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management Tarriff Setting: Pricing a guest room

marketing Motel Marketing: Do your customers love you?

technology

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Guest Internet Access: The drive for free wifi

Issue 22 | Spring 2013 NZD $16.50 (Inc GST)

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The accom management guide is distributed quarterly to Accommodation Industry Managers and Professionals throughout New Zealand.

Spring

www.accomnews.co.nz EDITORIAL

Kim Armstrong-Fray

2013

k.armstrong@accomnews.co.nz PRODUCTION

Richard McGill r.mcgill@accomnews.co.nz

ADVERTISING

Stewart Shimmin 03 974 1036 advertising@accomnews.co.nz

industry 05

TIA Report: We wish we had their problems

46

Carpet & Rug Cleaning: Keeping carpets fresh and clean

06 07 08

CINZ Report: A good time to be going!

50 53 54

Bed Bugs: You can get rid of them

CONTRIBUTORS

Chris Synder, Doug Kennedy, Glen Larmer, Graham Wrigley, James Halcon, James Kenny, Jane Handley, Nadine Barnes, Robert Garde, Roberta Nedry, Shane Taylor, Stephanie Haami, Mandy Clarke, Brent Leslie, Rosie Clarke and Graham Vercoe accom management guide welcomes editorial contributions and images on relevant topics for features, news items or new products. Please email copy to: editorial@accomnews.co.nz. Images should be in high resolution (300dpi) JPEG or TIFF format. accom management guide is distributed quarterly to hotel, motel, resort and apartment complexes throughout New Zealand. Views and opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher or Multimedia Publishing Limited. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information in accom management guide, however the information contained in accom management guide 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. ADVERTISING CONDITIONS:

The publisher reserves the right to refuse to publish or to republish without any explanation for such action. The publisher, its 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. INDEMNITY:

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. © 2013. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. accom management guide is proudly published by:

PO Box 5104,Papanui, Christchurch, 8542 New Zealand Phone: (03) 365 5575 Fax: (03) 365 1655 mail@accomnews.co.nz www.accomnews.co.nz ISSN: 1178-8941

housekeeping

MANZ Report: Irritations leave a sour taste Special Report: Yachting, a book prize, Scott Dixon and Lorde help build tourism outlook

management 10 12

Responsible Marketing: Check the label!

14

Service: The smallest gestures can make the biggest impressions

56

Tariff Setting: Pricing a guest room, everyone has an opinion!

MANZ Conference: A lively event Quest Christchurch: Quest Christchurch re-opening good news for the city

Bed Presentation: Create a modern, clean and inviting look

food & beverage Mini Bars: Mini bar trends to boost your business

energy & resources 58

profiles 16 20

Odour Control: Controlling odours

Lighting: The top 10 benefits of LED lighting

human resources 60 61

technology

Sleep: Sleep well – Sleep safe Employment: Diversity important in the workplace

guest facilities

23

PABX: Updating your PABX system – promotes effective communication

26

Case Study – Guest Select: New accommodation era arrives with Guest Select

63

28

Guest Internet Access: The drive for free wifi

Property Sales: Preparing your business for sale

64

New Manager Profiles

32

Digital TV: Analogue switch-off is almost here for the upper North Island – are you ready?

62

Room Service: US trends show the way

property

preferred suppliers 67

The Preferred Supplier Directory

marketing 33

Motel Marketing: Do your customers love you?

36

Case Study – Garden Suites and Apartments Queenstown: Hirum proves a godsend at Garden Suites

38

Channel Management: Channel managers for your property

refurbishment 40

Design: Responsible design for the commercial accommodation industry

44

Floor Coverings: Tips on buying carpet Cover photo: The Quest New Zealand team

04

ACCOM MANAGEMENT GUIDE


industry i TIA Report:

We wish we had their problems I ATTENDED THE HOTELSWORLD CONFERENCE IN AUSTRALIA THIS YEAR AND RUBBED SHOULDERS WITH THE HEAVY HITTERS IN THE AUSTRALASIAN HOTEL INDUSTRY. While many of the topics of discussion were the same – finding and retaining good staff, ever increasing operating costs and better serving the fast growing China market – we differed dramatically in discussions around occupancy and room rates. Australian panel participants lamented the challenges of operating at 90%+ occupancy year round and how 85% would be far more manageable. Meanwhile I sat quietly in the audience thinking how lovely it would be for New Zealand hotels to have that problem. We do hit these levels at times, particularly when large events or conferences are in town, but there are times when occupancy and consequently room rates are less than optimal. Year to date August 2013 average occupancy for the eight TIA Hotels regions was sitting at 72.5% with the year tracking positively. This can be put down to a year of normality with a long hot summer producing a strong summer season, steady consistent trading with no unusual events upsetting normal business flows, the snow arriving at the right time in the right places in Queenstown and the Central Plateau, and hoteliers being more confident about holding rates right to the line before discounting, if at all. It will be interesting to see how the last four months of the year pan out. At the time of writing there was some concern about September being softer than expected with little base business to build on for the month. The shifting market dynamics in Christchurch also make for interesting reading with a 20 point occupancy decrease from 85% to 65% (YoY) reported in August. This was largely the result of a number of hotels reopening more than two years after the February 2011 earthquake, including the Novotel Christchurch, Heritage Christchurch, Quest Apartments, with little in the way of events or conferences to drive demand. Until the Christchurch Convention Centre is reinstated, bringing with it valuable conference delegates, the Christchurch winters are likely to be challenging for hotels.

Recently Tony Brien, senior lecturer business and hotel management at Lincoln University, wrote an article that rebutted an off-the-cuff comment made by an economist that Christchurch rooms rates were too high. Aside from the obvious remarks about Christchurch being a shining example of Economics 101 – Supply and Demand, the following is an abridged extract from Dr Brien’s article that struck a chord:

Rachael Shadbolt

The average price for a hotel room in Christchurch in May 2013 was $156 (according to TIA Hotels monthly statistics). If we look at the price changes since 1999 we see that the real price (Consumer Price Index adjusted) for a hotel room today should be $143 – $13 lower than what was being charged in May 2013. According to the economist, the price of a hotel in Christchurch in 2010 was $116. In real terms (CPI adjusted) it should have been $139 so customers were getting a discount back then. But according to the economist, the price ‘rocketed up’ to $136 in 2011 and $152 in 2012. The real cost in 2012 should have been $142 – an increase of $10 – again hardly ‘ripping the customers off’. Dr Brien’s comments highlight an issue that TIA is currently grappling with in the recently launched Tourism 2025 – the significant impact of seasonality and ensuring that existing tourism infrastructure is well utilised. TIA has recently supported proposals to build convention centres in Auckland and Queenstown. Convention, conference and event business is a valuable sector to derive business from as it is not materially constrained by seasonality. Growth in this sector will help smooth seasonality impacts during the shoulder and off-peak seasons. This results in better use of existing capital infrastructure, greater certainty for seasonal labour, the ability to drive yield, resulting in better return on investment, all of which helps lift tourism’s productivity. It also helps to maintain existing infrastructure such as air connectivity and hotels. By Rachael Shadbolt, Sector Manager Hotels, TIA

SPRING 2013

05


i industry CINZ Report:

A good time to be going! IN ALL MY 20+ YEARS AS THE CEO OF CINZ, I HAVE NEVER KNOWN A TIME WHEN THE CONVENTION INDUSTRY IS IN SUCH GOOD HEART AND ENJOYS SUCH A HIGH PROFILE AS IT DOES TODAY. As I will be departing from this role next year I do take a little bit of satisfaction for having played my part, along with many others, in getting the industry to where it is today. It is a great feeling to know that the industry enjoys support from the highest political level in the land being the prime minister, as well as widespread media support, and more importantly, the support of other people involved in tourism. For many years, the convention sector of tourism was very much a Cinderella industry and largely ignored from most industry organisations, and quite frankly, was always put in the “too hard basket”. It has been really gratifying to note over the last few years that this attitude has now well and truly gone, and the wider tourism industry really is now starting to understand the value that the convention sector can bring, not only to tourism but to the whole of the New Zealand economy. I have said many times before but it bears repeating that the convention industry brings high yield visitors to New Zealand at a time when New Zealand most needs them, being the off-season winter months, and in addition to the economic benefits accruing to New Zealand, the scientific and other benefits as a result of hosting international scientific and medical conventions, are also enormous. Pre and post-convention touring spreads the benefits to the whole of New Zealand, not only to the city in which the actual convention is held.

The New Zealand journalist then extrapolated this very positive fact into a diatribe against the proposed new international convention centre by saying that it wasn’t needed as convention delegates come here anyway, so why bother investing in bigger facilities! The stupidity and naivety of this argument astounds me, and I would have thought that a thinking person would say “hang on, we’ve done really well with relatively small facilities in terms of capacity, just how much better could we do if we had significantly larger convention facilities?” To me, the whole business-case for the proposed new facilities in Auckland, Christchurch and Queenstown is based upon the fact that New Zealand has performed very well during the last decade in terms of attracting international convention delegates but has laboured under a self-imposed ceiling in terms of convention capacity. ACCOM MANAGEMENT GUIDE

Alan Trotter Notwithstanding my earlier comments about the convention sector enjoying huge exposure in the mainstream media at present, obviously there is still a job that needs to be done to persuade journalists that building the new convention facilities will have a significantly positive impact on the New Zealand economy, and really should be applauded.

The issues of problem gambling around the proposed international convention centre in Auckland, whilst valid, do not take into account SkyCity’s enhanced regime around trying to mitigate problem gambling, involving increased staffing numbers in this area, as well as improved high-tech surveillance tools in terms of identifying problem gamblers, and limiting their ability to access the casino areas.

It has been really gratifying to note over the last few years that this attitude has now well and truly gone, and the wider tourism industry really is now starting to understand the value that the convention sector can bring.

I was a little bit horrified to read an article by a prominent New Zealand journalist recently who was quoting a Treasury Report saying that in the past 10 years New Zealand had punched above its weight in the international convention market and attracted more convention delegates than could be reasonably expected.

06

The demise of the Christchurch Convention Centre in February 2011 exacerbated this problem and many people forget that the Christchurch Convention Centre at that time was the only purpose built convention centre in New Zealand and was handling more than 25 per cent of all conventions of 250 delegates and over.

At the end of the day, nobody can completely eliminate problem gambling from society, and everybody needs to understand this. However, SkyCity is to be applauded for their increased focus involving doing all that is humanly possible to mitigate problem gamblers and the negative effects they have on both their immediate families and society at large.

Whilst I acknowledge that problem gambling is an issue, it cannot in any way be allowed to negatively impact the proposed ICC and we simply cannot just allow a relatively small section of the community to prevent a hugely beneficial economic development taking place in Auckland that will benefit not only the city itself, but the whole of New Zealand. Many people argue with me on this issue but I point out that tragically there are many alcoholics in the world but should the New Zealand wine industry stop producing and exporting its wine because no doubt some alcoholics are drinking it? The answer is of course, they should not, and the same argument applies to the proposed new ICC, and whilst I once again acknowledge that problem gambling is a social challenge, tragically there will always be those amongst us that are unable to refrain from their urges in this area and all you can reasonably ask a company such as SkyCity to do, is to do their utmost to try and mitigate the effects of this issue. Anyway, as I mentioned at the start of this article, it is really good to see how positively the convention industry is now viewed by many sectors of the community, and particularly, by the government and the rest of the tourism industry at large. It’s been a long time coming but better late than never!

By Alan Trotter, CINZ


industry i MANZ Report:

Irritations leave a sour taste I THOROUGHLY ENJOYED OUR RECENT CONFERENCE IN NELSON. THE ENJOYMENT STEMMED FROM BEING SURROUNDED BY FANTASTIC PEOPLE AND BEING HOSTED BY A GREAT LOCAL BRANCH. NELSON IS A WONDERFUL PLACE TO VISIT, SO MUCH TO SEE AND DO, AND IN A REMARKABLE PART OF NEW ZEALAND.

Michael Baines

There were irritations that left me with a sour taste. I do understand and advocate maintaining prices and taking advantage of increased demand to maintain prices but the week before the conference hotel’s rooms were $10 per night cheaper and the week after $10 cheaper, this is irritating. The association has a corporate deal for members with this hotel group that are $10 cheaper, it left me feeling slightly ripped off. The conference had a reasonable number of people there so it was surprising to have to look for bar staff when the sessions were over. The additional costs seemed very high and a bit obscure. There seemed to be no appreciation of the conference being held at the premises and though everything was done to an adequate level I was left feeling undervalued and disappointed! There is a fine line between maintaining good prices and profitability without stepping over the line into gouging. Maintaining a strong repeat business seems to me a good idea and creating advocates for your business also seems a good idea. Creating “slightly annoyed with the service” customers by contrast seems counterproductive. Most people won’t complain but they won’t recommend either and if they are like me then they will spread their dissatisfaction. I was privileged to attend the Tourism Summit recently in Wellington. This event was organised by the Tourism Industry Association and it was a great event. The summit introduced the National Tourism Plan to the industry and while the detail is still to come it looks like a solid framework for each sector of the industry to buy into and achieve in its own way. One line summed it up for me “alignment not agreement”. In a room like that with so many competing interests it was imperative that there be nothing prescriptive; that would have been counter-productive. Creating a framework allows all the different areas of what is essentially a hybrid industry (tourism) to recognise outcomes, functional structures and align them to achieve in their own way and their own pace. There is always a danger of being too prescriptive or to over complicate the process. I liked the balance struck though I am sure that there are others with views either side of mine. At the very least we are now thinking about tourism strategically rather than reacting, it also allows us to look across the industry silos rather than confining our vision to that which is directly in front of us! Christmas looms and as always it’s the work we do now that will give us the returns then, so make sure all the prep is done now so all you have to do is enjoy the fruits of the summer season. By Michael Baines, CEO, MANZ SPRING 2013

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i industry Special Report:

Yachting, a book prize, Scott Dixon and Lorde help build tourism outlook ANY PUBLICITY IS GOOD PUBLICITY, AS THE OLD SAYING GOES, AND WHILE THAT MIGHT NOT NECESSARILY BE TRUE WHEN IT COMES TO TOURISM, GOOD PUBLICITY IN SPADES IS CERTAINLY CONTRIBUTING TO AN OPTIMISTIC OUTLOOK FOR THE NEW ZEALAND INDUSTRY IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS. While we didn’t actually win the America's Cup in the end, the event attracted considerable coverage internationally, including being shown live in evening viewing in Scandinavia and Germany. It must have intrigued many millions as to how a small, isolated country mainly noted for growing sheep and good rugby players – if they even knew that much – could take on the financial might of one of the world’s richest men and the American yachting and IT industries and come within a hair’s breadth of snatching the world’s oldest and most coveted sporting prize. Throw in pop singer Lorde topping the US charts, Eleanor Catton’s Man Booker Prize for writing, Scott Dixon’s IndyCar World Championship, a hobbit trilogy from Sir Peter, a good run by the All Blacks – and New Zealand has been doing well in the publicity stakes recently. With the Cricket World Cup in 2015 and the FIFA Under-20 Football World Cup here the same year, the momentum is set to keep going for a while yet.

$113 to $116 by the end of the year. Length of stay will trend down from 18.9 days now to 17.9 days by 2019, largely because of a shift to short-haul trips by Australian and Asian visitors. New Zealand's biggest market, Australia, is set to remain vital although visitor numbers are predicted to grow slowly because of weakness in the Australian economy and supply constraints after the Christchurch earthquakes. China, with 200,000 visitors, is the second-biggest source of tourists, and numbers are predicted to grow rapidly. The Tourism Industry Association said forecasts showed that tourism was on track to continue its position as one of New Zealand's biggest export sectors. Chief executive Martin Snedden said the forecasts highlighted opportunities to grow tourism's multi-billion dollar contribution to the economy. "The challenge for our industry is to treat these figures as a minimum target and to then take cohesive action which drives even greater returns for the industry and our individual operators."

A380s aid tourist influx

Optimistic prediction These are all good reasons why a government report released in late September predicted that annual spending by overseas tourists would grow by 18 per cent to $6.5 billion in 2019. Figures released by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment showed the global outlook remains mixed with disappointing data in Europe and some other countries, and more positive indicators in the United States and Japan. "Australia and Canada are also grappling with overheated housing markets and over-indebted households," the report stated. "To reduce their debt positions these households will reduce consumption including cutting international travel." Despite this mixed picture, international visitor arrivals are forecast to keep growing over the next six years, the report said. The global economic situation suggested that traditional markets such as Britain would continue to decline. However, this would be countered by strong growth from China and Australia. The United States economy appeared to be improving, this was before the right-wing Republican standoff with the Obama administration over health reforms, and visitor arrivals from the US were expected to improve. The report predicted that average spending per day would increase from

A380 aircraft on Emirates' daily Dubai-Brisbane-Auckland route, will inject an extra $100 million into New Zealand's economy

Helping to raise optimisism is the introduction of an Airbus A380 aircraft on Emirates' daily Dubai-Brisbane-Auckland route, which will boost annual capacity on the service by 100,000 seats and inject an extra $100 million into New Zealand's economy, according to Auckland Airport chairwoman Joan Withers. Speaking after the superjumbo jet's maiden flight into the city from Queensland in early October, she said the economic benefit was a "staggering figure. It illustrates the importance of international airlines to New Zealand and highlights why here at Auckland Airport we are so focused on growing travel markets," Withers said. The airline has previously operated its Dubai-Brisbane-Auckland route with the smaller Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. Emirates' vice-president for Australasia, Bryan Banston, said demand for the Dubai-Brisbane-Auckland route from business and leisure travellers had reached a level that warranted the use of the double-decker aircraft.

While we didn’t actually win the Americas Cup in the end, the event attracted considerable attention for New Zealand.

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ACCOM MANAGEMENT GUIDE

"In 2009 we had confidence that the New Zealand market would support these A380 aircraft," Banston said. "The fact that we're here in 2013


industry i

welcoming our third A380 [into Auckland] demonstrates how well placed that confidence was." Emirates, which reported revenue of US$21.1 billion ($25.7 billion) in its last financial year, is the world's largest operator of the A380, with 37 of the aircraft in its fleet and more than 50 on order from Airbus. The airline is continuing to operate its daily service into Christchurch with the Boeing 777300ER.

Significant milestones Tourism New Zealand is continually adapting to focus on changing markets, recently reaching “some significant milestones in our work to establish a strong presence in the three new priority 'emerging markets' of India, Indonesia and Latin America,” says general manager marketing communications, Justin Watson. “Research has been completed, strategies put in place, new office locations determined and recruitment undertaken. “The organisation is rapidly gearing up to target these markets – identified for additional investment due to the great potential they show as a source of visitor arrivals. The foundations are beginning to be in place for us to focus our attention on building demand and capturing future growth opportunities to secure a strong, long-term position for the New Zealand tourism industry,” Watson said. “We have structured our teams in these countries to service the markets effectively. We have expanded our India-based team and confirmed a team in Indonesia, appointing a country manager, marketing communications manager and PR manager in both markets. The new appointments mean we will be well placed to maximise the opportunities available from these growing markets.

Gay marriage factor So what else could be contributing to the rosy outlook for increasing visitor numbers to Aotearoa? Well, thanks to a recent piece of legislation, it was reported that about 1000 couples were ready to cross the Tasman now same-sex marriage is legal here, and some are also expected from Asia. The effect of the April law change was immediate with several gay couples marrying as soon as they could. Australian Marriage Equality deputy director Ivan Hinton said at the time that some gay couples from Southeast Asia would also probably marry in New Zealand because this was the first nation in the Asia-Pacific region to legalise same-sex weddings. "Otherwise you'd be going to Canada or South America or Europe, so New Zealand is incredibly accessible," he said. His organisation ran an online poll just after the law was passed, asking who intended to marry here, and received almost 1000 responses within three days. Tourism NZ Australia general manager Tim Burgess said 300 couples entered a competition run through the Sydney gay newspaper Star Observer to become the first Australian same-sex couple to marry in New Zealand. The winners married at Te Papa in Wellington soon afterwards. "That is an indication that 300 couples were keen to come and do it in public in front of cameras, so that 1000 number seems entirely feasible," Mr Burgess said. Tourism NZ believes this country earns about $160 million a year from between 30,000 and 45,000 couples who come for honeymoons, and an extra 1000 honeymooners might spend about $4 million to $5 million. By Brent Leslie, Industry Reporter

“In September we completed in-depth research for Latin America, undertaking a detailed analysis of Brazil’s potential for delivering travellers to New Zealand, and what would motivate them to travel here. We have since announced we will open a new office in Sao Paulo, Brazil, to serve as a base for the new Latin American marketing activity. Three new team members for this office will be announced in due course,” he said. “Brazil's potential travellers are called 'emerging considerers'. They are people who, like 'active considerers' are already aware of New Zealand and find the idea of it as a holiday destination appealing. However, they are further from choosing New Zealand than the active considerer, who already has New Zealand on their short list. Understanding 'emerging considerers' means understanding their profile: needs, wants and perceptions of holiday destinations in New Zealand, and how they gather information for making travel decisions,” Watson concluded. To support expansion into these markets, Tourism New Zealand's website, newzealand.com, has been translated into Spanish, Portuguese and Bahasa Indonesian to attract tourists from Chile, Mexico, Brazil and Indonesia. The four website editions are part of Tourism NZ's investment in the emerging markets of Latin America, Indonesia and India. The initiative received $44.5 million of funding over four years in the government's 201314 budget. The editions would enable Tourism NZ to communicate clearly with potential travellers, Tourism NZ's brand and international PR general manager Catherine Bates said. "Our focus is on capturing future growth opportunities to secure a strong long-term position for the New Zealand tourism industry." The website, which was visited 14 million times in the last year, now has more than 20 market versions, including nine that are partially or fully translated.

Thanks to a recent piece of legislation, it was reported that about 1000 couples were ready to cross the Tasman to wed.

SPRING 2013

09


m management Responsible Marketing:

Check the label! WE ALL LIKE TO THINK WE'RE DOING OUR BEST FOR THE PLANET AND GOING GREEN HAS NEVER BEEN SEEN AS MORE IMPORTANT THAN RIGHT NOW. BUT FOR CONSUMERS IT CAN BE A MINEFIELD TRYING TO NEGOTIATE WHAT'S REAL AND WHAT'S NOT, IN THE WORLD OF LABELLING AND MARKETING SPIN. SO TOO, FOR COMPANIES IN TODAY'S ECOLOGICALLY SENSITIVE MARKETPLACE. On the one hand, you need to push the marketing boundaries; packaging needs to be distinctive in order to get the consumer to buy and buy again. On the other hand though you need to ensure that what's on the label is 100% accurate. How do you think consumers would react if it turns out that the claims on your label are potentially misleading? The results could be catastrophic. This issue is particularly important in the accommodation industry. Hotels and motels are keen to stock environmentally friendly products to impress quality assurer Qualmark, while also satisfying consumer demand, which arguably is at an all time high for such products. So, what happens if the claims on a product's label turn out to be misleading? Is the accommodation provider liable, and if not, should they take any responsibility at all for misleading the consumer, or should it fall totally at the hands of the manufacturer and/or the distributor? Recently, Accom Management Guide reported that in New York, a boutique hotel lost a multi-million dollar court case brought by a guest, who alleged that his wife became debilitated from sleeping on what was claimed by the hotel, as anti-allergen bedding. The judge found the hotel had labelled the bedding based only on a supplier's claim and had not conducted sufficient due-diligence to guarantee the claims were accurate. The decision has sparked huge discussion among accommodation providers in the USA. Should it here in New Zealand? Well the answer is yes, and for good reason. It might surprise you to know, that similar misleading labelling instances are happening right under our noses with alarming regularity. The Commerce Commission has been looking at this issue as a whole and in late September 2010, it started proceedings against two

companies for making potentially misleading environmental claims about plastic bags, products that are heavily marketed to the hotel and motel industry. Three years down the track, both cases are still moving through the court system, although one company, Pacrite Ltd, has pleaded guilty to 10 charges for breaching the Fair Trading Act and is due to be sentenced on August 29th. The Commerce Commission also officially warned another five companies in 2010 for making potentially misleading green claims, including Fragrance Holdings, which marketed Earths Organics. Despite the name, the Commission found that the product contained only tiny amounts of organic ingredients, and its marketing had likely breached the Fair Trading Act. In one of the most recent cases, drinks maker Charlies announced it was removing recycling claims from its water bottles, after investigations revealed they could not be efficiently recycled in New Zealand. Within the hotel industry, the Commerce Commission has also had discussions with Concept Amenities, a multi-national company with its head office in Australia. The company specialises in hotel and motel toiletries and many of the products it sells in New Zealand claim that an additive to its plastic packaging called Ecopure makes it biodegradable. But, after testing the additive, obtaining expert scientific opinion and even getting information from Concept Amenities itself, the commerce commission took the step of issuing a compliance advice.

Right of Reply: DEAR GLENN, THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR CONCERNS ABOUT MISLEADING PRODUCT CLAIMS. I APOLOGISE THAT YOU WERE UNABLE TO GET THROUGH TO CONCEPT AMENITIES FOR COMMENT. Concept Amenities has utilised the EcoPure additive for almost 5 years and were innovators in biodegradable plastic tubes and bottles in the guest amenity industry globally. Many hotel guest amenity companies throughout the world have now followed our lead and also use EcoPure in their plastic packaging.

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ACCOM MANAGEMENT GUIDE

Prior to marketing EcoPure, Concept Amenities conducted the ASTM D5511 test which is the Standard Test Method for Determining Anaerobic Biodegradation of Plastic Materials Under High-Solids Anaerobic-Digestion Conditions. We conducted this test twice, with the second test being conducted over 110 days (the normal test only requires 20 days) with great results. The test was conducted by Dr Ullman, NE Laboratories, CT, USA; a totally independent third party certified test laboratory. Our test data is open to the public so that they may draw their own


management m

stock the products with the Ecopure additive. They, in some cases, may not have even known that the labels were potentially misleading? Does this attitude also follow through to other companies and products in the marketplace as well? Bags, cleaning products, and other products claiming to be sustainable and environmentally friendly ... the list goes on. Two key organisations in the hotel and motel industry did respond though. In a statement, Tim Keeling, the general manager of Qualmark, New Zealand Tourism's official quality assurance organisation, said that while it "does not apply specific resource to validating the biodegradability claims of particular products, where a Qualmark accommodation provider is found to be intentionally misleading consumers, Qualmark may undertake compliance advice to ensure this quality issue is appropriately addressed." One company that was also happy to offer some feedback was Health "The Commission took the view that, on balance, the evidence we considered established that plastic treated with the Ecopure additive was unlikely to biodegrade in New Zealand landfills or be acceptable for recycling in New Zealand recycling plants," it said.

Pak Ltd, a New Zealand based manufacturer of hotel and motel products and a key player in the packaging industry for over 50 years. Managing director Toby Whyte stated that they are well aware of many of the environmental additives and claims in the marketplace, especially

Despite repeated attempts, Concept Amenities did not respond to phone calls or emails for this story.

within the hotel and motel industry.

I wanted to know for example, if any Concept Amenities brands with the Ecopure additive were still being marketed in New Zealand, and if so what was on the label.

that the demand for them within the hotel industry is so high, people are

The company though has at least told the Commerce Commission that it will modify its labelling. But over four months after agreeing to change the packaging, many examples of labelling claiming to biodegradable can still be found.

plastic, but until they are proven to work or able to be processed in New

And then there's the issue of what other parties, if any, should take responsibility in this case? Concept Amenities for example, sells many of its products in New Zealand through distributors.

"The problem with many environmental packaging claims being made is too willing to believe. We've trialed all the additives you can imagine in our plastic bottles from oxo-degradables, to landfill solutions, to compostable Zealand, recycling still remains the best environmental solution," he said. So where to from here? Despite all of these cases, and clear instructions on the commerce commission website on how companies need to be specific when making environmental claims, clearly the message simply isn't getting through.

But when asked, The Starline Group Ltd, a New Zealand distributor of Concept Amenities products to a major hotel chain, refused all comment on this issue. Staples NZ Ltd, another distributor here, also failed to respond, despite initially saying it would.

It seems that currently if companies can get away with false claims, they

What does this tell us? Shouldn't they also be just as responsible as the company they are buying the products from?

mindful of what they are buying and not taking these products simply at

And then there are the accommodation providers themselves, which

By Glen Larmer, Roaring Media

scientific conclusions from the ASTM D5511 raw data – please reach out to me if you wish to receive a copy.

Commission in regards to New Zealand only and have acted in a timely manner to meet their requests.

In addition, we ran Gel Permeation Chromatography tests on our posttest plastics as a way of supporting the science that EcoPure breaks down the polymers and as such allows the plastics to break down in landfill.

Products arriving into New Zealand no longer refer to being biodegradable or recyclable on their packaging with the artwork changed many months ago.

We feel confident marketing EcoPure globally as any claims made can be validated by expert test data.

Kind regards,

That said, we respect the decision of the New Zealand Commerce

will continue to do so. There is such a strong demand for environmental products, especially within the hotel and motel sector, that many push the boundaries in order to gain easy sales. Hotels and motels need to be face value.

Please reach out to me if you would like to discuss further.

Gary Coward, senior vice president, Concept Amenities g.coward@conceptamenities.com SPRING 2013

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m management Tariff Setting:

Pricing a guest room, everyone has an opinion! HOW DO YOU PRICE YOUR ROOMS? WHAT FACTORS DO YOU TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION? Do you know how many people rejected your hotel based on the price range? How many times have you and your strategy team decided on the right rate, only to have someone the next day say to change it. You would think that setting a price for accommodation is a quick easy process and it is. The problem that revenue managers face every day is that everyone has a different idea of what a room price should be. From the guy who designed the resort, to the banker who gave you the loan, to the housekeeper and everyone in between everyone has an opinion on pricing and of course they are all experts in pricing. In addition, you have blogs, websites, news outlets and such all telling your customers “Never pay the rate the hotel gives you, ask to talk to the GM or DOSM, they will give you a discount”. Then, you have hotel operators establishing SOPs for reservations and front office that they can quote a customer the best available rate but if the customer asks for a discount you can give them from 15% to 40% off the BAR. This is called the fade and good accommodation managers know that it “faded away” back in the 1980s along with leg warmers, big hair, and Superfreak by Rick James. The fade however, is still happening and it’s not just independent accommodation providers, I know some mid-sized and large-size chains based in Asia that authorise this internally at the GM and DOSM level to their internal reservations staff but would never tell their corporate office or owners. They are hurting themselves and they are hurting everyone else. This fade rate type of strategy hurts long term prospects for growth for everyone. Accommodation providers need to police themselves and should stop implementing this corrosive strategy. By the way, your competitors know if you practice a fade rate policy and they use it against you in the sales process. I always used it against my competitors when they had a fade rate policy. Can you imagine how difficult pricing can a room is in this atmosphere? There are a lot of people in the industry who do this every day and not only are they hurting their own businesses but they are hurting the entire industry. Wake up people and smell the coffee. Speaking of coffee, imagine if Starbucks applied this same business model? To the “hospitality professionals” who continue to use fade tactics, if you are willing to fade 15 per cent off of your best available rate, then your BAR rate is 15 per cent too high! Reduce your BAR rate to the rate that is correct and sell the features of your hotel that meet the objectives of your customers. Invest your time and effort into training your staff to be sales people. Training your staff to sell your service and facilities, adds value to your property and to your staff. How do you know if your team is selling your product or just discounting, call your staff, pretend to be a customer and see if your staff is practicing old bad habits. If your staff needs trained, let me know. I want to hear back from you, do you practice “the fade” or do you sell? How does that work for you and why? By Chris Snyder, Revenue Science Corporation

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ACCOM MANAGEMENT GUIDE

“...not only are they hurting their own businesses but they are hurting the entire industry...”

Chris Snyder is the director professional services for Revenue Science Corporation’s Bangkok office. Chris leverages more than 27 years of experience in the development and implementation of sales and revenue growth strategies for hotels and resorts. Chris’s strategies have grown market share in hotels and resorts around the globe


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m management Service:

The smallest gestures can make the biggest impressions IT’S THE SMALL THINGS THAT MATTER. BIG THINGS COME IN SMALL PACKAGES... IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT. This is especially true in the hospitality industry. The littlest efforts can make the biggest impressions. They show a degree of caring in the most simple and mundane of gestures and that everyday life moments matter... even when away from home or office. I call it Pineapple Service based on the pineapple serving as a symbol of a warm welcome and hospitality tracing all the way back to the days of Christopher Columbus and early days in the Americas.

The pineapple served as the extra effort and special treat a host or hostess could extend to visitors. As the pineapple was introduced in Europe, it became even more desirable since fresh fruit was rare in those days and especially a fruit as exotic, sweet and juicy as the pineapple. This small gesture, this simple gift and taste of this fruit, symbolised an early touchpoint of service but, even more, the effort behind that touchpoint was a symbol of exceptional service. Roberta Nedry

At a visit to The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, South Florida, during their famous Sunday brunch, I spilled red fruit juice on my white attire. Our waiter, James, noticed my dismay and attempts to use the contents of my water glass to remove the stain. He offered to bring some soda water as a more effective solution. He returned with a bowl of seltzer water on a plate, surrounded by a beautiful purple orchid, a fresh crisp rolled napkin and a caring smile. He took this simple gesture, which he initiated, and turned it into a magical moment. I was so delighted with this stain removal presentation that I forgot about my stain and just admired his efforts. The stain was successfully removed but the memory of James’ efforts and his thoughtful presentation stayed forever. This was truly Pineapple Service. Big service opportunities come in little service gestures. Little efforts can score big with guests. Those hotels and resorts that do take the time to invest thought and effort in the smaller moments and gestures will score big in the overall guest experience. At the Ritz Carlton Battery Park in New York city, the team of Jay Serio, chef concierge and member of Les Clefs d’Or, Jason Trojanowski, guest services coordinator and Lee Oren, front desk/guest reception, offered Pineapple Service with a comprehensive team approach at each point of contact. Whether it was the warmth of their greetings upon a very late check-in, their attentiveness and proactive efforts to find exactly the right entertainment experience for a 10-year old or a special surprise delivery to the room after a specific beverage was not available at the bar, these three consistently paid attention to each ordinary moment and made them extraordinary. They interacted with each other in good spirits and without ego to determine how best to serve and put the guest experience first, morning, noon and night. They never seemed tired, even with long days and many guests. They always remembered guest names and stepped out from behind their three respective desks to make a more personal and attentive connection. Their sincere attention to the little details made a gigantic impression and offered huge hospitality. Guest experience management, when delivered with excellence, is a complete series of touchpoints, seamlessly flowing into each other with the same focus and commitment of those pineapples presented so long ago, showing hospitality to all who choose to come to a hotel, venue or business.

"...This small gesture, this simple gift and taste of this fruit, symbolised an early touchpoint of service but, even more, the effort behind that touchpoint was a symbol of exceptional service..." 14

ACCOM MANAGEMENT GUIDE

That includes employees. Most employees also choose the place they want to work and these same small gestures mean a lot to them, especially from management. When employees receive Pineapple Service from their leaders, they are more likely to deliver the same efforts and feelings to guests. And, it can happen in large hotel chains as well as small hospitality businesses.


management m

At Spatopia, a local massage salon in Fort Lauderdale, massage therapists regularly share their enthusiasm for their working environment, even with long days and lots of physical work. Since many therapists work for more than one spa location, they share how much they prefer the Spatopia environment based on the caring commitment of the owner, Sharon Cappellazo. Employees noted how Sharon threw a Fourth of July party on the beach for all her employees. This extra effort and event, in the middle of a hot summer, meant a lot to her team, so much so that that enthusiasm and positive energy was massaged into the guest experience. Sharon recognised the spirit of sharing hospitality, warmth and caring with her employees, would not only benefit them but also the business. Pineapple Service in action again, making employees feel appreciated, through the example of leadership. And, sometimes adding ceremony to a simple moment, can also be an opportunity for Pineapple Service - making guests feel special. At at small Italian restaurant, Romantica, in Colmar, France, near the border of Germany, the waitress arrived at the table to carefully place a napkin in front of each guest and then gently place a knife and fork, at a diagonal angle across the napkin. It added a touch of importance to the guest arrival. The table could have been set ahead of time, the napkin would end up on the guest’s lap soon anyway, the silverware would be moved when the meal arrived but the little ceremony of the napkin and utensils’ arrival added extra impact to each individual guest’s welcome. This was another small gesture that meant a lot and was memorable, far before the meal began. On the other hand, when these small efforts are left out or neglected, bigger upsets can occur. When arriving or departing a hotel, if the front desk staff seem aloof or uninterested, the pineapple can turn rotten. The simple misstep of focusing on the task at hand and not the human emotion of wanting to feel welcomed or thanked can lead the whole experience, even all the good parts, awry. The simple misstep of leaving water glasses unfilled, leaving only two towels when three guests are in a room, or even rushing to a meeting without time for greetings to employees, these simple little moments, can complicate the whole experience. Who is in charge of Pineapple Service in any hotel or hospitality environment? What are the existing services that can “grow bigger” in service impact with just a little bit extra thought and care? Making memories just a tad more meaningful at less than obvious touchpoints is simple once this strategy is mobilised. Take a look at some of the following guidelines in focusing on Pineapple Service as a guideline for focusing hospitality teams on the small moments for big results: •

Challenge each department to define all touchpoints, all points of contact, especially the ordinary ones, where Pineapple Service might take a proactive role. Evaluate each touchpoint and determine if there is any meaningful action, courtesy or communication that could make that point of contact more meaningful or memorable...think about those first days when Columbus and his compatriots discovered the simple joy of receiving and tasting a pineapple. Look for less than obvious ways to express a welcome and an interest in the guest. Explore solutions and ideas that add convenience and pleasure to the guest experience and that extra special touch, greeting or smile that is not expected. Train employees to look for opportunities to deliver Pineapple Service. Have a meeting and serve pineapple... introduce them to the simple concept created so many years ago. Inspire them to recognise the ordinary moments that can be extraordinary!

• •

Motivate management to keep Pineapple Service top of mind and consider assigning that role to a different employee each month. Touch guests through words as well as actions. Take time to appreciate guests for their business and engage them beyond the routine parts of hospitality service. Recognise the emotions received by emotions delivered. Taste the difference! Remember that small gestures of thanks, convenience or thoughtfulness toward employees can go a long way toward thoughtfulness toward guests. What goes around comes around. It’s delicious when everyone has a taste of Pineapple Service!

Sense the difference and enjoy the fruits of your labor during each stage of growth in the guest experience. Minor moments become major memories with minor efforts and major commitments. Those minor moments can lead to major contributions to the bottom line. Deliver Pineapple Service and experience the sweet and succulent success of guest satisfaction. By Roberta Nedry, Hospitality Excellence, Inc Roberta Nedry is president of Hospitality Excellence, Inc, leaders in guest experience management. Ms Nedry has developed a unique 3D Service methodology to take guest service to the next level. Her firm focuses on guest, customer and client service, the concierge profession and service excellence training for management and frontline employees.

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SPRING 2013

15


p profiles MANZ Conference:

A lively event

Standing left to right: John Sandford, Robin Winter, Kerry Baines, Michael Baines, Mike Small, Murray Woofe. Seated left to right: Maree Winter, Shelly Solomon, Alison Solomon, Jocelyn Woofe

THE 40TH CONFERENCE OF THE MOTEL ASSOCIATION STARTED WITH THE ASSOCIATION’S ALLIED AND TRADE PARTNERS PUTTING TOGETHER A FANTASTIC TRADE DISPLAY AT THE RUTHERFORD HOTEL IN NELSON. It was like an Aladdin’s cave with accoutrements for motelling; beds, blankets, bathroom accessories, televisions, fridges, etc. A little cornucopia of all that goes into a motel property all laid out before the admiring gaze of the association’s conference attendees. On the Tuesday night the delegates and other conference attendees assembled in the foyer of the Rutherford to be carried away on buses to the World of Wearable Arts Museum and Classic Cars Museum.

Peter Nash, Julie Wakefield – Dewer

and well worth visiting. We then went on to the Trafalgar Centre in Trafalgar Park, Nelson (home of the Makos) and enjoyed a marvellous meal, dancing to one of the local bands. A welcome to the conference attendees was spelled out in laser lights on the stand which was a nice touch! Wednesday was the start of the conference proper and a little bit of morning fog kept the adrenalin running but, fortunately, Dr Russell Norman was there to give his address and was followed by a range of workshops which were very well attended and greatly appreciated. Time was set aside to peruse the goods on display in the trade area and, later in the afternoon, the various competitions that the exhibitors had run on their trade stands were drawn and prizes awarded, with the usual supporting comments for the winners from the other delegates.

The theme for the evening was rugby, as Nelson is the home of New Zealand rugby and the venue for the first recorded game. A glittering array of provincial super 15 and international rugby jerseys graced the bodies of the attendees.

Wednesday night was a free night for most but included a dinner for the life members and partners. It was great to be with some of the people who have contributed so much to the association over such a long period of time meeting and chatting about old times, old people and familiar problems.

Some of the more adventurous men had found that their old club jerseys had suspiciously shrunk in the intervening years between playing and going to the MANZ conference. Still, it was a suitably sporting occasion and the World of Wearable Arts Museum and Classic Cars Museum were awesome

Thursday started with breakfast and then came the annual general meeting; a lively debate on issues was held with some wonderful feedback from the delegates and some real gems for the board to consider and take forward for the coming year. 18 

Rear: Maree Winter, Janet Mathewson, Geoff Haar, Dianne Haar, Robin Winter, Barry Hill. Front: Carl Mathewson, Lisa Hill

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ACCOM MANAGEMENT GUIDE

Julie Wakefield – Dewer, Julie Smith


profiles p supplier profile COMMERCIAL SUPPLIES LTD

Experience key to total one stop shop

F

rom the bedroom to the bathroom to the dining room, Commercial Supplies has a huge range of linen and soft furnishings for you to choose from.

with the addition of co-ordinating accessories, will create a five-star look for discerning operators. If you live in Auckland or are here visiting, be sure to put aside an hour to stop by our Mega Clearance Outlet in Mt Wellington, just behind Sylvia Park Shopping Centre and about 15 minutes from Auckland Airport.

Don’t waste your valuable time traipsing around retail stores trying to find new and innovative ideas – make yourself a coffee, get a comfy chair and log onto New Zealand’s largest online hospitality store.

Here you will find lots of ends-oflines, deleted products and samples at super cheap prices. You will also be able to view our huge Showroom where you will always find lots of innovative ideas and something new to look at.

Loaded with lots of new products, heaps of helpful information and ideas and friendly staff available if you need to know anything more, you will be able to do all your shopping in one place without moving from your office. Commercial Supplies is the leading distributor of branded product to hospitality providers in New Zealand – well-known and trusted brands including Actil Commercial, Sheridan, Fairydown, Cloud 9, Sunbeam, Logan & Mason, Linens & More, eden, Kas and DryLife to name just a few. We have everything from functional, affordable quilt covers for Hostels and Backpackers, patterned and white top sheets, boxed-end quilts and Downunder coloured towels for motels/hotels, through to luxury Portugese waffle, stylish quilt covers and soft fluffy towels which,

With over 50 years combined experience in the textile industry, Commercial Supplies is a truly 100% Kiwi family-owned and operated business. You will often meet owners Russell & Nadine Barnes at trade shows and when it comes to your linen/bedding and small appliance requirements, they will happily offer good old-fashioned honest advice and pass on tips and money-saving ideas that they have picked up over the years.

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p profiles MANZ Conference:

Mike Ashton

Neil Barker

ď ´ 16

Richard Sextone

It was also the unanimous, and noisy, wish of the attendees to make Pete Smith of Queenstown a well-deserved life member of the association. After a quick lunch the golfers all disappeared out to the Nelson Golf Club and various trips were organised for those non-golfing delegates to go out to peruse the craft, wine and produce of the Nelson area. Then it was back to the Rutherford Hotel for the cocktail party and then the gala dinner. What a glittering array of moteliers and exhibitors and friends of the industry. Everyone looked absolutely fabulous and it was a tremendous opportunity to recognise the AA Host of the Year, Radfords Lakeview Motel in Te Anau, but also the contributions of Nigel Davidson and Neil Barker, who were awarded the Beverly Anne Bradnock Award and Jack Hopkins Award respectively, for their contributions. Again, a great band provided the entertainment for an energetic bunch who proceeded to boogie the night away. Friday was a late start which was certainly energised by Claire Turnbull who was almost exhausting to listen to. She is a little ball of energy who gave a first-class insight and instruction into how moteliers, in particular, can maintain a healthy diet and exercise regime whilst operating in an

Eddie Dunn, Cheryl vav Dongen and Lisa Nelson

Sally Giller

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ACCOM MANAGEMENT GUIDE

Leo Fels


profiles p Your Accommodation Sector Specialists for over 10 years

Richard Sextone and Patrick Vallely

environment which is not conducive to doing that. Claire was certainly well received and the moteliers that were there are still talking about the tips that she gave and are eating accordingly. Mike McRoberts was the final speaker, a quietly spoken, gentle man who held the audience in the palm of his hand as he recounted some of the stories he has been involved in, the areas of the world that he had travelled to and what he had seen. It was an amazing address by an amazing man and thoroughly appreciated by the audience. After a summary and an auction, with the proceeds going to the Norm Barry Trust, it was time to say farewell and congratulate the Golden Bays group for having the highest level of attendance as a percentage of their branch membership; then to bring the curtain down on a superb 40th anniversary celebration for the association. It was a great conference, well attended and the spirit and enthusiasm showing was amazing. There was a general accord that we will meet together in Wairakei, Taupo to celebrate the 41st conference in July 2014 and to the next 40 years of conferences if we are all still around.

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p profiles Quest Christchurch:

Quest Christchurch re-opening good news for the city

THE SEVERE EARTHQUAKE THAT STRUCK CHRISTCHURCH IN FEBRUARY 2011 HAD A HUGE COST IN HUMAN TERMS BUT ALSO DEVASTATED THE ACCOMMODATION SECTOR. That not only made it difficult for people from outside the city to find somewhere to stay, but also left few options for people from damaged homes to find somewhere else for temporary accommodation. Both those factors have been radically improved by the recent reopening of the 72 unit Quest Christchurch, a prominent serviced apartment establishment in the central business district, consisting of east and west towers with a glass-covered atrium in between. Before the quake struck, the Christchurch city tram had the atrium as part of its circuit. Quest began housing some guests again in August and was back to full capacity by the beginning of October. Quest offers a range of studio, one and two and three bedroom self contained apartments; designed to provide a value for money serviced apartment experience. A studio apartment provides a kitchenette; while the spacious one and two and three bedroom apartments contain a fully equipped kitchen with washer/dryer facilities. Each has a balcony. Quest Christchurch was opened in 2004. Bess Thomson bought the business with husband Kenneth in 2007. After selling their farm in 2004 they were looking for an opportunity in the hospitality industry and the Quest apartments looked like an exciting challenge. All was going well until that fateful February day in 2011, a situation made far worse by the fact that the complex was in the restricted ‘red zone,’ closed off to the public until October last year. A large team of contractors were then bought in and repairs began. Only then could it be ascertained just what the situation was. Although little damage was discernible from the outside, detailed interior inspection eventually

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ACCOM MANAGEMENT GUIDE

brought bad news. Acting as head cleaner at the time, Bess Thomson was on the site to see the situation unfold. “It was only when we opened it up that we realised how much damage there was,” she said. “There was quite a bit done to the structure of the building. “We’ve had $20 million dollars worth of re-strengthening work done to the Cathedral Junction building, by several contractors. It’s better than ever now. “While it was all stripped bare, it was a good opportunity to redecorate as well. It’s been a partial refurbishment. We had insurance for the contents, so that covered the majority of the replacements. We now have all new carpets and curtains, and some new appliances and furniture.


profiles p

Not everything needed replacing.” Altogether it has taken a year for the work to be completed. “It’s been a massive job for all involved,” said Mrs Thomson.

Although little damage was discernible from the outside, detailed interior inspection eventually brought bad news.

Kenneth Thomson was diagnosed with cancer shortly after the earthquake and died in February 2012 leaving Bess Thomson as sole director. It is extremely good news for the accommodation sector in Canterbury to have Quest Christchurch back in action. Since its re-opening, it has been very busy with guests with a variety of requirements. “We’re available for short, long or extended stays,” said Mrs Thomson. “We’ve had quite a number of enquiries from earthquake affected families who’ve had to leave their homes. We’re perfect for that because we have full kitchens and laundry facilities in every apartment and the rooms are very spacious, so people can quite comfortably live in them for a considerable length of time. But the apartments are also available for one night or three night stays – just whatever suits the guests really.” With the famous tram due to resume its loop around the city, including the atrium all will soon be back to normal at Quest Christchurch. By Brent Leslie, Industry Reporter

SPRING 2013

21


p profiles supplier profile QUEST SERVICED APARTMENTS NZ AND FIJI

Quest Apartments celebrates a year of achievement

D

elegates to the annual conference of Quest Serviced Apartments NZ and Fiji in, held in Auckland in October, were able to celebrate a year of remarkable success. Quest has more than 150 operations throughout Australasia, with 34 in New Zealand and Suva/Fiji. However, NZ CEO Stephen Mansfield emphasised that Quest’s future growth was heavily dependent on attracting energetic new people in a variety of roles. Quest would give them every possible assistance. Achievements he announced included: -

Successful opening of Quest Rotorua Central, Quest Highbrook and Quest Beaumont.

-

The reopening of Quest Christchurch.

-

Establishment of two significant new strategic alliances – New Zealand Retailers Association of New Zealand and Hospice NZ.

-

Roll-out of the Quest Guest Recognition program and the network financial integration program, increasing automation and reducing the need for manual input.

-

The establishment of an open-measures KPA benchmarking platform which assists in identifying and promoting best practice across the network.

-

The significant upgrade to the Quest Group customer website platform to improve the customer experience and business opportunity.

These successes had been backed by excellent revenue performance growth, Mr Mansfield told delegates. “Eighty-five per cent of the network is performing well above last year and as a network we continue to trade 20-30 points ahead of the market in occupancy percentage. Within the markets/locations that Quest operates in within New Zealand, the market occupancy YTD has been 51 per cent whilst the Quest network has performed at 71 per cent YTD – well above local market conditions. “In GOP Performance Growth, we have over 50 per cent of the network achieving a reported GOP% in excess of 60 per cent, which represents significant improvement over last year, and we are seeing other operations trending towards that benchmark.” It was a similar positive story in Guest Goodwill performance: “The majority of the network achieved a greater than 90 per cent goodwill rating based upon guest feedback received by our manual and online surveys. It is very pleasing to see this improvement, and in particular, the contribution to network goodwill from the 12 new Quest developments over the past five years. We expect this only to continue to strengthen with the additional operations scheduled to come online,” said Mr Mansfield. Other developments underway included the securing of two new sites for the network in Wellington and Whangarei. “The one in Wellington will represent the first purpose established Quest complex in the capital, while the Whangarei option will assist in further securing geographical market penetration that will provide flow on benefits to the network as a whole. And we are currently close to finalising arrangements for new operations in Nelson, Greenlane and Takapuna.” Mr Mansfield said Quest’s operational focus over the past few years has assisted in locking in improved and sustained performance in: guest satisfaction, occupancy performance and cost efficiency/GOP. “The time is now for us to leverage off these strengths, and without diminishing them, and focus on improving the rate yield across the businesses of the network. The ability to improve/grow GOP performance allows our franchisees the opportunity to reinvest both in their business asset as required, but also their people, which will assist them to ensure sustainability and future performance of their Franchise Asset.”

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ACCOM MANAGEMENT GUIDE

South Pacific Quest Franchisee of the Year – Quest Albany

But Mr Mansfield emphasised that the future success of Quest relied heavily on bringing in vibrant new talent. “Quest needs to keep attracting and keeping good people, both to step into key roles at the corporate office, taking on ownership of the new franchise operations coming online and also stepping up to takeover some of our more mature and well established franchises. Some of our current franchise directors, who have had the long term financial benefit of owning a Quest Franchise, are now looking at capitalising on their hard work and retiring. “We are constantly looking at ways to assist young/qualified people with the right passion, qualifications and attitude to be able to afford to secure a stake in the Quest business, and encourage any parent who is looking at perhaps assisting their children into a professional business environment to contact us directly or go to our website.” Quest Albany in Auckland has been named South Pacific Quest Franchisee of the Year at the company’s annual awards recently. Quest Albany Franchise Director, Jim Park, opened the property in 2011, and says he is extremely honoured to win the award. “Having the chance to own my own business and the reputation Quest has in the accommodation sector, as an outstanding franchise, is what attracted me to join. Quest is constantly striving for business excellence and ways to improve the experience for our customers. To be a part of this journey, and to be recognised for it, is a fantastic honour.” CEO Stephen Mansfield says the group has enjoyed a successful year thanks to the hard work and commitment of Quest’s franchisees and employees. “Our annual awards formally recognise the best of the best in business leadership across the Quest network and also the future leaders of the Quest Group. Since opening two years ago, Quest Albany has performed strongly with Jim demonstrating excellent staff management and leadership. “Our award winners and extended network should be very proud of their achievements this year,” Mr Mansfield concluded.


technology t PABX:

Updating your PABX system – promotes effective communication A PHONE SYSTEM IS THE ESSENTIAL OPERATIONAL HUB OF ANY BUSINESS BUT EVEN MORE SO FOR ACCOMMODATION OWNERS AND MANAGERS.

experiencing poor customer service just once. When things go wrong,

Those of you at the forefront of the industry are well aware of just how important it is that your phone system has the features required to meet your guest’s expectations. We live in a very unforgiving customer service age where issues such as unanswered messages, confusing auto prompts, long wait times and poor call quality will not just leave a bad taste in your guests’ mouths but you know that they will go elsewhere in the blink of an eye and write a bad review on an Internet site for good measure!

excellent customer service is; promoting fast and effective guest

To be blunt you have one chance to get this right – first impressions definitely count – especially in this industry. Research shows that 85 per cent of customers would stop doing business with a company after

apartments) and to also connect to a public switched telephone

guests do not hesitate to take their business elsewhere because their time is valuable and they deserve to be treated with respect. If you are part of the accommodation industry you will know how important interactions increases customer satisfaction and keeps your guests coming back. It is essential for all businesses to explore the current advances in communication to capture their attention, improve your customer service and attempt to reduce your operating costs. Most accommodation providers currently use a PABX system to make connections among the internal telephones (guest rooms or network (PSTN, which is a standard telephone line) these systems also incorporate telephones, fax machines and modems. 

24 

"...many hotels are experiencing challenges with the commercialisation of the communications. “The ability to connect with mobile phones and applications over wireless networks erode the traditional hotel room calling revenue...”

SPRING 2013

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t technology Phone Systems:

Guest room phones still play a vital role Certainly not, according to one major player in the New Zealand industry. Jan Strijker, director of Brantas International Technology Ltd, which holds the agency for the Telematrix and Teledex phone systems, says a good telecommunications infrastructure, which includes properly designed and good looking handsets in a room, should still play an important role. He points out that guests not only use telephones for external communications but for vital internal communications as well, such as ordering room and housekeeping services, and accessing voicemails.

IN THESE DAYS OF THE UBIQUITOUS MOBILE PHONE AND OTHER MODERN ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION TOOLS, IT IS EASY TO REGARD THE IN-ROOM PHONE SYSTEM AND HANDSET AS MUCH LESS SIGNIFICANT ECONOMICALLY THAN IT WAS, BUT IS THAT VIEW JUSTIFIED?

“We cannot dismiss the phone as an unnecessary and unimportant item in the room,” he says. While guests these days tend to use their mobile phones to communicate externally, as well as use other means of communications such as Skype, he believes hotel and motel operators could be doing much more to recoup in-room phone revenue that they had in the past. “In general, hotels and motels have atrocious surcharges, especially for international traffic. Guests generally know that and will not even touch the phone. I believe it’s extremely important for hotels to first of all clearly display their phone charges and not have such horrific surcharges in the first place. They could be doing much more to entice guests to use their internal phone system,” Mr Strijker says.

PABX:  23 Guests are able to use the telephone from their room to contact reception or to make external calls; guests are charged for these calls. Generally it has been the practice to charge the guest substantially more for these calls than it would cost for them to use their own mobile phone and so guest use of the PABX system has dropped dramatically. Scott Funnell is Product Strategy Manager from Cogent Limited, an established technology services company with presence throughout New Zealand, and says many hotels are experiencing challenges with the commercialisation of the communications. “The ability to connect with mobile phones and applications over wireless networks erodes the traditional hotel room calling revenue. However the expectation to maintain a room phone for guest safety and hotels services remains,” he said.

Mr Funnell says as customers bring their own communications and entertainment to the hotel environment, connectivity becomes a key requirement. “Providing a data cable to guests in the room is no longer enough. The proliferation of wireless devices creates an expectation for an integrated wireless solution with authentication, billing and security. There are numerous options for available wireless networks, and we recommend some thorough consideration. “An effective wireless solution will also be able to support a range of experience, productivity and support services to hotel staff. Mobile Applications can be operated seamlessly across wireless networks, creating real-time Concierge, Room Service and Building Maintenance services. These applications can significantly change the approach to hospitality management,”Mr Funnell said.

- Mobility, creating a seamless connection for users between their DDI, Desk Phone and Mobile.

“Guests are also bringing devices to watch movies and play games at hotels, using the hotel TV. Ease of connection and use can enhance the experience. With some planning, a simple interface can be created for the guest to connect to. “Another interesting development is providing Guest access using through NFC (Near Field Communications), creating some interesting alternatives to keys and cards. Guests receive emails on their mobile phone, providing access options with NFC.“

- Softphones, business phone integration into PC or Laptop allowing comprehensive work from anywhere options to users.

Mr Funnell says Cogent can bring these technologies together as a managed service to the hospitality industry.

- Internet based SIP connections are now becoming readily available from NZ Telecommunications carriers, providing more cost effective calling options and rates to NZ businesses. - Wireless connectivity, enabling users to call and collaborate over your businesses wireless networks.

“We are finding more of our customers prefer the managed service approach. Unlike an ownership model with capitalisation complications and maintenance costs, Cogent is offering an end to end service with guaranteed outcomes. Essentially the customer subscribes to services, Cogent delivers guaranteed communications and services,” he concluded. 

-

By Brent Leslie, Industry Reporter

“Keeping your communications solution up to date can be a challenge, ensuring your infrastructure is current, reliable and can be serviced; and is ready to step up to new services and technologies. These are all available now;

Integration with guest management and services applications.

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ACCOM MANAGEMENT GUIDE


technology t

“For instance, they could say to Americans guests: ‘Your mobile phones charges are very high and Skype is not always reliable – use our phone and we will only charge you a minimal amount for calls to the USA’. Hotels are able to obtain preferential rates from their telecommunications companies, so why not pass that rate on to the guests with a nominal margin and generate some additional revenue.” He regards the phone and handset itself as being as important as any other piece of equipment in a hotel room. “It should look smart. A good phone manufacturer will assist the hotel in choosing various colour options and layouts which are customised for their specific needs and room design. “The functionality of a phone is extremely important. When a hotel chooses a handset, they should be able to programme a variety of pre-set buttons a guest can make use of, and have the ability to label those buttons appropriately so the guests don’t have to search for what numbers they need to dial for an in-house service. It’s essential these buttons are pre- programmed and labelled. It’s also important that there’s enough space on the phone itself to include information related to the hotel, such as address details, hotel contacts and the room number the guest is staying in,” says Mr Strijker. “Another essential item is a message light, so when guests walk into a room, they notice they have a message.

Telematrix has a patented message button that lights up and functions as a direct dial button so a guest just has to press it and they’ll be connected directly to voicemail.” Another feature he regards as important is wireless capability. “A guest should be able to walk around the room or suite without having to have a handset linked to a base station via a cable, and perhaps they should have handsets in different rooms. Our Telematrix and Teledex systems both have that ability.” By Brent Leslie, Industry Reporter

Small is the new big. Save space on the nightstand and desk with Teledex micro-footprint E Series telephones.

Brantas International Technology Ltd Unit B, 156 Bush Rd, Albany 0632, Auckland Tel: 09 9667662 info@brantasinternational.com www.brantasinternational.com

SPRING 2013

25


t technology Case Study – Guest Select:

New accommodation era arrives with Guest Select A GROWING NUMBER OF NEW ZEALAND ACCOMMODATION PROVIDERS ARE FINDING THAT SKY TV’S GUEST SELECT IS PAYING OFF RAPIDLY IN GUEST SATISFACTION. There is no doubt that SKY TV managers are extremely satisfied with the success of their Guest Select system which is spreading rapidly through motels across New Zealand at a pace its developers had never seriously envisaged. In simple terms, Guest Select is a set top box (SKY decoder) in each guest room which allows guests to access a larger range of channels than ever before. The bouquet includes: • • • • • • • •

7 sports channels 11 lifestyle/entertainment channels 6 kids channels 6 news channels 6 documentary channels 12 various special interest channels Free-to-air channels of TV1, TV2, TV3, Four, Prime and Maori 5 optional movie channels

New channels can also be introduced as they become available, all in digital quality.

So what advantages does Guest Select bring? SKY business account manager James Kenny says, “A decoder in a room with your choice of basic and sports, or basic, sports and movies is a great way to stand out from the rest of the accommodation industry – giving your discerning guests the same entertainment they would enjoy in their own homes, and with 850,000 domestic homes already with SKY enjoying over 50 SKY channels – that’s a lot of people.” Mr Kenny says some of the advantages over the traditional motel/hotel system are: • • • •

Access to more channels than ever before with more than 50 SKY channels available An improved picture quality, with true digital pictures on all channels An Electronic Program Guide for guests to see what is on and what is coming up To be able to upgrade to a My SKY decoder and offer guests the ability to pause, rewind and record live TV, as well as the potential for viewing TV in HD – the ultimate in TV entertainment. Operators not having to go to the expense of having to install expensive modulators for any new channels they want to add to the distribution system.

Mr Kenny says the rise of Guest Select has been extremely rapid: “About three years ago we had about 40 properties with a decoder in all their rooms. At that stage, we didn’t even have a name or any branding for the system.

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“We developed Guest Select because of feedback from motel owners who were looking for a point of difference from their competitors. They told us that their guests were asking why they didn’t have access to the same channels they had at home. That got us into thinking: ‘Right, we have to come up with a product that’s going to deliver them those services’ and that’s exactly what Guest Select does. At the same time, we had SKY in about 1700 other hotels and motels that were on what we call head-end set-ups which have a selected number of channels. The issue with that is that with digital TV now here with 40 or 50 channels, only having five or six SKY channels in a head-end distribution system is a little underwhelming especially with more and more guests likely to have SKY at home themselves. “Now it’s gained wings with greater customer awareness and we’ve been gaining great momentum. Our growth rate is exceeding all our targets and expectations, with now 20% of all our motels subscribing to Guest Select”, said Mr Kenny. “At February 2012 we had 153 sites – some 20 months later and we have more than doubled it to over 320. One in five Motels and more than 5500 rooms now have Guest Select. Those guests enjoy all the channels that SKY domestic subscribers have at home and all in true digital.“As new channels come on board they are automatically loaded onto the Guest Select decoder. A good example of that is earlier this year with the launch of SKY Sport 4 and in particular with its extensive coverage of the Aussie V8 motor racing. Likewise we have had positive feedback from satisfied guests able to enjoy other recent new channels like ‘ Jones!’ as well as catch-up on the latest news with our recently added news channel ‘Al Jazeera’. Our feedback from motel operators is that guests are coming in as a direct result of their roadside advertising out the front of their properties, saying ‘50+ SKY channels.’ It’s a pretty compelling advantage when the guy next door only has four, five or six channels. “We are hearing of seasoned, corporate travellers saying that they actively look out for Guest Select sites at either roadside, as well as our website promoting those Guest Select sites. Our website is receiving a lot more unique hits too, as more travellers become aware of it. “In some cities, such as New Plymouth and Mt Maunganui, we already have at least 40% now on Guest Select and this number continues to grow.” But SKY is not stopping there, Mr Kenny says. It is already progressing to the next stage. “We have 850,000 domestic homes and of these, about 400,000 have My SKY decoders. As a result of the success of My SKY we are now having several of the 320 Guest Select sites asking: ‘Hey, we want to look at putting My SKY into our premium rooms. That will give us High Definition as well as all the features of My SKY with rewind/pause/record that some of my discerning guests enjoy at home.”


technology t

Motel owner/operators very happy with Guest Select.

HASTINGS

AMG speaks to three accommodation operators about their experiences with Guest Select and how this service has impacted on their business.

The owners of Claremonte Motor Lodge, Julie and Kevin Smith, put Guest Select on about two years ago. “We wanted to have a point of difference from other motels,” Julie said. “We’re very happy with it.”

AUCKLAND

Guest reaction ? “Really good. People see the 50+ sign and they drive up the road and say, ‘Look, we see you’ve got 50+ channels, have you got a room tonight?’ Especially when there’s a lot of sporting events on, we get quite a few drive-ins because of the 50+ channels. Our corporate guests love it because a lot of the people who come here want what they’ve got at home,” she said. By Brent Leslie, Industry Reporter

Auckland’s Grange Motor Lodge

The owners of Auckland’s Grange Motor Lodge, Pat and Bernie Taylor, provide one good example. They put Guest Select in about 18 months ago after first hearing about it at a Motel Association of New Zealand conference. Asked what their satisfaction level was with the system, Pat said: “Fantastic. The reason we put it on in the first place was because of our motel mission statement to consistently exceed guests’ expectations. We realised we weren’t doing that in terms of the options our guests had for TV, so we got James Kenny and his team around and they sorted it out for us really quickly.” Asked if he and wife Bernie had received good reactions from guests, Pat replied: “Yes, we have. A large percentage of our customers are regulars and they’re all delighted with the range of options we now offer.”

Claremonte Motor Lodge

WELCOME

SKY Business would like to welcome the following new sites since July 2013 to our Guest Select Service!

CHRISTCHURCH

Riccarton Motor Lodge

George Whitehouse, an owner of Riccarton Motor Lodge, is another satisfied customer after signing up to Guest Select about eight months ago. “We’re finding it very good. Guests have a choice of 52 channels plus and it gives you a point of difference when somebody else hasn’t got it, and there are a lot of motels in this road. I know that some others are signing up as well so I’d imagine it’ll end up with everybody having it.” He said he is very happy with the reactions from guests. “We get feedback when people come in off the street who haven’t booked. They’ll notice the 50+ sign, and I think that’s an essential part of it all. You have to have your sign out that says what you’ve got.”

Ocean Paradise, Mt Maunganui • Ohakune Top 10 Holiday Park, Ohakune • Gables Lakefront Motel, Taupo • Waves Motel, Orewa • Du Pont Motel, Lower Hutt • The Terraces On Oceanbeach, Mt Maunganui • Kudos Business Apartments, Mangere • Discovery Motor Lodge, Masterton • Village Queenstown, Queenstown • 162 Kings of Riccarton, Christchurch • Mediterranean Resort, Tauranga • Cornwall Park Motor Inn, Epsom • 315 Motel Riccarton, Christchurch • Picton Beachcomber Inn, Picton • Coronation Court Motel, New Plymouth • The Boatshed, Waiheke Island • Quest Taupo, Taupo • Otaki Motels, Otaki • Wharekauhau Country Estate, Featherston • Bay Of Islands Holiday Apartments & Campervan Park, Paihia • Ashley Motor Lodge, Timaru • Parkview on Hagley, Christchurch.

Call us today on 0800 759 333 to find out how Guest Select can work for your property. Check out the 300 plus sites that are enjoying the benefits at guestselect.co.nz

SPRING 2013

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t technology Guest Internet Access:

The drive for free wifi WITHOUT A SHADOW OF A DOUBT, THE MOST DESIRABLE “LUXURY” ITEM FOR A HOTEL GUEST IS FREE WIFI. If you are looking to increase guest satisfaction with one simple change, you would be hard-pressed to find anything more beneficial than the installation of free-to-use, fast Internet access. According to Wotif.com product director, Donna Rodios, “Free wifi consistently ranks as the second most sought after inclusion, after a free breakfast, when leisure travellers are asked what free value-adds they look for when choosing where to stay.” It makes sense that this would be the case. After all, guests are living in a digital age where they connect to the world primarily online. Only too often these days will an otherwise stellar resort be mercilessly criticised for failing to provide adequate Internet access to guests. Your property can be in the most fabulous condition, in the perfect locale, featuring flawless customer service and facilities, but it will not reach maximum levels of success if the wifi is inaccessible to visitors. For business guests in particular, even if their overall experience of your establishment is great, the weather is pleasurable, staff are friendly and the area isn’t too busy, they will not feel as though their trip was successful. This is because today’s travellers require something that until now has been considered an extra; wifi Internet. If your property is one of the many accommodation providers that fails to offer guests free wifi, you may wish to consider changing that.

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There is no worse shock, as a guest, then relaxing into a new room after check in, only to find a total lack of wifi Internet - free or otherwise - anywhere in the complex. For most hotels in Australasia that do offer Internet access, it will only be through a wired connection that, on average, will cost around $20 for 24 hours. This may not seem like much but it is an extra $20 your guest must add on to the cost of their room per night. This fee certainly adds up for guests wishing to stay with you for more than a couple of nights. As most industry professionals will assert, it is rare to see a hotel in Australasia with free wifi access. Donna Rodios furthers that “we’re seeing more and more properties, especially in CBDs, offering wifi as a free inclusion year on year, as they increasingly try to attract both leisure and business travellers by providing a competitive advantage”. This is good news for incoming tourists but it could be better. If hotels want to attract more visitors from overseas, they simply need to upgrade to faster, free wifi access. This is because international travellers have a more potent need to keep in touch with international family and friends, and fast wifi has become a business guest requirement. International tourists notoriously find the lack of wifi in accommodation particularly difficult after having travelled in countries where the industry is generally more internet savvy. This not only gives the entirety of Australasia a bad reputation, but stigmatises independent accommodation providers in particular. If you want your property to stand out amongst competitors, invest in free wifi. 30 


.YLH[]HS\LPUHTVKLYUKLZPNU >P[O[OPZLULYN`LMÄJPLU[3,+3*+;=`V\^PSSLUQV` [OLILULÄ[ZVMHKLKPJH[LK/VZWP[HSP[`;=(SSV^`V\Y N\LZ[Z [V I\` WYLTP\T JVU[LU[ PUMVYT [OLT ]PH /V[LS*VTWLUKP\T7HNLZHUK\ZL[OLSH[LZ[YLTV[L [LJOUVSVN`MVYLMMVY[SLZZPUZ[HSSH[PVUHSS^P[OH[OYLL `LHYVUZP[L^HYYHU[`

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t technology Guest Internet Access:

 28 This is not to say that we are terminally behind most other countries when it comes to accommodation standards. Far from it, there is a reason we ranks amongst the highest this year in TripAdvisor’s Traveller’s Choice 2013 list, voted for “by millions” across the globe. It does intimate; however, that Australasia as a whole has room to grow, and smaller hotels in particular would benefit from a technological upgrade. In 2013, people are more reliant on the Internet than ever before. The majority of business guests now expect to use online banking for all of their transactions; this becomes difficult if there is no hotel wifi. Having to schedule in trips to the bank through their days will massively impact the quality of their stay. Ultimately, making the decision not to provide free wifi as part of your guest package could seriously detract from your guest’s stay. The internet has become such a part of everyday life for the majority of people these days that more than a few hours without it can be detrimental. It’s a big deal, this Internet malarkey. Wotif elaborates, “for the corporate market, [wifi Internet access is] even more important and could make or break a business traveller’s decision to book with a certain accommodation provider”. In fact, according to a survey of 1000 frequent business travellers that the InterContinental Hotels Group recently released, 62 per cent of people consider Internet access the most important hotel amenity. The presence of an in-room television came second on the guest list of priorities, with 20 per cent of respondents saying they would like one in their room. The majority of travellers were not bothered about having access to a minifridge (5 per cent), a landline phone (4 per cent), a bathtub (3 per cent) or even the coveted mini bar (1 per cent).” This is fairly revolutionary stuff in terms of refurbishment: a hotel would potentially be better off upgrading their Internet than fixtures and fittings. It’s not just business guests that favour free Internet access: this survey illustrated that for a massive 25 per cent of travellers, the first move after settling into a hotel, is logging online to feel at home. Hotels often claim to be a “home away from home” for their guests and this is a huge selling point. Without free wifi access, your hotel would struggle to follow through on this promise. Almost half (47 per cent) of those who completed this survey also said that “connecting with family back home was the best way to de-stress after a long day of work”. Most

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ACCOM MANAGEMENT GUIDE

respondents, a colossal 83 per cent also made no mistake in claiming that free Internet access would “make them much happier while traveling for business”. Leading the way it seems, the InterContinental Hotels Group have decided to take action since the results from this survey were announced. They are attempting to give free Internet access to all members of their newly-appointed loyalty program, the IHG Rewards Club. This is just an example of how hotels are beginning to catch on to the wifi scramble. It’s a guest need, being treated like a hotel luxury. Loyalty members, for instance, are allotted first priority in most luxury hotels. Marriott Hotels and Resorts has just begun promoting free wifi access in the lobbies of each of their 500 hotels, and Hyatt’s Andaz brand has decided to offer “social” lobbies where guests have free reign over the wifi. But even this is something that savvy guests have begun to resent. Frequent travellers know better than to stay at hotels where Internet is sparse and/or costly. This is because experienced guests know to keep an eye out for key-words and phrases on hotel websites that read something like “high-speed Internet available” or “free wifi throughout”. If it just says “high-speed Internet available” chances are the Internet will not be wireless or will only be available in particular areas. “Free wifi throughout” is more promisingly explicit. If experienced guests are doing this, it’s fairly safe to assume that most guests are doing this. With websites like TripAdvisor at the forefront of accommodation selection these days, every guest is able to carry with them the experiences they’ve read of others so that they are equally experienced when it comes to making decisions about where to stay. Where smaller, more independent hotels in particular are concerned, having good, free wifi access will certainly encourage more guest bookings. It is ultimately a question of picking your battles. For whatever inconvenience it might seem to upgrade your property’s Internet, it is much more convenient than a full decorative refurbishment. Plus the fact that free wifi seems to generate immeasurable positive returns. Attracting many more visitors and encouraging countless repeat guests, not to mention substantially increasing guest satisfaction, free wifi surely has to the most efficient way to boost your business. By Rosie Clarke, Industry Reporter


technology t supplier profile USBSOCKETS.COM.AU

Fed up with guests asking for a phone charger?

T

he answer is power points with twin USB charging ports accommodation providers can gain a competitive edge by providing a cutting edge product that today’s guests want and need. Australian company USBsockets.com.au reveals the next stage in home technology exclusively for the Australian and New Zealand market; a patented wall sockets range that combines an Australian Standard approved dual 240v power socket with twin USB powered charging outlets. The USB 5 volt sockets are perfect for charging any device fitted with a USB connection including mobile phones, tablets, cameras, electric shavers and more without the need for bulky adapters. The devices plug straight in to the USBsockets on the power point and leave the two 240v plug sockets free for regular appliance use. The range is a direct replacement to the standard Australian GPO double power point that means no messy wiring issues and the socket can be installed in minutes. USBsockets are patent approved and quality assured with solid casing and solid screws, along with a sleek design in a range of colour options as well as led illuminated ports. The LED ports also demonstrate the smart technology used in USBsockets designs and emit a soothing blue LED light when the doors are open or turn red when charging a device.

The LED lights will also flash red if there is a problem with the power line ensuring no time is wasted trying to diagnose electrical faults. As more and more electrical devices are fitted with USB chargers, including small power tools, electric shavers, smart devices and appliances, direct charging for USB connections will become a must-have standard feature in accommodation complexes. In particular, hotels should offer their guests the convenience of USBsockets as no international adapters will be required. In fact, no charger will be required - all that is needed is the charging cable for your device. Cables cheap and readily available everywhere. Imagine losing a charger in a remote beach house or mining village in Australia where you would not be able to buy a new one – with USBsockets installed this is no longer a problem as USBsockets charge all! With replacement chargers costing around $25 to $70 each, installing USBsockets is also a much cheaper solution to replacing lost or forgotten individual chargers for tablets. USBsockets.com.au are great for new hotels and retro fit where ever there is an existing GPO socket making them ideal for refurbishments and upgrades. For more information, and to download a detailed product guide, visit USBsockets.com.au

USB wallsockets. Power points with twin USB charging ports. Features include: • Zero standby power - When not charging a device the unit draws no power whatsoever • 2x regular 240 AC outlets • 2x USB ports capable of providing up to 5v 2Amps • Simple install - replaces general double GPO

White

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Make your guest’s life easier and replace your traditional power points with USBsockets.com.au

USB sockets

For more information and to download a detailed product guide visit:

.com.au USBsockets.com.au or email charge@USBsockets.com.au

Custom colours are available to ensure they blend in with your room’s décor.

SPRING 2013

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t technology Digital TV:

Analogue switch-off is almost here for the upper North Island – are you ready? SUNDAY 1 DECEMBER 2013 IS ALMOST HERE! THIS IS THE DAY THAT THE UPPER NORTH ISLAND WILL SWITCH-OFF ITS ANALOGUE (AERIAL) TV SIGNAL FOR THE FREE-TO-AIR CHANNELS - ONCE AND FOR ALL.

So just to repeat – the last region in NZ (essentially

In the last AMG issue (Winter 2013) we announced that it was our final article on the analogue switch-off subject however the reality of recent weeks means we need to reiterate the importance of it. As I write this the lower North Island had their free-to-air channels (that is: TV1, TV2, TV3, C4, Prime) terminated a few weeks earlier in late September. We had nine motels contact us concerned that they no longer had these channels with angry and frustrated guests. With technicians already required at prior jobs some of these motels faced 4-6 day wait before they could have their issues attended to. This was avoidable and simply required a quick assessment of your TV system now rather than later. Other consideration we found was that many of the nine motels caught out were recent new owners at the motels and the previous owners had assured them that they were sorted, when evidently they were not.

bedroom TV’s, conference room TV’s and reception/

It can’t be reiterated enough – even if you have SKY now via a reticulated headend system, that is a limited number of SKY channels distributed to your rooms, you still need to ensure the free-to-airs are available after the analogue switch-off. For those motels who do not subscribe to SKY, i.e. if you are not having any SKY channels distributed to your rooms now, you still need to check how the free-toair channels are provided for your guests.

Taupo north) to go digital will have their analogue TV signal ending Sunday 1 December. After this date no free-to-air channels transmitting via analogue (aerial) will be available. This applies to all TV’s so don’t forget the lobby sets. It is strongly recommended that you seek independent advice from a commercial TV installer who is familiar with such set-ups as yours. Every hotel/motel

James Kenny

is different with its cabling/TV/wiring set-up and it makes prudent sense to seek this information now rather than after the free-to-air channels terminate. Having an independent assessment of your TV system prior to the switch-off may be the best investment you make this year. Also, just to clarify that for all existing SKY subscribers, the current SKY channels will still continue as they are after 1 December 2013. It is only the analogue free-to-air channels that are being switched off. This will most definitely be the last article on the analogue switch-off and may I take this opportunity to say thanks for reading over the last two years about a subject that is close to our hearts. As a major supplier/supporter of the accommodation sector we felt it imperative to provide an informed and balanced perspective for all AMG readers. By James Kenny, Account Manager, SKY TV

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ACCOM MANAGEMENT GUIDE


marketing m Motel Marketing:

Do your customers love you? THE GOLDEN RULES OF MOTEL MARKETING HIGHLIGHTS WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO ATTRACT YOUR IDEAL CUSTOMERS AND KEEP THEM COMING BACK. Marketing is everything you do to promote your business. Marketing is any activity that captures attention and creates a desire (for what you are offering) that leads the customer to take action. Done right it will form a strong bond with your customers. The key steps below are shown here as they hold the secret to long lasting relationships with customers.

What makes staying with you memorable experience?

a

When asked who you are best set up to serve – what is your answer? Most motel owners say, “Everyone!” How about you? Are you set up for everyone who needs accommodation? Just as clarity is needed for knowing and communicating your POD you also need to be very clear who you are communicating this message to. Are you best set up for families, tourists, contractors, business people, sales reps?

Referral marketing - Are you stimulating referrals or are you leaving them to chance?

unique?

FORGE YOUR MARKETING

STEPS INTO A GOLDEN RING THAT KEEPS CUSTOMERS

DELIGHTED, COMMITTED AND Engage your IN LOVE WITH YOU! customers - Are you truely focused on A POD stands for a delighting company’s Point Of Difference them everytime sometimes called a USP they stay with Unique Selling Proposition - this How do they find you? difference/uniqueness is what helps you? How to you catch theirCatch their attention a company/person to decide to use attention? Is your marketing Is your marketing you as against someone else. The clearer material approach gettingand results? this is the more you stick in their mind and the quicker they will take action through the booking/ buying process.

Stephanie Haami

Each of these groups has nuances that make certain motel offerings and qualities really appeal to them. What can you do to appeal to them more than anyone else does? When you are clear on who you are Understand targeting you can then allow this to be what you offer reflected throughout What is your POD? your motel and your What makes you marketing.

Today there are ever-increasing options open to your clients, and potential clients. Every form of communication is flooded with offers and messages. How do you stand out in this all this noise? What do you do differently that makes the experience of dealing and staying with you stick in your customers memory? The first link in effective motel marketing is being clear on what you offer – so clear that you can clearly articulate what makes you different and/or unique. Know your POD and keep refining it, keep delighting your customer.

Who are you best set up to serve – Who is your ideal customer?

structured in a way that

Are you easier to deal with, or book with? Do you make the best breakfasts? Are you open earlier/later than other motels? Are your beds super comfortable or do you have amazing views/location? Are you a combination of all of these or other POD’s? The important point is to be clear and then to ensure this deciding quality is shared with everyone. Remember your POD cannot help you if you do not share it. People need to know what is unique about you if it is going to help them decide to use you. If your client looks at your website or other marketing material will they see reasons to choose you and be reminded of reasons to come back to you? Remember it is usually “how” you do what you do, as opposed to the “what” you do.

Know your ideal customer Who does your uniqueness appeal to?

If you appeal to business executives what will make them choose you? Maybe it is building the relationship with their PA and making the booking process very easy for the PA, while remembering the executives name and the fact that they like ground level rooms with a spa bath and morning paper?

For sales reps maybe it is free internet, for contractors – hearty meals and packed lunches, families – treats for the kids and family deals organised around town? Whoever you are targeting, know what the WOW factor will be and provide this.

Remember, through all the technology, business is still about people dealing with people. Know your clients well and make them feel special – it gets them talking, brings them back and makes you stick in their memory!

Catching the customer’s attention and getting them to act! Once you are clear on what makes you special and who you appeal to and why, the next link in the chain is to let your customers know. When you know your specific target market you will have a very clear idea of the most effective form of communicating with them, and if you are not sure – just ask!. Does your current marketing work? Many motel owners spend a significant percentage of their turnover on marketing and remain uncertain as to the results. 34  SPRING 2013

33


m marketing Golden Rules for Motel Marketing:

 33 Does this sound like you? Are you in a catch 22 – you know you need to advertise but not sure what or where and are too scared to stop what you are currently doing in case that is the bit that is working?

Check your marketing against these 5 gems: 1. Decide who your target market is and write just for them - all the words/phrases/ expressions/questions etc should be targeted at catching their attention. 2. Catch their attention - Have an attention grabbing headline/Question/ picture/ shocking statement (like the newspapers do). 3. Stimulate their desire/interest - build on catching their attention - ask more Q’s, give further facts/statements. 4. Show them the solution – this is a great place to mention your POD/ USP. 5. Have clear strong call to action – What do you want them to do.

Know your clients well and make them feel special – it gets them talking, brings them back and makes you stick in their memory!

The key with any marketing is to remember that you can only manage what you measure. Measure the effectiveness of the different types of marketing and then repeat what is working and stop or change what is not working. One of the simplest ways to find out what is working is just to ask every new client how they heard about you. Are you truly focused on delighting your customers – everytime? “One customer, well taken care of, could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising.” - Jim Rohn Marketing is everything you do to promote your business. When all your efforts work and the customer arrives, what first impression do you make? What memories start to form in the clients mind? Do you have lots of mini-WOW factor moments? Remember, when you know who you are targeting you can do a lot towards creating a positive experience. It is often the little things that make the biggest impression – lollies on the counter, a genuine smiling greeting (we are happy to have your business), walking bags to the room, heating the room up - especially over winter, offering breakfast, newspapers and all round making it easy and welcoming. When you are sure you are doing all you can to create a great experience then you will find it a lot easier to invite, and even request feedback. When customers are truly delighted – they tell you. If you haven’t been complimented lately consider a quick 3 question survey: 1. What do we do well that you would like to see us keep doing? 2. What could we stop doing that would make your experience even better? 3. What could we start doing that would make your experience even better? This quick start/stop/continue survey can reveal some gems of insight – and all you have to do is ask for them! When they do enjoy and compliment you then you can start asking for testimonials – good feedback is very appealing and affirming so ensure you share the good feedback around. If need be offer to write it for them and email it to them to check and alter. Many people want to give you a testimonial but they just don’t make the time – so do it for them. Become top of mind when it comes to motels in your town – it creates referrals! Doing all of the above well will delight your customers. Ensure that you leverage off this by nurturing a referral culture among your clients. People

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like to give good referrals and the best ‘reward’ you can give them is to ensure you treat the person they referred as well as you treat them. This is another great reason for asking how new clients heard about you. This last link is the fruit of getting the others mastered. When you are clear on what you offer and who your ideal clients are, then you can target them, and they will draw more of the same. The old saying birds of a feather flock together is very true – make sure you are happy with the flock that is coming to your motel and provide all they need so they make you a regular stop over and destination point.

3 key thoughts around referrals 1. Ask for them and make it easy – create a guarantee that their friends and associates will be well looked after. Offer a referral reward and consider offering it both ways - for the referrer on their return visit and your new client. 2. How easy is it to refer you? Do you have convenient cards people can take? Do you keep in touch via email where you invite them to forward the email to any friends or associates. Are your ideal clients Facebook or linked-in people and if so are you on these sites so they can easily recommend you? 3. With referrals many people leave it to just organically happen. Your client tells a friend and they contact you. However you can be more proactive. Ask your client if there are any people they know you could contact on their recommendation, with a special offer as they have been referred. As with all the points above you need to decide if you want your marketing to be effective and then take the necessary action steps – fortune favours the active! People by nature are relational and when we make any interaction with us an experience that is pleasurable and memorable, we will hold a special place in our clients hearts - that place where people say “Oh I love them ….” By Stephanie Haami, The Motel Guru


marketing m supplier profile TRIPADVISOR

Review Express: The fast, free & easy way to get more traveller reviews

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ripAdvisor’s Director of Review Services, Minesh Shah, talks about the importance of traveller reviews and how your property can use Review Express to get more visitors to review your business on TripAdvisor.

Every month, more than 260 million unique visitors1 come to TripAdvisor to read traveller reviews of properties like yours before they decide to book. With Review Express, hospitality business owners can invite guests to review their property on TripAdvisor via an easy-to-use emailed review form. It’s simple, automated, customisable, and it’s free.

More Reviews in 5 Simple Steps It takes just minutes to reach out to up to 1,000 recent visitors with an email request for a review. You can include your logo, personalise your message, and let travellers know their feedback matters to you. Traveller Information Remains Confidential TripAdvisor’s Director of Review Services, Minesh Shah

Review Express is an invaluable service for hospitality business owners looking to build their online reputation; globally, more than 18,000 owners have utilised this service since its full launch this past May. When used along with TripAdvisor’s free display offerings for owners, Review Express provides a great online marketing package for hospitality businesses of all sizes. Reviews Matter The TripAdvisor Popularity Index takes into account not only the quality of the property’s reviews but their quantity and recency as well. Review Express makes it easy to encourage guest reviews – and give travellers the insight they want – for free. •

81% of travellers say they usually or always consult TripAdvisor reviews before booking2

74% of reviewers say they write reviews to share a good experience with other travellers2

Customer feedback is important — to travellers and to businesses. Research shows that fresh reviews can help properties attract more travellers and gain valuable insights into how to improve.

Review Express was built for businesses like yours — and we value your confidentiality. Your guest contact information is used only for Review Express mailings and will not be stored for any other purposes by TripAdvisor. Gain Campaign Insights with Review Express Dashboard The Review Express Dashboard provides valuable performance data on your email campaigns and reviews generated from Review Express. You can see all the collected reviews and ratings, as well as the total number of campaigns and emails you’ve processed, including statistics such as the number of clicks and the rate of email openings. Review Express Costs You Nothing Review Express and the Review Express Dashboard are amongst the many free, powerful marketing tools available to your business in TripAdvisor’s Management Centre – the hub page for your business on TripAdvisor. Hospitality businesses can register and verify for free to have access to the Management Centre. Please visit www.tripadvisor.com/GetListedNew. 1. Google Analytics, worldwide, July 2013 2. PhoCusWright’s “TripAdvisor Custom Survey,” September 2012

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To use Review Express, please visit: www.tripadvisor.com/ReviewExpress SPRING 2013

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m marketing Case Study – Garden Suites and Apartments Queenstown:

Hirum proves a godsend at Garden Suites

Garden Court captures all day sun and has beautiful views of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains.

HIRUM’S PMS SYSTEM HAS PROVED INVALUABLE AT QUEENSTOWN’S GARDEN SUITES AND APARTMENTS WHERE IT EASILY HANDLES A RANGE OF COMPLEX TASKS. Garden Court offers a variety of accommodation including one and two bedroom apartments and studio suites. Situated just five minutes walk from the heart of Queenstown, the complex is set in a relaxing garden environment that captures all day sun and has beautiful views of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains. The mix of suites and apartments was developed by the owner, Russell Webley, about 14 years ago, with a different software system. But when he designed and built two additional apartment blocks at Garden Court in 2000, he sold them all off individually while maintaining the management contract for the rooms. Now with a more complicated administration situation to deal with, he chose the Hirum property management system. Sheena Salter became executive manager about six years ago when the Hirum software was up and running. She was experienced in hotel management but was only familiar with other types of reservation software. “However, they were not systems that would be able to deal with a partly owned and partly managed property like this,” she said. “Here, Hirum deals with rooms that are 100% owned by Russell Webley, but it also has to contend with more than 40% of the property which is made up of apartments with individual owners who receive a certain percentage share of revenue per month. “When Russell chose Hirum PMS for Garden Court, he believed there wasn’t any other software package in New Zealand that was equipped to deal with what he required here. He needed a system that was able to calculate revenue and expenses for that certain group of new rooms and on a monthly basis be able to divide out the individual owner’s share, plus adding up the manager’s share,” Mrs Salter said.

Hirum team was not then having to deal with a complex tax regime such as New Zealand’s GST. However, that did not prove to be a barrier. “Taking into account that Hirum wasn’t dealing with GST at that point, they pretty much had to build something specifically for Garden Court,” Mrs Salter said. The team did design a system and it has proved to be an outstanding success. “We use the Hirum property management system – the PMS. It handles all our reservations, all our reporting – so we can obtain our operating reports, our market stats, our source analysis. The PMS is our booking system, it’s our forecasting, it’s how we budget – it does virtually everything. Without it, we’d find it almost impossible to operate.” While Hirum systems can be adapted to other uses as well, Mrs Salter says it is used for specific purposes at Garden Suites and Apartments. “For us, it does what we need it to do. “Without it, “we’d have to investigate other reservations systems and I don’t personally know of any other system that can handle the split in jobs that it has to accomplish. It makes my life a great deal easier because if I was to try to individually manage each of our owners and work out their payments manually per month, I dread to think what it would be like.” So, with the range of services the PMS can handle, is it difficult to get used to? “No, it’s not. I wasn’t aware of Hirum before I started working here but I’d pretty much picked it up within a couple of days.” And a factor she regards as extremely important is the after-sales backup she has received from the team on the Gold Coast.

“Russell picked Hirum because it worked on an Australian model. In tourist areas such as the Gold Coast, most apartments are individually owned and then let out, so you still need to have the element of being able to pay the owners while being able to retain your own revenue as well.”

“The guys based at Hirum are very open to answering questions. We’ve built up really good relationships with them, including Phil – the owner who we know we can talk to personally on the phone if we need to. For instance, when the rate of GST changed in New Zealand, it had the potential for disaster, but the people at Hirum were very proactive and went through the whole procedure with us well before the increase was due. We couldn’t fault them in that respect. As the executive manager, I’m under a lot of time constraints, but if there’s ever a glitch or something I don’t understand occurs, I know they’ll immediately help me and sort it out within a day.”

But while an Australian system provided a solution on one hand, the

By Brent Leslie, Industry Reporter

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ACCOM MANAGEMENT GUIDE


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m marketing Channel Management:

Channel managers for your property WHILE CHANNEL MANAGER PROGRAMS ARE NOWADAYS QUITE COMMON, MANY MOTEL/RESORT STAFF I TALK TO STILL HAVE QUESTIONS SUCH AS: • • • • • •

What is a channel manager? Should we use a channel manager? What are the benefits? How much will it cost? How do I select a channel manager? What do I have to watch out for?

What is a channel manager? A channel manager is a software program that allows you to put your excess availability (that is room inventory) on to their website, together with room rates and number of available rooms. The channel manager will then put your inventory out on other Internet booking sites for people to book your rooms. Usually, you can select what other booking sites the channel manager has available to put your inventory on. Another feature is that you should be able to put a booking button on your own website for guests to book direct (assuming you have your own website – and you should). The availability you have put on your selected channel manager usually applies to this option too.

The channel manager enables you to present your property on dozens of Internet booking sites for less than $100 a month

Most channel managers will also allow you to have multiple rates and packages/special deals as well as the usual default rack rate ad stop sell capabilities.

Should we use a channel manager? The answer is a definite yes as most properties will certainly benefit to some degree by utilising a channel manager. The only exceptions might be a property that has a guaranteed 100% occupancy by virtue of someone making a commitment to utilise all the available accommodation. An example of this exception could be a construction company in Christchurch that is rebuilding properties after the earthquakes there. Another example might be in the coal area of Queensland with a mining company guaranteeing to take all the accommodation for their staff. These situations are highly unlikely to need a channel manager. One of the best price/performance options to promote your business is readily available to everyone. The channel manager enables you to present your property on dozens of Internet booking sites for less than $100 a month to the average motel. And, even less for a small property. So the short answer is that you should get more business. Also, you now have much more efficient handling of returning guest bookings by using a booking button on your website. Conveniently provided by the channel manager's booking button option. Don't have a website? Seriously, I really think you should but this area is a separate discussion. Putting more effort into marketing the property, particularly in our current tough economic times, would be very high on my list. And, any way you can get more bookings as economically as possible will add to your guest database. Hence the use of a channel manager. The follow on to this is that you can then market to your guests with special offers and suggest (of course) that they can make live bookings direct off your website. Once, they might have booked on another website and you would have paid commission on the booking. And you might have possibly accepted a lower room rate as well. It's never been easier to have people booking directly off your website! Now is a good time to see what costs are involved. Seeing as there is no such thing as a free lunch, there will be some cost for using your selected channel manager for this service. You will be paying either a flat monthly fee or a commission per booking or even both for the channel manager and a bit more for a booking button on your website. If you are a small property, you might use a fully web based booking system with a built in channel manager facility. Sales people promoting these services are keen to say that these are cloud based as if it's some new magical new feature – it's not. In this case you are really just accessing your information over the Internet on someone else's computer. And, if there is no Internet, you are out of action. You will not have any real control over your data other than it will be kept backed up and current. The whole system may be seriously feature limited, however it's often a good starter for small properties and sometimes a good starter for larger properties coming off a manual system. If you are a larger property, then you might have property management software in your property already so you might only be looking at a channel manager/booking button facility and it's cost. Typical costs are from several well known channel managers (prices are per month and exclude GST but include booking button):

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marketing m

A. Free if you only select the “free channels�. Paid for all channels 11-20 rooms $79. 21-50 rooms $99. Or, pay 2.2% commission per booking only. B. All channels 11-30 rooms $89, 31-100 rooms $118. C. All channels 11-20 rooms $109, 21-50 rooms $159. Most channel managers will offer 14-30 days free trial. Not enough in my opinion as it might take a little while to get things working optimally. Most are month to month contracts. Want more details? Get on to Google and do some searching around. There are many to choose from.

Watch out for the following: When you make any changes to your channel manager, remember that it will take a little while for all your selected websites to be updated. If you have all your availability on the channel manager and get a last minute walk in for your last room, take the availability off the channel manager first. Then wait a few minutes and after this accept the walk in. Some websites (usually overseas ones) charge up to 35% commissions so select your websites on the channel manager carefully. Also, make sure the availability you put on the channel manager is correct or you might get some bookings when you have no availability or turn potential guests away when you have availability. By Robert Garde, Starfleet Business Solutions

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r refurbishment Design:

Responsible design for the commercial accommodation industry WHAT DOES CONSTITUTE A RESPONSIBLE DESIGN?

1. Within budget Budget planning is crucial. It is important to be realistic in your expectations and maximise your budget but don’t sacrifice quality for the sake of a few dollars as it will likely cost you more in the long run. The fitout and refurbishment company you select should be able to give you not only the budget for your work but also an indication of the colour palette and products they have specified. That way you can be sure the products are the correct selection for your property, are commercial and are within the correct budget bracket.

2. Does not overcapitalise When putting a budget together keep in mind the target market you are aiming at and your star-rating goal - it is important to think of the property as your investment and not your home. There is a level of finish that is applicable to your property and your place in the market. Unless your budget is unlimited, and when ever is that the case? Select products that are suitable to your level of property. There is no need to use top end tap ware and tiles in a bathroom for example if it will not give you additional return on your investment. Investment dollars need to be well justified and through research you will receive the return you expect, via smart marketing and sensible room rates. The bottom line is don’t refurbish your rooms at a five-star level when you will only achieve three-star room rates or if your market and aim is for a three-star property. The investment will never pay off and you will be left short for ongoing maintenance. Likewise it is equally if not more important to not under specify the products you use in your property. Even a three-star property should have commercial grade, solid and well selected products that work efficiently, look good and appeal to the guest. If you are a five-star

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ACCOM MANAGEMENT GUIDE

For a refurbishment to be truly successful the overall design must be cohesive

property then a very high level of product is required and expected (don’t underestimate the guest’s knowledge of what the room should look like) and the additional fine touches that make the difference.

3. Caters to target market Your design should be developed for your target market and guest demographic. If your main market is families then you will need to choose fabrics and colours that are more forgiving and will help to hide marks and stains, fabrics that are easy to clean and care for. 42 


“...The quality and look of the units was well beyond our initial expectations and this is also reflected in the on going guest feedback we are receiving since the completion of the project The mirror light unit has become a point of difference in the bathroom and the anti-fog feature is definitely a favourite with guests…”

“...I would like to thank you very much for the wonderful experience I have had working with Customlight Engineering for the manufacture and supply of LED backlit bathroom mirrors for the refurbishments of our Novotel Hotels; Novotel Melbourne Collins Street and Novotel Melbourne Glen Waverly…”

“...Refurbishing Novotel Wellington, we needed to source well priced LED bathroom mirror lights and bed head reading lights. Customlight Engineering built and submitted prototypes for approval – after a minimum of adjustments these were then manufactured and fitted into the refurbished rooms. We have had good feedback from our guests…”

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r refurbishment Design:

 40 Similarly if your main market is the corporate clientele, then you should focus on comfort and can afford to be more selective and specific in the design, perhaps more neutral or modern. Likewise the room layout should reflect this market. Corporate travellers do not want to see two or three beds in their ‘executive rooms’. They want to see a large bed, large desk space and comfortable seating. Don’t cater for three weeks at Christmas, cater for your usual and most common guest.

4. Relates to property’s atmosphere, history, location and star rating This is fairly straightforward. If a property is heritage listed, for example, the products and finishes will need to reflect this. Ultra modern design in this situation would not be appropriate, in the same way that you wouldn’t have a heritage design in a modern building. The history and location of the property need to be taken into consideration in the same regard. The climate and surroundings should also be considered. A property in a cold climate should have warm, comforting colours and textures. Obviously the location of the actual property should be considered, beach, bush etc, the design needs to be sympathetic and have synergy with the surroundings.

5. Is cohesive For a refurbishment to be truly successful the overall design must be cohesive, that is, all products, finishes and colours should look like they were thought of as a whole, like they belong together and weren’t randomly thrown in the room. This often happens when a refurbishment has taken place over time, piecemeal, without a plan from the beginning. The way to achieve this is to have a colour concept prepared prior to any works taking place. An experienced professional should use purpose built products and will recommend colours and finishes to suit your property, and work well together.

6. Is innovative without alienating It’s a great option to have a designer twist in your rooms, a splash of colour or a touch that makes your rooms stand out from the rest. However, too much of this can alienate certain guests so you need to decide if you are going to go out on a limb for the sake of a design that may be controversial or play it safe. For example, a corporate guest that has travelled and worked all day just wants a place to relax and wind down. A bright red feature wall is not going to help him achieve this. This may be the same case with elderly guests. Other younger guests may think it’s funky. Safest way to approach this is to stay true to the theme and overall design of your property.

7. Offers flexibility to update in the future When a design is too specific it means that the room décor may be restrictive to upgrade, until the time to do a full refurbishment comes around. However, if the specific designer colours are kept to a few key pieces such as cushions, a rug, prints, bed valances or a sofa, then the entire colour scheme can be revamped with a soft refurbishment, recreating your rooms and offering something different to your regular guests without it costing a full remake. As a rule of thumb larger, longer lasting or expensive items, such as wall paint, carpet and curtains, should be kept to neutral colours.

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8. Has longevity and will not date quickly This can mainly be a problem when certain elements of the rooms are retained and a design needs to be created around it. A good example of this is when the carpet or curtains are to be kept but all other elements are being changed. It is sometimes hard to think outside the square and many property owners fall back on old habits and stick to the same colour scheme. A large amount of money is spent in refurbishing rooms but they end up looking the same as before especially when your budget is tight - it is advisable to contact a professional for advice. Creating a new room with existing elements is one of the trickiest things to do successfully. On the other end of the scale if you are creating a new room from scratch, longevity of the design must also be considered. You don’t want to be re-designing and upgrading again in three to five years because the colour palette selected was the fashion and has long since been discarded. Follow the influencing factors such as climate, location and guest rather than trends.

9. Is practical Products and finishes that are specific to the domestic market do not have a place in a commercial property. Typical examples of these are the use of mirror bedside tables white, light coloured or delicate fabrics such as silks and impractical light fittings that are not good for cleaning or energy saving and most of all will not last in a commercial setting. Each product must be selected for its ability to withstand the hospitality industry including misuse, vigorous cleaning, disguising marks and being practical. Unless you are a boutique property willing to spend a substantial amount on maintenance, upkeep and replacements then practicality is the key for design. This certainly does not mean boring typical and mundane. A good designer will successfully fulfil all of these criteria and have a result that is stunning and specific to your property.

10. Maximises profit and reduces expenses Overall a responsible design will ensure that all of the above points are taken into consideration and are efficiently actioned into a successful refurbishment. After all, the whole point of going through the process is to increase the value of the property and the rooms, maintain and increase standards, stay ahead of your competition and ensure client satisfaction. A happy guest is a return guest with good comments to pass on. By Amanda Beazley, Managing Director, John Beazley & Co.


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r refurbishment Floor Coverings:

Tips on buying carpet WHEN THINKING OF PURCHASING NEW CARPET THERE ARE CERTAIN THINGS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER. 1. Colour – Best advice is to simply go as dark as your area to be covered can handle! A light colour can get dirty quickly even if it’s a good quality, especially if stains aren’t attended to immediately and in the correct manner. 2. Style – Especially when it comes to hotels and other areas expected to receive a fair amount of wear, a carpet with more than one colour or even a pattern certainly can help to aid in the carpet looking good for as long as it possibly can in regards to stains and such… Anything that creates a mottled type of effect is great for hiding future stains and wear ‘n’ tear. 3. Quality/weight – This is a vitally important trait to consider before your purchase. If you’re the type of client that wants the carpet to be a real investment and thus last as long as it possibly can then you need to purchase a higher weighted, denser product. Commercially a carpet 40oz and above is a good commercial carpet; 45oz and above is the best quality commercial carpet. Most carpets below this weight are no where near as good bar a few exceptions. If you’re the type of customer who changes their carpet every 3-5 years to keep up with current trends, then you would be best choosing a medium grade/priced carpet as to pay extra for something you won’t allow to reach it’s full life is a waste of money.

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WHEN QUALITY MEETS EFFICIENCY. THAT IS TOTO. 4. Type – There are several types of carpet in regards to yarn type used. Alpaca is mainly used for really upmarket areas but does shed excess yarn more than other types but is ultra soft and luxurious too. Wool is the obvious choice, it has already stood the test of time and doesn’t need any stain treatments to be applied (doesn’t this make a statement?). A good wool carpet will usually out perform other carpet fibres. Pure wool carpet is, on average, more expensive than synthetic carpet but the performance gains makes it money well spent. Nylons are typically used for domestic purposes only. Some nylons these days do not pass Australian building fire codes so one must be very careful of this. Solution dyed nylons can be good carpets but one must still be careful as many stores these days win quotes by automatically quoting on the cheapest SDN on the market which passes the fire codes.

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These cheap SDNs aren’t the best value for your money. More expensive ones can perform well though. Polypropylenes are always the cheapest carpet option. Normally only used for cheap rental properties these days; many retailers will even win quotes by quoting on a poly carpet. Poly carpets do not pass the majority of fire building codes. They are quite tough surprisingly but do not clean well at all. By Zak Nelson, Carpet Dealers

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h housekeeping Carpet & Rug Cleaning:

Keeping carpets fresh and clean

Housekeeping departments should place attention on having the right equipment available and providing their cleaning personnel with the proper training for identifying stains and using the right product

Whether it be spills, marks, or smells you should have spot cleaning products on hand.

WHETHER IT IS FOR A LARGE HOTEL, MOTEL, HOSTEL OR ANY OTHER KIND OF ACCOMMODATION FACILITY A RELIABLE INHOUSE CARPET AND UPHOLSTERY CARE SYSTEM IS NEEDED TO KEEP A CLEAN ENVIRONMENT. On arrival your guest’s view of the carpets and furniture are the first and lasting impressions of the establishment. Clean and spotless carpet tells the visitor or guest that this is a clean and well maintained property. Carpet and upholstery care should rank as one of the top priorities on your regular maintenance program. Studies show that carpet actually serves as a magnet of all kinds of pollutants, contaminants, bacteria and odours, including the possibility of nasty’s such as fleas, cockroach eggs, and dust mites. Housekeeping departments should place attention on having the right equipment available and providing their cleaning personnel with the proper training for identifying stains and using the right product. Spot cleaning and regular maintenance is the key to a healthy, fresh and clean environment. Regular cleaning enhances indoor air quality. Most carpet warranties require that carpets be cleaned using the extraction method within a specific amount of time, usually every 12 – 18 months. More regular cleaning prolongs the life of your carpet, protecting your floor covering investment. There are a number of carpet cleaning methods and cleaning products. It is important to have the right products and equipment for the job. Many carpet manufacturers recommend professional hot water extraction as the preferred and most effective carpet cleaning method. This means to deep clean the

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carpet with a professional carpet cleaning machine that sprays heated water (not steam) on the carpet while simultaneously sucking up the sprayed water along with any dislodged and dissolved dirt. Hot water extraction carpet cleaning equipment may be a portable unit that plugs into an electrical outlet or a truck mount carpet cleaner requiring long hoses going from the truck or trailer to the room requiring cleaning. Truck mounted equipment is advantageous where electricity is unavailable, e.g. for cleaning premises where the electrical service was terminated due to renovations. Truck mount carpet cleaning may be unsuited to premises distant from a driveway or road and hoses may need to pass through windows to reach upper floors of a building. The advantage of the hot water extraction cleaning method is the effectiveness of using hot water along with the correct diluted cleaning product; this avoids the problems associated with any detergent residues that can remain in the carpet with other types of cleaning methods. These other methods can cause residue that in a shorter time period attracts dirt back to the carpet from the soles of shoes as people walk on the carpet, causing the carpet to look worse than before. It is always recommended that you vacuum first to help remove dry soiling. Spills, soiling and smells to the carpet and rugs can result in damage to the carpet fibres causing difficult to remove stains or possibly permanent damage thus shortening the life of the carpet. High-traffic paths in main areas and hall ways will mat over time because of fibre abrasion which can eventually lead to fibre loss. Regular machine cleaning will raise the carpet pile.


housekeeping

The best way to keep your rugs looking fresh is to regularly turn them upside down and vacuum the back of the rug. This helps to push trapped dirt deep down towards the top of the rug. Then flip the rug right side up and vacuum. Clean your rugs when you are cleaning your carpets to ensure they stay fresh and healthy. Check a small patch for colour fastness first to make sure the dye does not run through onto main carpeted areas. Whether you are a hotel, conference centre, motel or facility that requires a carpet cleaning maintenance program throughout the year there are always those unexpected mishaps or emergency’s that need to be attended to urgently. Whether it be spills, marks, or smells your housekeeping department should have on hand spot cleaning products and a complete carpet care system to do-it-yourself at a convenient time for your establishment, this can avoid costly expense of after hour callouts and minimum spot cleaning charges. Moist soiling of carpets can result in the build-up of several unhealthy contaminants.

Spot Cleaning Tips • •

Do not rub carpet surface as this will spread the stain and distort the carpet. When cleaning liquid spills gently blot thoroughly with clean, white paper towels.

• • • • •

Do not press hard, allow liquids to absorb into the paper towels. For solids, scoop up with a spoon working from the outside of the spill towards the centre. Always blot or clean towards the centre so as not to spread the stain. Use cleaning products according to each labels instructions. Always test an inconspicuous area of carpet or upholstery for colour fastness before cleaning.

Having clean and fresh carpet and rugs enhances the appearance of any room and speaks volumes about the overall cleanliness of an establishment. Workers also feel better about their work environment when it is clean. In conclusion, time and money is precious, so consider if the system you are currently using is a professional and reliable service, providing you with the most ultimate results. By Jane Handley, Rug Doctor (NZ) Ltd

SPRING 2013

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h housekeeping supplier profile KARCHER

Carpet Care

C

arpets and upholstered furniture add decorative highlights to rooms, make them comfortable and create a pleasing atmosphere. Appropriate cleaning and care increase the comfort felt and simultaneously minimise the dust and allergen burden within the building, particularly in places where the carpets are subjected to extreme pressures of use on a daily basis. Therefore a cleaning and care programme designed for the particular type of dirt or soiling is required to ensure the long term preservation of the carpet. As a specialist in cleaning, this is where Karcher can help, with a choice of the appropriate cleaning methods for all types and intensities of dirt and soiling. Routine vacuuming is the most common way to keep carpets and upholstery clean. However there comes a point where vacuuming fails to maintain a clean image. In this instance intermediate and deep cleaning methods should be used. Icapsol Encapsulation, powder cleaning and spray extraction are further steps which can be taken in order to restore a carpet and extend its life. This article focuses on these cleaning methods and outlines when and where these should be used.

Intermediate cleaning is a cleaning method used to ensure good visual improvement of the carpets surface. It is used to postpone deep cleaning or to clean walkways in corridors and other high traffic areas. This method is often overlooked or not considered due to lack of knowledge. Cleaning carpets quickly in a 24/7 environment can be a challenge and ideally need to be done with minimal inconvenience to customers. There are many different intermediate cleaning techniques that are used which include powder cleaning, dry shampooing and icapsol encapsulation. These are all effective techniques however powder cleaning and dry shampooing can be messy and take anywhere from one to two hours to dry. This is where Karcher’s BRS 43/500 icapsol encapsulation machine combined with RM 768 is ideal. The solution is sprayed onto the carpet and agitated by the roller brushes. The cleaning solution then breaks down and surrounds the soil and other detergent residue from previous cleaning. It dries into a hard, non-sticky crystal, encasing the soil and drying in as little as 20 minutes. The dried crystals can then easily be removed by vacuuming at the next scheduled cleaning. Treated carpets are also safe for use throughout the drying period. Deep cleaning on the other hand is a technique used when routine vacuuming and intermediate cleaning fails to provide a clean result. This thorough cleaning, which is carried out less frequently, can be used to remove dirt which has become stuck fast in the carpet despite periodic maintenance cleaning. Deep cleaning usually involves wet cleaning. However there are certain re-

BRC30/15C

BRS43/500

quirements made with regard to the quality of the carpet (material, structure, pile height). Before actual deep cleaning, the carpet should be cleaned with a brush type vacuum cleaner, so that any loose particles are removed. A drying time must be allowed after the carpet has been cleaned. This can sometimes become a challenge in heavily-frequented areas such as entrances and hallways. Karchers Puzzi spray extraction machines and carpet cleaners leave very little residual moisture in the carpet therefore drying time is kept to a minimum. During spray extraction, cleaning liquid is sprayed under pressure into the carpet through one or several spray nozzles and is vacuumed back up again in the same movement via a suction tool. Spray extraction is the only three dimensional cleaning method in which the liquid is sprayed into the pile down to the base fabric. Compared with other methods, optimum cleaning is achieved. Spray extraction is also a very effective way of cleaning and refreshing upholstery. With water capacities between 8 and 40 litres there is a machine suited to any job no matter how big or small. However if the floor covering is very dirty, the spray extraction process must be supplemented by mechanical cleaning. Carpets cleaners such as the BRC 30/15 and BRC 45/45 offer this by using rotating brushes to loosen and remove the dirt from the carpet and comb the pile upwards. These units will reduce cleaning time with coverage of 30 to 45cm with a single pass and are suited for medium to large areas. In addition the BRC 45/45 can be used not only as a spray extraction unit but also for interim carpet cleaning (icapsol encapsulation). If you already have one of Karchers scrubber driers such as the BR 30/4 there is an add-on kit available so your machine can double as a carpet cleaner. Combining cleaning techniques into a single machine and providing add on kits to existing machines is one of many ways Karcher makes a difference. So next time you are requiring a cleaning machine for your premises consider a Karcher, you will surely be impressed. For more details on any of the products listed above or any of the many other products distributed by Karcher, call today on 0800 KARCHER or visit the website www.karcher.co.nz.

Puzzi 100

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housekeeping h Subsection:

Headline

Professional cleaning with discreet performance. At Kärcher we don’t just think about our customers, but also our customers’ customers. Hotel guests that don’t want to be disturbed and hotel managers that care about the ambience and cleanliness of their hotel above all else. People who want to clean in a reliable and economical manner. Kärcher machines provide sufficient levels of power whilst running extremely quietly and saving electricity. Kärcher eco!efficiency – achieve more with less.

www.karcher.co.nz

2013 49 0800 SPRING KARCHER


h housekeeping Bed Bugs:

You can get rid of them BED BUGS AND MYTHS GO TOGETHER. EVEN THE SCIENTISTS MANAGE TO CREATE MYTHOLOGICAL HYPOTHESES WHEN IT COMES TO THESE BLOOD SUCKING BEASTIES. In recent times, bed bug infestation has been labelled as anything from a local-out-of-control problem to a global pandemic. The reality lies somewhere between, many people have become more aware (bitten) of the problem, bed bugs are showing increased pesticideresistance, increased travel spreads the problem more and the increasing use of new "pestcontrol" methods that do not affect bed bugs. Another issue is accommodation providers treat bed bugs like leprosy and that’s a big part of the problem because they are embarrassed and delay getting help.

There is almost no bigger blow in the industry, than having your hotel reported in the media or reviewed on TripAdvisor as having a bed bug problem

Bed bugs - cimex lectularius - are very shrewd, cunning insects that can seclude itself into any nook or cranny remaining virtually invisible until it is time to feed - usually on a luscious warm sleeping traveller - your guest. A bed bug can live for a year without feeding but most voracious of the kind feed every five to ten days. Their bites cause a wide variety of reactions in people including skin infections, rashes, itching or inflammation. Most bed bug bites consist of a raised red bump or flat welt. Often they cannot be felt or seen for hours or up to a week later. Bed bugs are the most difficult pest to control. Not only do they breed rapidly and produce a large number of offspring, they are a hardy pest that can live approximately 12 months without food and withstand a wide range of temperatures, from near freezing temperatures to 50°C. Bed bug control can only be maintained through a treatment strategy that includes a variety of techniques plus careful attention to monitoring. Proper use of pesticides may be part of the strategy but will not by itself eliminate bed bugs. In addition, bed bug populations have developed resistance to the ways many pesticides work to kill pests. Over 50 years ago, DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) was thought to be the ultimate bed bug cure and so most people considered the world rid of the little brown parasites. The best way to treat a bed bug infestation, is with heat - usually steam. The worst decision a hotel manager could make would be to attempt treating an infestation themselves. Using pesticide in a hotel without a certified professional is a sure fire way to provoke a lawsuit

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as the chemicals used could be harmful to future guests, as well as damaging to the building itself. Bed bug infestations are always best left to an experienced pest management company, if your current company does not have bed bug experience, request that they recommend a sub-contractor who does. Steam works well in combating bed bugs because high heat kills them much faster than freezing and steam will not leave any harmful chemicals, has no off-putting odour and is relatively inexpensive. Experts recommend that it be used in conjunction with an approved chemical insecticide that has some residual activity because some bed bugs may survive the initial blast. Infested laundry can also be washed in boiling water and dried in a tumble drier. One female bed bug can produce 300 offspring in six weeks. The only thing that will effectively destroy bed bug eggs is exposure to heat above 50°C. 52 


2013 MEMBER


h housekeeping Bed Bugs:

 50 One company, Rentokil, has perfected a unique method of heat treatment that effectively seals off and reaches all infected items that need to be treated. The computer controlled Entotherm Heat Pod kills all stages of an insect’s lifecycle, from egg to adult, making it much more effective in dealing with infestations than other methods. In addition, only one treatment is required, so the pest problem can be solved quickly with minimum disruption to you or your guests and without the risk of exposure to insecticides and gas fumigants. The heat pod heats the contents of the pod to between 54°C and 60°C for one hour, is chemical-free on all your intimate contact points. It has been designed to be quick and easy to set up in an accommodation complex, allowing the treatment of infested items on site. This allows quicker treatment times and eliminates the risk of items being damaged or lost when taken off site. Modern steam cleaners produce vapour at 100°C plus at the nozzle which is hot enough to wipe out bed bugs (and their eggs), dust mites, fleas, germs, bacteria and viruses instantly as well as odours. Exterminating these pests is not a simple task. In fact, finding them can be a difficult task in and of itself. The fastest, most accurate, most effective means of detecting bed

DEVELOPING YOUR BEDBUG STRATEGY Because you can’t see them

IT DOESN’T MEAN YOU DON’T HAVE THEM Early detection is your best protection. Consult confidently with Pro-Tek Systems who are recognized within the industry for their innovation in dealing with the bedbug resurgence. THE BENEFITS OF CONTRACTING PRO-TEK SYSTEMS • New Zealand’s only certified bedbug detection Beagle dogs. Certified handler. • Seven years experience specialising in bedbugs our services are contracted to Motels, Hotels, Apartments, Backpacker hostels, Rental homes, Transport companies etc. • Our services extend nationwide. • Environmental treatment solutions No’’ furniture discarded minimal room down time • Proactive inspections. Pro-Teks dogs can detect those bugs or eggs that are not visible they will eliminate areas not to be treated. • Development of bedbug protocols which includes an audit system. • Wholesale distributers for certified bedbug encasements. Waterproof breathable allergy free mattress and pillow protectors your solution to bed hygiene. • A yearly Five Star environmental Health certificate awarded to clients who implement bed hygiene, a bedbug program and can demonstrate a high standard of room hygiene. This certificate has given our clients a point of difference and is recognised within the industry. For more information please visit our website.

0800 783 300

or 0274 849 635 info@pro-tek.co.nz 52

ACCOM MANAGEMENT GUIDE

bugs today, are thought to be specially trained dogs. “They really are the most accurate tool the industry has for detecting low-level infestations,” supports Bell Environmental Services’s bed bug division. Although false alerts do happen with canine detection because sometimes the dogs can be too eager to please their human handler, resulting in a ‘false positive’, they do have a 98 per cent accuracy rate, an unparalleled figure. As long as the handler gets visual confirmation of each ‘positive’ detection, which should be a priority due to the expense of extermination, there’s no problem with this method. Dogs are particularly useful for accommodation providers as they can check a room in two minutes where two pest professionals might take two hours. There is almost no bigger blow in the industry, than having your hotel reported in the media or reviewed on TripAdvisor as having a bed bug problem, it leaves you at risk for losing your reputation and potentially facing a lawsuit. The main thing is to keep on top of the issue; check all rooms in your property each year even if you don’t receive complaints and if you do find an infestation, close down the effected rooms temporarily, and get the best treatment possible; then follow up the initial treatment with check ups for at least 28 days afterwards to take care of any surviving bugs. TripAdvisor, Bed Bug Registry, Bed Bug Database and other websites allow users to upload and track bed bug sightings and encounters online. There is even a Bed Bug iPhone App that was launched late 2010. Needless to say, if there is an unpleasant bedtime meeting, it is very likely that it will be quickly on the Internet for the entire world to know. By Graham Vercoe, Industry Reporter


housekeeping Odour Control:

Controlling odours SMELL IS ONE OF THE SENSES THAT BUSINESSES OFTEN OVERLOOK WHEN THINKING ABOUT THE IMAGE THEY WANT TO PROJECT TO THE CONSUMER. IT’S TOO EASY TO FOCUS ON MORE TANGIBLE ASPECTS, SUCH AS THE LOOK OF A PLACE WITH NICE FURNISHINGS, AND FORGET ALL ABOUT THE SMELL. But smell plays a particularly important role in leaving the customer with a good impression of your business, especially in the hospitality industry. Upon entering a business, whether it is one that sells goods or provides a service, the customer is delivered some sort of experience, which is made up of all the sensory data fed to that person by their five senses, sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell. So strong are our associations with smell, I’m sure, if asked, most people could recall the smell (whether good or bad) of an accommodation facility they have stayed at. Accommodation providers simply cannot afford to have malodours lingering in their establishment. Unfortunately, the hospitality industry is one where malodours come with the territory, given the sheer volume and variety of traffic that passes through the doors – smoke, pets, clothing, body odour, bodily fluids, weather – and they can all leave a less than desirable odour for guests. Due to the need for products that could rid rooms of odour, a range of products called odour neutralisers were developed, and today the science of odour neutralising is somewhat advanced. Perhaps the most common method of dealing with malodours is with aerosol sprays; just think of good old air freshener commonly used to clear the air after someone has used the toilet. The problem with these is that air fresheners often simply mask the bad odours with the use of a perfume. True odour neutralisers actually remove the odorous particles in the air. How they work will be explained below. When you smell an offensive odour, the olfactory organs are actually coming into contact with airborne odour particles. One particular method for ridding our environments of offensive odours developed by clever scientists involves using molecules with a particular charge that have an affinity for odour molecules. Once odour-neutralising molecules are dispersed into the air (e.g. via an aerosol spray) and bound to the odour particles, the combined new molecule is much heavier than the odour particle on its own. The combined structure sinks to the ground, thereby

Accommodation providers simply cannot afford to have malodours lingering in their establishment.

preventing it from entering a person’s olfactory organs to be detected as an offensive odour. Don’t be fooled by products that only contain perfumes as they do not remove the offensive odours in the air, and once the perfume particles disappear, the offensive ones will still be there. One of the most important things to remember when implementing an odour-control programme in your establishment is that any attempt at odour neutralising will be in vain if you do not remove the source of the odour in the first place. If the source remains it will keep generating new odour particles that will get into the air. Odour neutralisers generally have no smell as such, but often a fragrance or perfume is used to leave the room that has been treated smelling clean and fresh. Once you have a clean slate, so to speak, having used an odour neutraliser to rid the room of offensive odours and removed the source of the odour, it is a good idea to use a maintenance programme that might include a perfume of your choice combined with an odour neutraliser. Even though you may have removed the source of the odour, odours often remain embedded in fabrics, reducing the chance of the odour-neutraliser particles coming into contact with them. The maintenance programme will also take care of any new passing odours that may arise. Using a maintenance programme will also allow you to “brand” the experience of staying in your accommodation with a particular fragrance, rather than simply providing an odour-free experience. Imagine your clients were asked to remember a smell from a time they stayed in paid-for accommodation and they remembered your establishment because of the lovely fragrance that wafted through the corridors. That would have helped to leave a lasting and positive impression.

Perfume your Premises, Delight your guests Ecomist’s unique 2-in-1 fragrance eradicates bad odours with an odour neutraliser and replaces them with an exquisite French perfume that will keep your guests coming back. Dispensed automatically, our range of perfumes is extensive, and we can change them monthly. Call us on 0800 75 75 78 for a free trial.

SPRING 2013

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h housekeeping Bed Presentation:

Create a modern, clean and inviting look TOP-OF-BED FINISHES HAVE BEEN GOING THROUGH A LOT OF CHANGES OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS AND THERE ARE NOW THREE DIFFERENT TYPES OF COVERINGS BEING USED IN THE COMMERCIAL ACCOMMODATION INDUSTRY.

Bedspreads Say the word “bedspread” and it might conjure up a mental picture of something your mother had on the spare bed, shiny polyester, ruffled valance, frilly edges, not to mention the flowery pattern of course! Bedspreads have come a long way and the new, sleek, modern version is a popular choice for those in the accommodation industry. Elegant tailored corners have replaced the frills, flounces and belled corners of yesteryear that had become a health and safety concern with guests tripping over. Housekeepers are happy with the speed at which they can achieve a neat and tidy appearance. Not all bedspreads are created equal and whilst a bedspread designed especially for the commercial market may cost a little more at the outset, your investment will be repaid many times over with the longevity of performance of a truly commercial product. It can be confusing when it comes to choosing a style. Commercial bedspreads now come in three basic styles • Tailored – where the corner is split open and a flap is securely sewn behind • Fitted – where the bottom corners are stitched together to form a “boxed” finish – very sleek, and • Smartfit – where the bedspread is totally reversible, i.e. it has patterned fabric both sides and is cleverly made to flip inside out without exposing any raw seams – great in high usage areas. The ideal commercial bedspread should use a high performance construction fabric in polycotton or polyester and be suitable for commercial laundering with a fire retardant wadding that has been treated to resist most known moulds and mildews. Insofar as backing fabric of tailored and fitted styles is concerned, a neutral polycotton will look good a lot longer than white. Whilst bedspreads are the favoured option for a lot of operators, the difficulty of handling the bulky size when self-laundering or the cost of laundering them off-site, especially in remote areas, has been a major factor for some operators opting to use duvets which can be laundered regularly.

Duvet Covers Duvet covers come in a variety of colours, patterns or white stripe or self-pattern and fabrics but the best performance will come from one

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“...The advantage with the triple sheet system for the operator is that they the top sheet is easy to launder and store...”

that has been made specifically for commercial use and laundering. Fabrics to look out for are polycotton blend or polyester. Steer away from fabrics that are not washable and covers with embellishments that can get damaged with constant laundering. Some commercial covers are made with a flap like that on a pillowcase which allows it to be ironed in roller irons or large presses, rather than domes and buttons which can cause marks or be damaged/lost during the laundering/ironing process. You will need a duvet inner in addition to the cover which will increase the set-up cost. There is a wide choice of fill for the inner and what you choose will be dictated by the standards expected by your target market and your budget, ie polyester for the backpacker/hostel/motel market, feather & down for more luxurious hotels, B&Bs and lodges.

Triple Sheeting Over the last couple of years a new phenomenon in top of bed has overtaken both bedspreads and duvets. Triple sheeting, also known as third sheets and top sheets started out as simply using a regular white sheet with a duvet inner on top, topped with another white sheet folded neatly on the corners and tucked in all round. As with all new things, evolution has taken place, plain white sheets have been replaced by self-stripe white sheets, creating a smart corporate look. The advantage with the triple sheet system for the operator is that they the top sheet is easy to launder and store, while your guest can be assured that the bed is lovely and clean, just waiting for them to hop in! Colour and texture can be introduced into the room with a throw or comforter at the end of the bed together with matching square or breakfast cushions. But the “top sheet” doesn’t necessarily have to be white. Patterned coloured top sheets take the “top sheet look” to a whole new level - they are very easy to launder and maintain, they add a splash of colour to the


housekeeping h

room, introducing a more “homely” look as a point of difference from the “corporate” white look. Top sheets open up a whole new world that is only limited by your imagination. For instance, an upmarket alternative would be to use a luxury waffle blanket as the “top sheet” or a lightweight feather & down blanket. In short, if it can be tucked in you can use it as a “top sheet”, all you have to be careful of is that it can be commercially laundered. Using a top sheet means that you can easily launder the bedding each time a guest leaves to maintain its good looks and this will maintain your guests’ confidence in your cleanliness standards. In addition to the top sheet you will need to add a warmth layer and the type will depend upon how warm your rooms are, what your budget is and how well-equipped you are to maintain it. You basically need a “duvet inner”. Larger properties with their own laundry services will

probably use feather & down but you should be aware that these will need special love and attention and probably dry cleaning if you don’t have on-site laundry facilities so they can be expensive to maintain. An excellent alternative is a microfibre boxed end quilt. The outer and fill of these have a beautiful “silky” feel, they are light but at the same time lovely and warm, and they wash up well and tumble dry in no time. The bottom corners are boxed and stitched which makes the top sheet sit nicely with its “hospital corners” and housekeeping staff just love them as they save so much time. Finish the picture off with a throw or bed scarf at the foot of the bed, and with the addition of a co-ordinating cushion, you will now have a bed that will look modern, clean, tastefully colourful and inviting without breaking the bank. By Nadine Barnes, Commercial Supplies

Spring Is Refurbishment Time! Why a refurbishment? -

Quickly change an out-dated or tired room Attract new and/or retain return guests To create a modern and fresh look Minimal turn-around time Know you are offering your guests a comfortable stay

Why Texco International?

Telephone: 0800 925 377 www.texcointernational.co.nz

- Personalised, made-to-measure service - Huge variety of fabrics - Complete accommodation package available including beds, bedspreads, cushions, runners, comforters, top sheets, continentals, duvet covers, headboards - We will work within your budget - In-house manufacturing - On-going support - 20+ years’ experience - Nationwide service - New Zealand owned and operated company

SPRING 2013

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fb food & beverage Mini Bars:

Mini bar trends to boost your business INVESTING IN THE LATEST MINI BAR TECHNOLOGY AND TRENDS CAN REDUCE YOUR SERVICING COSTS, AID CONVENIENCE, BOOST ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND COST-EFFECTIVENESS AS WELL AS INCREASE YOUR IN ROOM REVENUE. BUT WHAT IS THIS NEW TECHNOLOGY, AND HOW CAN CHANGING YOUR APPROACH TO MINI BARS BOOST YOUR PROPERTY’S PROFITS? Most hotels and resorts these days will have mini bars in each room. They have become standard practice for luxury accommodations and a huge selling point for budget guest rooms. However the latest trend is to take this asset up a notch. From the style and innovation of the refrigerator itself, to the quality of its convenient contents, the trick is in finding ways to make your mini bar more appealing to your guests and allow for operational efficiency. One interesting way hotels have begun to do this is by making the selection of items from the mini bar an exciting activity for guests. For instance, some hotels in the United States have started to implement pairing menus. These menus are placed near the mini bar, to make suggestions as to what snacks and beverages best go together. For instance, the menu might suggest pairing the cherry liqueur and Coca-Cola with the luxury dark chocolate truffles; or else the red wine with the aged cheddar. This approach worked wonders for Portland, Oregon’s Hotel deLuxe. The more interesting the combinations, the more willing the guest will be to purchase the items from the mini bar menu. There are also innovative ways that you can stock your mini bars to entice more purchases. The XV Beacon in Boston recently stocked theirs with, among other things, a homeopathic oral spray called the Life Detoxer from Sprayology. This product is designed to lessen the effects of jet lag, and its benefits have become legendary in Boston since it was first offered to guests there. The liquid spray is said to ease breathing, improve liver toxicity and reduce sluggishness. The Little Nell hotel in Aspen offers a can of truO2 in their mini bar, which contains 95% pure oxygen, and is said to rejuvenate and relax its consumer. These types of products that aim to assist with jet lag are often things that guests desire when they first arrive at a hotel, but do not wish to go out and buy. Having them in the mini bar bridges this gap in the market.

The best thing, according to senior vice president of the food and beverage and brand standards at Omni, Stephen Rosenstock, is to vary the contents of your mini bar with both luxury and pedestrian brands. “You can have all the fancy chocolate you want, but people still want their M&Ms,” he insists. The Wall St Journal recently reported that many hotels are seeing tepid sales of their current mini bar offerings and need to shake up their contents. The biggest selling mini bar beverage is still bottled water, followed by Diet Coke and the biggest selling snack is Pringles so even though luxury items might give your mini bar more initial appeal, the more popular products are likely to bring in more money. The trick of course is not to stock too much of one thing as the last thing anybody wants is multiple cases of expired produce. So, mini bars do not need to be very big. If you are looking to install some in your rooms, or are considering a refurbishment; make sure you think about the spacing of each individual room. The mini bar should be located somewhere the guest will notice it straight away - so do not install one next to the bed where it will go unnoticed - and it also needs to be unobtrusive. It should feature in the room without overwhelming the room.

The NEO tray is a standalone computerised tray, that can be installed anywhere in the hotel room

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food & beverage fb

Other ways hotels have begun trying to entice more mini bar customers, is through the use of aesthetics and new technology. Companies in the United States are now offering mini bars that confer with in-room entertainment systems. For instance, hotels would be able to offer guests a “movie night” deal where they could order an on-demand movie and selection of mini bar drinks/snacks at a special price. Jan Strijker is the director of Brantas International Technologies Ltd who supply in-room technology solutions to the hospitality industry in New Zealand and Fiji agrees that there is a great opportunity here for hotels to offer high end merchandise, souvenirs and beauty products to guests in a controlled and secure way via the mini bar. He says that Bartech Automatic Systems offer a range of mini bars with software that features “combination options” and “cross-selling” with entertainment systems. Mr. Strijker points out that, “Bartech has recently launched a standalone computerized tray, the ‘Neo Tray’ which can be installed anywhere in the hotel room, is auto lockable and communicates wirelessly with the central server to track check in and check out, as well as consumptions by the guest. It does not require a computerised mini bar.” This example of technology proves that the mini bar should never just be a hotel manager’s afterthought, by approaching the mini bar with some creativity it will allow you to tap into a profitable new realm of impulse buys.

“...Some hotels in the US have started to implement pairing menus which make suggestions as to what snacks and beverages best go together...”

There are two different types of mini bars that are generally installed in accommodation properties. The first choice, due to its absolute silent operation, is an ‘absorption’ model. The absorption mini bar has no moving parts therefore requiring little maintenance. The second option is a ‘compressor’ model. The compressor models provide reliable cooling even at high ambient temperatures. They are economical in terms of power consumption and with a top quality model, produce only a minimal amount of noise. Historically, the absorption mini bar has always been more popular amongst managers because it is much quieter. It generates a cooling cycle known as absorption technology that uses heat to change the gas back into liquid and so does not require moving parts. However, when installing an absorption mini bar, having the correct sufficient ventilation is essential for the proper cooling performance. They cool on an average of 5oC in an ambient room temperature of 25oC. Mr Strijker warns, “There is a real challenge if the ventilation of the mini bar cabinet is not fitted properly.” He says, “Absorption mini bars are not able to cope as well as compressor mini bars and may result in guest complaints about warm drinks.” Compressor models, even though they generate a little noise, are becoming increasingly popular due to their low energy consumption. In comparison with the absorption model they use up to 70% less energy Bartech Automatic Systems offers both compressor and absorption mini bars. Bartech also offers automatic, semi- automatic and manual upgradeable mini bars, covering all budgets and hotel requirements. Mini bar contents are an accommodation staple, but guests expect them to be overpriced and bland. If you can tap into some new trends to make your mini bars stand out, you will be opening up your business to reap all kinds of financial benefit.

Potential 75% staff reduction • Potential 50% energy savings No more billing disputes • Elimination of product losses No more expired products • Interface to front office system Attractive rent or lease options available Contact Brantas on 0508 272 6827 or info@brantasinternational.com to find out how you can turn your minibar nightmare into a dream!

By Mandy Clarke, Industry Reporter SPRING 2013

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er energy & resources Lighting:

The top 10 benefits of LED lighting YOU CERTAINLY HEAR AND READ A LOT ABOUT THE ADVANTAGES AND BENEFITS OF ENERGY EFFICIENT LED LIGHT EMITTING DIODES VS TRADITIONAL LIGHTING. When you compare them to other energy saving lighting methods you will find that LED lighting is by far the most power saving and smart solution. LED is also the most eco-friendly way of illumination which is basically digital light also known as SSL – Solid State lighting. At the moment production volumes are small but growing rapidly. This means that pricing for LED is quickly coming down and right now is an excellent solution for commercial users. It is easy to retro fit LED bulb alternatives for most commonly used light bulbs such as Classic A bulbs used in table lamps, MR16 halogens used in overhead lighting and florescent tubes used in offices. Here are the main advantages:

1. Long life Long life stands out as the number one benefit of LED lights, for example the typical MR16 halogen lasts about 2000 hours compared to LED MR16 which can last between 25,000 to 35,000 hours. Ffor businesses using hundreds of these products that is a substantial time saver for re-lamping and reduction in downtime for the installation. Reduced maintenance costs are a tremendous benefit to commercial users.

2. Energy Efficiency With an estimated energy efficiency of between 80 – 90% when compared to traditional lighting there are huge savings to be made, particularly when the cost of power is rising sharply. This means that about 80% of the power is converted to light.

3. Ecologically Friendly LED lights are free of toxic chemicals. Most conventional florescent tubes contain a range of materials like mercury which are dangerous for the environment.

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LED lights contain no toxic materials and are fully recyclable, which will help you reduce your carbon footprint by up to a third. The operating life means that 1 LED Classic A can save production of 25 incandescent light bulbs.

4. Durable Quality LED’s are extremely sturdy with no moving parts and they can operate in a wide range of conditions. LED lights are resistant to shocks and vibrations. This makes them ideal for outdoor use with exposure to weather, and also construction and manufacturing sites.

5. Zero UV and IR LED lights produce little infrared light and close to no ultraviolet emissions. LED lighting is suitable for products that are sensitive to heat, because there is little radiant heat emitted and also for the illumination of UV sensitive items like paintings in museums, art galleries etc.

6. Design Benefits LED’s can be made up in any shape and individual LED’s can be dimmed for full control of light, colour and distribution. Welldesigned LED lighting systems can achieve excellent results for appearance and mood, for example LED lighting is already used in airplanes, classrooms, and hotels. Most LED lamps are fully dimmable on existing control systems which means you can simply take the old traditional globe out and replace with the LED version.

7. Versatility LED’s are ideal for use in cold and low outdoor temperature settings, for example they work well in refrigerators and freezer rooms. LED’s brighten up immediately when turned on compared to florescent and compact florescent bulbs which require a warm up time of up to five minutes. Their ability to switch on and off effectively without effecting the LED lifetime or light emission is a major benefit over traditional lighting like halogen which does not like to be turned on and off frequently.

8. Light Control All LED light sources are made up of individual light modules.


energy & resources er

An LED light is designed to focus its light which can be directed to a specific location without the use of external reflectors. Well-designed LED lighting systems are able to deliver light more efficiently to the desired location.

9. Safety Traditional halogen MR16 get very hot after only 20 minutes which has been the cause of numerous house fires and discolouration of painted surfaces and fittings. With LED this is not the case and you can easily handle an MR16 LED which has been used for a few hours because of the low heat generated. An additional benefit for commercial users is the reduction of heat and its effect on air conditioning systems, which add to total energy consumption.

“...When you compare, you will find that LED lighting is by far the most power saving and smart solution...”

10. Low Voltage A low voltage power supply is adequate for LED illumination. This makes it easy to use LED lighting in outdoor settings by connecting to an external solar energy source, this is a benefit when it comes to using LED in a remote or rural areas. By Elaine Salt, Verbatim

Talk to the LED experts for the right advice Switch Lighting is New Zealand’s Leading LED Manufacturer • 15 years experience with LED technology • product selection advice • lighting plan advice • New Zealand made and supported • D-Lightz range perfect for hotel/motel • the environmental choice

“We selected Switch Lighting LED for our refurbishment project due to the quality of their products and excellent local knowledge and support” Grant Slater – Chief Engineer, IHG

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By changing to Switch lighting LED the energy load per room has reduced from 330W to 109W. Total of 11 fittings per room

SPRING 2013

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hr human resources Sleep:

Sleep well – Sleep safe KIWI’S TRAVEL THE WORLD FOR BUSINESS AND LEISURE AND HAVE COME TO EXPECT HIGH STANDARD ABROAD AS WELL AS AT HOME. We work through travel agents on a regular basis, but also seek to search out good accommodation bargains at a good price, and to meet our personal standards. Accommodation reviews on websites often provide welcome, and unwelcome, feedback on experiences from travellers around the globe and we use this to make our judgement when selecting a place to stay. Internationally, there are increasing trends for places of accommodation to provide a high level of safety and security for their guests, and to widely publicise this, so that their guest are well looked after during the stay. The same also applies to restaurants where the public now expect and demand excellent support and services. A recent review of a guest staying in a hotel overseas posted a comment stating “We were guests at a hotel for my sister’s wedding preparations when my mother suffered a heart attack and fell unconscious. But the hotel was not able to provide her with first aid as there was no standby doctor, and the nurse on duty obviously did not know what to do. She did not know basic life support and just kept on taking mothers blood pressure even though she was already unconscious” Hotels and restaurants are places of work and are still required to comply with the New Zealand standards for trained first aiders, have a well-stocked first aid kit, and consider the necessity of an onsite automated external defibrillator (AED). Inbound tourists to our shores will be expecting good levels of wellbeing, so attention should be given to well trained staff with the necessary first aid equipment. In 2008 the Government of Dubai issued a directive that requires all hotel establishments to provide an AED in the reception hall of the building and also in their sports facilities. The directive also required a substantial first aid kit to be maintained in a good condition, and to have staff available around the clock properly trained in basic life support. They went further to state that there must be no less than three trained staff available. The directive went even further and stated that no employee is permitted to provide first aid unless that person has completed a training course and has been certified. In the New Zealand context training in first aid is not a complex challenge. Courses approved by NZQA are easily located and are widely available. Providers at either Category 1 or 2 levels have the correct accreditation to deliver training to the requirements of the accommodation and restaurant industry. Selecting the right provider with robust systems to manage your staff compliance, supply first aid kits and to provide credible and reliable AEDs is an important step in ensuring a safe place of work and to provide your customers with confidence. Reliance on external medical services is not always the right option. For medical emergencies, always call for an ambulance, but the first few minutes can be critical. Lives can be lost in those first few minutes before help arrives, so trained staff with the right equipment can make a difference.

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Lives can be lost in those first few minutes before help arrives, so trained staff with the right equipment can make a difference.

“...Hotels and restaurants are places of work and are required to comply with the New Zealand standards for trained first aiders...”

Managed solutions for hotels are best as they can account for staff turnover and also ensure that lifesaving equipment is ‘rescue ready’. From refresher training to first aid kits, to servicing and standing by your AED, these are the essential requirements of a quality and accredited provider. Look at the options and don’t focus on cheap and on compliant training or products. Training is not expensive and it is a good incentive for staff as the skills can also be used at home and in recreation. Give your guests the quality accommodation safety and security that they deserve when staying with you. Remember that social media can make or break a business with a single posting of a bad experience. Our reputation is worthy of your investment. By NZ Red Cross


human resources hr Employment:

Diversity important in the workplace CHOOSING NOT TO EMPLOY PEOPLE WHO ARE DIFFERENT IN TERMS OF RACE, COLOUR, RELIGION AND ABILITY REMOVES THE OPPORTUNITY TO DEVELOP A RICH, DIVERSE AND CREATIVE WORKFORCE, THE HUMAN RESOURCES INSTITUTE OF NEW ZEALAND SAYS. Commenting on recent news about people with intellectual disabilities being denied work HRINZ spokesman Tony McKone said employers with inclusive work practices and policies benefited from the resulting diversity. HRINZ is the national professional human resources organisation with more than 4000 practitioners as members. HRINZ’s view is that fair, ethical and non-discriminatory employment practices should be supported. Discrimination against sectors of the workforce is bad for business, the target labour pool is reduced and the diversity of thought needed in driving innovation and productivity is reduced. There is a negative impact on the corporate and employment brand. Mr McKone, an independent contract specialist in employment relations and a member of the HRINZ board, said: “Every employer is responsible for developing the employee value proposition that sets them apart in the marketplace. An EVP that demonstrates an inclusive approach to attracting, retaining and developing people will always win over one that is not inclusive.

“In New Zealand we are blessed with a wide diversity of people who can bring innovative thinking to their workplace. It is important that we do not look upon people who may be different to us, including immigrants and people with disabilities, as being unable to positively impact on today’s workplace.” HRINZ supported the work of the EEO Trust and Workbridge who assist disabled people find work. The Trust can point to a number of “success stories” where people with disabilities were provided jobs that provided stability, stimulation and confidence. The Trust says that an inclusive and tolerant workplace motivates employees to perform to the best of their ability. It promotes understanding between people creating a stronger and more focused team and enhances the employer’s image. Mr McKone said the institute’s members were fully conversant with the Human Rights Act and other employment legislation and were able to work with employers to develop sound inclusive policies and practices.

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SPRING 2013

61


gf guest facilities Room Service:

US trends show the way WHEN THE NEW YORK HILTON MIDTOWN SAID IT WAS DISPENSING WITH ROOM SERVICE STARTING IN AUGUST IT CAUGHT BOTH TRAVELLERS AND COMPETITORS A BIT BY SURPRISE. Room service has always been an expected feature - more of another eating/drinking facility rather than an extra. Room service revenue has declined markedly in the past five years, according to PKF Hospitality Research in the US. Among 700 reporting hotels, the average occupied hotel room produced $4.33 of room service revenue in 2007. In 2012 that figure was down 25%, to $3.25. Much of the drop in room service sales can be tied to the recession that began in late 2007. But even as hotel occupancy has picked up, calls for room service have not, said Robert Mandelbaum, PKF research director. “Guests are spending fewer dollars,” Mr Mandelbaum said. “There’s been a total change in guest perception about food and beverage.” Steven Carvell, associate dean for academic affairs at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, said there’s a reason for that: Neither hotels nor their guests much care for room service. For hotels, he said, supplying room service is expensive (mostly because of labour costs) and it presents challenges with getting food to a room at a reasonable temperature and cleaning up quickly enough to avoid a hallway littered with trays. Customers aren’t much more enthusiastic, especially on a price-value relationship, Mr Carvell said. But plenty of hotels are trying to turn room service into a bigger feature. The number of hotels offering room service actually increased by 8% between 2011 and 2012, says Ned Barker, president of Grill Ventures Consulting Inc. People are eating differently. Simply offering a salad and a club sandwich isn’t going to do it any longer. As travellers eating and drinking desires change, so must the offerings by accommodation providers. Varied menus and up-market wines are replacing hamburgers and coke. F&B managers are taking the view that room service can be a lucrative additional outlet for normal menu items rather than creating a special quick feed list. Despite the additional labour costs, for many this new approach is working. Other accommodation providers have gone the other way by outsourcing their room service using nearby suppliers to bring readyto-eat or ready-to-make-meals for guests to prepare in their rooms. They can be ordered any time: when booking the room, leaving a business meeting or taking a taxi on the way back from seeing the sights. In fact, a grab ‘n’ go has replaced room service at the Hilton Midtown; the hotel says its new Herb N’ Kitchen “features seasonal salads, artisanal sandwiches and brick-oven pizzas” as well as “a barista zone (that) prepares specialty coffees”. But some accommodation providers, such as the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids, have gone a step further: The 684-room Grand Plaza created an in-house pizzeria. Andrew Bowen, associate director of food and beverage at the hotel, said the hotel saw a decrease in

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room service orders along with a rise in pizza delivery to the hotel lobby. In a bid to capture that business, the Grand Plaza invented Piezelli’s that it advertises in its rooms but avoids branding it as a hotel product, precisely to avoid the cost-value association with traditional room service. Yet, Piezelli’s offers room service convenience that customers still seem to want, such as delivery to the rooms and the ability to charge cost to the final bill. Industry observers say room service still has its niche: breakfast for business travellers and, say, late in-room dining after the clubs have closed. But short of that, the culture seems to be drifting away from the idea of eating alone in a hotel room. Able to work wirelessly, business travellers are more interested in life outside their hotel rooms. Local-food movements have bred a new generation of food tourism that runs counter to eating a hotel hamburger in Auckland that tastes like a hotel hamburger in Dunedin.


property Property Sales:

Preparing your business for sale WHEN WE SELL SOMETHING, IT MAKES SENSE TO PRESENT IT IN ITS BEST LIGHT. WE WOULD NOT NORMALLY TRY TO SELL A HOUSE OR A CAR FOR EXAMPLE, WITHOUT HAVING IT CLEAN AND TIDY AND ATTENDING TO ANY MINOR BUT OBVIOUS DEFECTS. This applies also to the sale of a business and the physical presentation can be attended to close to the time of sale. On the other hand, issues relating to financial accounts, leases and other documentation need to be thought about in advance. We have prepared a Checklist For Selling, which is more comprehensive than space allows this article to be. A copy of this document is readily available at www. coffeys.co.nz/content/documents/news/38/ ChecklistForSellingYourMotel.pdf

Kelvyn Coffey

Whilst many accommodation businesses operate from freehold premises, a large percentage operate by way of lease. The lease is very important and any defects can be detrimental to selling. If examination of the lease is left to the last minute, it can often be too late to fix any problems. Consult early with someone who has expertise in your industry. It may be possible to rectify some shortcomings in the lease. We often find it frustrating when approached by the operator of an accommodation business with a short lease to sell, when they have recently undergone a rent review. The rent review is an ideal time to bring in the length of the lease, or other matters, as a bargaining chip in the review process. Landlords wish for rental increases, not only to improve their income but more importantly the capital value of their asset. Often a good deal can be struck to lengthen the lease in return for conceding a rental increase, assuming it is viable to do so. Once the review has passed, the opportunity is lost. There are a number of important matters that can affect leases, the scope of which is beyond these notes. An expert eye at the early stages may bring to your attention to any issues which need addressing. Financial performance is usually the main criteria for valuing any business. The bottom line profit is largely what determines value. Sometimes we are told that a certain amount of cash has been taken out, “so really the picture is better than it looks”. This usually has little if any influence on a purchaser and none on the purchaser’s accountant, valuer and bank. Cash taken out may be only a small percentage of revenue, but it is a much larger percentage of the profit. Because businesses are valued according to their reported bottom line profit, it may be false economy. In the motel industry for example, a capitalisation rate of between 20 and 30% of bottom line profit (earnings before interest, depreciation etc.) is commonly used to value a leasehold business. This means that every dollar of profit may be multiplied by 3.5 to 5 times to determine the value of the business. So it pays to plan ahead in terms of thinking about the bottom line. Keep a record of recent improvements to the business and update the list as you go along. These could be physical improvements but also could be promotional and marketing initiatives put in place. These could include website development, networks set up with other operators or wholesalers and anything which may enhance future prospects. People looking to buy usually only see what needs doing and not so much what has been done. It pays to bring it to their attention.

“...If purchasers are kept waiting too long for vital information it can be off putting and many times the sale collapses before the information is available...”

Finally, think about anything which may cause a hold up in the sale process. Have all of your documentation ready, including statements of financial performance, GST returns and, if part way through a financial year, recent trends as they relate to the comparable period in the previous year, especially if those are upward. Business brokers will always try to paint the latest and greatest picture, assuming it is heading in the right direction. If purchasers are kept waiting too long for vital information it can be off putting and many times the sale collapses before the information is available. One excellent document to have on hand if possible is a registered valuer’s report on the business. Assuming this supports the asking price, it is helpful to have an opinion from an independent expert supporting what is on offer. Consult the landlord. Even if this is not legally required which it usually is, it is courtesy and paves the way for a smoother transition. It is better if the news of the sale does not come as a surprise to the landlord when the time comes and it is good to know that they will be available when needed. This is a specialised industry and requires specialised knowledge in the selling process. It pays to make sure that your agent or broker has a good understanding of what they are dealing with. It is a legal requirement that when signing the listing the agent provides you with an appraisal of the business or property and, backs that up with relevant and recent sales evidence. This requirement should hopefully ensure that whomever is wishing to list your business has such detailed knowledge on hand. Remember a business will undergo a great deal of scrutiny from the intending purchaser and their professional advisors. It pays to keep this in mind when thinking about how it will be presented. Kelvyn Coffey is the Principal of Coffeys Tourism Property Brokers Limited having specialised in the sale of tourism properties since 1984

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p


p property New Manager Profiles:

Hospitality experience paying dividends Boutique hotel for Central Christchurch SALLY & HARVEY RHODES RECENTLY PURCHASED THE LEASE OF THE ASHBURTON MOTOR LODGE.

A DELIGHTFUL BOUTIQUE TOURIST HOTEL HAS JUST OPENED ITS DOORS AT 115 WORCESTER STREET IN CHRISTCHURCH. Sally & Harvey Rhodes are the new operators of Ashburton Motor Lodge. Coffeys Salesperson Inky Stove pictured inset.

Its forebear, Hotel Off The Square, was forced to close its doors for repairs following the city’s earthquakes.

Their focus on the conference facility as well providing first class accommodation options are already paying dividends. Motel occupancy has markedly increased along with the growing forward bookings for conferences.

New owner, Sarah Niu, seized the opportunity to

Cooked breakfasts as well as self-catering for conferences ensures that the profitability is maximised. The personal contact with the clients is growing a business that was already performing very well.

a name change was in order too and along with her

purchase the business following a full refit under the guidance of a commercial interior designer – the result is simply stunning. The chic design shows off its modern, eclectic style with elegance. Sarah decided experienced staff she is excited about the contribution Hotel 115 will make to the future of Christchurch.

Coffeys Salesperson Alan Ironside pictured with New Operator of Hotel 115 Sarah Niu and Receptionist Emma Boylan (centre).

Change of pace for Hamilton motelier MAKING A SWITCH FROM THE CORPORATE WORKING ENVIRONMENT FOR A LIFESTYLE INVESTMENT IS HOGAN CHEN, THE NEW OWNER OF BALLINOR MOTOR INN IN HAMILTON. Ex- Auckland Grammar and a Auckland University commerce graduate and with a post graduate degree Hogan Chen with Vendor David Walter and Coffeys Salesperson Chris Wong.

in Human Resources Management, Hogan has held a range of sales, marketing, planning and business development roles in the dairy industry notably with Fonterra. He is looking forward to the challenges of the tourism industry with his wife Niki and is pleased to be taking over this successful motel business.

Market your property listing direct to over 4500 owners and prospective buyers.

Private Vendors Welcome

The AMG Property Guide is the perfect place to market your property. Is your agent advertising your accommodation property to over 4500 potential ‘industry’ buyers, by ensuring it is listed for sale in the AMG Property Guide? In addition to the broad base of prospective purchasers reading every issue of AMG, our experienced industry readers can see past short-term economic effects on values when assessing your property, and are more likely to meet stringent finance requirements. Make sure you’re not missing out on this vital buying market.

Special AMG Summer 2014 Issue Rate*:

From only $500+GST for a Full Page Listing

Special Bonus Offer: Sell your property even quicker! With your own property listing on AccomNews - the Australian and New Zealand industry web portal. Book your property listing into the Summer 2014 edition of the AMG Property Guide and get your listing displayed online to over 15000 industry owners, managers and professionals across Australia and New Zealand for three months.

To find out more please contact: Stewart Shimmin on 03 974 1036 or Email: s.shimmin@multimediapublishing.co.nz * For Bookings made by 1st of December 2013, E&OE.

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Industry Specialists Since 1984

New Zealand Wide TAUPO

TIMARU

No Substitute For Quality

Fantastic Large Motel Lease With Options

Frequent accolades are the hallmark of this impeccable, top quality 20 unit accommodation complex in Taupo, offering the little extras that keep discerning travellers fully satisfied. Being the newest motor lodge in Taupo, the units are immaculately presented and boasts excellent guest ratings. A new 30 year lease on offer, spacious accommodation for the owner and good profits to boot, this one is well worth looking into.

Lease $895,000 Ref #9646

Agent Details Chris Wong P: 09 551 0154 M: 021 106 6188 E: chris@coffeys.co.nz

$1,050,000 can buy you a new 30 year lease in this unique 25 unit Motel complex catering for 4 and 5 Star clientele. The original 15 units have now been complemented with 10 new luxury 5 Star units. There will be an option to add 10 more 5 Star units and a new owners accommodation. That would leave the possibility to sell off the lease on the 15 unit 4 Star complex to help fund what will be the newest and most modern luxury units in Timaru.

Lease $1,050,000 Ref #1691

Agent Details Inky Stove P: 03 550 0471 M: 021 182 6940 E: inky@coffeys.co.nz

BLENHEIM

CHRISTCHURCH

Central Backpackers - Freehold

Superior Modern Motel – The Best Of The Best

Established business catering to a cross section of the market, with the town centre approx. 450 metres away. This property is enjoying very high occupancy. “Full to the brim” and with excellent forward bookings. Freehold backpackers are hard to find. With the economy looking like turning the corner, this may be the ideal time to purchase.

FHGC $1,200,000 Ref #2863

This totally superior motel is of ideal size to operate with pride. It comes with full designer suites, simply superb décor, top motel location close to central city, the security of a long registered lease and the bonus of a superior quality owners residence.

Agent Details Kelvyn Coffey P: 03 550 0459 M: 027 432 0565 E: kelvyn@coffeys.co.nz

A magnificent property throughout and with the super trading conditions for motels in Christchurch this is an opportunity not to be missed.

Lease $965,000 Ref #1840

Agent Details Alan Ironside P: 03 550 0465 M: 027 522 1689 E: alan@coffeys.co.nz

SOUTHLAND

WHANGAREI

Opportunity Knocks For This Freehold Hotel

Superb Motel in Sunny Northland

Freehold Hotel with Bottle Store, Restaurant and Bars as well as three separate Motel Units. Available at this give away price which has come about by one of the vendors having health problems. Being the only hotel and accommodation option in Balfour this business is well supported by the locals. Continuing refurbishment will present this property to a very good standard. Large 3 bedroom owners accommodation is included in this package.

FHGC $400,000 Ref #6781

Nothing but excellent is how guests rate this near-new motel offering a new 30 year lease with 14 units plus conference room. Superbly designed and furnished rooms with emphasis on space and comfort, plus an unusually large owner’s accommodation with front yard.

Agent Details Inky Stove P: 03 550 0471 M: 021 182 6940 E: inky@coffeys.co.nz

This property does deliver to your lifestyle, comfort and income requirements in a great seaside setting.

Lease $670,000 Ref #0701

Agent Details Chris Wong P: 09 551 0154 M: 021 106 6188 E: chris@coffeys.co.nz

www.coffeys.co.nz Freephone: 0800 263 339 Telephone: +64 3 366 9040 Facsimile: +64 3 366 9051 E-mail: info@coffeys.co.nz


PARADISE LINKS RESORT PORT DOUGLAS Luxury Holiday Resort With Spectacular Golf Course Views

www.paradiselinks.com.au 

  

66 lots with 43 in the holiday letting pool, a mixture of one and two bedroom dual key apartments and spacious two, three and four bedroom villas Located only 500 metres from Four Mile Beach, set amongst 10 acres of lush tropical gardens with spectacular golf course views Excellent facilities include two heated lagoon swimming pools, bbq areas, tennis court, bike hire, tour desk and Wi-fi Generous office and storage together with substantial guest reception/lounge area

This business is arguably the best management rights resort business available in north Queensland. Great profitability and lifestyle on offer. Motivated Vendors

Nett Profit: $450,000 Total Asking Price: $2,200,000

(inclusive of managers office and reception)

The opportunity exists for this resort to be managed by a family or business partnership and the incoming managers have a choice of residence - either a 2 bedroom apartment or 3 bedroom villa - either or both will be offered for sale separately. Both provide excellent residential accommodation with 2 bathrooms, full kitchen, air conditioning and ceiling fans, private balcony area and views – either of the lush tropical gardens and green fairways or lagoon pool

For further information on this management rights business opportunity, contact: Exclusive Agent Geoff Ellis +61 432 790 959

sales@mrsales.com.au

Head Office: Suite 1 Ground Floor Equinox Sun Resort, 3458 Main Beach Parade, Surfers Paradise Qld 4217 Ph: +61 7 5555 8200 | Fax: +61 7 5570 4693 | Email: info@mrsales.com.au


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ENTERTAIN your guests with the ticket they really want

Today more than 50% of NZ households choose SKY. So it’s no surprise that your guests will be looking for the same level of entertainment when they stay at your Motel. How Guest Select (a decoder in every room) could benefit your business: · Show the channels your guests are watching at home · Increase guest satisfaction · Create a competitive advantage · Generate repeat business and improve occupancy levels Call us today on 0800 759 333 or visit guestselect.co.nz and let your guests enjoy a fantastic mix of Sports, Movies, News and Entertainment channels, and you might find yourself using the ‘No Vacancy’ sign a bit more. ACCO Yt

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Accom Management Guide - Spring 2013  

Issue: 22

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