide delivery of only the best hotel technology, the protel Services Marketplace fully embraces collaborative, vendorneutral businesses, to provide transparent and switched-on thinking to all connected hotels, at the point of need. Hotels can finally have peace of mind, choosing their own bestof-breed system, with no strings attached. Click. Click. Done. For further details contact: Craig Chait (Managing Director) +61 3 9525 0525 or Email Autumn 2019


What happens when the growth stops? For almost ten years our industry has been a rocket ship of top line growth driven almost exclusively by big gains in revPAR driven by solid increases in occupancy and rate. You also can’t go too far inside the online world without finding articles that speak to when and if this growth will stop. We all know it will and it’s never been a question of if it will stop, the question is when it will stop. Knowing this growth inevitably will stop and being cognizant that when it does stop it will go backwards, what can you do? History always repeats itself. When the growth stops and revenues year over year shrink what will hotels do to minimise losses and maximise profit retention? For most of us we remember the major negative historical economic events of the past 25+ years and the results to the hotel business that followed. For me my memory going backwards is this: the 2007- 2009 debt crisis, SARS (I’m Canadian), 9-11 and the Gulf War. All of these had a major impact on the hotels I worked in and we scrambled to throw anything and everything off the sinking ship. I painfully remember: hiring and



teams, a halt to the company newsletter and travel bans.

David Lund, The Hotel Financial Coach

wage freezes, layoff s, mandatory vacations, amenity reductions, outlet closures, corporate training program suspensions, mandatory productivity targets and FF&E (furniture, fittings and electrical) contribution freezes. I also remember pre-emptive contingency plans that targeted a 10-15 percent decrease in revenues that dictated reductions in: fixed staffing, linen pars, china glass and silver pars, fresh flowers, service audits, uniform purchases, suspension of conferences, relocation freezes, VIP gift eliminations, departmental restructurings, management incentive plan cuts, live music expenses curtailment, aggressive food and beverage cost targets, elimination of administrative assistants, employee opinion survey cancellations, health and safety program reductions, moratoriums on seasonal parties and sports

I took part in planning and communicating: in-house meal and entertainment stoppage, the temporary addition of energy surcharges, elimination of hotel executive auto leases, combining like positions, grandfathering personal device purchases, curtailing of cell phone reimbursement, direct in dial telephone line termination, fax number consolidations, pool attendant layoff s, security department day/time/hour reductions, crisis and communications training moratoriums, sales incentive plan restructuring, familiarisation trip reductions, guest floor shutdowns, and the elimination of supervisors on the front desk and in housekeeping. I vividly recall how painful it was when we: eliminated turn down service; mandated business centre staffing cutbacks; eliminated one-time seasonal decoration expenses; trimmed dry cleaning privileges; downsized duty meals; we combined stores and receiving positions; we outsourced payroll services; we made cutbacks to in-house IT staff ; we completed sales coordinator right sizing; we exercised reservation department closures; attempted Sunday lounge service moderation; delivered on banquet captain consolidations; completed valet


parking outsourcing; started charging for parking; then the up-sell program pruning; and worst of all for me was the requirement to show all of these changes and adjustments in the subsequent detailed forecast for the balance of the year. This is where the rubber hit the road. I recall how impossible it was to execute the reductions, in many cases, because the departmental managers did not know what was really in their budget/forecasts to begin with. Sure, they had dollars for their expenses and hours and dollars for their payroll, but it was not defined in detail. There were no zero-based expenses where we could really look at the current shopping list and eliminate or adjust real things. The same with payroll, there was no fixed staffing guide and no formula for variable payroll. We just took our expenses from last year and added five percent when doing the budget and the same with payroll; wages were forecast to increase three percent, so we added three percent. We did cost per cover and cost per room occupied so we would simply extrapolate that and create the budget. Things would come together because they always do until they didn’t any longer. We didn’t know what was in the middle of our statement so when someone said reduce something it’s like, OK we will make that


change but it’s not a defined result because we were starting without a list, without a real starting point. Here is a domestic example of what I mean. If I send you to the grocery store with $200 and tell you to go buy some groceries you will come back with $200 worth of stuff. On the other hand, if I send you to the store with a list and the corresponding costs for each item you will come back with exactly what was on the list. Now this is where it gets good. I now send you to the store with the same list, but I only give you $175 to spend. I inform you that we must make some reductions this month. I now tell you to eliminate, reduce or forgo what you can to equal the new cash I gave you. This way you know what you’re starting with and what your changes result in. The same applies to payroll. You need a concrete fixed staffing list that’s approved annually with your budget and meticulously maintained through the year and a detailed staffing formula for every variable payroll category in your entire hotel – not a guide of payroll cost percentage by department or an hour per room or covers formula. These are

useless when it comes time to trim, reduce and curtail. They do not work when reductions are necessary. They just confuse the executives and frustrate the department managers. The next big thing as I see it is, we learn from our past mistakes. We take the appropriate actions to ensure our operating department managers all know what’s in the middle of their statements, down to how many of each item and at what cost that makes up every line of their expenses. We also need to go down to a monthly payroll forecast that is detailed by position and contains the exact number of hours wage rate. This way when it’s time once again to cut costs we will have a real starting point. Or, we can just hold our breath like I did and hope that it will all get better soon.

• Fixed weekly fee • Ideal for small-to-medium accommodation operators • No long-term contracts!

Once upon a time... ■ David Lund is founder of Hotel Financial Coach, which helps hotel leaders with financial leadership coaching and workshops.


A Division of Haven Distributing Company Limited Haven Commercial is a division of Haven Distributing Company Limited; a product developer, importer, wholesaler and distribution company of furniture and homewares items through retailer and hospitality markets. Haven Commercial Division provides sleep system options to the hospitality sector, including bunks, beds and storage accessories; manufactured and tested to AS/NZS 4220:2010 safety standards and successfully distributed in NZ & Australia to Backpackers facilities, Holiday Parks, Children’s Holiday Camps and other accommodation operators. Haven Commercial also distributes quality NZ-made Sleepyhead Commercial mattresses through their procurement & supply association with NZ Comfort Group, thereby creating a ‘one-stop’ shop for hospitality sleep systems. Haven’s factory manufacturing relationships provide Quality Control testing processes, direct importation and distribution in NZ, both directly and through distributor agencies. Haven’s delivery network provides prompt and efficient supply channels and a proven sales & service record from many years’ experience

Haven Distributing Company Limited 7E ORBIT DRIVE, ROSEDALE, AUCKLAND, 0632 PO BOX 924, WHANGAPARAOA, AUCKLAND, 0943 PH: +64 (9) 213 3024 FAX: +64 (9) 479 8476 EMAIL: WEBSITE:



Autumn 2019




There is no escaping the fact that technology is inspiring the new hotel operations. The biggest technology changes in the hotel industry happen in the background, working to help the hotel streamline its operations. According to Hotel Trend 2020, 93% of hoteliers surveyed agreed that “highly trained staff backed up by technology will be key to delivering personalized service & experiences”. In a world where technology has only led to increased screen time, how does a hotel make sure that technology supports more face-up rather than face-down interactions?

Check-ins are a breeze Take the scenario of a guest arriving at a hotel and wanting an early check-in. The usual process is quite manual involving a lot of back and forth communication, from assigning the room to a housekeeper to confirming that the room is ready, and can be complicated. With FCS Solutions, the process isn’t shortened by technology, but the time taken to complete the process is. A couple of clicks and the room is automatically prioritized on the assigned housekeeper’s FCS Housekeeping mobile app. Once the room is cleaned and supervised, it will be returned to the inventory; ready for guest occupancy. All done on-the-go-on a mobile app that is integrated seamlessly with the hotel’s PMS. No running around; no scraps of messages; no looking though schedules to find an available housekeeper. And the best part, instead of spending time getting the task done, the front desk staff can spend time with the guest with a more affable interaction.

93% of hoteliers surveyed agree “highly trained staff backed up by technology will be key to delivering personalized service & experiences”.

Guest requests fulfilled easily A hotel has many departments – housekeeping, front desk, engineering, concierge, laundry, etc – and most times, it is imperative that the departments communicate with one another. FCS Solutions help to make sure that all the departments are on the same platform and can interact with each other seamlessly. When a guest calls the front desk requesting additional bottles of water in the room, a job request is created and automatically dispatched to the first available runner. Once the bottles have

been delivered, the runner updates the app and the front desk is aware that the request has been fulfilled. When the guest informs the runner in the room that the lights are not working in the bathroom, the runner creates a request on his mobile app to the engineering team, and the first available engineer is dispatched to fix the light bulbs in the guest’s room. The guest is happy as they don’t have to chase the hotel to fix the problem. As the famous saying goes, ‘hit two birds with one stone.’

Happy staff means happy guests Technology helps staff do their jobs in a more efficient and effective way. Staff who are happier are friendlier with guests, and guests leave the hotel knowing that they were treated with the best hospitality; thereby increasing guest loyalty. FCS Solutions help hoteliers build that loyal bond with guests.

As the famous saying goes, ‘hit two birds with one stone.’

Things can get even easier for hotel staff and guests, as FCS Solutions can be integrated with most PMS, third-party and IoT solutions to provide a truly unforgettable experience to the guests. At FCS, we enable hotels to deliver the best guest experience. With over three decades of global experience, FCS is a leading hospitality technology platform provider with an extensive portfolio of integrated products used by more than 5,000 hotels, with over 8,000 installations in 32 countries. FCS’ integrated platform for hotel operations enhances the guest experience with web- and mobile-based applications by automating and streamlining processes, empowering staff and providing hotel management with real-time information.

Meet us at AHICE 2019, Stand 18

(Australasian Hotel Industry Conference and Exhibition)

1- 2 May 2019 Grand Hyatt Melbourne

MOBILE SOLUTIONS FOR OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE HOTEL OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT Guest services Housekeeping operations Engineering and maintenance Glitch management and recovery Concierge services Laundr y operations Team communication Analytics and reporting OTHER FCS SOLUTIONS Gateway and Call Accounting Voice and Digital Messaging

Trusted by over 5,000 hotels worldwide, FCS is a leading platform for hotel operations optimization that enhances the guest experience by empowering staff, automating processes and providing hotel management with real-time information. With FCS’ Hospitality Operations Management platform, hoteliers have access to a complete suite that can be integrated with most PMS solution and third party tools.

For more information, contact us at

A NEW ASSET TO YOUR GUEST EXPERIENCE Station W is the new bed side table alarm clock radio for guests. Designed for the modern hotel, it includes features that are both hotel-and guest-friendly. In addition of being a clock, a radio, a Bluetooth speaker with 2 USB ports, it also has wireless charging for QI compatible phones. This stylish unit has just been released. Are you ready to get yours?


Brantas International Technology Ltd


09 966 7662


PREMIUM UPRIGHT ROLLAWAY BED This luxe 5 STAR supreme rollaway, not only assists in providing your guests with their greatest sleeping experience, it also provides you with a bed that can easily be moved in and out of storage or from room to room! Sturdy black powder coated metal frame and dark woodgrain headboard. 20cm quilted spring coil mattress. Heavy duty 7cm rubber castors. Fire resistant fabric. Replacement mattress on request. Mattress size: 182cm L x 100cm W x 20cm D, Frame size: 197cm L x 107cm W x 52cm D, Net weight: 56kg, Load limit: 200kg, 5 Year Warranty


The Star Line Group



0800 277 225

MODUS VIVENDI THE ANTI FINGERPRINT KETTLE The Modus Vivendi anti-fingerprint kettle is another innovative design by JVD, a 30-year-old French brand who specialise in designing and manufacturing guest room appliances specifically for the hotel environment. This kettle is a truly impressive design with its antifingerprint technology being the perfect answer to the housekeeper’s nightmare, no more wasting precious time on polishing your kettles. The kettle is ideal for any hotel room with its 1L capacity, concealed heating element and a wide opening making it easy for your housekeepers to clean the inside of the kettle. Try it out yourself!





Astro Hospitality

P 0800 466 966 W



Replace your lumpy, cumbersome split king or super king mattresses with new Ezi Join from King Koil Commercial. Benefits include: Enhanced guest comfort – minimises the prominence of the join – Closest feel to a true king and super king mattress – Easy for housekeeping – No additional parts or accessories that can get lost


AH Beard



0800 242 327


The world’s first paper-based solution to replace single serve bottles. New Zealand hotels, motels, B&Bs and accommodation providers use an estimated 13 million bottles of shampoo, conditioner and bath gel a year – and although most of these will be packaged in recyclable bottles, the majority will go straight to landfill. Some providers have championed the use of in-shower refillable dispensers but guests regard them as cheap, messy and unhygienic. Guests want their accommodation to be environmentally aware – but not at the expense of their toiletries. Ecostick provides the perfect balance of luxurious packaging for premium-quality guest amenities and a truly environmental solution to the problem of single-use plastics.


Health Pak


Especially suitable for family units, with the ability to use under bed space for storage or additional pull out beds, this bunk is the answer to creating a safe family accommodation environment. Haven Commercial’s Combi Twin Single/Double bunks are designed to provide safety and strength for the whole family and provides the best mattress support, for healthy sleeping.


P 09 579 6268 E W

Haven Distributing Co. Ltd



+64 9 2133024


The cost of insuring one of your most important investments is so inexpensive. Allerzip Mattress and Pillow Protectors with BugLock will protect your establishments mattresses and pillows from spills and stains, including perspiration, bodily fluids and blood stains. Allerzip also provides protection against airborne allergens caused by dust mites, bacteria and mould as well as additional bite protection and water proofing as provided by the Miracle Layer. Also fully encased providing an effective Fit’N’Forget barrier against bed bug infection. Less time spent is addressing bedding, thereby reducing labour costs and ensuring the lifetime value of your beds. Available in a range of sizes – Single, King Single, Double and King.




0800 722 000




Autumn 2019


Quest Dunedin:

Sports-mad guests love the upgraded SKY TV system

One of Dunedin’s most comfortable and convenient accommodation offerings is the Quest Dunedin serviced apartments, a property that offers guests a relaxed and comfortable experience. It is located near Dunedin’s CBD and Cadbury World, the University of Otago and Dunedin Public Hospital, Dunedin Railway Station and Otago Golf Club, making it ideal for both corporate and leisure travellers.





Roger lives in Australia and Samantha Cavanagh has been the property manager at Quest Dunedin for nine years. Samantha told us: “We pride ourselves on offering guests relaxed comfort and great service, we strive to make their stay as pleasant and homely possible.

Guests can now “feel right at home” in the spacious and comfortable apartments. They can relax on the sofa to watch their favourite show on their favourite SKY TV channel. Samantha added: “The feedback from guests related to the upgrade to SKY TV’s 12 channel digital headend has been very positive. The number one TV related question we get from our guests is about SKY Sports – which sport channels we offer and if we are showing particular events. The upgrade has given us the chance to show a larger range of sports and other entertainment to further provide what our guests require when they stay with us.” ■



BEST WISHES The SKY Business crew extend best wishes to Samantha and the team at Quest Dunedin. We continue to enjoy working alongside her to bring her discerning guests the best in TV entertainment.

Call us today on 0800 759 333 or visit to find out how SKY Business can work for your property. O MM D


Recently, we assessed our entertainment package and decided that we needed to upgrade the channels because we felt the need to move with the times, also our old system was occasionally faulty.”

“The changeover was very smooth and easy” Samantha added “and Todd Marshall from SKY TV made the transition very easy for us.”


2019 marks Quest Dunedin’s 12th operating year, the well-established business has been owned by Roger Gorman since 2012.

There was an extensive range of SKY packages and solutions to choose from that meet all types of guest needs, from the smallest motel to the largest hotels and they were able to pick the perfect fit for their accommodation and their guests: the SKY TV’s 12 channel digital headend.


The perfect accommodation for short or long stays it presents a mix of serviced studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments, all with fully equipped kitchenettes. Also featuring: onsite parking, 24-hour check in, high speed internet, free wifi, LCD TV - all services that satisfy guest’s needs - furthermore the property recently upgraded to the SKY TV’s 12 channel digital headend, (Full HD) in all 42 of their rooms.


Autumn 2019


The Headwaters, Camp Glenorchy

New Zealand’s first net-zero energy accom By Mandy Clarke, Industry Reporter

Paul and Debbi Brainerd are the visionaries behind New Zealand’s first guest accommodation built with the philosophies of the Living Building Challenge, focusing on environmental, financial and community sustainability. Located in Otago’s idyllic Glenorchy, at the end of a beautiful drive along the scenic shores of Lake Wakatipu, the camp is part of The Headwaters. This is a development of environmentally-sustainable



What does net-zero energy mean?

properties and retail services that includes the renovated Mrs Woolly’s General Store and a full range of guest accommodation options. The aim at Camp Glenorchy is to “live in harmony with nature, conserve resources and protect the environment for future generations”. Unique and unforgettable, here guests find a beautiful destination where they are welcomed by the hospitable locals and are offered the comfort of a range of delightfully appointed accommodation options that are also an environmental inspiration, as the first net-zero energy accommodation in NZ.

“Net-zero energy buildings produce as much energy as they use over the course of a year. This means that they draw power from the grid when onsite energy generation isn’t sufficient to meet demand (typically in the evenings and on short winter days). Conversely, they feed energy into the grid when the building’s system is producing more than they need.” Founder Paul is an enthusiastic technology innovator and has incorporated the latest technological, sustainable building systems into Camp Glenorchy. Co-founder Debbi is passionate about beauty


and providing an idyllic guest experience. Together they agree: “Camp Glenorchy is designed to inspire our visitors and guests and is hoping to lead by example in sustainability.” Prior to creating Camp Glenorchy, Debbi and Paul gained experience when they co-founded IslandWood, an environmental learning centre in Bainbridge Island, near Seattle USA. Completed last year, Camp Glenorchy contains seven cabins, four bunk huts and generous community facilities including a lounge, dining room, kitchen, outdoor barbecue area, a fire place, amenities, open lawn and multi-function event spaces.


Cabin veranda, Photo: Sharee South Photography

Debbi and Paul Brainerd

A team of experts from different fields were asked to collaborate on the design, and together they came up with innovative solutions to reduce energy use across the site. Local and international craftspeople and artists have also been involved, leaving their creative touches around the environment, in the window, doors, flooring, wall art and furniture. The resulting buildings are lovely to look at, comfortable and stylish on the inside and work well using a range of energy efficiency measures.

AccomNews asked: What makes the accommodation so efficient? •

The outer shells have 60 percent more insulation than building code requires to retain warmth captured from the sun and generated by efficient heating systems.

The buildings maximise natural light using remarkably bright solar tubes.

The efficient LED lighting throughout is automated.

Ground source heat pumps work together with solar collectors placed on roofs to provide heat and hot water.

Individual systems in each building are connected to control systems that effectively balance conservation and comfort; for example, heating is automatically set to a minimum threshold when guests leave their cabin and then efficiently return it to a comfortable temperature when they return.

Ingeniously, guests can also manage energy use during their stay using the interactive tablets installed in each room.

Paul told us: “With the help of our guests and through efficiencies achieved in design and construction, we aim to reduce energy use by 50 percent compared with similar facilities. This means our energy generation system can be half the size it would need to be if the project was business as usual.” Cabins with views of the Humboldt Mountains, Photo: Julian Apse

Camp Glenorchy’s energy is generated by its extensive solar garden, which is designed to avoid shading their neighbours, allowing equitable access for all to sunlight. This project is certainly not just another beautiful accommodation option in a glorious location; it has a far deeper mission. Debbi and Paul set out to not only achieve net zero energy for themselves but to also inform and educate guests. “We want to demonstrate it can be done and provide resources that change the way our guests think about energy when they return to their homes and communities,” said Debbi.

Dan Kelly-designed Scheelite Campfire Shelter

Furthermore, they are succeeding to educate, inspire and delight their visitors. Managing director Keiran Frost told us: “Our guest response in the first 12 months of operation has been very pleasant. We’ve had so many great reviews left on TripAdvisor as well as other platforms. “The majority of our guests have left Camp Glenorchy thinking about how they can be more sustainable in their everyday lives, which makes us really happy as this is one of our main goals.” ■



Autumn 2019


Are we destined for a robotic hotel workforce? The robotic revolution in the hospitality industry just seems to have taken a step back.

This could involve a machine that roves around the hotel answering guest questions in their native language. It’s hard to deny the perks of such a service.

This January, the famously quirky Henn-Na Hotel in Japan fired half of its 243 robot staff. The robotic workforce reportedly irritated guests and frequently broke down. In addition, the hotel also removed ‘Churi’ a dollshaped artificial intelligence assistant placed in each room. Churi frequently struggled to answer basic guest questions, such as providing the opening times of the nearby theme park. Automation is a hot topic right now, but have the laboursaving merits of a robotic workforce been overstated? In the following post, we’ll explore how hotels may, or may not, choose to balance a team of human and robot employees.

The role of robots in hotels Certain roles in hospitality are already being given to robots. Savioke’s ‘Relay’ robots deliver food and amenities to guest rooms, eliminating a time-consuming human task and (apparently) delighting guests in the process. Relay is already being used by numerous hotel brands, such as Aloft, Crowne Plaza, Hyatt Place, Sheraton and Westin.

Brendon Granger, Managing Director, Technology 4 Hotels

Last year, Las Vegas casino employees threatened to strike in response to increasing levels of automation. As the concerns of robots taking jobs gather momentum, it’s worth putting things into some context.

Are we destined for a robotic hotel workforce? From an economic perspective, replacing humans with robots seems to make sense. A Mckinsey study revealed how over the past 30 years, the average robot price has fallen by half in real terms, while labour costs have more than doubled. Hoteliers seem fearful of a robotic future, and the general sentiment seems to be that they can never replace genuine human interaction.

A 2017 study of robots in hotels in China also found that many hoteliers are not convinced that robots can deliver meaningful costsaving benefits (although hotel guest satisfaction levels with robots was high). Rather than fullscale adoption, the utility of robots surely lies in their capacity to carry out behind-the-scenes labour, such as carrying guest luggage to rooms, cleaning, and low-skilled maintenance. However, there’s reason to believe robots may also assist guest-facing employees. Right now, three US hotels are trialling a new Google Assistant Interpreter Mode that acts as a real-time translator between guests and staff. It’s easy to imagine how translation technology like this will eventually be integrated into a humanoid ‘translation bot’.

As for the near future? It’s more than conceivable that driverless concierge services will replace the human valet, and that robots such as Flippy (the world’s first burger-flipping droid) are deployed in hotel kitchens.

It’s worth remembering that no matter how advanced robotic workers become, the human touch will always be crucial to hospitality. As we’ve seen at the Henn-Na Hotel, robots with technical glitches can quickly wreak havoc, hindering hotel operations and frustrating guests in the process. If technical glitches are overcome and hotels begin installing more robotic workers, will there be mass strikes by human employees? It’s also important to consider customer preferences. If greater automation is an inevitability (which it seems to be), will guests start paying a premium to stay at tech-free hotels boasting ‘humanonly’ interaction?

In the coming years, more and more hotels will find themselves discussing the merits and pitfalls of relying on increasingly sophisticated robot workers. In the world of hospitality where the human touch plays a very important role, it’s more likely that certain tasks will become automated, freeing up hotel staff to provide unforgettable guest experiences. ■

Fears of an automated workforce are being taken seriously. Henn-Na Hotel, robots with technical glitches can quickly wreak havoc


Balancing robots with humans

Finally, if machines are eventually able to display a convincing range of human emotions, would knowing that these emotions were effectively being simulated rather than ‘felt’ make these interactions feel more creepy than engaging? Questions such as these no longer belong to hypothetical debates. The explosion in automation now demands they’re given genuine consideration.

More recently, Chinese ecommerce firm Alibaba unveiled a robot porter of hotels called ‘Space Egg’, which integrates with the company’s AI assistant ‘AliGenie’. Not only can Space Egg take voice commands from guests, it’s able to interpret touch and hand gestures too.


This could involve a machine that roves around the hotel answering guest questions in their native language. It’s hard to deny the perks of such a service.



See the whole picture

with next-generation TVs By Kate Jackson, Editor

In the Smart TV world, technology is moving at break-neck speed. Functionality considered cutting edge even a year ago is becoming defunct as our viewing habits change and evolve. The meteoric rise of streaming technology means consumers have quickly adapted to a personalised viewing and listening experience that embraces what they like and delivers it on demand. Roy Morgan polling shows some two million Kiwis now have access to Netflix, 2018 seeing a 35 percent jump in subscribers from the previous year. Manufacturers have responded by creating new commercial media packages which include built-in streaming adaptors (such as Chromecast) for instant and secure casting, as well as full access to the operating systems and app stores that guests use every day at home. This improved performance, customisation and flexibility ensures hoteliers can provide their guests with the very latest infotainment experience.



The built-in functionality offers a straightforward connection between in-room TVs and any compatible device, with no login or app download required. This allows full access to the content on guests’ own devices, cast onto their hotel room TV, plus access through Google Play Store, for example, to thousands of apps including YouTube and Spotify. A suite of new developments is also providing a quantum leap in connectivity and personalisation

for accommodation management staff. Content, channel and app options can be combined into a home screen - operated by a simple remote control - which can be custom-designed and branded according to the provider’s specifications. Management platforms such as Philips’ CMND allow properties to create content, push it live across all screens and update it with ease. Managers can schedule individually tailored content - such as language


spoken or business function details - to create personalised in-room communications across one or 100 rooms. And they can install, delete and manage apps on individually selected TVs, or across an entire TV network. As Earl Stevens, managing director of LeasePlus, says: “With these systems, hotel managers can deliver customised welcome messages, promotional offers and local attraction information to specific rooms.”


Whether you want to lease just one item or develop a whole business finance strategy, we can help

Lease to improve presentation and appeal Expectations around in-room technology have risen in parallel with increasing tech-savvy guests. Digital distribution systems (the ability to connect devices and share content) and smart TV’s with inbuilt Netflix, Neon or Lightbox are now must-haves, not nice-to-haves. An old tube TV is not enough, with guests expecting an entertainment experience which is better than at home. Leasing enables you to keep up to date with the latest technology and meet increasing customer expectations.

Guestroom upgrades LeasePlus also offer options to give your guestroom a facelift without breaking the bank. Leasing allows property’s to offer their guests new, upgraded and appealing accommodation without a large lump-sum payment. Leasing equipment and upgrades through LeasePlus means that equipment replacement and upgrades are paid for in low monthly payments. There are no large upfront fees on signup, and monthly payments can be operating expense and are fully tax deductable. Leasing protects your property from risk of asset obsolescence

so you can keep up to date with customer expectations. The total cost of a room refit with LeasePlus can be as low as $83 per month, which can have a flow on effect and result in an extra $7,500 income per room per year.

Lease to save capital and smooth cashflow Leasing saves a big upfront cost, working with your cash flow cycle and can free up your valuable capital for investment elsewhere in your business.

Lease to save on tax Leasing makes good tax sense. Repayments are fully deductible operating expense with tax advantages and efficiencies you can discuss with your accountant.

Guestroom upgrades Whether you want to lease just one item, a few or develop a whole business finance strategy with LeasePlus, browse through our extensive product range online and see the possibilities we open to you. Get in touch with one of our knowledgeable consultants about your next project on 0800 800 325



Autumn 2019


With these systems, hotel managers can deliver customised welcome messages, promotional offers and local attraction information to specific rooms.

They even allow accom properties to offer an on-screen customer satisfaction survey for instant guest feedback - in time for any grievances to be addressed before negative reviews appear on TripAdvisor. Analytics provided through the system, meanwhile, provides data which helps properties to customise their advertising and viewing options in differing situations and locations.

Whether they can connect to the system remotely often depends on their IT policies.

damaged TVs out there from guests plugging devices in and roughly taking them out.

“The advantage of being able to connect wherever they are is they can enact marketing opportunities or information bulletins as and when needed.

“The technology coming to market now gives the guest the ability to ‘cast’ their own content from their personal mobile devices, including devices from Apple, Android and PC.

“This allows their go-to-market time to reduce and can bring amazing results in both revenue and customer service.”

Remote management


We asked Greg Bassine, director of Streamvision, to explain more about the advantages of remote management of TVs.

While there are many ways for a guest to BYOC (bring your own content) to a guestroom, the latest are far less cumbersome and damaging than their predecessors.

He said: “Within a connected world, it is important that management teams of accommodation properties have access to key systems which can have a dramatic and immediate effect on their revenue and performance. “Most systems within the hospitality market are built on cloud, or web based and hosted internally. That means a manager of a property can easily access the system through a web browser.



Greg says: “The obvious ones are plugging a USB device into the TV or having a playable device such as Blu Ray player or other device and connecting it to the in-room TV via HDMI. “While these methods are still often used, they are not practical for the guest or property. Guests do not want to carry more devices than they already do, and unfortunately there are a lot of

“There are two accepted practices for this. There is screen mirroring, where a guest’s mobile device screen is replicated onto an in-room TV through various protocols, or the more practical method where a guest can ‘cast’ their content from an app, and this app speaks to the TV to receive the content from the original source. “The guest’s mobile device is simply directing the TV to stream content from the content provider vs. sending it from the guest device to the TV. This allows the guest to use their mobile device whilst still enjoying the content they want to watch.”

Payment plans Whatever your requirements


in terms of screen sizes and numbers, manufacturers allow for a shortage of running capital across hospitality businesses and understand the importance of maintaining a current inventory of TVs. Lease options are offered by the major players which cover installation, maintenance and design options for properties ranging from country town motels to large resort and hotel groups. Options include quarterly payments over set term periods and can be negotiated direct with the company.

Sizes and styling According to Greg, TV sizes and styles change as rapidly as the technology they employ. “The current sizing for TVs in the hospitality market are 32, 40, 49, 55 and 65 inch, but these sizes often change year by year,” he said. “When it comes to design, the trend always seems to be towards smaller bezels, making the screen immersive with its surroundings.” ■


How cloud can transform the accommodation industry Now that the first wave of disruption from alternative accommodation providers has subsided, business leaders in the accommodation industry must take a fresh look at their businesses and develop ways to compete more creatively. For some, this could mean providing more individualised services that make guests feel like VIPs while, for others, it could mean implementing technology that lets guests check in and check out without ever coming face to face with a staff member. The accommodation sector continues to become more competitive with new market entrants, as well as the ability to provide personalised, technology-driven services that make accommodation providers stand out from the crowd. Business leaders need to free up time to innovate strategically, rather than focus incessantly on the numbers. The possibilities are broadening and accommodation providers need to understand which opportunities are right for them. Without careful, strategic planning, accommodation providers could find that, in their quest to be more competitive, costs have spiralled out of control and basic compliance tasks are time consuming and error prone.

A recent global survey of finance executives, titled How Finance Leadership Pays Off, revealed cloud-based applications as critical, or very important, to the finance function’s successful performance. Some participants even agreed that cloud technology can offer a significant competitive advantage if leveraged appropriately.(2) Matthew Goss, Managing Director, ANZ SAP Concur

single, scalable system from which to manage every aspect of their business, saving time and increasing productivity as the automated nature of cloud-based processes helps businesses do more in less time. It can automate reservations, emails, inventory updates, payments, and even housekeeping. The flexibility of the cloud also means businesses can operate their property management system from anywhere. With the burden of managing costs and compliance often falling to an organisation’s finance team, finance is one of the first functions to benefit from moving to the cloud. Embracing emerging technologies is key to more efficient financial management and business operations in the accommodation sector.

Cloud-based approaches can reduce the need for manual processes, freeing up time and resources for accommodation providers to: focus on core activities such as forecasting cash flow more accurately; increase working capital; gain deeper visibility into finances; integrate data into systems that are easy to use and intuitive; analyse data; and enhance productivity, improving consumer experiences as a result. By handing off previouslymanual processes to cloudbased, automated systems, accommodation providers are freed up to be more strategic in helping them remain relevant and position themselves for success. Some of the key cloud technologies accommodation providers should consider include: •

automated expense management solutions that build in compliance requirements so employees have no other option

enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems that deliver enterprise-grade functionality at a pay-asyou-go rate and availability to employees regardless of their location

infrastructure-as-aservice (IaaS), which lets businesses turn over the burden and cost of maintaining hardware and infrastructure, and simply deploy workloads and applications in the cloud

software-as-a-service (SaaS), which eliminates the time and cost involved in rolling out software solutions to the organisation, and lets users access systems via the internet wherever they are.

From a data security perspective, the cloud services available on the market today are comparatively more secure as compared to in-house infrastructure. Most cloud service providers constantly update their infrastructure to fight the latest security threats. Performing a similar level of upgrades to security would require a company to invest heavily in IT professionals, distracting from the organisation’s core activities. While each accommodation provider has unique needs, it’s no accident that more businesses are turning to the cloud for business IT requirements. It saves money, increases agility, and helps contribute to the organisation’s strategic direction in a meaningful way. ■

Transitioning to cloud-based infrastructure saves money in terms of on-premise hardware costs, the need for related skills, and the need for physical space to store the infrastructure. The worldwide public cloud services market is projected to grow by 17.3 percent in 2019 to total US$206.2 billion, up from US$175.8 billion in 2018, according to Gartner.(1)


Cloud-based accommodation management systems give accommodation providers a GET YOUR FREE TICKET @ NOVACANCY.COM.AU WITH CODE: ACCOMNZMAY

but to comply with spending policies and approval timelines


1. newsroom/press-releases/201809-12-gartner-forecastsworldwide-public-cloud-revenueto-grow-17-percent-in-2019

2. sites/default/files/effective_ spending_management_ boosts_performance_oxford_ economics_2017.pdf

Autumn 2019


Thomson’s Distillery amenities range from Healthpak

How to use amenities to tell your story By Kate Jackson, Editor

Matching guestroom amenities to your property can have a surprisingly profound impact. As a former boutique property owner, I witnessed guests literally salivating over the handmade scented soaps in our country cottages (each bar did contain real honeycomb).

makes it special, what makes it different, what makes it enticing. And, of course, what makes it memorable. There is an art to matching amenities to your brand, location and clientele demographic. Which is why we asked Jimi Kennedy-Grant, sales and marketing general manager at Healthpak, Reuben Beatson, business development director

Luxury amenities: What are the latest trends and brands?

overall guest experience. They may be understated in comparison to the size of a pool, ocean-view decks or a well-renowned in-house chef, but they are also used by everyone who visits and will last long in the memory if thought through properly.

Jimi says: We all know that guest hair and body care products have a disproportionate impact on

Guest expectations can be exceeded at all calibre of accommodation by choosing wisely.

at Astro Hospitality, and Brent Foster, general manager of The Starline Group, about how to tell a property’s story through its little bathroom extras.

Many asked where they could buy them and would leave clutching freebies in their grateful hands on checkout. For our clientele, it was a heady reminder of their escape to nature and a prompt to make them want to return. Four years after selling the business, and thousands of miles away, that one bathroom amenity evokes memories of our rural idyll far more powerfully for me than any picture. Of course, handmade honeycomb soap might smell sweet in a country cottage but be entirely on the nose in a sleek inner-city hotel or alpine ski chalet. Being able to choose the product ‘match’ for your accom is not as easy as it sounds. You have to really know your property; what



The Prija amenities range from The Starline Group



The Toi range from The Starline Group

Local and international visitors want an authentic, relevant New Zealand experience, and what better way to do this than these little shampoo and soaps that guests hold in such high regard? Luxury accommodation needs luxury formulations. They need relevant, local botanical ingredients and stylish sustainable packaging. Serving size is important, but more so is the size of the range on offer. Facial cleansers, body scrubs and bath salts are all the little extras that high-end guests just love. In fact, it’s the unexpected extras that make the biggest impact on guests. Avocado seed body scrub is the best example of this, guests simply love it! Reuben says: Toiletries are a pivotal point of the guest experience, especially in the luxury segment of the market. We are seeing strong



brand alignments of hotels with global luxury retail brands that the discerning traveller will be familiar with. Guests are becoming increasingly aware and discerning about the product they are using on their skin. There is no better way to gain and retain your guest’s trust than to provide them a range of beautiful toiletries with a luxury brand that they can trust, some examples of these are BVLGARI or Aqua Di Parma. Brent says: We’re seeing a marked trend away from retail brands and globally recognised labels to truly authentic, locally themed and locally designed and crafted amenities. This is what “luxury” is really. No one could deny that a guest is more likely to remember, and indeed return for, a guest amenity product of high quality that tells a local story and engages, than merely a brand.

With the topic of luxury comes the discussion around dispensers. Are dispensers considered ‘luxury’ by guests, or the opposite? The answer is, they can be either. At Starline we are very particular about the type of dispensers we bring to market and where the product is made. We see too many dispensers that make some headway initially due to clever marketing, only to become the bane of hospitality operators within three years. Why? Poor supply chain, high maintenance, inconsistent formulations, hygiene issues and overall lower guest satisfaction. Our cartridge and refillable dispensers are sourced from Europe or made in New Zealand and undergo rigorous stability and practical testing for 12-18 months before bringing to market. Also of great importance is the contents, how many accommodation providers are


cognisant with the ingredients listing on their dispensers and what they mean?

Budget: Is it possible to create eco-friendly and luxe on a budget? Jimi says: Budget accommodation doesn’t need to be cheap and nasty. Budget is about meeting guest financial requirements but still providing hospitality. Consequently, products like conditioning shampoo can provide a guest with a great locally-made experience for half the price of separate shampoo and conditioner. Likewise, you can have some of the extras that guests might need, like shower caps, etc just have them on request. Brent says: If it really is ecofriendly and luxe, then no. And believe me, with the access to information everyone has these days, you can’t hide if you’re


Jimi offers a different take on custom branding. He says: Custom-branded amenities have evolved so far from the days of ‘insert hotel name’ shampoo. We work with our clients to develop them their own brands.

making false claims! Go green, sure! But ensure it’s authentic. Reuben says: Often hotels look at amenities as a cost to running a hotel. However, it is important to look at bathroom amenities as an investment into your guest’s journey and a tool to provide an insight in to the story and brand of your hotel.

This can be a change in the design of the packaging using one of our existing formulations to being a full bespoke formulation including their very own essential oil blend.

It is a known fact that the toiletries in the bathrooms are one of the key factors of an enjoyable stay, especially with the female guests. While it is possible to create eco-friendly and luxe through dispenser systems in a luxury spa brand it is harder to do this on a low budget as with low cost product there is often a compromise somewhere in the formulations.

Acqua Di Parma from Astro Hospitality

Custom-branded amenities: Are these on trend and do they say ‘quality’, or do guests prefer an amenity brand?

don’t speak quality. We’ve seen a move away from this in recent years and I think the reason should be obvious. Your guest doesn’t stay with you to collect souvenirs. They’ve come because your hotel or motel best serves their interests, their status, their location, their gender, their ambitions. Provide amenities which connect with that.

Brent says: Short answer is no, custom-branded amenities

Reuben says: We are consistently seeing hotels


moving away from their own hotel logo being put on the toiletry products. There is a shift to a brand that helps to tell the story of the hotel, and a range that their guests can trust. Guest often look at hotel branded amenities as another opportunity for the hotel to get their logo in front of them as a marketing tool as opposed to providing them with a beautiful brand that will create an amazing experience for them.


In terms of relevance, a locally-made product containing local botanical ingredients is so much more relevant than a ‘brand’ from overseas that, many times, a guest has never heard of. An example of a bespoke solution is the Thomson’s Distillery developed for Rydges Hotels and Resorts. The range is based on locally grown botanical ingredients that are steam distilled into essential oils and includes retail size products for sale, or VIP gift s. ■

Autumn 2019


Helping guests sleep easy

By Kate Jackson, Editor

Accom beds have always set the standard when it comes to sleep comfort. OK, not the flea-bitten kind you’d find on an eighties road trip, but the cloud-like oases that define a luxury hotel stay. These days, hotel beds are so craved by a generation with more disposable income than their parents that people are now buying top quality mattresses for their own homes. With consumers stepping up their domestic sleeping game, it’s ever more vital that commercial accommodation can create a sleep experience which delivers on comfort and wellbeing. According to Peter Deveny, group manager commercial for AH Beard, the trick is to buy local. “We are fortunate enough to have a number of manufacturers in this region who lead the world in terms of both quality and innovation,” he said. “Similarly, our foam manufacturing techniques and practices are some of the most advanced and ecologically sound on a global scale. Materials sourced from countries outside Australasia often don’t have the same stringent controls around



is to have the right amount of ventilation and breathability.

Good manufacturers use the right materials in the right place to make sure that your guest will get the benefit of great comfort, but also a healthier sleep… the addition of chemicals and other elements that are harmful to our health and in some cases are known carcinogens. “Aside from the health and environmental concerns, the durability and long-term performance of foreign-made foams is often not as good as our local product, so not only could you be potentially exposing your guest to unhealthy beds, they will not last as a long as a locally made product. “Make sure that all of the foams and fabrics are treated to resist mould, mildew, dust mites and other irritants that can aggravate conditions like asthma. “Again, always ensure that these treatments are recognised and approved for use here in Australasia. Look for endorsements by bodies such as local asthma foundations

or similar and if you are in doubt, ask your supplier to provide certification from a local testing body to verify that what you are buying is exactly what it should be.” Asked about the benefits of latest mattress technology, Peter said: “Good quality mattresses are now designed and manufactured to make the most of the advanced comfort materials that are now available, so look for materials like Latex, in particular, which offers incredible comfort and durability, particularly when combined with an advanced spring system. “A quick glance at any bedding showroom will tell you that mattresses have got much thicker over the past ten years or so, this makes the choice and construction of raw materials critical if the mattress


“Good manufacturers use the right materials in the right place to make sure that your guest will get the benefit of great comfort, but also a healthier sleep as the right ventilation helps to prevent the build-up of allergens that can aggravate respiratory conditions and just make you too hot to get a good night’s rest.” Class-leading pocket coil spring technology is, says Peter, remarkably affordable. “Pocket coil is widely regarded as the premier spring technology of the bedding industry and almost all of the world’s leading hotel chains, such as Hilton, IHG and Marriott, specify pocket coil support systems within their brand standards,” he said. Of course, a hospitality bed faces some unique challenges: It needs to withstand the ravages of trampolining children and still retain the ability to support an eighteen stone All Blacks forward. When it comes to warranty, quality manufacturers will offer up to ten years, depending on product, on their commercial mattresses. ■


Proudly family owned since 1899, A.H. Beard has helped generations of Australians and New Zealander’s get a better night’s sleep for 120 years. Drawing on five generations of bed making experience, A.H. Beard has been pioneering innovative sleep solutions and know the engineering that goes into every King Koil mattress is second to none. Ensuring you get a great night’s sleep, night after night.

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By Kate Jackson, Editor

Strange as it seems in our world of speedy advancement and techy disruption, a cleaning tool championed for almost two centuries is making a comeback. Industrial advances and a growing demand for ‘green’ cleaning have ushered in a new age of steam. Latest technology has seen the humble steam cleaner transformed through enhanced water and energy consumption, and increased reliability and efficiency, into an integral part of accom managers’ toolkits. Using relatively small amounts of cold, clean tap water, the modern steam cleaner creates a lowmoisture vapour in its internal boiler. The vapour particles of this fine mist are smaller, and therefore dryer, than those of steam. Superheated dry steam not only dissolves grease and grime, it sanitises surfaces - in contrast to mopping, which tends to spread bacteria and leave the floor wet, risking falls. At these temperatures, the residual moisture left after steam cleaning rapidly evaporates.

textures of a surface or leaving residues or stains. Most traditional cleaning methods use water and detergents, which ensure the surface smells fresh and clean. However, bacteria left behind may accumulate rapidly under the still slightly moist surface. The deep cleaning effect of steam ensures that bacteria and other micro-organisms are destroyed, even in the pores of the contaminated surface. Any minimal residue left behind can be removed by the use of microfibre or vacuuming. Food preparation areas, including stainless steel worktops, grills, ovens and even fridges and freezers can be cleaned and sanitised in one step, which can save significant amounts of staff time. All of which means modern dry steam cleaning machines offer a cost-effective and versatile option for deep cleaning - and one that is also user-friendly and kinder to the environment. As a result, steam cleaning is undergoing a resurgence as an ecological cleaning method.

Industry view: Grant Lewis, director of Steamtech Systems, shared his insights on latest options for steam cleaning. By using a dry steam system, you can use one method of cleaning and sanitizing requiring no chemicals. That will save time and money, and by not using any chemicals, you can make another saving: The business can also claim to be more sustainable and environmentally aware. Many customers may have allergies or adverse reactions to harsh chemicals. They also like to protect their children from coming into contact with cleaning chemicals.

Bathrooms Using a good steam machine, you can clean and sanitize toilets and bathrooms. It will kill any mould in grouting and other hard-to-get-at areas. There is no need for a host of different chemicals, just steam and some microfibre cloths, which can be washed and re-used. Most machines will come with a range of attachments to clean tiled floors, walls, toilets and even mirrors.

Bed bugs are a problem for any accommodation provider. They can be killed with pesticides and through fumigation. These, however, are sometimes not pleasant substances to be around and can cause downtime issues if a room or facility cannot be used for hours and /or days after treatment. Steam is a method of controlling bed bugs which does not require chemicals. The bed bugs and their eggs will die at temperatures of between 47 and 50 degrees Celsius. By using a steam machine, the mattress and base can be steamed and vacuumed and left for an hour to air before re-using. The steam machine delivers steam with only ten percent moisture, so the surface is never wet.

Floors and furnishings

It’s important to rid your premises of dust mites as these are another cause of allergies and respiratory problems. Steam is delivered to furnishings and deep in the carpet at a temperature that will kill dust mites, which die at a temperature of 55 degrees Celsius. This will leave the carpets and fabrics

As well as cleaning, steam machines removing stains and banish smells by killing odourcausing bacteria and dust mites. This holds true for food and drink spills, vomit and urine. And it achieves results without changing the original colours or AccomNews

Bed bugs

Steam cleaning machines also come with attachments which allow operators to steam and vacuum floor coverings and soft furnishings such as sofas, blinds and cushions.

Versatility is an important factor for accommodation. Steam cleaners can tackle both indoor and outdoor applications, cleaning small cracks and driving dirt from crevices that other cleaning devices cannot reach, including tiling grout.


The dry steam machine will create steam in the boiler at temperatures between 150 to 178 degrees Celsius and will deliver steam at the gun tip at 110 degrees Celsius. Most bacteria will die at a temperature of 72 degrees Celsius.

clean, fresh and hygienic. ■ HOUSEKEEPING


Meet Annalise,

housekeeper extraordinaire By Mandy Clarke, Industry Reporter

Annalise Stewart is the executive housekeeper of the InterContinental Wellington Hotel and the winner of the 2018 New Zealand hotel industry (supported by Vendella) Housekeeper of the Year Award. Only employees who possess very special qualities win this award. AccomNews caught up with Annalise to share

her story with our readers and ask what it’s like to be an award recipient and gain such wonderful industry recognition... Confident, warm and energetic Annalise grew up in New Plymouth playing volleyball, piano and violin, so you might presume a career in sports or music would be the path she chose. But her love of travel triggered an interest in the hospitality industry. This led to study at AUT and the completion of a degree in international hospitality management and business.

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Autumn 2019


She explained: “During this time, I worked in restaurants which I thoroughly enjoyed but at the end of my four years of study we had to complete a placement and I had my heart and mind set on the InterContinental Hotels Group.” She worked at the Holiday Inn Auckland Airport as a guest service agent and was accepted into the “Future Leader Program” where she rotated around the departments of various hotels, learning how to both manage and lead people. At the end of her program she worked with the executive housekeeper at the Crowne Plaza Auckland and during this placement she decided to become a housekeeper. Annalise revealed: “A few months later I accepted my first official head of department role at the InterContinental Wellington. Here, during my first year I learnt more than I could have imagined with the growth of the housekeeping team from around 40 staff to 60, due to a surge in demand for hotel rooms in Wellington. Uniquely, we also manage an internal laundry (most hotels outsource) and this means we procure and purchase linen and towelling - no small feat for a five-star hotel with 236 rooms! “In my second year I recognised that a change to structure was needed and employed an assistant manager which allowed me to fulfil my passion for developing leaders and inspired me to implement a team leader development program within the department. This program has achieved great success and we now have four team leaders rotating and learning about housekeeping. There has been internal promotion from this program.”

Annalise is a passionate and driven leader but how does she inspire others? “I have high standards and do my best to lead by example, whether cleaning a room or meeting targets. I enjoy project work and love to champion change to keep up with the demands and needs of the hospitality industry. I am innovative, I try to think differently, I celebrate wins and results with the team.” In 2018 Annalise was nominated and won the Housekeeper



of the Year Award which she describes as “a very proud and humbling moment”.

How did it feel to be so recognised in your industry? “It was an absolute honour and a privilege to be nominated and win. However, as much effort as I put into my work it is a team effort and my success would not have been possible without the amazing leadership team and department alongside me.”

How has the award changed you? “I don’t think the award has changed me, it has inspired me to continue my way of working and to be confident in my leadership style and way of driving results. I have since been given the responsibility of the Spa Intercontinental and Emerge Health Club in addition to housekeeping. “I look forward to continuing my learning with the InterContinental Hotel Group and moving towards my goal of becoming a general manager. I am also studying for my masters in business to continue my passion for personal development and growth.” AccomNews often describes housekeeping as the core of any accommodation, and Annalise agrees. “It as the backbone of the hotel and the people in this department are proud of their work and find joy in producing ‘true hospitality’ experiences for our guests and I am driven to show people how rewarding a career in housekeeping can be.”

What inspires you? “My team inspires me, we have a range of cultures, ages and backgrounds in housekeeping and we truly are one big family. We have a mix of locals who have worked with us for over 25 years, plus university students and travellers and we all enjoy learning about each other. Working hard together and then being able to laugh together means that housekeeping is more than a job, it is a family.” Annalise is also a member of RISE (IHG’s mentoring initiative for women who aspire to be general managers) this program is dear to her. She explained: “I have a sponsor and a mentor that I talk to about leadership and all the other areas of business and work-life balance. As a part of RISE I also run a ‘lean in’ circle for female leaders where we discuss key topics and support each other in our individual journeys.”

What has been your biggest achievement so far? “Developing leaders and seeing them find their passions at work and of course winning the Housekeeper of the Year award.”

What do you enjoy most? “The people and the scope for creativity if you manage your finances well. By effectively managing our finances we have been able to have some great collaborations with Starline who designed the personalised amenity trays for our rooms, and we’ve been able to collaborate with Ashley & Co who created a boutique bath salt exclusively for


us. We also designed a relaxing towelette for our turndown service with Thomsons Distillery, the towelette allows our guests to fall asleep to the smells of lavender and marjoram. “Being a luxury establishment, we care about our guests’ personalised needs. We make a point of remembering the small details to ensure every guest’s stay is effortlessly tailored just the way they like it, from their coffee order, to their pillow preference.”

What are your thoughts on the future of the industry? “It is booming, and we need passionate leaders who are ready to get involved with the day-to-day tasks and take time to strategically analyse and make changes to adapt to the market’s emerging trends.”

Annalise’s views on leadership… “Leadership is by example, leadership is a counsel and a support, leadership provides the path, encourages the journey and celebrates the outcome. “Leadership to me is the fun part, the part where a culture and way of working can join the path of change for constant betterment of business and self.

Annalise’s tips for success in housekeeping... Grit, you must have grit. Grit will allow you to celebrate the positives because you have been strong enough to get through the challenges and obstacles. Take time for you. ■


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Creating a world-class hotel By Vee Kessner, Director, Space Studio

closely with the procurement team ensures the design is realized in its fullness. Often the design process reveals a need to rationalise budgets and reallocate budgets to different areas. Our procurement team gives us that capability. The team has an innate understanding of design, and executes so it is delivered in line with the original concept.

It’s been a stellar 12 months for specialist interior design studio Space Studio with the completion of a number of high-profile projects around the world - including the opening of Six Senses Fiji, SO/ Auckland, and the naming of the Grand Windsor as the World’s Best New Hotel. So what does Space Studio’s Vee Kessner believe it takes to create a world-class hotel?

Stay fresh To create unique guest experiences, it is vital to constantly research and investigate the changing needs and desires of travellers. By continuing to push the boundaries of the design response and the boundaries of the brand standards, the design response refines. One must also have clarity of design narrative. This allows the design to develop and coherently permeate the entire design.

Communication It’s incredibly important to work closely with the operator to make sure that the product you create can withstand the test of time and the challenges that




come with the demands of a constant flow of guests through the building. Operators have great insights into their clientele and how the building needs to respond. As designers, we must support that at all levels - not just from the planning point of view, but durability and fit-for-purpose specification.

Be passionate It can take more than three years to complete a hotel project and throughout this time period one must remain passionate for the job at hand. By remaining open to new ideas, changing needs and developing technologies one can respond appropriately. I’m always seeking to understand new design aspects; I’m always reading; I travel a lot and seek out different places. I do the research to find new, exciting, varied spaces to experience.

Get the basics right Hotels should be intuitively comfortable and easy to use for guests while remaining interesting and unique. While it may be desirable to incorporate and respond to new trends such as ‘wellness’ and developing technologies, the basic principles of hotel design must not be compromised - comfort, ease of navigation and ease of use, and the ability to intuitively operate the room one occupies.

People Assemble a team of designers that is passionate about design in this sector and bring a range of skills, experience and age. Specialisation allows us to explore and understand new trends and new developments, so there’s a huge amount of IP sitting in the studio. Working


Simply creating a beautiful room is not enough anymore – there needs to be a deeper connection for guests and this is increasingly being done through a design narrative executed through artifacts, artwork or a compelling story. In the past you might have seen black and white photos of the city on the wall - that has now developed into a much deeper story which is often not executed literally. It needs to have some thought and creativity behind it. As an example, when we began work on SO/ Auckland five years ago, we came across a French film about the birth of an island from a volcano which was incredibly relevant to the history and location of the building. This had a major influence on our design narrative with each room having one of three different volcano-related themes. We were also influenced by the building’s history as the Reserve Bank with the use of different metals throughout the building.


Inspired design delivered

Inside story:

the design trends of 2019

A wave of colour and individuality is sweeping through the world of accom design, washing away any vestiges of bland and uniform. Properties from luxury hotels to indy guesthouses are combining quirky touches and a renaissance in colour with a focus on all things natural and health-giving. The concept of ‘slow life’ - living more consciously, saving space, and giving priority to timeless, sustainable materials - is translating from homes to hotels and driving the trend towards the careful curation of individual pieces. And as work spaces become increasingly flexible thanks to roll-up walls, reconfigurable furniture and power outlets built into floors, designers are focussing more than they have ever done on the appeal of accom’s collaborative spaces.

Photo: James Dunlop - Platinum Guard Collection

relaxed visual aesthetic. Crisp white bedding continues to be an on-trend look, providing a fresh and clean feel and setting the tone for almost any decorating style. Keeping things simple with white bedding forms a foundation for the introduction of other colours, different textures or subtle pattern around the room. Wardrobes, mirrors and bedside tables remain essentials within a hotel room with additional seating and a residential-style kitchenette complete with a coffee machine providing ‘home away from home’ functionality and comfort.

How do statement furniture/artwork pieces help create an ambience in lobbies and public spaces? Anita Reid

Anita Reid, senior interior designer at Admire Commercial, says the industry is gravitating towards a design scheme which “caters for the target market whilst offering a cohesive style with personal flair”. We asked her to guide readers through accom styling in 2019, and to explain how an interior designer can help achieve the optimum balance between style and practicality.

What are the latest design trends for accommodation properties? Comfortable and welcoming bedrooms that capture the essence of a move towards a more



Custom furniture within a lobby space offers an opportunity to merge functionality with personality. Choice of design has a strong influence within an increasingly more flexible and social space. Statement furniture pieces can provide an opportunity to create a strong and lasting impression, becoming part of the design style and signifying the brand. The use of booth seating establishes natural barriers within a large space with the ability to create a customised design through selection of fabrics, finishes and features. The ongoing popularity of art work for wall decor in the form of abstract pieces continue to provide an opportunity to inspire

guests whilst complementing the overall design scheme of the lobby. As an alternative to artwork and other art pieces, wallpaper is constantly evolving to be more decorative and bold. From 3D style effects through to one-of-a-kind wall mural designs, these choices create a striking visual statement.

What are the leading colour palette choices for 2019? A key trend of materials inspired by nature such as wood and stone continues. A move towards a warmer tonal colour palette that encourages a relaxed ambiance is in-keeping with this reconnection with nature. With a focus on the guest experience, mixing neutrals with more intense colours creates engaging results. Layered tones of blue, shades of green alongside bursts of mustard yellow, vibrant corals and calmer peachy pinks.

When it comes to soft furnishings, what artwork, fabrics and window treatments best suit different areas? The hotel bedroom is for relaxation and artwork in the same range of colours or complementary tones to the existing colour palette will reflect this. Choices that represent the brand’s personality will give some consistency to this message. An ongoing preference for fabrics that offer a tactile experience, such as luxurious velvet, textured woven fabrics and faux leathers, all have a place within a commercial


setting, offering comfort and softness. With a forever expanding range of innovative designs and quality products there is something suitable for any application on offer. Giving careful consideration to functional requirements is a determining factor underpinning curtain and blind selection. Whether it be a textural sheer to allow for control of natural light and privacy, or an elegantly draped heavier fabric, the importance of window treatments that provide light blocking qualities within bedroom spaces is of key importance.

How can an interior designer assist with design layout, colours, materials and incorporating existing fixtures and furnishings? A practiced interior designer can design a space that is practical as well visually pleasing. Depending on the scope of the project, the assistance they provide ranges from developing detailed designs though to material choices for furnishings, curtains, wallpaper and lighting. With an up-to-date knowledge of new trends and products, an experienced interior designer is well placed within the industry to devise aesthetic and functional solutions for commercial design and fit-out that are sensitive to the building’s context and environment. ■


Great untapped opportunity? By Kate Jackson, Editor

Accessible travel is “perhaps the industry’s greatest untapped opportunity” according to Yet the accommodation industry has so far abjectly failed to rise to the challenge of making properties accessible to everyone. Tim Knowles, sales manager of Pressalit for Australia and New Zealand, says: “I think the biggest obstacle for people with a disability when we think about hotels, is a lack of choice. “Most new New Zealand hotels and the architects that design them, as well as the operators that run them, stick to a very old script that hasn’t changed in decades. “In Europe for example, many new hotels are pretty creative in the options they give people with a disability, which in turn makes that more attractive over their competitors.” In New Zealand, 24 percent of our population - that’s 1.1 million Kiwis - have a disability, with the top three issues being mobility impairment, hearing impairment and agility impairment. Globally there are over 600 million people with disabilities - that’s ten percent of the entire human race. As our population continues to age, catering for guests with disabilities will become ever more important not just for humanity’s wellbeing, but for the health of our businesses. As Bill Forrester from Travelability says: “Accessible tourism is no longer about building ramps and accessible bathrooms. It is about building products and services for a large and rapidly growing market. “This is no longer a niche, but rather, a segment that is approaching 25 percent of the total tourism spend.”

important to get the marketing right. Accessibility travellers do a vast amount of research online and properties need to provide detailed, easy-to-find information. Details such as door widths (ideally 80cm externally and 75cm internally), audio announcements, signage options, bed height and side space, under-desk clearance, level or ramped accesses, bathrooms fittings, and handle, switch and rail heights all count. Customer service training also matters - being disability aware with the right attitude and confidence to serve all customers helps remove barriers and can make the guest experience far smoother for disabled clientele. Accessibility training courses by specialist providers are a good place to start on this.

hotels which have deviated from the chapter and verse stipulations of the regulatory AS1428.1 safety standard, while retaining its legitimate requirements.

Provide seating close to reception or fast track people who can’t stand for long.

Provide a clipboard and large diameter pen for people checking in.

Be prepared to write down information or complete forms on people’s behalf. Provide a magnifying glass for people with a vision impairment.

“If you apply modern-day thinking, where much of what we interact with is adaptable and delivers an element of choice, then you are on the road to what an enlightened accessible ensuite bathroom consists of,” Knowles says.

If you can’t lower the reception desk/table, offer to check in guests in common areas, bedrooms or from their car.

“The bathroom can be quickly modified in a matter of minutes to remove fixtures that often give little practical advantage to able-bodied guests.”

Welcome visitors who use assistance dogs (this is required by law).

Restaurants and bars

Use contrasting colours for door frames, skirting boards and edges of steps throughout the property. Provide clear signage with large text and high contrast throughout.

Bathrooms When it comes to bathrooms, Tim Knowles advocates a fresh approach which puts flexibility and design at its core. He points to a growing number of

Checking in Step-free access, either level or ramped, and/or lift access to the main entrance are major advantages for most accessibility guests. The following considerations are also important when welcoming check ins: •

The right approach When looking to create an accessible environment for guests, physical facilities are just one part of the puzzle. It’s also

people using the intercom. Provide a mobile number for people who are deaf, hearing impaired or have a communication disability.

Make sure entrance and reception areas are clearly marked and well lit. Is someone always on hand to meet, greet and show people around? Provide clear instructions for



“Fixtures like grab rails and shower seats can be added or removed, adjusted in height and their location in a disabled bathroom.

Adapting social spaces for accessible travellers is about common sense, easy fixes. Use pictogram signs, for example a knife and fork and a clock face showing meal times, to assist people with low literacy levels; and either read out or download menus onto an audio player for the sight-impaired. Contrasting colours avoid the spectre of white crockery, white linen and clear glasses on a table setting (this also applies to coloured towels in white bathrooms). And providing quieter, low background noise areas and well-lit area options, while being happy to move tables around and provide seats with or without arms, all help accommodate guests’ needs.

Bedrooms When replacing old furniture, choose freestanding moveable pieces which can be easily repositioned for better room circulation. And make additional visual and hearing aids available - such as large clock faces, talking alarm clocks, portable hearing loops and captioned TVs. ■ Autumn 2019


Safe, secure, seamless:

Does door lock technology deliver?

By Kate Jackson, Editor

Keeping up with customer demands for a seamless accom experience is a constant challenge, particularly when it comes to door locks. The days of the metal key are truly numbered, despite it having prevailed for more than two thousand years. The technology surrounding keys and keycards is rapidly evolving, with manufacturers constantly improving the performance of their digital offering and striving to develop solutions tailored to the desires of customers and operators. Aside from keeping up with demands for speedy and hassle-free access, though, latest technology must deliver on the age-old basics of safety and reliability. After all, the humble and utilitarian door lock not only provides physical security for belongings and people but creates emotional reassurance - and can help create a sense of belonging - for those who may be outside of their comfort zone and a long way from home. AccomNews looked at latest door lock technology to see if it fulfils the requirements of a quality lock while making life easier for operators and guests.

Bluetooth low energy (BLE) BLE is a technology that prevents the large consumption of power that typically takes place during wireless communication between devices. From issuing and delivering digital key information to a guest’s device, to a guest presenting their device to a lock reader in order to gain access, BLE ensures minimal power consumption by transmitting minimal amounts of data at low speeds and by keeping radio transmission in a powered-down mode the majority of the time. This allows hoteliers to provide guests with conveniences such as going directly to their rooms without the need to check in at the front desk, and importantly without having




The advantage of using contactless technology is reliability of hardware. There are no card insert slots to be cleaned which can gather dust or be tampered with.

to make any sacrifice to the life of their device batteries. The security of such checkin systems has been called into question, with mobile access understandably seen by some as susceptible to data theft . But latest mobile access solutions include a series of built in safeguards designed to eliminate the possibility of hacking. They ensure data is first encrypted using the industry’s latest protocols, and then transmitted to guest devices using a secure communications channel. Once received by a device, the data is then stored within a secure vault located on a hotel’s app. A secure channel is again used to deliver encrypted digital key information from a guest’s device to the appropriate door lock once in proximity.

Near-field communication (NFC) and radio frequency identification (RFID) NFC and RFID door lock technology are contactless keycard options popular with accom operators. They also include advanced encryption technology that eliminates the risk of unauthorised keycard cloning,and they can be remotely deactivated should one become lost or stolen.


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We asked Jan Strijker of Brantas International Technology to explain the benefits of the systems. He said: “The advantage of using contactless technology is reliability of hardware. There are no card insert slots to be cleaned which can gather dust or be tampered with. “Also, contactless means that hotels can use cards, phones, tags, stickers, wristbands, even memorabilia as ‘key cards’ for guests and staff.” Another benefit of NFC and RFID is the ability to serve as a multifunction technology. For example, hotels can provide guests with a single key that can provide access to multiple areas in addition to guestrooms, such as gyms or swimming pool areas. When linked to a guest’s profile within a hotel’s property management system, RFID keys can also be used as a form of on-site payment, allowing guests to leave wallets behind in guestrooms while



NFC and RFID keycards provide hotels and their guests with advanced encryption technology that eliminates the risk of unauthorised keycard cloning. enhancing the potential for additional hotel revenue.

kiosk or a personal experience by checking in at a desk.

Different systems for different properties?

“Key is that if a door lock purchase decision is made, that the product of choice does support BLE. A hotel may not wish to make use of BLE, but this may change during the lifecycle of the system purchased today.

We asked Jan if latest technology was always the best option, regardless of property style. He said: “Self check-in and mobile check-in is being offered more and more and it’s often still a matter of choice by the traveller whether they wish to use a

“A supplier should be able to confirm that an upgrade to their solution can be done relatively easily and cost effectively, thus safeguarding


the investment made today. “Also, compatibility of the door lock solution of choice with third party solutions such as energy management, work flow management, kiosks and mobile apps is essential. “We offer our locks within an optional network environment which means locks can be monitored and managed centrally. Reports on battery performance, as well as alarms on doors left ajar and potential intruders, as well as central cancellation of lost cards, increase the efficiency and security of a hotel.”

Magnetic stripe cards Asked if there is still a place for magnetic stripe cards or whether they are becoming defunct, Jan said: “Mag card technology is being phased out at a rapid pace. “Mag card locks are no longer being manufactured and in fact most manufacturers have announced the end of support of hardware and soft ware happening in the near future.” ■


Accident prone:

Why accom needs first aid By Kate Jackson, Editor

Injuries happen without warning in every workplace - but particularly ours. Accommodation and food services has an unenviable reputation for workplace incidents which see it sitting just behind mining for numbers of injury claims made in 2017. OK, so we’re not deep-sea trawling or ice trucking in Alaska, but latest figures from Stats NZ show the sector records 91 claims per every 1000 full-time employees. Injuries such as sprains and strains account for the majority incidents. Burns are also commonplace, due to numerous factors including hazardous chemicals, boiling liquids, stress and fatigue. Other risk factors include lacerations and amputations from machinery and equipment, electric shocks (when vacuuming wet carpets or cleaning ovens, for example) and violence and aggression due to drugs. While everyone from industry leaders to union reps to the community has a part to play in reducing incident risk, it is vital that individual business understand and embrace their first aid responsibilities.

Risk assessment First aid requirements vary from one workplace to another, so consider all your potential hazards when deciding what you need to have in place through a thorough risk assessment. Think about: •

The size and location of your workplace, e.g the distance between work areas and response times for emergency services. Numbers of staff and level of risk. In low-risk workplaces, a general rule is a first aid room should be provided when there are more than 200 workers, and in high-risk workplaces when there are more than 100. It is recommended there should be one trained first

aider for every 50 workers in low-risk workplaces and one for 25 workers in high-risk workplaces. Every hospitality business must give workers access to first aid equipment, information and a trained first aider.

First Aid courses There are a number of training providers offering courses designed to meet the needs of workplace first aiders under New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) stipulations. Each also offers the regular refresher courses required for current first aid officer certification. They can provide a comprehensive service ranging from workplace assessments through training and equipment provision to online incident management reporting. While workplace conditions and requirements vary widely, even within the sector, the most common courses are:

Lifeguard Practising Certificate is a must-have. This covers first aid, resuscitation, swimming and water safety.

Tooling up Any first aid kit used in hospitality environs should include a range of components suitable for treating injuries such as cuts, burns and bruising, particularly blue metal strips and plasters which are strong and highly visible. Kits can either be bought outright to be monitored and re-equipped by the venue, or they can be rented through a provider which monitors and replaces components on a regular schedule. With heart disease, asthma and allergies all on the rise, hoteliers might also consider adding a few extras to their first aid arsenal. Defibrillators are small, portable devices used to counteract the effects of heart attacks through

the discharge of an electrical shock, which allows the normal heart rhythm to regenerate. While undeniably a life saver, hotel operators have genuine concerns about the legal implications of not having enough units, failing to put them in the right places, maintaining them properly and using them correctly. No one has ever been successfully sued for using one in Australia, and the growing trend toward having the equipment may eventually increase liability for accom that doesn’t invest in this piece of kit. Training on its use is recommended but not mandatory, and the battery lasts for some five years, while electrode PADS need replacement every two years. Epipens give an injection that contains epinephrine, a chemical that narrows blood vessels and opens airways in the lungs. While these can now be included in first aid kits, they are prescribed based on a medical diagnosis of an individual’s particular condition and should really be carried by individual staff or guests. They can be a lifesaver in an allergy situation - but can make things worse if wrongly administered to someone who can’t communicate what their issue might be. Inhalers relieve asthma symptoms by releasing medication which relaxes muscles in the lung airways. While including one in a first aid kit might better support emergency responses, again workers and guests with asthma have unique triggers for their condition and should always carry their own prescription medication. ■

First Aid Level One, the standard first aid course for the workplace. This takes one day to complete and includes NZQA unit standards 6401, 6402 (or by special arrangement 26551, 26552) First Aid Level Two, a 12-hour course that includes NZQA unit standards 6400, 6401, 6402. For those working in pool environments, the Pool



Autumn 2019


What are the positives of franchising? By Kate Jackson, Editor

Many people come into accom management from completely different careers: entrepreneurial and resourceful, yes, but green when it comes to industry experience. Learning the ropes as you go can be an intimidating and costly undertaking, but not when you’re backed by a model which offers in-house training, ongoing support and access to cool heads with a wealth of industry knowledge to provide “been there, done that” reassurance.

experience, garnering tips or just venting to someone who understands are all very human needs which can help ease the path for accom managers. The loyalty benefits are also clear - as part of a network, a franchise often offers access to benefits exclusive to guests of the brand, but also to a much wider community of other businesses. Adrian Turner, group general manager of Quest Apartment Hotels for NZ, says Aotearoa is the most franchised country in the world, with more than 630

different systems available. “However, not all franchises are created equal and the successful ones are the ones that have structure and have assessed the risk relevant to what they are offering to ensure that their franchisee has the ability to be high performing in a low risk environment,” he says. “Franchise systems that belong to the Franchise Association and have their documentation audited to ensure compliance with the association’s code of practice is always a good place to start.”

Quality franchises are welloiled machines that, in many cases, have been operating accommodation for decades. The management tiers that come with big franchise chains provide a support system for issues from OTA interactions to run-ins with guests or specific property problems.



As a mum-and-dad operator in a regional or rural area, trying to get your product noticed in a world dominated by online travel agency platforms and highly-tailored social media marketing is daunting. And it’s particularly hard if you’re an independent who is not operating in the high-end luxury sphere. Those choosing to join a franchise often do so because it provides greater access to marketing and booking networks with an extensive reach. While a franchise must align with what a property has to offer and franchisees should always research carefully before making a switch, there are several models out there which makes matching a property with a like-focussed franchise an easier task.

Teamwork makes the dream work Franchise networks frequently boast some sort of loyalty network of scheme. This incentivises guests to stick with a brand and creates repeat business across the group.

Being part of a strong franchise means operators have a network of other operators they can connect with - and those connections cannot be underestimated. Sharing 

Independent thinking



Loyalty is key when it comes to attracting business guests - it is almost a prerequisite for any property looking to attract those travelling for work. Accruing points means those business travellers are far more likely to rebook directly and return with their families. Franchises will also tend to come with a property management system which facilitates the creation and cross-sell of marketing campaigns across all platforms, encouraging guests to book with any of their franchisees. And lastly there’s the flow-on effect of fellow franchisees create such a memorable experience for guests that it convinces them to book just because properties share the same brand umbrella. The crosspollination of guests is especially helpful for those in competitive markets, where guests are likely to ‘go with what they know’.

OTA commissions While the direct booking movement is gaining some momentum, and Expedia retain their stranglehold on internet bookings nationwide. All the signs are that those OTA monoliths will fight hard to maintain their

market dominance. Having said that, it doesn’t take much to realise that losing the business of a company with 100+ hotels is going to matter more to an OTA than the loss of a small boutique hotel. It makes sense that franchises often have power to negotiate lower commissions on behalf of their franchisees. Another benefit relating to bookings is that larger accommodation brands often have successful strategies in place for increasing direct bookings. They also tend to have the available resources to experiment with different advertising campaigns and techniques. While guests might not think to check the website of a niche property to see if there are any benefits to booking direct, most people tend to know that big brands offer free wifi or complimentary items to whoever books direct. The hurdles are greater when you are going it alone because social media savvy and marketing ingenuity are not things that can always be grown organically, they cost money.

Reputation Reputation is everything in a world where everyone from Uber drivers to coffee cart owners seems to live and die


by their customer ratings. Putting positive feedback in the bank counts - it accrues interest over time. Where independent properties have to start from scratch when it comes to reputation, franchisees benefit immediately from the reputation of a parent franchise. And they are required to adhere to a predetermined set of quality standards, so there’s never a doubt about what’s expected when it comes to benchmarks.

Expectations Which brings us to expectations. With a franchising agreement, guest expectations are preordained and pre-managed. The very specific standards franchisees sign up to ensure those guest expectations should always be met. Of course, anything an accommodation provider does to go above and beyond those expectations will merely enhance their reputation with customers. Typical guest expectations for a franchised property will involve good mattress quality, free wifi, in-room food options, strong amenity offerings, etc. Some of these are things that can be more difficult for independent properties to provide off their


own bat. Franchisors will often support expectations that are difficult for members to deliver - helping with arrangements for free wifi delivery, for example. Expectations are not, though, merely about what customers want. While franchisees can reasonably expect that a franchising agreement will deliver greater marketing opportunities and access to networks enabling them to better deliver their product, they are not for everybody. Certainly, brands expect prospective franchisees to sign up to a lengthy selection process and are careful about the properties they welcome into the fold. Reputation cuts both ways - franchisees can benefit from the reputation of a brand, but that brand need to protect its standing and ensure any new addition will be a positive addition. Adrian Turner says Quest, for example, has a selfassessment profile where potential franchisees can assess themselves against critical success factors. “They must have a passion to learn and achieve business success and uphold the Quest brand values,” he says. ■

Autumn 2019


Quest Apartment Hotels:

The keys to your

business future

In 2018 Quest celebrated 20 years in New Zealand. Starting as a single property in Australia, it is now Australasia’s largest apartment hotels operator with more than 160 properties, and has has created a brand that business and leisure travellers have come to rely on in New Zealand, Fiji, Australia, and soon to be the United Kingdom. Adrian Turner, Quest Group General Manager for New Zealand & Fiji, says Quest continues to meet demand in New Zealand, with an extension to Quest Highbrook opening in April 2019, and Quest Tauranga Central opening in 2019, a new Quest Palmerston North, Quest Takapuna and Quest Mount Eden due to open in 2020, Quest is well-placed to take advantage of the fact that the increase in domestic tourism expenditure in New Zealand has recently outstripped that by international visitors. “We’re proud of our ability to expand” says Turner, “and that regardless of location, or how established the business is, our business systems and resources ensure that that our ‘product’



is corporately consistent. Many of our customers are unaware that Quest is a franchise – and have no need to know; what matters to the customer is that each property delivers to a consistently high expectation.” Quest has been delivering on expectations so effectively that it has been one of the fastest-growing accommodation groups in New Zealand for each of the last 15 years and is by far the largest serviced apartment brand in the country. It has occupancy rates 20 to 30 percentage points higher than the New Zealand average, and Turner says that the network’s growth and occupancy rates are driven by having a quality product in the right locations, with guest services delivered by professional and enthusiastic franchise management. Perhaps an even more important indication of Quest’s success is that its franchisees stay with the business for an average of 10 years, in an industry where the average lease for a motel lasts 18 months. Quest franchisees buy into a business and a way of life, says Turner. “We need our franchisees to be energetic, people-

orientated and committed to working within our franchisesystem framework. At the same time, we provide a supportive business model, which also ensures that franchisees don’t burn out. They work a solid five days a week but have weekends and holidays off to spend time with family. We believe that a clearly articulated business philosophy starts at the top and should be completely embraced by all segments of our business; this is what gives Quest our competitive edge and maintains our market leader position. Quest is the only ‘purpose built’ franchise operation that offers both lifestyle and financial certainty to the business person seeking to participate in the fast-growing traveller accommodation sector. I look at how long our stakeholders stay with us; from guests, franchisees, corporate office team members to landlords. To me, this is an indicator that their expectations are being met – and that we can continue to grow, and our franchisees can continue to grow within the Quest framework.”


He notes that many franchisees have entered Quest with no experience in the hospitality sector. “You need competency, a vision of where you see yourself and a readiness to learn. We’ve tried to simplify the learning so you don’t have to go through the traditional process of being involved in the sector for years and working your way up. We offer enthusiastic people another way in.” With tourism a key part of the government’s growth strategy for New Zealand, and international and domestic visitor numbers continuing to grow, Quest has embarked on a new stage of expansion and development. “It’s a good time to think about taking on a franchise, says Turner. We’ve strengthened our position in the market over the last five years and more than compete as an accommodation and a business opportunity. We and our franchises are well positioned to take advantage of the future in both the business and leisure travel sectors.” For further information please contact us on 09 366 9705 or


Marketing for the ages:

How to attract intergenerational guests By Tambourine

an informed choice. Also, fitness is a priority, especially for luxury resort marketers: Americans 55plus (54 percent) are almost as likely as millennials (55 percent) to say they’ve exercised regularly in the last 12 months. Use this to your advantage!

What happens when a hotel marketer wants to attract guests from across age groups? To speak to several demographics effectively, it helps to know the behavioural drivers of different age groups.

Step 2: Match the medium to the market Once you found the right angle, now it’s time to tell the story on the channel most suited to each demographic.

Step 1: Craft a targeted narrative The smart hotel marketer must identify which pieces of a hotel’s story resonate most strongly with each demographic. It’s not enough to just pick one narrative. Success requires a targeted approach that identifies which aspects of the hotel’s offering resonate with specific demographic segments. In addition to age, a traveller’s income is a crucial aspect of matching a narrative to demographics. It’s not just that income determines the ability to pay. Expedia found that income influences trip type, which impacts how a hotel crafts its messaging. How traveller preferences correlate to age and income patterns should inform how a hotel targets its marketing.We fully recognise that it’s impossible to put everyone of a certain age



into a specific psychographic bucket… but here are a few key insights to guide your hotel or resort marketing by age group: Millennials: People in their 20s/Gen Z are surprisingly practical!So if your hotel targets those in their early 20s, consider showing how much value your hotel product/ experience provides. Focus on the Instagrammable moments at the hotel and/or in the destination. And go ahead and ask for the sale: Only 15 percent of millennials say they don’t want a hard sell from ads. 30s/40s: This age group fractures into a variety of narratives, depending on the objective of a specific trip: business travel, intergenerational family travel, or couples’ getaways.

Pull each trip type into a standalone persona, and then market to that specific situation - you’ll find that you will highlight different parts of the property for the same consumer, depending on the qualities of a trip. And try humour: 30 percent of millennials feel that humour is important in advertising! Over 55s: Older guests are most likely to be either retired or at least focused more on comfort and amenities than their younger brethren. There’s also greater scepticism when it comes to emotionallydriven marketing: Only seven percent respond to heart-warming advertising. Keep your narrative focus on the details and empower this demographic with the information they need to make


Research from Age of Majority found some obvious differences between how generations discover products and services: older generations rely on more traditional sources of information. The study also found unsurprising similarities: all ages consider friends and family as reliable sources of information. Since word-of-mouth remains powerful, could your hotel launch a referral program to incentivise your best guests to share? For peak marketing effectiveness, refer to these preferences when matching your age cohort to the ideal marketing medium. Otherwise, you risk wasting good money on less effective mediums:


Millennials: These are more likely to see YouTube ads, bloggers and hotel social media influencers as trustworthy sources.

each demographic most affordably, you can decide how to scale up your marketing. Millennials: As we’ve seen, hotel social media works best with younger travellers.

When marketing to these demographics, consider approaches outside of e-mail, such as influencer marketing and paid social digital ads. In addition, using video and social media continues to be an effective way to reach these age groups.

In fact, 36 percent of Gen Z has chosen a destination after seeing it on social media. This includes YouTube, which is the most trusted sources of advertising for 30 percent of Gen Z in a Generational Kinetics study.

Also, consider ways to make group travel easier. Many prefer travelling with friends and want to know the experience will be easy and fulfilling.

As far as booking window, younger demographics also tend to book closer into the trip, so focus spending on ripe decision-making times.

30s/40s: Whatever the context, this demographic wants to know that your hotel will provide the best experience for that trip type.

30/40s: Marketers must take different approaches when it comes to business travel, family travel, and couples travel.

Leverage user-generated content and social validation to share reviews, photos, and videos from past guests.

Business travellers want convenience and consistency, couples prefer romance and adventure, and families seek out activities and choices.

By using your owned channels to highlight actual guest experiences, your hotel shows dedication and adaptability to a variety of trip types.

When marketing to business travellers, loyalty marketing programs are critical.

Over 55s: Newspapers, magazines and travel agents/ experts maintain their importance for this age group. Don’t neglect these outlets in a cohesive marketing strategy! In many cases, such as for luxury stays, more traditional methods act as social proof for older consumers as they navigate the path to purchase.

Step 3: Budget your marketing investments carefully Once you’ve determined

the right medium for your target demographic, it’s time to budget. This can get very tricky and often goes against assumptions. According to Age of Majority research, a surprising 85 percent of marketers overestimate how much consumers under 35 spend. Older consumers, the richest segment, are also under-


targeted. To determine proper budget allocations, make small bets to test your assumptions. Most online advertising channels for hotels like Google pay-per-click reward advertising that converts well, as it’s an indicator that the message is well-suited for the audience and will yield higher click revenue. Once you have granular details on which platforms convert MARKETING

During a business stay, promote your property for a return visit with a spouse or family, and update your pre, during, and post-stay marketing to highlight the benefits of repeat business. Over 55s: With this group focused on living their lives to the fullest, test different messages around adventure, as well as on-property amenities. For booking windows, many older travellers book far in advance, so adjust your campaigns accordingly. ■ Autumn 2019


Climb every By Gary Bowering, Marketing Manager, ServiceIQ

Like many young people attracted to a career in tourism, Shakira Kalksma knew, when she was studying the subject at school, that the exciting industry presented her with the perfect adventure. She just didn’t know where or what kind of role she’d land in the dazzling world spanning everything from outdoor pursuits to retail and hospitality. Today, she’s literally made it to the top of the tourism mountain with a fantastic position as food & beverage supervisor at Skyline Queenstown, New Zealand’s internationally-acclaimed attraction that hosts a staggering 925,000 visitors a year. Shakira discovered the opportunities available in the hospitality side of tourism when she got her first job with Skyline as an attendant at the attraction’s café and restaurant, six years ago. “I didn’t know what to expect from the role, but I really wanted to get into tourism and this was a great way to start my career,” says Shakira. From day one, she was determined to learn as much as she could: greeting guests front of house, table service for



They really appreciated my hard work and wanted to grow me in the company. It was an amazing offer and a tremendous vote of confidence.

Shakira Kalksma

thousands of diners enjoying a meal and majestic views from the attraction’s popular Market Kitchen café, and much more. Spotting her potential, her employer gave her the chance to advance her career with an apprenticeship to gain an industry-recognised qualification, the New Zealand Certificate in Food & Beverage – Level 4. “They really appreciated my hard work and wanted to grow me in the company. It was an amazing offer and a tremendous vote of confidence,” she says. The apprenticeship, that helps aspiring hospitality trainees gain the knowledge and know-how they need to run the show effectively, covers bar and restaurant sales, specialist wine knowledge and menu matching, staff supervision, stock control, advanced restaurant service and staff supervision, health, safety and security practices, food safety, legal compliance for licenced premises, and more.

Shakira successfully completed the apprenticeship in only two years. She says she was impressed at just how direct and easy it was to learn and upskill on the job – the last time she’d studied was at a tertiary institution for her Diploma in Tourism. “For me, the apprenticeship was a better way to learn because you put what you’re learning into action. Sometimes when I read something it would go straight out the window, but when I apply the information, I retain it.” Market Kitchen manager Steven Wallace and ServiceIQ hospitality training advisor Andrea Gibson were a huge help in guiding her through the programme, answering questions, marking her assessments and mentoring her progress, says Shakira. “Everyone has been amazing. They’re so supportive it feels like one big family. I genuinely love working here.” It’s Shakira’s job to ensure that


the whole dining operation runs smoothly, customers are happy, fresh stock is maintained at the right levels, and any issues are dealt with professionally. As well as a stunning location, what she loves most about her role at Skyline is working with a great group of people and seeing them develop. “It’s pretty cool. These days I have the chance to pass on the knowledge I’ve learned to help my team grow. The atmosphere is always vibrant and we’re lucky enough to help thousands of visitors from different cultures and nationalities enjoy the time of their life in New Zealand. There’s always heaps to do and new people to meet. No two days are ever the same. I’m really blessed to work here.” Her next career goal? “I’d love to work my way up to become a manager and then see what doors open.”



TRAINED IT TAKES A LOT MORE THAN HANDING OVER A KEY TO MAKE YOUR GUESTS FEEL WELCOME. Some people have the talent for service, but they still need to learn the right skills to do it well. The tricks of the accommodation trade. The art of satisfying customers and making them feel like guests.

Whether you run a hotel, holiday park or an international conference centre the difference comes down to three words and one simple and effective concept: on-job training.

It’s the difference between just doing the job and doing it brilliantly. So brilliantly in fact, that your guests come back more often, spend more, recommend you to others and write favourable reviews that help attract more guests.

Please call ServiceIQ now to find out how employees right across your business can go to the next level with one small step. With ServiceIQ it could even be free.

0800 863 693

The search has evolved Whether you’re looking to buy a small leasehold motel or a large freehold hotel, the search must start somewhere. So where does it start? How does one find what they are looking for? Way, way back in the 1990’s, ‘the good ol’ days’ those looking to buy a motel would check the newspaper on a Saturday morning and see columns of motels being advertised for sale under the heading “Hotels/ Motels for sale”. Caravan parks had their very own heading however, there were generally only about three or four advertised compared to dozens in the Hotel/Motel section which was a combination of pubs, motels and resorts. If the reader liked something they saw in the three or four lines within one small newspaper column, they would pick up the landline in most cases (mobile phones were in their infancy) and call the office of the broker who had advertised and information on that motel was then posted by the broker via ‘snail mail’. Fast forward 25 years to today, and things have changed significantly. The ease of finding information is simply a couple of clicks away and people can access substantial amounts of information on scores of different businesses quickly. No waiting for the postman to



The web offers as many idyllic photos as you like and the space to write as much dialogue as needed. Andrew Morgan, Broker, QTHB

turn up with an A4 envelope three or four days after having made the initial enquiry. The days of advertising for the industry in the Saturday newspaper are prett y well over. You will still find the odd agent stepping out of their field of expertise and trying to sell a motel business in the newspaper, however it is just not cost effective anymore for this particular field. Colour photographs in newspaper print were not a common thing all those years ago, but again, things have changed and advertisements via any medium without colour just don’t cut it from the point of trying to attract buyer’s attention. Not only this, but they need to be large, and that makes hard copy ads very expensive. The web offers as many idyllic photos as you like and the space to write as much dialogue as needed. The costs can be high

sometimes however, in most cases can be kept to a minimum if the motel is also advertised with professional specialist motel business brokers. These brokers are focused on the sale of motels and therefore dedicate all their time to that sector. Marketing campaigns are largely centred around the web, which reaches the target market looking for such a business directly. In fact, currently many motel listings are sold before even being put out to the view of anyone who has internet access. And where web advertisements allow for photos to be ‘touched up’ to make the product look better than it is, specialist motel brokers present photos they have taken themselves of the property and are generally untouched. As much as they want to present a property as best as possible, professional brokers know they will be


attending the site with their clients and need to show the property in its real state. The line about ‘things looking good on paper but when you get there it is a different story’ is not what a professional broker wants their client to experience. Starting the search for a potential new business on the web is the obvious choice, but this will usually just provide a preliminary base to work from. The way to progress from general research to real action is to speak directly to a specialist motel broker and you will be provided with those select properties that are for sale but may not have been listed for confidentiality reasons. Serious buyers know that the way to cut through all the outdated information and hyperbole that can be found on the web is to go to the source – the people who deal with this industry on a daily basis.


Stay or Go?

To sell your accommodation business better, talk to us. Motel Lease in Kerikeri

$495,000 Jenny Blain – LINK Northland 021 455 421

Backpackers, Land & Buildings

POA Lindsay Sandes – LINK Auckland, Ellerslie 021 895 940

Far North


Realistic vendors need to move on due to health reasons and have priced it to the market.

• Consistent, proven business generator with a strong niche in the market

Situated in the best location in the main street of Kerikeri, this 15 unit motel with 18 and a half years remaining on the lease will give new owners an excellent lifestyle with a potentially increasing profit, going on past performance with high occupancy both in summer and winter.

• Significant land parcel 2269m2

Quest Hotel Business

$1,275,000 Lindsay Sandes – LINK Auckland, Ellerslie 021 895 940

Wellington An opportunity to purchase a Quest Franchise business in this tightly held Franchise is available. • Consistent sales exceed $2,000,000 • Impressive annual surplus • Full franchise training is provided

• Low operation costs • 18 rooms, sleeping approx. 60 • Guest services include large common rooms, commercial kitchen and pool, plus off street parking • Owner’s accommodation

Five Stags Pironga


plus GST (if any) Therese Bailey – LINK Waikato 021 707 641

Pirongia, Waikato • Profitable freehold going concern • Offering a first-class venue for festivals, events and functions • Strong local and tourist trade • Site features room for further opportunities, expansion

• Iconic established Quest hotel in Wellington’s CBD


plus GST (if any) Carron Chote – LINK Bay of Plenty 027 289 6658

Ambassador Motor Lodge


plus GST (if any) Jono Jarvis – LINK Christchurch & South Island 021 177 9760



• Freehold, land and buildings opportunity

11 spacious, self-contained units, comprising of studio units (1 and 2 bedrooms), 6 have spa baths. All units are ground-floor with off-street parking directly outside.

• Long established business, experiencing growth • Land 1012m2, geothermal hot water bore • Freehold returning 4% under management • 37 rooms, 90 beds

Situated on Thames Street, State Highway One. Would suit a buyer new to the motel industry, or one that would prefer a motel that is easy to manage. Owner’s residence is a separate 3 bedroom home.

Large Business Broking Office of the Year Small Agency of the Year

Medium Business Broking Office of the Year Innovation Award

Connecting business buyers & sellers since 1996

0800 546 528

8 O F F I C E S N AT I O N W I D E


All LINK NZ offices are licensed REAA08

Opportunity x 2 Rotorua CBD


MOTELS AND COUNTING... That’s right, over 790 Motels and Hotels in New Zealand have embraced Guest Select. What is Guest Select? It’s a SKY decoder in every room with access to over 50 channels, it brings Kiwis the most amazing experience and we know your guests will love it too. And now you will receive High Definition, SoHo and SoHo 2 at no additional cost. How Guest Select could benefit your business · · · ·

Show the channels your guests are used to watching at home Increase guest satisfaction Create a competitive advantage Generate repeat business and improve occupancy levels

We continue to receive great feedback from our growing Guest Select operators who have made the move, with comments like:

no fin w itio on n us & S ! oH o

ST O De P H ig h

Call us today on 0800 759 333 or visit and let your guests enjoy the fantastic mix of Sports, Movies, News and Entertainment channels.


“They simply love the variety of channels” “It makes for happy guests” “Great to be able to give guests what they have at home”

Profile for Multimedia AU/NZ

AccomNews - NZ - Autumn 2019  

Issue 44

AccomNews - NZ - Autumn 2019  

Issue 44