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refurbishment The importance of guestroom artwork


Is your TV keeping up with the millennials? Looking to upgrade your in-room entertainment system?

profiles Holiday Inn Express opens in Brisbane Sage Hotel James Street applauds the locals Mercure Tamworth: World-class with community focus

Issue 59 | Autumn 2017 Aus $16.50 (Inc GST)

Registered by Aust. Post Print Post No. PP424022/2056

the no.1 guide to specialist accommodation industry product & service suppliers

AccorHotels loyalty programs driving franchise network growth

hotels • motels • resorts • apartments • time share • holiday parks • budget • retirement

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A dedicated software design package and centralised billing system enables seamless transactions, paperless and customised reports


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)\PSKPUN VM WHY[ULYZOPWZ HUK ZOHYPUN ILULÄ[Z ^P[O [OL J\Z[VTLYZ MYVT savings made through its constant laundry process innovations and group purchasing power of linen products.

Dry cleaning, Uniform cleaning services, Housekeeping services, Dust mat hire and Cleaning services.

Provision and supplying of Corporate uniforms and customised Amenities.


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M I N I M A L D E S I G N, M A X I M U M I M PA C T The ultimate in culinary design, the Elements Live Cooking Station is a TUZMJTIZFUBË‹PSEBCMFQSFTFOUBUJPO station designed to showcase your chef’s culinary skills. 0Ë‹FSJOHNPCJMJUZBOETJNQMFTFUVQ  JUTË?FYJCMFDPOËŒHVSBUJPOBMMPXTZPV

UPJODMVEFUIFPQUJPOTPGBIJHIRVBMJUZ induction cooking or warming unit, and a lower level utility shelf. Perfect for every F&B occasion, the Elements Live Cooking Station will surely JNQSFTTZPVSHVFTUTBOEMFBWFUIFNXJUI BNFNPSBCMFEJOJOHFYQFSJFODF +61(0)439 638 151

fd front desk The Accom Management Guide is distributed quarterly to accommodation industry managers and professionals throughout Australia.





Mandy Clarke Suzy Barry Graham Vercoe


Richard McGill


ADVERTISING Tim Svenson Michael Piantoni Dave Wright SERVICE


Arvo Elias, Brendon Granger, Corrine Brown, David Diamond, Derrick Lee, Doug Kennedy, John Smallwood, Karen Taylor, Larry Mogelonsky, Margaret Ady, Mark Ross-Smith, Melissa Kalan, Philip Lau, Rhiannon Sloan and Sylvia Johnston. The Accom Management Guide welcomes editorial contributions and images on relevant topics for features, news items or new products. Please email copy to Images should be in high resolution (300dpi) JPEG or TIFF format. Editorial queries should be directed to the editor at (07) 5440 5322.

front desk


Luxury Linen: Road test your guest’s sleep experience

Editor's Note: Tumultuous times for the sector


Outsourcing: Let someone else wash your dirty laundry


Beds: Hotel beds that combine durability with luxury and comfort

management Accom Properties: Your accommodation business for sale portal has arrived


Opinion: Adding the personal touch in an age of digital communications goes a long way


Competition: How can smaller hotel chains compete with mega chains?


Service: VIP welcome refreshments


Analytics: Predictive intelligence: the path to loyalty & beyond


The Accom Management Guide is distributed quarterly to hotel, motel, resort and apartment properties throughout Australia by Resort Publishing, the publishers of leading industry titles and Resort News.


The views and images expressed in the Accom Management Guide do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. The information contained in the 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.

Mercure Tamworth – World-class with community focus: a fitting tribute to Tamworth


Holiday Inn Express: Holiday Inn Express opens in Brisbane


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

Any mention of a product, service or supplier in editorial is not indicative of any endorsement by the author, editor or publisher. Although the publisher, editor and authors do all they can to ensure accuracy in all editorial content, readers are advised to factcheck for themselves, any opinion or statement made by a reporter, editor, columnist, contributor, interviewee, supplier or any other entity involved before making judgements or decisions based on the materials contained herein. Resort News, its publisher, editor and staff, is not responsible for and does not accept liability for any damages, defamation or other consequences (including but not limited to revenue and/or profit loss) claimed to have occurred as the result of anything contained within this publication, to the extent permitted by law. Advertisers and Advertising Agents warrant to the publisher that any advertising material placed is in no way an infringement of any copyright or other right and does not breach confidence, is not defamatory, libellous or unlawful, does not slander title, does not contain anything obscene or indecent and does not infringe the Consumer Guarantees Act or other laws, regulations or statutes. Moreover, advertisers or advertising agents agree to indemnify the publisher and its’ agents against any claims, demands, proceedings, damages, costs including legal costs or other costs or expenses properly incurred, penalties, judgements, occasioned to the publisher in consequence of any breach of the above warranties. Copyright 2017 © RESORT PUBLISHING. It is an infringement of copyright to reproduce in any way all or part of this publication without the written consent of the publisher. The Accom Management Guide is proudly published by Resort Publishing a division of Multimedia Pty Ltd. ACN 126-017-454. ACCO Y•




Sage Hotel James Street: Sage Hotel James Street applauds the locals


what’s hot What's Hot




Lift Modernisation: More than just an investment in your guests’ comfort


Guest Rooms: The importance of guestroom artwork


Hotel Design: Innovative interior design trends for resorts and hotels

food & beverage 77

Drinking Water Options: Water, water, everywhere: where’s a guest to drink?

marketing 80

Data: How to create a 360-degree customer view using data


Ancillary Revenue: Strategic consistent - targeted


Guests: Why you should dig deep and analyse the way guests search online


energy & resources


Hospitality TV: Is your TV keeping up with the millennials?



In-room Entertainment: Looking to upgrade your in-room entertainment system?

Outdoor Lighting: It’s safety first with outdoor lighting


Outdoor Heating Options: Winter is coming, heat up your venue

Hotel Trends: Artificial Intelligence: coming to a hotel room near you


Outdoor Heating: Care needed with outdoor heating


housekeeping 38 44 48

Cleaning Equipment: How to up your cleaning game Sofitel Melbourne: EXCLUSIVE: Luxury through the eyes of an executive housekeeper Coin Operated Laundries: Commercial laundries that make the grade

human resources 90

Careers: The need for hotel careers in the face of the gig economy


Upskilling: Are you talented or skilled?

preferred suppliers 94

Preferred Supplier Directory


Office Address: 5/53 Gateway Drive, Noosaville, Qld 4566 Postal Address: PO Box 1080, Noosaville BC, Qld 4566 Phone: (07) 5440 5322 Fax: (07) 5440 5323 Email:

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

Circulation is 7,210 - Period ended September, 2016



front desk fd Editor's Note:


and sharing economy providers. Big business has started picking

Responding to news of the Star Ratings Australia closure, TAA CEO Carol Giuseppi told AMG: “The decision does reflect the changing hotel landscape and online environment.

outdoor heating and lighting, how to dip your toe into guest data

“Twenty years ago, hotel brands were more restricted, whereas today larger hotel groups can have dozens of different brands – even brands within brands – to ensure that customers know exactly what they are getting and what to expect. The hotel groups are then made to be very accountable to upholding brand standards, because guests will very quickly go online and pass judgement.”

also put together an extra special supplement for this issue, which is

Will guests notice a quality change going forward? Only time will tell, but for accommodation providers around the country the next year could mark massive change. It's a matter that should provoke some thought in industry circles as things look like they are moving steadily closer towards a nonstandardised, de-regulated stasis. How will this impact providers? We are all familiar with the brewing conflict between traditional accom

sides, with the likes of Jetstar opting to partner up with platforms like Airbnb. This has been widely criticised by industry groups like Tourism Accommodation Australia. These groups refer to Europe opting to regulate further, rather than allow the sharing economy to continue operating tax-free in domestic markets. Elsewhere, we have a variety of topics ranging from some visually stunning and personably fascinating profiles, to guest water options, analytics and see quick results, as well as a rundown on cleaning equipment, bed varieties, luxury linen and artificial intelligence. We have all about property management systems. The supplement takes you through the subject from start to finish, filling in gaps like ‘how can a PMS be customised for my property?’, and ‘what useful features can I implement?’. Thank you for your continued readership and as always, I hope you enjoy this month’s AMG. Rosie Clarke Editor,



m management Accom Properties:

Your accommodation business for sale portal has arrived IN AN EXCITING MOVE FOR THE AUSTRALIAN ACCOMMODATION SECTOR, WE ARE ANNOUNCING THE LAUNCH OF OUR BRAND NEW COMMERCIAL PROPERTY LISTING PORTAL, ACCOM PROPERTIES. The website is a hub for buyers and sellers of hotels, resorts, motels, management rights, holiday parks, apartment buildings and other commercial properties. An industry gamechanger that has been in the works here at Resort Publishing for several years, the planning stage was meticulous as we engaged substantially with you - the accommodation community - to make sure Accom Properties would fill every need and we are extremely proud of the result. Check it out now and let us know what you think!

This latest venture, Accom Properties, is a brand-new way for us to service the accommodation sector that we have worked so closely with for two decades now. We are incredibly invested in this community and excited to launch such an innovative, comprehensive commercial property portal.

The portal is a sleek, innovative and intuitively designed website that will reach both buyers and sellers of commercial property around Australia. We are the home of several leading accommodation-centred publications in Australia and New Zealand, including Resort News, Accom Management Guide and accomnews.

Straight from our production head: “We engaged the best third-party designers and coders to deliver a cutting-edge, user-friendly site that can feed listing content manually or automatically to the portal through a custom back-end.” By Rosie Clarke, Industry Reporter


Adding the personal touch in an age of digital communications goes a long way THERE’S NO REPLACING THE PERSONAL TOUCH IN HOSPITALITY. IN AN AGE WHEN CHATBOTS AND MESSAGING PLATFORMS ARE SPEEDING UP COMMUNICATION, THE IMPORTANCE OF SLOWING DOWN TO TALK WITH GUESTS IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER. According to a prediction of travel trends by, travellers in 2017 will place huge importance on interacting with staff, and appreciate that the human touch is unique. While digital communication within hospitality undoubtedly has its place, building relationships through personal interaction remains crucial. And the opportunities to do this are countless. For instance, asking a guest about their plans as they head out for the day is an easy way to spark a conversation, and to learn about their preferences. This could lead to offering them a recommendation for a tour or activity they might wind up making part of their trip. Building a by-name relationship with guests is also a simple but effective way of developing rapport. The majority of guests will be accustomed to being addressed formally as ‘sir’ or ‘madam’, so the mere act of remembering their name is a nice surprise. Thoughtful gestures or small gifts can also end up making a person’s day.



Sending guests a handwritten birthday card and flowers or delivering chocolates to the room of a honeymooning couple involves little effort but demonstrates the kind of thoughtful attention guests remember. It’s easy to prioritise the fastest way to interact rather than the most personal, but digital communication can never replace the sincerity and warmth that comes through human interaction. Taking the time for a face-to-face conversation and providing a helpful and friendly service remains fundamental to developing true rapport and leaving guests with a lasting memory of feeling appreciated and recognised. By John Smallwood, CEO, Travel Outlook

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m management Competition:

How can smaller hotel chains compete with mega chains? HOTEL GUESTS ARE INCREASINGLY VALUING THE DIGITAL EXPERIENCE (OFTEN MORE THAN OTHER AMENITIES A HOTEL MIGHT OFFER) BUT HOW CAN SMALLER HOTEL CHAINS IMPLEMENT THE TECHNOLOGY TO COMPETE WITH ‘MEGA CHAINS’? Derrick Lee, VP global and vertical accounts at ALE, shares his view on whether new developments in digital communications technology are enabling smaller hospitality companies to embrace the digital age and enhance the overall guest experience by providing comprehensive wifi, customer service apps and guest feedback for analysis. Today, it is rare to find a guest without at least one smart device. The need for wifi has become an industry standard requirement, as guests are keen to stay connected wherever they go. In fact, a recent survey showed that many guests favoured wifi access over complimentary breakfast and free parking. It is this desire for connectivity that has led to guests placing increasing significance on the availability of wifi during their hotel stay; a simple demand, yet one that many small hotels lack the capacity to provide to a consistently high standard.

with room status updates or to streamline processes and reduce occupancy disruption.

I believe there are three key technology developments that will determine whether smaller hotel chains can keep up with the continuous consumer-driven demands: for guests, comprehensive connectivity via wifi and the support for applications on guest devices to provide customer services and give them greater control over their stay, and for hoteliers, the ability to collect and analyse the data from guest usage to better understand their requirements.

But many ageing hotel networks will struggle to provide a consistent quality of service for this new range of applications. Modern demands for bandwidth, multiple device connectivity and extensive connection range coupled with existing old telephony systems, have already begun to place strain on existing hotel systems.

Small hotels can now offer a full, wifi-enabled guest experience Guests have been able to download concierge apps for some time – to find and view information such as the hotel directory, restaurant and room service menus, swimming pool and spa – but have not been able to book any of these services directly from the app. But now, new BYOD guest telephony apps are available, priced for the budgets of smaller hotel chains, that allow all these services to not only be viewed, but the app can be used to book a table in the restaurant, order a taxi, book a spa treatment or make a phone call using the hotel’s wifi and avoiding expensive international calling rates. These e-concierge applications can be used by guests to book additional services in the hotel and nearby restaurants, lock and unlock their door, even personally tailor aspects of the in-room environment such as heating and lighting. Importantly for smaller hotel chains, staff workloads can be re-prioritised far more effectively through this guest empowerment. Mobile apps can exploit this potential by allowing guests to use their mobile device as an extension of their room phone, receiving calls anywhere in the hotel. Hotels can create value added opportunities by offering service or external calls via guest devices on wifi. Employee mobility and efficiency benefit from this connectivity, such as with notifications sent via smart devices or smart-room phones to reception



The time is ripe

Add to this the fact that the transition to IP communications is set to accelerate over the next few years, and switching to IP telephony throughout the hotel network makes sense. It provides benefits to both guest and hotel equally, with the ability to offer free internal and lowcost external calls, all based on a network infrastructure for the future.

Look to the cloud Smaller hotel chains can now compete with ‘mega chains’ by offering these services for modest outlay – using the cloud to deploy them. Cloud is reliable, cost-effective, low maintenance and can be offered on a pay-per-use basis tied to occupancy rates. The result is a flexible, scalable solution that smaller hotel chains can easily afford. All this needs to be integrated with a network management system that allows hotels to build for each guest, ‘one profile, many devices’, manage each guest’s multimedia account, and retain that guest’s profile so that, in the now much more likely event of a re-booking, the hotel can provide a consistent level of personalisation. This personalisation can be improved by collating guest app usage data from booking, all the way through to checkout. With these enhancements, hoteliers now have the unique opportunity to not only offer a smarter service for the mobile guest, but to turn each guest into a fully connected ‘smart guest’. By Derrick Lee, VP Global & Vertical Accounts, APAC, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise

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m management Service:

VIP welcome refreshments CERTAIN TACTICS NEVER FAIL AND HERE'S ONE THAT YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY IMPLEMENT AT YOUR PROPERTY IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY. Offering guests a little amuse bouche or free beverage upon arrival is an excellent way to get them in a good mood after the stress and exhaustion of travel, helping to set the pace for the rest of their stay. Most hoteliers are aware of this in a general sense, but it is the execution where we often stumble. The expected welcome refreshment is a bottle of wine, a small cheese tray, a fruit place, crackers, cookies or any combination of the five. Nowadays though, you must look beyond the perfunctory and truly own this aspect of the guest experience if you are to make a lasting impression. While I can't speak for your specific hotel and what might work for your budget, logistics and locale, the best I can do is recount several of the more remarkable instances of this that I've encountered over the years wondering the globe. Hopefully one of these can inspire you. In no particular order, they are: 1.

Montage Laguna Beach swapped the traditional cheeseboard for custom-made sweets and delicacies specially prepared by the pastry chef.


Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris eschewed the bottle of house red for chilled champagne and macaroons along with sparkling water for those who might not fancy a libation at that particular moment.


The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island improvised with a similar tactic when, amid 30°C+ heat and high humidity, they popped a bottle of Veuve Clicquot and gave every guest in the long front desk line-up a complimentary glass, making the wait the last thing on their minds.


COMO Metropolitan Bangkok offered fresh tropical fruit with bottled water, but it was the focus on presentation that separated this hotel with all food meticulously arranged on banana leaves.


Ojai Valley Inn & Spa offered a range of welcome gifts where, during my last visit, I settled on a bucket of four beers and a plate of nachos.

Although these five are all luxury properties, there are, nonetheless, learnings for all. What doesn't work well is offering anything that a

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customer would expect to find in the mini bar. That is, a bona fide VIP welcome must exude a sense of place for the property or the region as well as personalisation (gender, age, group dynamic, past preferences). Outside of F&B, there are examples of handouts that also work, especially with regard to children where there is always a risk of snack disapproval from the parents due to allergies or other dietary restrictions. For instance, I have seen guidebooks to the local area, colouring books with crayons, custom stickers and air spinner toys, all intended to temporarily calm toddlers so the parents can focus on checking in. The key throughout, whether you are planning to offer a well-tailored refreshment or something else, is to pleasantly surprise your incoming guests and garner a fantastic first impression.

Most hoteliers are aware of this in a general sense, but it is the execution where we often stumble

By Larry Mogelonsky, Chairman, LMA Communications

THERE’S SOMETHING TO BE SAID FOR PEACE OF MIND. We’ve worked hard to become Australia’s leading specialist Commercial Furniture provider.

We acknowledge our client ‘PARKROYAL’ for the use of their images showing another acquisition from Innova Group.



m management Analytics:

Predictive intelligence: the path to loyalty & beyond I ONCE STAYED IN THE MOST CHARMING BOHEMIAN B&B, OWNED BY A BELGIAN CHEF. From the twice-weekly supper club to the eclectic artwork, everything about this B&B was special, but more than those things, it was the relationship I developed with the owner that kept me wanting to go back. Upon my leaving, she said: “Next time, when you write to reserve, tell me you’re a purple guest, so I can be sure you get my friends’ discount.” She knows how to make her guests feel special. Imagine this level of personal service and relationship but on the scale of a full-service hotel. This is the potential of predictive intelligence, also known as predictive analytics and business intelligence. We are still working to bridge the great divide between data and human relationships. They seem so disparate, one scientific and the other emotional, but they are really interwoven. Data exists to help hotels create more and better relationships, better relationships create better data. How do we get across this chasm between data and relationships? First, integration is essential. We must reduce the complexity of the technology and the data at our disposal. Otherwise, it is either rendered useless or it eats too many resources. Once the data is no longer in silos, for instance things like multiple guest history profiles have been linked across various apps and platforms are available in one accessible dashboard, then the magic of predictive intelligence can unfold. The power of predictive intelligence stretches across marketing, revenue management, and operations. According to EyeforTravel’s Bringing Predictive Intelligence to the Hotel Industry, predictive analytics allows hotels to: • predict trends (i.e., intelligent forecasting) • understand guests • improve business performance (e.g., offering a better understanding of labour and maintenance needs) • improve strategic decision-making • predict behaviours How does predictive intelligence offer so many benefits? By giving hotels the tools to see patterns and make associations. More often than not predictive intelligence is used synonymously with personalised guest marketing. It is true that this is one productive use of data; however, it should be noted that it is not the only use. Anything on a property that can be considered based on historical patterns can be influenced by predictive intelligence: rates, occupancy, staffing requirements, and so forth.



When it is used to predict guest behaviour, predictive intelligence has the potential to increase direct bookings, through the ability to create hyper-relevant offers and correspondence, as well as increase loyalty. As Deanna Ting noted on Skift, it’s time for hotel loyalty programs to evolve, and hotels must reject the airline notion of loyalty, which relies on “canned responses to loyalty members’ requests for more information”. Hotels will up the bar on loyalty if they can prove their ability to personalise all communication, from the emails to the phone calls to the front desk and beyond.

Margaret Ady

This goes far beyond marketing and straight to the heart of superlative guest service. An additional benefit, or an extension of the above, is a better, more flexible pricing strategy. EyeforTravel suggests the ideal situation is to create open pricing strategies, where rates are no longer based on the fixed best available rate (BAR) but instead on pricing different guest segments independently based on factors such as loyalty and demand. Whether you buy into open pricing strategies or not, predictive intelligence offers more insight into your ability to shift rates to better reflect the reality of your guests, your market, and your property. With this pricing intelligence, hotels can then explore very specific segments. For instance, we have a segment of guests who clearly prefer suites to accommodate their children. They tend to spend heavily on ancillaries like kids’ tennis lessons and spa visits. Let’s look at those who typically stay for no less than four days and create a special rate that they’ll receive upon booking a week-long stay

management m


Next time, when you write to reserve, tell me you’re a purple guest, so I can be sure you get my friends’ discount

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(possibly targeted to a couple of high-need times), putting heads in highvalue beds while ensuring the revenue from dining and activities. Take it a step further. If based on their review data, which has been integrated already, they really enjoyed their suite, offer the same room. And so on.

Practical, tailored solutions for success with China

Making each of your guests feel like a ‘purple’ guest doesn’t require a scientist, not yet anyway. It does require making sense of the many moving parts where data is stored, pulling it all together into a platform that works synergistically, and looking for actionable patterns and trends.

For a FREE CONSULTATION visit or contact Justin on 0490 362 896

There are a lot of hotels on the block right now, and predictive intelligence will be what separates the successful hotels from the pack in the next few years. By Margaret Ady, Head of Marketing, Snapshot

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m management supplier profile ACCORHOTELS

Franchise hotels making the most of customer loyalty

Customer loyalty programs are designed to reward and recognise repeat customers who show brand loyalty, however, with rising and aggressive competition from third party booking websites, hoteliers have recognised that enhancing the guest experience on-property and online is more important than ever. Last year, the Australian Privacy Commissioner reported that nearly nine out of every 10 Australians are a member of a loyalty program. There are now more than three times as many loyalty cards as there are credit cards in Australia (over 58 million rewards cards compared with nearly 17 million credit cards) which is a trend that is only set to continue as businesses vie for the customer and their ongoing allegiance. One of the key benefits of franchising and partnering with a leading global hotel group like AccorHotels, is having the access to their highly engaged and profitable loyalty programs Le Club AccorHotels and Accor Plus.



The Group’s 30 million-plus global members significantly bolster hotel revenues, stay twice as long and spend twice as much as non-member guests. In Australia, the total number of members continues to grow year on year. There are over 2 million loyalty members of Le Club AccorHotels which equates to 1 in 12 Australians, and these members contribute 30.4% of revenue to the business which is up from just 13.7% in 2012. General Manager Franchise for AccorHotels, Danesh Bamji, said “Over the past five years, AccorHotels has placed an increasingly high importance on its loyalty programs and its one area where hotels that are yet to join the programs are essentially leaving money on the table.” Le Club AccorHotels was the only hotel loyalty program ranked

in the Top 20 Australian loyalty programs rated as ‘excellent’ in the 2016 ‘For Love or Money’ consumer research study. The program was also named Best Loyalty Program for the second year in a row in 2016 by the prestigious Freddie Awards.

the awareness, knowledge and experience at their fingertips. AccorHotels has been a hospitality player for over 25 years in Australia and New Zealand operates more than 80 franchised hotels among its 250 strong portfolio.

However, loyalty is just one piece of the puzzle on how hotels can best maximise their returns when franchising with AccorHotels.

Underpinning the brand and loyalty, is AccorHotels’ powerful distribution and revenue management solutions. has retained its position at the number one hotel website in Australia with a 2016 year-to-date share of visits of 39% amongst the competitive set. The website receives more than 280 million visits across 32 geolocalised versions of the portal and over 16 brand websites, in addition to the new mobile app. In 2016, the mobile app delivered a 74% growth in mobile revenue.

Franchisees benefit from AccorHotels’ huge global distribution network, sales support, branding, marketing and reservations as well as assistance with procurement, public relations, revenue management and training programs. Joining an internationally recognised brand that travellers already recognise gives a hotel an invaluable kick start with

AccorHotels has developed a strong franchise culture to help support independent operators which includes a dedicated website, a highly skilled and passionate team that works solely with franchisees to maximise their returns and an annual conference and awards where hoteliers can come together and get the very best out of partnering with AccorHotels and its brands. For more information go to or email

We imagine your future

WE ENSURE YOUR SUCCESS As a market leader in hospitality worldwide and the number one hotel operator in Australia and New Zealand, AccorHotels possesses exclusive expertise to optimise performance, generate differentiation and reinvent the hotel business sustainably. With more than 4,100 hotels in 94 countries, there is no better time for owners to join an international hospitality group of the size, quality and experience of AccorHotels. To find out more, contact, or visit


Accommodation Chain of the Year

p profiles Mercure Tamworth:

World-class with community focus: a fitting tribute to Tamworth

TAMWORTH’S NEWEST 4.5-STAR HOTEL, ACCORHOTELS MERCURE TAMWORTH RECENTLY OPENED ITS DOORS TO EXCITEMENT AND ADULATION. THE 52ROOM HOTEL OPERATED BY WESTS ENTERTAINMENT GROUP, IN PARTNERSHIP WITH ACCORHOTELS, IS A VERY WELCOME ADDITION TO THE AREA. February’s official unveiling signified a confidence in the region’s economy and its potential for tourism growth: it created local jobs and bestowed a unique hotel to Australia’s country music capital. Mercure, AccorHotels offers a different type of accommodation that works well here, a “midscale hotel brand that combines the strength of an international network with a strong quality commitment and the warm experience of hotels that are rooted in their local community”. Wests Entertainment Group already operates three highly reputable entertainment venues in the area and Mercure Tamworth positioned in Wests’ sporting club district will uphold the brand to the highest standards. Rod Laing, CEO of Wests Entertainment Group, says: “Wests have been an integral part of Tamworth’s North-West community for over 50 years supporting the region’s tourism industry alongside countless sporting and community achievements through sponsorship and support. “The recent alignment with the Mercure brand complements our



existing community-focused brand, and we are extremely excited to be partnering with AccorHotels. We believe the hotel will guarantee a new accommodation experience for those visiting Tamworth and the region any time of the year.” Club industry developments (like this one) where reputable branded hotels align themselves with like-minded club businesses to utilise brand association and bring business and leisure to areas that may not be traditional holiday destinations, or business precincts, could be a future trend. Mr Laing points out: “The tourism industry is becoming more nomadic, as society becomes more technologically obsessed and ‘plugged in’, holidays are becoming more about ‘unplugging’ venturing into isolated areas, exploring new holiday destinations away from the norm and off the grid.” The hotel’s budget was $16 million and had over 40 local and regional businesses and suppliers involved in its construction. Its incredible world-class facilities include: a heated swimming pool, gymnasium, shuttle bus service, 24-hour reception and room service, corporate meeting rooms and direct access to West League Club. Each of the 52 rooms have been meticulously designed, including a self-contained apartment and the Adam Harvey Suite. They are all comfortably furnished with modern interiors and facilities including an LCD television with Foxtel, pay-on-demand movies, free wifi and a tea and coffee station, room safe, iron and ironing board, hairdryer, and amenities.

profiles p

Completion of stage one of the hotel project will see a newly renovated terrace located outside Legends Lounge, a patio alongside Banjos restaurant and a gazebo erected on the landscaped area by the pool with a chapel-like setting for weddings and elegant functions. The hotel carpark will also see the installation of awnings.

manager, she developed a love of events that evolved into a position in wedding and event planning. Eventually, Rebecca was offered a position at AccorHotels within the Accor Executive Leadership Program, a fast track program for high potential individuals looking to develop into an executive or general manager.

Stage two of the hotel project is expected to commence late-2017 and once complete, the club precinct will include a 360-capacity function centre, boutique stadium and a large club offering food and beverage outlets, entertainment venues and gaming and conferencing facilities.

Her journey with AccorHotels began with events management, then hotel operations management at various Accor properties and now as hotel general manager she continues to relish the journey. “Most of all, I have enjoyed the range of property types and the opportunity to see Australia, and I look forward to owning my own boutique luxury resort with a wellness focus, one day,” Rebecca adds.

Rebecca Russell is the Mercure Tamworth’s manager: she grew up in the Goldfields region in Victoria, surrounded by boutique luxury accommodation and a farm to plate culture. Rebecca reveals: “I started my formal career in front office as receptionist at Craig’s Royal Hotel, Ballarat, a role that quickly progressed into a senior position as accommodation executive and functions manager.” She went on to gain experience in some of the region’s premiere corporate motels, lodges, resorts and hotels. Later, as a functions

The Mercure Tamworth has been a long time in the making, according to Wests’ CEO Rod Laing, “For over 20 years we had a vision to build a small motel near the club. Over time that vision started to take shape - to build an internationally branded midscale hotel and conference centre within the league club’s precinct. Watching the board’s initiative come to fruition and to a very positive reception, is a testament to their forward thinking,” he acknowledges. The construction coming under budget has been one of their biggest achievements. This accomplishment was aided by certain design choices and by employing local tradespeople where possible. These decisions also maximised the quality, lifespan and overall aesthetics of the hotel. The project came with challenges: mainly keeping true to the budget and to the timeframe, ensuring the project would run to schedule. Excellent project management ensured these challenges were overcome with exceptional results delivering an extensive project on time and under budget. A great point of pride for this project was the number of local contractors used: “Keeping the main elements of planning, construction and design local has enabled the project to inject a significant amount of money into local businesses, which has been opportune for the region,” Rod confirms. AUTUMN 2017


p profiles Mercure Tamworth:

The surroundings surpass all expectations but the hotel also offers a first-class service. “We listen to guests and anticipate their needs, allowing us to exceed their expectations. This level of service isn’t just about researching consumer demands and providing the subsequent facilities to meet those demands, such as: pillow menus, accessible rooms, showers, and stand-alone baths, 24-hour room service, all of which are available at the Mercure Tamworth. So, what is the best advice Rod can give about developing a new hotel? “Employ a reliable and pro-active project management team,” he suggests. “We were very fortunate in terms of project management, because dedicated and enthusiastic staff make all the difference. Moreover, our relationship with AccorHotels proved beneficial, the experience and expertise that came with this highly reputable hotel group, alongside the reputation of the Mercure brand, was arguably one of the best decisions we made, after committing to the build.”

“More importantly, it’s also about providing a personal and comfortable experience, and making guests feel at home, therein making the experience as natural, pleasant, and seamless as possible,” concludes Rod. By Mandy Clarke, Industry Reporter

The Mercure Tamworth is a fitting tribute to the region and indeed rural living, the hotel is cut from a different cloth to other establishments. The rooms reflect an “earthy tone” constructed by the calming colour palette and clever interior design choices, with the standout focal point of each guestroom being the headboards that display landscape portraits unique to the region. Seven photos from photographer Andrew Pearson’s collection of work, ‘Reflections of our Region’ are also delightfully displayed, celebrating the incredible beauty of the location and presenting the hotel as the perfect New England country escape. Furthermore, the architecture and design from the choice of carpet to the statement chandelier in the entrance foyer of the hotel reflects an Indigenous theme. Beautifully done, this tells the story of rain falling onto a riverbed ebbing and flowing through the hotel.

SleepMaker specifically designed for guest comfort SLEEPMAKER SUPPLIED THE BEDS AND A VARIETY OF BED PRODUCTS FOR THE GUESTROOMS IN THE NEW WORLD-CLASS 4.5-STAR MERCURE TAMWORTH, FROM ACCORHOTELS. This meticulously designed and beautifully furnished hotel aims to exceed guest’s expectations in every way. Michael Anderson from SleepMaker spells out the reasons why SleepMaker beds are such a reliable choice for exceptional hotels like Mercure Tamworth: “SleepMaker beds consistently offer superior guest comfort and a luxurious sleeping experience.” SleepMaker states that it is not only “dedicated to building and maintaining a highly skilled and robust local manufacturing capability”, but also has a reputation for “leading edge innovation, expertise and world-class operating processes”. This produces products of the highest quality. Moreover, Mr Anderson clarifies: “It is very important to identify new industry trends and to focus on the ongoing development



of new models and guest sleep experience. “For that reason, we have developed a range of beds specifically tailored to the accommodation industry. Designed to maximise both guest comfort and durability for the accommodation.”

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p profiles Holiday Inn Express:

Holiday Inn Express opens in Brisbane

EXCITING NEWS: A REFRESHING NEW BRISBANE ACCOMMODATION PROVIDER IS OPENING ITS DOORS TO GUESTS IN EARLY APRIL, THE HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS BRISBANE CENTRAL. This will mark the second Holiday Inn Express to enter the Australian market and the hotel will be operated by Pro-Invest Hotels Group under a franchise agreement with Intercontinental Hotels Group. Holiday Inn Express is a world-renowned brand offering a great stay for the savvy traveller. The official chain motto is ‘everything you need, nothing you don’t’. In short, the chain promises to be value for money, which was spelled out in the late 1990s advertising campaign, Stay-Smart. Nick Warner, director of sales at Holiday Inn Express Brisbane Central, told us: “Pro-invest hotels group has signed a master development agreement for 15 Holiday Inn Express Hotels in Australia and New Zealand over the coming years and will manage the properties under a franchise agreement with IHG.” The management team at the hotel have all worked extensively for IHG in the past with the hotel manager, Michael Foster, and the assistant hotel,



Sean Somerville, both completing an I-Grad general manager traineeship when they started with the company. Along with Nick Warner, the director of sales, these three make up the executive team for the hotel. Nick explained: “We feel like we have put together the right team to hit the market in the best possible situation we can. All team members have extensive backgrounds in the hospitality industry and bring a wealth of knowledge with them. From the hotel manager to the guest service agents, we have been lucky to recruit some truly amazing, energetic, and passionate people.” On Nick’s recent experience of recruitment in Brisbane, he told us: “I couldn’t have a more positive opinion on the recruitment process and the talent pool in Brisbane. We had an overwhelming response to our job advertisements, from this we assembled a team of very experienced, passionate, and friendly individuals, all integral to the hotel’s success.” The legacy of the Holiday Inn brand itself evokes delight and expectation and this hotel shouldn’t disappoint; the design is inspired by Brisbane and its surrounds and the building pays homage to the Queenslander style. The property itself was designed by Joseph Pang Design Consultants to cater for both the mid-week corporate traveller and the value conscious leisure traveller.

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These are heady times for an industry in exciting but unchartered waters, and in a global environment of political and economic change and heightened security risks. So are these the best of times, or are the best days still ahead of us? To address future directions and prospects, industry leaders will again gather in July in Sydney for the suite of HotelsWorld 2017 events headlined by HotelsWorld Australia New Zealand, the main event on the industry calendar for CEO’s and other senior industry executives. Delegates include management companies, developers, investors, owners, lenders, government representatives, advisors, architects and other professional advisers. HotelsWorld 2017 will comprise four consecutive, all industry events held over three days from 25 to 27 July, embracing almost every major facet of industry activity. HotelsWorld 2017 will again enable executives to selectively and efficiently participate in industry leading events, whilst also being able to meet with peers and colleagues during the same three-day, “hotel week” period. More than 500 CEO’s and other key decision makers are expected to attend HotelsWorld 2017 and will be addressed by over 120 speakers, comprising global, regional and local leaders and industry experts, all sharing a unique three days of Insight, Ideas and Networking. For further information and to register for the events at the Early Bird rate, visit

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p profiles Holiday Inn Express:

great dining and entertainment options and Holiday Inn Express Brisbane Central is no exception to this.” “The lobby space has an open plane split level design to maximise the enjoyment of the sun-drenched space including full height glazing creating veranda like feel, high ceiling in white VJ painted planks, and larger ceiling fans, all hallmarks of a Queensland house. These design aspects have been blended with state of the art technology and features to create a perfect blend between the old and new,” Nick added. “We are starting to see a shift in the mentality of travellers and The Holiday Inn Express is poised to capitalise on this. The modern traveller is looking for a hotel offers a great base to explore the city while on holiday or as somewhere that feels like home while they travel for business. Some key words we use to describe our travellers include: self-starter, curious, fun, reliable, youthful spirit, energetic, focused, unpretentious, honest, and smart. They’re looking for a hotel that feels efficient, but they also want a place that’s energetic and fresh. They want a better hotel experience, and the Holiday Inn Express Brisbane Central will deliver it.”

What differentiates this hotel from other Brisbane properties? According to Nick, the inclusion of the Express Start Breakfast is a big attraction for guests, it comprises of a superb selection of hot and cold items that change each day. Other outstanding selling points are the fast and free wifi access for all guests, plus the CBD shuttle bus service, available each morning and afternoon exclusively for their corporate guest’s convenience. However, Nick said: “The most noticeable feature of this hotel is the dazzling, Great Room. The Great Room is a multi-purpose area home to the lobby, bar, meeting and lounge zones that evolves throughout the course of 24 hours. Transforming from a buzzing early-morning breakfast restaurant, to a comfortable living room for guests to mingle and catch up on work with complementary access to wifi, to a restaurant and bustling bar in the evening.

They do seem to project an honest, fresh energy; the design of the hotel certainly mirrors their guest descriptions.

The 420m2 space, can seat approximately 152 guests and comprises of the reception area, bar, breakfast area, boardroom, intimate/private library and a sunken lounge/chill-out space, all with custom designed furnishings and even a few chairs hanging from the ceiling.

Nick Stated: “The hotel can be best summarised as offering the smart choice for savvy business and leisure travellers, offering a relaxed, affordable and hassle free stay. Holiday Inn Express hotels tend to be located at the heart of key business or leisure districts, within proximity to

The décor pops with red, yellow and blue tones and a striking tiled tapestry wall flanking the lift well. The meeting room even has a decal inspired by the meandering Brisbane river and this theme continues throughout the hotel, also appearing on all floor and guest rooms.

Casama supplies wines to the Holiday Inn Express Brisbane Central CASAMA IS FOCUSED ON FINE WINE, BEING UNDERPINNED BY TWO OF THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS AND WELL REGARDED FINE WINE DISTRIBUTION COMPANIES IN AUSTRALIA. THIS IS A WINE SUPPLIER WHOSE RED AND WHITE WINES AND MEZZANINE WINES FEATURE IN FINE DINING RESTAURANT, BARS, INTERNATIONAL HOTELS, AND RESORTS THROUGHOUT AUSTRALIA. Matt Graham from Casama advised: “Guests are much more educated on wines these days, so a well-constructed wine list is essential to the success of your establishment. Choose great varietals from great regions and your wine list will become an added experience for your guests, as well as a revenue driver within the F&B department.” He added: “We have over 150 wineries and 1200 wines in the portfolio and with national distribution with offer hotels a one-stop shop for all your wine needs. One order, one delivery, one invoice with access to 1200 wines from around the world.”



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Nick Warner, director of sales

Michael Foster, hotel manager

For the whole team, the development of the hotel has been memorable in many ways. Nick revealed: “Topping out the construction, putting together an outstanding pre-opening team, and managing a successful contracting season for the pre-opening of the hotel have all been great moments. However, the most satisfying moment for me came when the hotel turned from a construction site into looking like a contemporary hotel. This was when all the early decisions about design and construction came together, it was a joy see all of the great ideas translated from paper into existence.” Have there been challenges? Nick replied: “Yes, there have been some challenges, as with any new construction; however, the biggest challenge is in the form of the current ‘health’ of the Brisbane accommodation market. With so much new supply coming into the market we will see supply outweigh demand for a number of years before stabilising once more.” Nevertheless, he continued: “It is great to see new events coming to the city like the Global Rugby 10’s and it is critical that we continue to

Sean Somerville, assistant hotel manager

attract many more similar events to increase Brisbane’s profile on the international stage. These events are critical to drive visitor demand and paint the city as a destination for big events.” The Holiday Inn Express Brisbane Central is a welcome addition to Brisbane’s accommodation pool and will give travellers the additional choice of this trusted and recognised brand. “The overall reaction to the hotel has been remarkable, with excitement mounting for the return of the IHG brand to the Brisbane market after an absence of over five years. Moreover, there has been intrigue about the Express brand which is new to the region and represents a fresh hotel experience, reflective of what the modern travellers expect,” Nick noted. It will be intriguing to see how well the hotel is received among travellers and how well Brisbane is promoted over the next few years to encourage visitor numbers. However, if the success of the Holiday Inn Express Macquarie Park is anything to go by, Nick and his team may be in for a fantastic surprise. By Mandy Clarke, Industry Reporter

Our portfolio encompasses some of the finest Australian and imported brands. From the familiar and approachable to the specialist and boutique, our customers have access to an extensive, but curated collection of wines. Our people are committed to providing the best and most relevant range of wines with the right training, support and service.


Phone 1300 780 074 | Email |



p profiles Sage Hotel James Street:

Sage Hotel James Street applauds the locals BRISBANE’S FORTITUDE VALLEY IS A MARVELLOUS SPOT TO VISIT AND I WAS INVITED ALONG TO CHECK OUT THE LATEST BOUTIQUE HOTEL, SAGE HOTEL JAMES STREET. Described as ‘the new guy on the block’, where the block is the trendy Valley district and this new guy fits right in, Sage Hotel seamlessly combines a traditional façade with thoughtful and modern hotel interiors. There is something very warm and welcoming about this modern and trendy hotel, I particularly enjoyed the green and earthy vertical garden and smiling faces at reception. I noted the beautifully designed necklaces that match the fabric and pottery in the rooms. I was impressed with the nifty modern bathroom design with the LED touch mirrors and I thought that the simple but tasteful guestroom design oozed style. I found the 93-room hotel sprawled across four levels, comfortably nestled near the Queens Arms hotel - an iconic watering hole for the area. As the first hotel to be built on James Street, the vibe is that of an immaculately put together cultural hub that benefits from an ‘old meets new’ harmony. Don’t get me wrong, Sage Hotel James Street offers everything you would expect from a luxuriously appointed hotel, with multiple onsite food and beverage offerings, extensive event facilities, free wifi and 24-hour reception services but the minute you step in and experience the vibe, you realise it is distinctive. As part of the Silverneedle Hospitality Group ethos to celebrate locale, this hotel passionately invites you to live like a local. Hotel manager Pankaj Dhingra swells with pride when explaining the brand philosophy to me: “We aim to be integral to the community and important to the locals, we have focused specifically on flourishing within the thick of the James Street community.”

with many local designers, stores and craftspeople and their ideas, designs and products have been knitted into the fabric of the hotel. “For instance: our guestrooms feature beautiful pieces by Dinosaur Designs who also designed necklaces to compliment the staff uniform by Kit and Ace, and a local textile company MOKUM fitted out the interiors with some gorgeous fabrics. “Local businesses also feature heavily in our mini bar with products from locals: Jocelyn’s Provisions, New Farm Confectionery, Newstead Brewing and Yogiic coconut water.” Pankaj joined Silverneedle Hospitality Group in July 2014, originally moving from India in 2008 to study hospitality in Adelaide. “I worked in several hotels around Australia until I became a front office manager at NEXT Brisbane. When I arrived in Brisbane it felt like home to me,” he confesses. “I am proud to be working with this growing company, who have supported the development of my career, and I consider my role here at Sage Hotel James Street to be my biggest career achievement.

I browsed the neighbouring boutique designer stores, businesses, and fabulous restaurants that James Street is famous for and I spent a little time soaking up the local art and culture. I certainly agreed that the hotel celebrates its neighbours authentically. It clearly wants to shine a light on all the quirky local businesses surrounding the hotel.

“Being involved with the development of this hotel from the start has been an incredible opportunity, and the whole team has put their heart and soul into making it a special place. When we opened, it was heart-warming to see the welcoming reaction of the locals, and feedback from guests who love this fresh new product.”

I wondered, how has this been achieved? Pankaj answers: “Right from the planning stage, we invited input from the locals, opened up communication and offered collaboration. Consequently, we have worked

I asked what does he believe Sage Hotel James Street offers that other hotels can’t? He said: “We offer many fantastic services: a courtesy town car that can whisk guests anywhere in the New Farm, Fortitude Valley

Onity’s locking solutions keep guests happy ONITY ADVANCE RFID ELECTRONIC LOCKING SOLUTION PROVIDED SECURITY, DESIGN, AND TECHNOLOGY TO BRISBANE’S NEWEST BOUTIQUE HOTEL, SAGE HOTEL JAMES STREET. Here, Onity supplied access control door locks for the guestrooms, entry and lifts using RFID proximity card system. Geoff Sherrard, sales manager from Onity, explains why their range is such a great choice for hotel managers: “The Onity range of products



is designed for an ease-of-use by the staff at the hotel and the guests onsite, the Onity software can be a standalone system or it can be run through the PMS. “The design is to make check in as quick as possible and keep the hotel guest happy. In-room, we can offer integrated energy management through our wireless thermostat to control the air conditioning and run reports to review. The in-room safes come with a variety of options, including draws, top opening, and traditional hinged doors. All these options come with secure mounting holes.

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area or even into the city. Guests also get complimentary passes to the local pool and wellness gym. “But I think the real attraction is that they can step outside our door and visit those locals who have supported us, like Jocelyn’s Provisions (somewhat of a James St institution) where we can arrange a guide to take you through the store with some sampling. “New Farm Confectionery, where owner Jodie has an amazing boutiquesized store just two mins drive away, to sample some truly delightful

treats. “The newly opened Botanical Bar and Kitchen is where chef Dave Lindsay can be found creating a plant protein menu, and sprouting his own lentils and broccoli for the dishes. This is located right next door to us and is in fact part of the food and beverage offering. “The Farrier bar, Brisbane’s best kept supper club secret, is under the Queens Arms and was the site of the area’s oldest stables. It is dark but has gorgeous sandstone walls that have some mood lighting and guests can finish there with a drink and a chat with owner Chris Condon,” he adds.

PARTNERS WITH SAGE HOTEL JAMES STREET TO PROVIDE SECURITY & ENERGY SOLUTIONS Onity is a market leader in the hospitality market for access control locks and equipment; in our region we have over 1000 properties using our hardware. From small, boutique B&B’s to 5 star resort properties our locking systems can be used in any accommodation environment. Our locks are also being used in a variety of applications from Student Accommodations, Mining Camps, government hostels and backpackers. Apart from our card controlled locks we can also provide energy saving devices to control lights and air conditioning, in room safes and mini bars. ADVANCE TRILLIUM SERIES LOCK Trillium RFID locks include the option to use MIFARE Plus technology, an enhanced credential security for RFID cards. Onity’s ADVANCE Trillium lock features a stylish new look in a two-piece modular design, with a low-profile reader designed for today’s modern aesthetics. ONITY DIRECTKEY™ The DirectKey™ system builds on years of expertise in hotel locking systems and Bluetooth® technology to provide hotels a superior mobile key for their guests. The Onity solution leverages a proven Bluetooth technology and key credentialing platform, to provide a greatly cost-effective, secure, and easy to use mobile key system. • Works with existing locks, saving deployment costs and time

• Employs additional security layer of protection • Integrates tightly with hotel brand loyalty apps • Enables easiest and quickest guest room entry SENSORSTAT ENERGY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM The SensorStat Wireless Thermostat communicates wirelessly to the SensorStat Controller using low voltage wiring. It includes an on-board occupancy sensor and provides access to software tools and resources that constantly monitor and control energy savings. The Sensorstat Wireless Thermostat features a modern design. Thermostat enclosures are available in any Pantone color to match designer requirements. The large LCD displays setpoint, room temperature and outdoor temperature. SensorStat Control Software offers a wealth of convenient features, including granular device control, cloud-based data backup, and the ability to process raw data into 25 usable, actionable reports.

For more information call 03 9239 1223 or visit AUTUMN 2017


p profiles Sage Hotel James Street:

Not only is Sage Hotel the first hotel on James Street, Pankaj explains that it is also the first hotel where accommodation meets fashion. “We acknowledge that this locale has a unique love affair with fashion and all things beautiful, therefore we have created a first of its kind - Sage Style Suite - a multipurpose, functional space where style, fashion and design are key ingredients. “This is a unique room for hire, with mirrors and hangers that can be used for styling events, fashion shoots, designer meetings, and there is a hotel room next door, for out-of-town designer houses. The suite is a dedicated working space, ideal for fashion showings and pop ups, it sets us apart from other hotels and appeals to our accomplished local designers providing a space to showcase their talents.” I thoroughly enjoyed the fashionable take on accommodation but most of all, I liked how the staff talked about their hotel with pride and ownership. I wonder if they share the same view as their manager, Pankaj who has just returned from paternity leave but states: “I really feel like opening this hotel has been my other baby!” By Mandy Clarke, Industry Reporter Pankaj Dhingra, Alex Billing and John Warren



f y d n a d l o o c o l approved e v r a m n e e k t u o t s u j d n a m h groovy inde g u o s t n e c e r r a l u p o p y h c a e o c neat nifty p e t u n i m e h t o t p u y d n e r t after superRENDS IN ACCOMMODATION INDUSTRY PRODUCTS


STYLE AND CLASS BOILED DOWN The very essence of stylish appliances is epitomised by Weatherdon’s Nero Emperor brushed stainless steel kettle. Ensure first-impressions are the right impressions. Every guest will scan décor, details and appliances as soon as they enter their accommodation. Nothing says welcome more than putting on the kettle. Much more than bringing water to the boil, the humble kettle is understood by every culture as a fundamental sign of hospitality. watt with cordless base, concealed element, height: 235mm, cable length:78cm, 1 year warranty, AUS/NZ Standards Approval. Stock Code: 740090

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THE NEXT GENERATION IN OUTDOOR HEATING The new HEATSTRIP Portable LPG Outdoor Heater (TGH34PL) incorporates world class design, quality, heat performance and efficiency to give the product its unique personality providing an elegant solution for outdoor areas. The Portable LPG offers significant running cost savings compared to standard patio mushroom heaters: a 25-per-cent saving on high output and an 80-per-cent saving on low output, while providing a significantly higher heat output. The sturdy stand design means the gas pipes, bottle and connections can be fully concealed, yet it’s easy to move around thanks to discreetly placed wheels. A protective grille and reflector are included as standard to guarantee safe operation and heat can be directed to areas that are being used.It is easy to operate, with an integrated Piezo ignition with tilt safety switch and flame failure device included. A high/ low output control provides heat output flexibility as well. RRP $799

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LSP MINI PRO The LSP Mini Pro by Lifestylepanel is the ultimate tool for branding, marketing and guest engagement through a customized interface on your existing infrastructure. Give your guests the freedom to connect to what`s important to them, without having to upgrade cabling or TV’s at your property. With LSP Mini Pro, it has never been easier or more efficient to promote and inform your guests of site facilities & services, digital compendium & concierge, guest messaging, Wi-Fi, movies, TV cast (Netflix, YouTube) and more. Available on Coaxial or Ethernet networks to deliver digital content across Hotels & Resorts, Hospitals, Aged Care, Student Accommodation & Remote Facilities.

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INTRODUCING BIBO: THE FUTURE OF WATER The BIBO Water Bar is a stylish new benchtop appliance that provides instant filtered and purified water – at the perfect temperature – chilled, ambient and boiling – at the touch of a button. With BIBO you can say BYE BYE to bottled water (which helps to save the environment) and BYE BYE to filter jugs and that noisy kettle. BIBO offers the latest touch screen technology and energy saving features as well as the highest quality carbon filtration and UV purification system. Available in 10 different colours to suit any décor, BIBO is ideal for kitchens, boardrooms, receptions and activity spaces. You’ll love it.

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what's hot wh IMPRESSIVE WALL MURALS THAT BOLDLY DEFINE INTERIOR SPACES Wallpaper is cementing its longevity in interior design in new and innovative ways and now that Innovate Interiors has the ability to satisfy a wide range of custom wallpaper requirements; fast, environmentally friendly and safe wallpaper production is a breeze. Define your interior with durable, colourful, creative wall displays that last with scratch-resistant performance. Our in-house graphic design team can source & create custom artwork for your project, whether it be a mural of a lakeside vista, or an art deco custom pattern & colour scheme, thus making your interiors completely unique. Our designers can take that vision inside your head and bring it to life, to completely transform your guest experience.


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Amaze your guests with a smarter, sexier, faster hospitality TV. Speed up their interaction with Android™ and offer advanced apps with many dedicated services for hospitality including streaming video services. Create a digital compendium on the TV using the free CMND server software ensuring your guest is greeted by your hotel brand, welcome video and can access information about in room dining, loyalty programs and hotel services. Keep your compendium and TV up to date over RF or IP from the CMND Server. With 4K UltraHD you get a stunning viewing experience and market leading sound quality from a dedicated sound bar with 45W of DTS premium sound.

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BESPOKE BEVERAGES A new trend is developing in the accommodation industry. Customers will appreciate a bottle of water with your brand name on it. Make it complimentary or supply as a purchase item. Custom branded water bottles add value and reassurance to the offer. Source Direct can supply small or large quantities. We supply locally sourced pure spring water Australia-wide from our bottling facilities in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Albury-Wodonga and Perth. A range of bottle sizes is available for all occasions. If you mention this AMG what’s hot news article we will take 10% off your first order.

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IS YOUR HOTEL INTERIOR WORTH SHARING ON SOCIAL MEDIA? With more options than ever before, demands are changing. Guests now choose personality over corporate consistency and sterile grandeur. Accommodation should be a cultural and memorable attraction in itself, worthy of being shared over Instagram or Facebook. Original artwork is a beautiful and affordable way to achieve this X factor; ensuring guests remember their visit for all the right reasons. Bluethumb offers an easy solution with a free art advisory service. Receive industry discounts and professional curatorial guidance. Buy directly from an unprecedented community of contemporary and Aboriginal artists on Australia’s largest online art gallery.

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t technology Hospitality TV:

Is your TV keeping up with the millennials? AS A WELL-TRAVELLED CHILD, I REMEMBER KICKING BACK IN MY HOTEL ROOM, GLEEFULLY CHANNEL-FLICKING WHILE MY PARENTS ATE IN THE RESTAURANT DOWNSTAIRS. AT HOME, THERE WERE FOUR CHANNELS, AND GENERALLY ONLY ONE WAS SCREENING ANYTHING I WANTED TO WATCH. THE ENTERTAINMENT GLUTTONY WAS AS MUCH CAUSE FOR EXCITEMENT AS THE PERMISSION TO TAKE ONE ITEM FROM THE MINI-BAR… AND ONLY ONE. Times have changed. When children and teens arrive at your hotel with several devices in tow, they may have left behind a far more entertainment-rich environment, a plethoric selection of cable channels, and YouTube and Netflix on demand. Faced with the tyranny of this inverted contrast, perhaps the only course of action is to make sure your TV experience measures up. Your first step is the hardware decision, and selecting the ‘face’ of your entertainment system should be a well-researched endeavour. Some people are quite brand-aware and while it’s not necessary (or possible) to purchase the most expensive TV on the market, choosing a solid brand with a reputation for quality and reliability speaks volumes. Size does matter and while there’s no need to compete with purposebuilt ‘media rooms’, most guests will expect to see a screen equal to, or bigger than, the one in their bedroom. Look around the room: make sure your TV is proportional and that the picture can clearly be seen from the bed. A good test is can I read the subtitles from the bed?

He said: “Technology has gone from being a static analogue platform to a fully interactive and integrated digital offering. “The platform is fully customised for hotel brand and marketing. This can now encompass interactive TV, wifi, advertising, media streaming, as well as digital signage for hotel promotions.” According to Mr Baynes, smart hoteliers are enhancing or creating new revenue streams, by offering digital space on guest TV to local business or hotel partners, or using the digital real estate for in-house promotional content: “This digital advertising hits 100 percent of guestrooms, 365 days a year and hotel management can provide real-time updates via the staff console. “The in-room TV is the best advertising space you have, and you don’t necessarily need to buy new TVs or re-cable your property to provide premium services to your guests, while generating extra revenue.” Guests ordering breakfast or booking in dry-cleaning through the TV? “These interactive features require integration with hotel PMS and POS systems, but it can all be done. “These days, hospitality TV is very much about guest engagement, communication and connectivity.” Guests love their own content, and BYOD connectivity allows them to use their own subscriptions. Ask your provider about screen casting functionality to allow guests with their Android or iOS devices. “BYOD negates the need for the hoteliers to upgrade to the smart TVs and maximises security, by not having any personal data stored directly on the hotel TV,” Mr Baynes advised.

Industry views

He says standard hospitality TV and MATV networks are solid starting points and the highly-developed software does the rest. Providers continue to tailor industry-specific products and services, and Mr Baynes says that within an ever-shifting market, the platform needs to be seamless, reliable, and flexible to boot: “We constantly discuss interactions and requirements with our hotel partners to ensure our software is fresh, and able to adapt quickly with new trends.

Regan Baynes of LifestylePanel says hoteliers must move with trends: “As the consumer becomes more tech-savvy, hotels need to evolve to meet the higher expectations from their guests.”

“Within this fluid market, hotel technology needs to have a stable but flexible platform, so new developments can be launched with minimal disruption.”

This is where the topic departs from ‘general’ and enters ‘expert knowledge’ territory. How to access in-room content? How to enhance the audio-visual experience in the guestroom? What else can your integrated TV system do for your business? AMG tuned into some industry experts for a clearer picture on hospitality TV.



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Functionality the decider

So, what about content?

Michael Carvosso from Westan says functionality is key: “The system should provide an in-room digital compendium that can be updated and managed remotely, allows for streamed content and offers marketing opportunities.”

Mr Carvosso says on-board IPTV integration allows access to movies, and other approved (and legal) streaming services offering sport, music and news: “It’s also possible to ‘side load’ local apps if hotels require it for local content provision. “An on-board digital compendium allows hotels to build information pages around anything they want, including in-room dining, loyalty programs, a spa treatment menu, or an overview of the recreational facilities they have on offer.”

Mr Carvosso says people want to access what they have at home when they travel but without due diligence, a shared network can compromise guest privacy. He says guest security can be ensured: “In-built security measures ensure that information such as personal passwords and streaming account login details are protected.”

Mr Carvosso also suggested accommodation managers ensure guests realise what they have at the push of a button: “There’s no point paying for smart TVs and then expecting guests to just figure that they can stream news bulletins.” He suggests loading an introductory information page for viewing when the TV is switched on. While you’re making life easy for guests, remember that not all are the children of the tech revolution: “If the least tech-savvy person you know can’t figure something out, don’t offer it in your guestrooms. It will end up unused, or causing unwelcome service issues for your staff.”

He says servicing the BYOD consumer base is simple with Android connectivity, though working with IOS or Apple will require the deployment of Apple TV. As the modern consumer’s technical expectations sky-rocket, he recommends adopting a system that supports 4K resolution, also known as Ultra High Definition (UHD) to offer that crystal-clear cinematic experience they probably have at home.

Regarding hardware? “Reliability is vital, and busy hoteliers don’t have time to take TVs to service centres, nor can they afford to have rooms out of action while repairs are completed. So, make sure your provider offers an onsite warranty.”

“For enhancing your guests’ sound experience, consider installing a forward-firing integrated sound bar, which can deliver sound force superior to surround sound.”

By Suzy Barry, Industry Reporter

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t technology In-room Entertainment:

Looking to upgrade your in-room entertainment system? Three years ago, about 15% of guests purchased in-room movies, now that figure is as little as 4%. Savvy accommodation providers are picking up on this trend and investing in different entertainment options for their guests. With today’s guests having easy access to on demand movies and TV shows from the comfort of their own home, when they come to stay with you, they come with those same expectations. IPTV systems can deliver movies, local TV, pay TV channels, music, weather and other useful applications. They can also deliver curated content, specialised lifestyle programs, international content and entertainment for both young kids and teenagers, allowing you to surpass guests’ expectations.

Providing your guests with all the information to make their stay complete


Giving your guests the latest technology When guests come to your hotel they look forward to the overall experience of staying with you – the quality of the room, the quality of service and the quality of their in-room entertainment system. Guests expect the latest technology. A large flat screen TV mounted on the wall instantly sets the whole look and feel of the room. While Smart TV’s have their advantages, the outlay of the TVs plus installation does not fit with everyone’s budget and from an operational point of view, it can be hard to regularly update the content. By turning your TV into an IPTV with individual set top boxes it automatically gives your TV a modern interface, offering your guests the look and feel of a Smart TV, without the expensive price tag. These set top boxes are easy to install and are loaded with an array of entertainment options as well as useful information and applications for your guests. All of this is stored on a server, allowing multiple streams at the same time without putting pressure on your internet. These systems can seamlessly integrate with your Property Management System (PMS), further enhancing your guests’ experience.

Delivering in-room entertainment your guests want to watch Many hotels are still providing pay per view movies when guest satisfaction surveys show they expect the latest movies for free.



From Digital Compendiums to exclusive hotel channels, a neverending list of information options can be provided directly to your guests through their TV, freeing up your internal resources. Digital Compendiums ensure you can update information quickly and easily across your property from one central location. The integration with your PMS means you can send messages one to one or one to many, perfect for when there is a large group of guests.

Using it as an opportunity to provide you with additional revenue Some hoteliers will be reading this, thinking “I could never afford to implement a system like this”, but the best part is it’s easier than you think! By using your in-room entertainment system to advertise your bar’s happy hour, local tour companies and restaurants, you can ensure your guests get the entertainment and information they need as well as an opportunity for you to earn revenue. Many businesses are taking this up as an alternative to providing pay per view movies, keeping you and your guests happy. Not forgetting that none of this matters without providing good Wi-Fi In addition to the entertainment system, it’s a well-known fact that accommodation providers can’t get away with skimping on internet. Guests expect to be connected to free Wi-Fi wherever they are in the hotel – whether it’s their room, lobby or the bar. The importance of Wi-Fi has been written so many times that we’re not going to repeat it here, but to reiterate, the complexity of Wi-Fi for accommodation providers is something that should not be ignored and is worth investing in to save you the headache and keep your guests happy. Whichever entertainment option you choose you need to ensure it works for both you and your guests. A full-service entertainment solution that delivers not only video-on-demand, but an array of entertainment and information options are a must for guests. Keep in mind that it should also be able to be updated easily, integrate seamlessly with your PMS and provide additional revenue making opportunities. There are a number of solution providers out there, so make sure you do your homework, ask questions and get the best solution for you. By Rhiannon Sloan, Swift Networks

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t technology Hotel Trends:


Asking a question like, ‘Where can I get a great cappuccino?’ or ‘What beaches in the area are great for families?’ could result in a tailored recommendation based on information sourced from review sites, travel blogs, tweets, and Facebook posts.

Right now, travel brands are using AI to power a new generation of chatbots that can communicate with customers and handle requests through text-based ‘conversations’. But chatbots represent a stepping stone towards something much bigger. In the future, hotels will begin to use AI in far more dynamic ways, including within the hotel room itself. Soon enough, guests may be able to control devices and make requests entirely through an in-room voice-controlled device. It’s a scenario that might not be so very far away.

A guest might also ask to be updated about upcoming events of personal interest such as music festivals, gourmet food markets, art exhibitions and theatre productions.

AI assistants such as Google Home and Amazon Echo are already being used by consumers to play music, receive news and weather updates, shop online, and more. AI no longer exists in some far-flung future. It’s here now, and it’s advancing quickly. With that in mind, here are a few ways AI might be used in the hotel rooms of the future.

Controlling in-room tech The technology needed to control every device in a room purely through voice is already being used. Just recently, Aloft Hotels debuted their voice-activated rooms to enable guests to change the temperature, adjust the lighting, and turn on the TV using an Aloft App and iPad linked to Apple's Homekit and Siri. But while controlling devices in this way is undoubtedly a useful and interesting perk, the true potential of combining in-room tech with AI lies in the possibility that a room can learn about preferences and remove the need for interaction altogether. For instance, Starwood Hotels (the owners of Aloft) are experimenting with ways a room can “pay attention” to preferences so that things like favourite TV channels and temperature settings can be made instantly available. This kind of experimentation could pave the way for a new generation of smart-rooms that observe preferences and tailor devices to meet the unique needs of every person.

Ordering hotel services While chatbots provide a fast way to order services and make requests, an AI assistant would make this process even easier. Instead of being fixed to their smartphone, a guest could ask for more towels, request room service, or make a reservation at the hotel restaurant - all while getting on with other things. It would also be possible to make requests and receive tailored recommendations. After a long flight, a weary guest might want to book a spa treatment to help unwind and relax. Instead of listing every possible treatment, an AI assistant would be able to suggest the most suitable options to help with jet lag. By monitoring booking history and enquiries during a day, hotel staff would also be able to access that data in the future. For instance, if a guest had asked for extra pillows or requested that specific drinks be topped up in their minibar, hotel staff would be able to prepare a room accordingly to meet those needs ahead of time.

Acting as a local guide AI would also act as the ultimate destination guide, acting as an invaluable resource on local sights, landmarks, and attractions.



Coordinating travel plans and bookings would also be possible during the same interaction. For instance, after finding out about a great restaurant across town, an in-room assistant could then reserve a table, send the restaurant directions to a person’s smartphone, and book an Uber to pick them up.

Providing information on the hotel All the practical details about a hotel’s amenities and services are typically available in a series of printed documents. But a hotel room of the future would remove the need to manually check for relevant information. A guest could simply ‘ask’ their room a question such as, ‘When does the pool open?’ or ‘Does the gym have a cross-trainer?’ When asking about the hotel restaurant menu, a guest might also request tips on recommended dishes that match their tastes, or even pairing suggestions from the hotel wine list. If information about particular amenities or services was repeatedly requested, an AI assistant could identify these as preferences and make relevant suggestions about other services that might also be appealing.

Travel assistance Checking out of a hotel can sometimes be a pretty hectic experience, especially when there’s an early flight involved. But assistants such as Google Home can already remove a lot of the stress associated with travel. Along with checking the status of flights, Google Home can set an alarm, call an Uber, and provide real-time traffic data - all of which means a person can reach a destination on time with minimum hassle. Clearly, this kind of service would be of major benefit to hotel guests. In addition to easier planning and arranging transport, they could ask their in-room device to have front desk come and collect their luggage, or bring their car around for collection.Smoothing out the checkout process ultimately means that a guest would leave the hotel feeling both positive and relaxed.

The future of guest experience AI has advanced rapidly in recent years and hotels have an opportunity to use it in a number of game-changing ways. Soon enough, a person may check into a hotel room and use an AI assistant to order room service, turn on the TV, book a massage treatment, and plan their latest trip. Not only can AI provide a more personalised experience, it can free up hotel staff from dealing with requests that don’t always require personal interaction. While it’s still early days, it’s clear that this technology will play an increasingly central role in hospitality. By at least considering its potential now, hotels can begin to prepare themselves for a time when it becomes increasingly central to the guest experience. By Brendon Granger, Technology 4 Hotels

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h housekeeping Cleaning Equipment:

How to up your cleaning game MASTERING THE ART OF CLEANING IS ESSENTIAL WHEN RUNNING AND MAINTAINING A RESORT, HOTEL, MOTEL OR ANY OTHER ACCOMMODATION TYPE. In larger establishments, the housekeeping department is often huge with different attendants employed to do specialised jobs throughout the property, from room attendants and night cleaners to housekeepers and laundry attendants. Each worker requires the very best tools of the trade to maintain high standards of hygiene and appearance. Guests post more online reviews about room cleanliness than anything else and the easier it becomes for guests to investigate, compare and review room cleanliness, the more crucial it is for businesses to raise their cleaning game! The utmost caution must be employed when purchasing cleaning equipment; after all, it is more than just an investment in a broom, trolley, or mop… It’s about investing in your reputation. Cleaning a hotel with sub-standard equipment will mean you have to settle for a dirtier guest environment or else it will take you much longer to achieve perfect results; either way, it’s a lose-lose situation. Once purchased, equipment must be maintained. Otherwise, problems will arise such as complaints from staff and guests. Recently, we experienced a technological acceleration in cleaning equipment and products. With this, meeting guest demand for perfection became a whole new kettle of fish, in part due to increasing guest appetite for earth-friendly cleaning solutions. On the bright side, there is now a much wider range of market options. How choosing high quality equipment/products benefits your business: • • • • • • • • •

Increases housekeeping staff cleaning capability Reduces work fatigue and injuries Improves overall hygiene Prevents sickness and spread of bacteria and viruses Increases productivity Saves time/money and resources Better manoeuvrability; get into awkward places Eco-friendlier Easier to operate

What equipment to use? Manual cleaning equipment: Abrasives: sharpening stones or grit papers used to polish metal or wooden surfaces. Brushes: with bristles or dusters, they can be scratch-free, and they remove stubborn dust. Maid’s trolley/housekeeping trolley: a large, organised trolley on wheels that is manoeuvrable to transport guestroom supplies and cleaning materials, room-to-room; it needs to be safe, stylish, and quiet. Trollies have changed over the years, in their size, shape, and mechanisms but remain an important staple of the housekeeping department. It is one of the most visible pieces of equipment in an accommodation provider because it is in the corridor when guests leave breakfast or check out. If a business is operational 24 hours a day, guests will possibly see more of the trolley than any staff member! Be aware that first impressions are everything and an untidy, unclean, out-of-shape trolley will project an unflattering image. Janitor’s trolley: may be smaller than the housekeeping trolley. It stores cleaning supplies such as detergents, spray bottles, dustbin, mop, and dusting cloths, in a compact manner for bathrooms and is usually kept in the bathroom cupboard. Bins: waste, sanitary or recycling, they come in various sizes, colours and styles and are used in various ways to collect daily garbage around the property. Cloths: soft, used for wiping the surface dust, and may come in various colours. Dustpans: to collect dust and garbage, they can be long-handled to prevent bending. Mops: there are various versions such as string mops, flat mops, dust mops, and synthetic mops. Mop wringer: a mop bucket or mop trolley is a wheeled bucket used to wring out a wet mop at a good height to prevent bending.


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h housekeeping Cleaning Equipment:

Spray bottles: they are used to spray water or chemical solutions on the surface that needs cleaning or with scent to freshen air.

Electric cleaning equipment Box sweeper: is an electric sweeper that consists of a friction brush that moves vertically or horizontally and it can clean floors as well as carpets. Vacuum cleaner: probably the most frequently used piece of powered equipment in hotel housekeeping. There are various styles and types ideal for different environments. Uprights are very effective when it comes to productivity and dirt removal, due to brush agitation and suction. The down-side is the weight of the upright, especially for stairs and it is less manoeuvrable in tight spaces. Back packs are productive and very easy on the user, especially on stairs, but they have lower capacity and it will need more emptying. Canister vacuums have the advantage of larger capacities but may be less productive. Cordless vacuums are newer to the market and the long-life commercial battery operated in canister and back pack form are arguably safer, because there is less trip hazard over cords and less risk from electrical shock from cord damage. Wet and dry commercial vacuum cleaners are also available, and all vacuums on the market have made advancements in terms of noise pollution and HEPA filtration that maximises indoor air quality. Polishing machine: adds shine to the hard floors. Scrubber: for hardcore scrubbing where mopping doesn’t suffice, it removes stubborn and sticky stains on the floors of cafeterias, restaurants, lobbies, and fitness areas where people can take food and beverages.

Vapor cleaning machine: can be used where chemical odours are not wanted. They heat up quickly, work with a low amount of moisture, and they can kill bed bugs and bed bug eggs.

Cleaning agents or chemicals Apart from water and regular detergents, housekeeping staff use cleaning chemicals that are often available in the form of liquids, blocks, and powders. Water: the most commonly used medium for cleaning and rinsing. Non-oily and non-greasy stains such as ink stains might be removed using just water. Vinegar: can be used to remove light stains. Bathroom cleaners: can come in liquid form for easy cleaning. They clean, descale and disinfect the bathroom walls, bathtubs, bathroom floors, sinks, and showers. Clean air sprays: to remove the pungent smells of tobacco, smoke, and organic wastes. From hand sprays for a quick freshen, to wall mounted and powered dispensers and odour control systems. Degreaser: used to remove the marks of grease and lipstick that cannot be removed by traditional washing. Degreasers also restore the surface shine and transparency of glasses and bowls. Floor cleaners: one of the important tasks of hotel housekeeping is cleaning the floor, some areas may be busier such as lobby, corridors, restaurants, and dining halls. Floor cleaners and sealers are used for restoring their look and shine. Surface sanitisers: reduce the presence of bacteria, containing different concentrations and fragrances.

Edco presents the Numatic servo powered room service cart THE NUMATIC SERVO CART IS GOOD LOOKING, FLEXIBLE AND EASY-TO-USE. EDCO AND NUMATIC ARE DEDICATED TO DEVELOPING HIGH QUALITY COMMERCIAL CLEANING LINES AND ARE EXCITED TO PRESENT THEIR NUMATIC SERVO POWERED ROOM SERVICE CART. National sales manager Stephen Waddingham told us: “Our powered room service cart is a quality build with innovative design and function. It is the complete package housekeepers will need and provides long-term savings and improved productivity. “Housekeepers have been very excited to use this product as they immediately recognised that ease-of-use and reduction of OH&S issues was at the forefront of its design. They also love its looks: smart, professional and ensuring optimum brand presentation when guests are around.”



Edco is always working on new products, Mr Waddingham confirmed: “We always strive to be on top of new trends. We foresee the development of new materials used in construction and even more design flexibility and customisation, offering many more cleaning product choices to the industry.”

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h housekeeping Cleaning Equipment:

Toilet cleaners: used to easily remove stains and plumbing scales and restore the shine of their surface.

Then choose the most appropriate dispensing system. Don’t forget that clean hands save lives!

Carpet cleaning agents: tackle soil contamination and spot removal for both interim cleaning and restorative cleaning. These carpet cleaning chemicals are often low-moisture and fast-drying.

Whatever equipment choices are for you, remember that it comes down, once again, to a simple matter of quality.

Hand wash: provide both staff and guests with the best quality hand wash systems. Whether you provide a liquid antibacterial hand cleaner and sanitiser, an efficient mild hand soap, odourless, sweet smelling, or earth-friendly, it all depends on the products suitability for food preparations, bathroom, or guestroom areas.

If you invest time into searching through all the options and purchase only good quality equipment that meets both your business’s needs and guest’s standards, then not only will you rise to the ever-expanding expectations of your guests but also stay one step ahead of the game. By Mandy Clarke, Industry Reporter


Introducing RapidClean AN AUSTRALIAN OWNED, NATIONAL COMPANY WITH OVER 50 STORES AROUND AUSTRALIA. RapidClean’s general manager, Bruce Lees, shared: “Our business is made up of cleaning supply experts operating their own stores with all the major brands of industrial, commercial, cleaning, catering, packaging, safety and environmentally friendly products. “Our staff pride themselves on delivering the best cleaning products and honest advice at the most cost-effective price. Our aim is to provide our customers with the support of a national organisation while providing a local service, offering a single sourcing, cost-effective, one-stop-shop solution.” RapidClean has an extensive group of suppliers: “We only select the best suppliers and products to put on the shelves and we stand by the quality of the products we stock. The Rapid Group and DEB have formed a partnership to supply premium hand care products throughout Australia.”



The days of heavy metal trolleys have gone: “Plastic is the new fantastic, lightweight and manoeuvrable with swivel wheels that steer. This is the new must-have trolley.” He reminds us: “Safety, security and size are what counts in the accommodation industry. Breaks that give emergency stopping-power make life easy for the most petite of housekeepers.” The trolley is the industry work-horse that has to ferry everything from linen, toiletries, mops, and brooms both silently and discreetly. “Silence is golden when it comes to wheels, so it is good to have a few spares at the ready,” he added. It also needs to be ready to perform large-scale operations at the back of house, day or night. Reliability is fundamental and so is easy-wipe cleaning. Family-owned for over 40 years, Weatherdon’s team of designers and manufacturers are also able to specify standards to meet unique demands within the hospitality sector.

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h housekeeping Sofitel Melbourne:

EXCLUSIVE: Luxury through the eyes of an executive housekeeper HIGHLY RESPECTED WITHIN THE ACCOMMODATION INDUSTRY, MARIAN STRATFORD IS THE NEW EXECUTIVE HOUSEKEEPER AT SOFITEL MELBOURNE ON COLLINS, AN ELEGANT AND LUXURIOUS HOTEL THAT IS WELL-KNOWN FOR THE EXQUISITE SERVICE IT OFFERS GUESTS. In a twist, she began her hotel career at The Regent Hotel, which is now Sofitel Melbourne on Collins and after a few years away she happily returned. “I won’t go into what year I commenced my career,” she jokes. “However, I am extremely pleased to be back at the hotel where it all began!” Sofitel Melbourne on Collins is one of Melbourne’s finest, overlooking the city and located in the heart of the shopping, dining and theatre district on the Paris-end of Collins Street. The towering atrium design by IM Pei offers modern opulence with rooms that are superbly appointed, with lofty views of the city, gardens and sparkling Port Phillip Bay. Executive housekeeper Marian starts her morning at 06:30. She tells us: “My first job is to speak to the overnight team about guest experience and prepare for the day ahead by checking staffing levels. At 08:00, I gather the team for our luxury forum to go through the hotel performance, events in the hotel, VIP guests, inspirational quotes, guest feedback and then I share my focus for the day. “Throughout the day, I also handle a wide variety of tasks, such as purchasing supplies, checking stock levels, tailoring VIP guestrooms and checking the performance of laundry and uniform rooms. As the day progresses, my main responsibility is motivating and coaching the team.” Marian has a passion for the industry: “Hospitality is absolutely a love of mine, particularly the hotel industry, but working with the French heritage of the Sofitel brand - its elegance and sophistication - is what inspires and motivates me every day.” The Sofitel story began in 1964, when the first French international hospitality brand was created. Today, the Sofitel brand also encompasses the historic Sofitel Legend, the fashionable SO Sofitel and the boutique MGallery by Sofitel.

Marian Stratford

The brand creates distinct and unforgettable guest experiences, “always inspired by the essence of the locale and creatively imagined through a sophisticated French lens”. Marian thoroughly embraces the Sofitel philosophy and according to her, the most important aspect when ensuring that her guests receive a bespoke guest experience is “to create cousu-main experiences”. “This means we must tailor the experience for the guest, dependent on what they have enjoyed during a previous stay together with their current stay.” She stresses: “This is incredibly important as we have a lot of Accor Plus loyalty members staying with us. Over 1.8 million loyalty members in Australia which means we have a lot of cousu-main experiences to tailor every day.” As part of the bespoke experience we ask, what does your department do best? She replies: “We curate the accommodation room for the guest. Our high-profile guests’ requests have been as simple as setting up a karaoke machine or a Christmas tree, to larger requests such as a dressing room with theatre mirrors for their makeup artist!”

What challenges Marian? “Both the challenge and joy of my new role has been to get to know the members of the team and to adapt my management style to inspire the best performance from each individual. “Another challenge for me has been to get a well-established team who have worked together for over 20 years to embrace changes to procedures. The Sofitel Melbourne on Collins housekeeping team are collaborating on several new initiatives and this is always going to be a work in progress as changes are constantly happening.”



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h housekeeping Sofitel Melbourne:

To establish such great team work and hard work ethic, Marian insists on having “an open-door policy”. She explains: “You will never see my door closed unless I am meeting with a team member on a personal matter. Even then, I try to speak to all staff at an appropriate time. I also try to ensure that every team member is greeted when they commence their day and I strive to resolve issues when they happen, on the day.”

What is Marian’s biggest work achievement? “Since I started working, I’ve never stopped learning and that is a huge achievement itself,” she states. “I don’t really think that any single achievement is bigger than the one before; however, what I am very proud of is the work that we do in housekeeping to reduce our impact on the environment.”

approved suppliers that the Accor network has set up. However, I am constantly interested in new and innovative products that will assist with efficiency, reduce unnecessary waste and above all are compliant to Planet 21 - AccorHotels environmental and social responsibility program.”

Who has helped and supported Marian’s career? “I have had several mentors throughout my career but it is impossible for me to pinpoint just one! I’ve had a few executive housekeepers, general managers, colleagues, and team members who have all inspired and

She clarifies: “A passion project of mine was to introduce Soap Aid to the department and I was one of the first ambassadors in Victoria for this extraordinary program. Soap Aid assists communities in third world countries by offering them recycled soap from hotels to promote better health.”

challenged me at one point or another. They have all helped me grow

When it comes to purchasing products and amenities for the department, Marian is solely responsible. “Normally my purchases are online through

to learn, to strive to make a positive contribution by my actions and

and inspired me to keep on learning.”

Is Marian’s motto, ‘keep learning’? “Yes, this has been a reoccurring theme in my work habits and I continue words.”

Smart solutions, proven results DIVERSEY CARE IS A GLOBAL PROVIDER OF PROFESSIONAL CLEANING AND HYGIENE SOLUTIONS, INCLUDING JONMASTER MICROFIBRE SOLUTIONS AND J-FILL HOUSEKEEPING RANGE. SOFITEL MELBOURNE ON COLLINS IS ONE OF THEIR MANY HAPPY CUSTOMERS. Debbie Walker, the marketing operations manager from Diversey Care, explains why: “Our products are easy-to-use and perform consistently, helping to increase cleaning productivity, facility cleanliness and hygiene.” A leading provider of smart, sustainable solutions for cleaning that looks to the future, according to Ms Walker: “In recent years there has been a tremendous growth in the internet of things; a network of physical devices, vehicles, buildings and other items that are embedded with electronics, software and sensors to enable objects to collect and exchange data.” “Our Diversey Care division has applied the intricacies of connectivity to the cleaning industry by effectively moving the needle from selling highly commoditised cleaning chemicals to providing new value to cleaning operations by allowing clients to monitor a product’s performance and efficiency.” She added: “Our hospitality expertise, collaborative and consistent approach, together with simple, innovative cleaning solutions ensure proven results for hotels.”



housekeeping h

Does she enjoy her job? “Oh yes! I absolutely adore working with people and the Sofitel Melbourne on Collins has over 500 people working in it; this collection of personality and talent creates a great sense of family and pride.” “I am also crazy about travel,” she adds. “For me, travel inspires new ideas and of course I also enjoy the feel of luxurious surroundings, so when I travel I like to stay in other Sofitel properties. It is during these trips that I often find myself chatting to other Sofitel executive housekeepers

to learn what is working for them and then I bring this knowledge back to use in my role.”

What is your best advice to other executive housekeepers? “That is simple: keep learning, speak to people, learn from people and be inspired by your travels.” By Mandy Clarke, Industry Reporter

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h housekeeping Coin Operated Laundries:

Commercial laundries that make the grade

WHEN PLANNING YOUR IDEAL ACCOMMODATION EXPERIENCE, THE HUMBLE LAUNDRY MAY NOT REGISTER AS A VITAL INGREDIENT FOR A HAPPY AND SATISFIED GUEST. THINK AGAIN. Laundry services are frequently discussed on TripAdvisor, with complaints ranging from unreliable dry-cleaning woes to mouldy machine barrels. While one reviewer admitted it was a “dull question”, the consumer review site is awash with concerns and requests for satisfactory laundry service recommendations. In their quest to avoid being “fleeced by $10-a-sock type hotel laundry fees”, or spending a day in the laundrette during a holiday, prospective guests are after efficiency, proximity, reasonable cost, and easy access to consumables. Interestingly, society’s ubiquitous wifi connectivity now extends to the laundry. To service guests who prefer to monitor (or guard) their precious garments while they are being washed, seating and free wifi now marks a laundry experience that is a cut above the rest. For ease of access, travellers appreciate the new application of cashless payment options, with technology extending to integrated room expense accounts at the tap of a card or flash of a QR code. While many guests still report satisfaction at emptying silver and gold



laden pockets, many are excited by the ease of waving their mobile phone in the general direction of a machine, and getting back to their favourite series on Netflix. Add a coffee machine to this and you’re approaching laundry utopia. While the modern laundry may be expected to deliver high-tech functionality, the classic factors are still paramount to achieving quality clothes-cleaning results. Laundries for a commercial accommodation setting should protect your bottom-line with energy efficiency, and conserve your guests’ precious supply of holiday energy. Objectives should include simplicity of operation for guest autonomy and a stressfree laundry visit; longevity, reliability, and performance. Laundry novices may assume it’s just a matter of finding a small room or corner and filling it with a few machines, but there can be unexpected pitfalls lurking in your basket - and with poor planning, they’ll show their colours. What are your intended parameters for use? Is it a coin-operated selfserve in a busy budget hotel or backpackers? Or is it a backup service for a higher end hotel? Do you service business travellers who normally send down their dry-cleaning, but find themselves in a late-night pickle the night before they fly to a new continent? What does commercial-grade really mean for washers and dryers? What should accommodation providers look out for? To put the variables through the wringer, we sought some expert opinions from the field…

h housekeeping Coin Operated Laundries:

Industry views Possible considerations for accommodation properties Designing a laundry can be straightforward, or unexpectedly complex, it just depends on the circumstances. Greg Moore, from Ideal Laundry Solutions, says issues can arise from a variety of factors, whether the physical space designated for your new laundry, plumbing accessibility, power access to the chosen site, or ventilation for dryer exhaust. The general layout of your building or resort complex, how guest movement is managed and the relative location of guestrooms; right down to the demographic of your clientele, (including any specialised mobility requirements), can all influence how you plan your guest laundry.

Your laundry’s intended use What sort of performance do you expect from your laundry? How many washes per day? What is the level of soiling you expect? Do you run a beachside holiday park where infinitesimal grains of sand hide in seams and swimmer linings and find their way into your machines? Intended use will determine what models you select but there are key considerations that are universally applicable to commercial laundries. “For the commercial sector, reliability, efficiency and product support are paramount,” Mr Moore indicated. “Many sectors such as hair salons, hotels, motels and medical facilities make the mistake of purchasing large capacity domestic washers or dryers, rather than commercial equivalents. Ultimately, they find reliability, efficiency, performance, customer support and warranty inclusions to be inferior in domestic products.” Mr Moore conceded that commercial or industrial laundry equipment is priced higher than domestic laundry equipment, but they are up to

What are your intended parameters for use? To put the variables through the wringer, we sought some expert opinions from the field

the job. “They are designed for a specific use in an environment that demands durability and reliability on a seven-day 365-day per year basis.” Mr Moore also advised that domestic laundry equipment manufacturers base their design parameters on a three-five-year life expectancy, based on average domestic usage. “Managers should insist on commercial or industrial grade for their business. It’s an economically sound investment in the long run.” Mr Moore added that cashless payment has proliferated, providing ease of payment, but also remote access for complete control auditing requirements: “A free customised website is provided to each cashless payment system client.

Payment solutions: coins, card, payments apps and more Duncan Gardiner from Speed Queen says cashless payment capability is in huge demand, and for good reason: “It eliminates cash management, theft and coin jams while giving customers a much better experience.” Mr Gardiner says laundries that accept card payments are advised, because “everyone has a debit or credit card.” Whichever payment option you select, the laundry’s functionality

Flexible, efficient and kind to the earth DUNCAN GARDINER OF SPEED QUEEN TOLD AMG THAT SINCE SPEED QUEEN’S IMPLEMENTATION OF CASHLESS PAYMENT OPTIONS, HE HAS SEEN A MASSIVE INCREASE IN DEMAND AND UPTAKE. “Our Quantum software combined with cashless payment allows true remote management.” Mr Gardiner says replacing metal components with plastic compromises reliability, and represents false economy: “Our equipment remains ‘tough as’ with all key components made of metal.” Mr Gardiner says tailoring your machines to purpose is vital, “and is made possible by Speed Queen’s wide range of load sizes, configurations and payment mechanisms, and a variety of payment options and energy source capability”. “Cleaning that doesn’t cost the earth: Not only are we kind to the environment, we also get clothes clean and dry in a cost-effective way.”



Mr Gardiner says commercial equipment is only as good as its servicing: “Our coverage means we have an extensive service network of qualified agents.”

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is dependent on certain factors: “Efficient throughout is the critical success factor for laundries,” Mr Gardiner noted. “So, ensuring reliability, and reasonable running costs, as well as a logical layout are all fundamental.” Once you have the equipment in place, you can expect long service from your steadfast laundry. “Even with a three-year warranty for most parts, the machines outlive expectation, with some customers reporting equipment running strong after 20 years!” Mr Gardiner said: “Commercial equipment needs to be heavy-duty to withstand the rigours of daily life, especially in some of the places our equipment is used, such as commercial fishing vessels, remote

stations, (where you really don’t want it to break down!) and mining sites. “You want your equipment to never break down, run on the smell of an oily rag (while performing like a Ferrari), but be easy to service.” His parting advice? “Make use of suppliers’ expertise: those who live and breathe laundry are happy to share their knowledge.” Mr Gardiner warned that choosing a brand is only the starting point: “Make sure you have the right product, correct payment solution, efficient layout, service infrastructure in place; these are all key to a successful and efficient laundry.” By Suzy Barry, Industry Reporter

Streamlined solutions MANAGING DIRECTOR GREG MOORE SAYS IDEAL LAUNDRY SOLUTIONS OFFERS A SINGLE BRAND TO MEET EVERY REQUIREMENT; RANGING FROM COINOPERATED TO CASHLESS GUEST LAUNDRY EQUIPMENT, FROM LIGHT COMMERCIAL TO HEAVY COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL. With provision to supply hotels on a national scale and financing options ranging from leasing or rental, to profit share with no upfront payment, Mr Moore says there is something to suit all business models. “Primus distributors are unique in offering a full range of Primus washers, dryers and ironers: one brand, one manufacturer, one supplier.” “Manufactured in Europe and the USA and approved for use in Australia, our Primus-only range enables us to streamline everything from staff training and parts availability, to cloud-based connection and remote accessibility for managers.” Mr Moore told AMG that focussing on a single brand promotes advancement in manufacturer innovation and support: “We now offer a user-friendly cashless payment system for guest laundry equipment, with cloud-based connection for our heavy commercial and industrial range due in 2018.”

We offer a complete range of washer extractors, tumbler dryers & flatwork ironers for all applications. Our team of laundry equipment professionals have many years of experience in the Laundry industry, in fact we only employ staff that have thorough knowledge of what we sell, rent or service. We have a solid commitment to providing the right advice & after sales support for our customers to achieve full customer satisfaction.

To find out how we can assist you please call 1300 944 494 or visit AUTUMN 2017


h housekeeping Luxury Linen:


Perhaps it is time to admit that creating the ultimate guest sleep experience has the potential to make or break an accommodation provider, especially when it comes to inspiring return visits. So, it is terribly important to weigh up all the elements that inspire a luxury experience; try your guest beds, find your ‘sweet sleep spot’, identify the perfect blend of price, comfort, and durability.

Overwhelm your senses and test run that luxury sleep experience; the one you emphatically tell your guests you provide. With roughly a third of our lives spent in bed (far more in hotel-time as there is nothing more luxurious than taking extended hotel naps), a bed is arguably the most important element in an accommodation guestroom.

Once you have tried your guest beds, what if you decide they need a makeover? Do not worry, achieving a perfectly coiffed bed can be an easy and affordable fix. As well as a necessary one because managing to produce a genuinely luxurious guest sleep is without doubt the first critical step towards accommodating an experience that will boost revenue.

According to a 2014 Gallup survey, more than half of guests who stay in the highest-priced properties would pay more for a better bed. Among the respondents, a comfortable bed was most often named the number one feature of a hotel room, more than any other amenity, including internet access and helpful employees.

Let’s face it, most establishments whatever their price-point do know how to put together a clean and comfortable bed: if they fail at this, their online reviews would scream “don’t stay here!” but what lifts a meh hotel sleep experience to a wow factor? The answer is very simple: clever linens and bedding choices.

Mainlinen: quality and cleanliness remains on trend THE MOST IMPORTANT ITEMS IN A GUESTROOM ARE LINEN AND TOWELS, ALONG WITH THEIR QUALITY AND PRISTINE CLEANLINESS, MAINLINEN STATED. “The comfort of the bedding and pillows all add up to promote guest sleep wellness; this is the innkeeper’s mission, after all. Everything else in a guestroom pales into insignificance if you offer a substandard pillow because guests remember the bad ones. They may say little, but they vote with their feet.”



Mainlinen recommended: “Provide a luxury pillow menu, in both feather and down, or our hygienic cyber loft Guest Fresh Microfiber selections that come in soft, medium and firm, regular or king-size. Be mindful that quality properties are expected to offer two pillows per head space and the best way is to offer two medium pillows at the rear and a soft and a firm in front - a menu selection without additional room service!” Offering opulence could be as simple as adding a good quality bed topper, according to Mainlinen: “You can lift a room standard instantly by adding that luxury feel topper, at very reasonable cost.”

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h housekeeping Luxury Linen:

An ultra-plush bed gives an ‘I want to snuggle here forever’ reaction, and this is only achieved by making excellent purchases. So, what we can learn from the most luxurious hotel bedroom suites and what those managers choose? We know these types of establishments tend to: • Provide lush pillows and lots of them! From feather and micro-fiber to oversized pillows, euro and decorative pillows, offer choice because every guest understands the value of a great pillow and every guest is different. Why not go all the way and introduce a pillow menu? • Have superbly comfortable mattresses, or add a quality topper. Luxury hotels rarely skimp on this. They aim to invest in quality mattresses that provide the best support for a healthful and comfortable rest and add a plush mattress topper. • Make it white. A familiar luxury hotel designer’s look is the “halo effect”, they tend to use all-white bed linens to produce an oasis and focal point in the room and most of all, it looks fresh and clean. They may top it off with a bed runner, blankets, throws and cushions to complete the crisp white look, or they may add colour, texture and personality with various accessories. • Triple sheet; many of the best hotels use three sheets. The third

Vellux: add luxury and warmth to triple sheets

Jaspa Herington: variety and choice












National sales and marketing manager Janine Bisset shared

He said: “Superb bedding cleanliness and high quality are

that the company has been operating for 26 years and is very

essential to giving guests a luxury experience.”

focused on delivering quality products and good customer

The new trend of three-sheet bed presentation has cleverly simplified the look in mid-price range establishments and

service. “We offer our customers a great variety of bedding products that are commercial, affordable and durable.”

this aesthetic can be enhanced by the other bedding and

When it comes to luxury pillows, she noted that Jaspa

accessories in the room.

Herington’s bestseller is Easycare Comfortfil “because they

At mid-price, Mr Collins confirmed: “The three-sheet offering can be spoilt with the use of quilts or padding, often in an unbleached state that cannot be regarded as luxury. Three-

feel amazing and offer durability - even after 48 washes, the product still looks and feels amazing”. There are also fire retardant options available.

sheet core warmth can be better achieved by using a washable

“Our bestselling range, Sleep Essentials is all about luxury,

product that looks and has an aroma of clean, clean, clean. A

warmth, durability, affordability and healthful comfort for asthma

product like our machine-washable light blanket - Vellux - sized

suffers: we offer quilts, blankets and protectors in this range.”

to suit.”

She added: “Jaspa Herington is a professional and caring

He added: “Simple details reflect the ongoing strive for client

organisation that recognises the importance of continuing to

satisfaction and cleanliness linked to luxury and quality.

offer a fantastic range of reliable products”.



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sheet simplifies the look and gives a feeling of luxury as well as freshness. The benefit is buttery, soft sleep. •

Use high thread count sheets. The minimum standard is 300 count.

Top it all off with an exquisite turndown service. They use perfect mood lighting and turn back the sheets to make sure their guests have the sweetest dreams.

Jaspa Herington is an Australian owned manufacturer and wholesaler that has been delivering quality products to Australian companies for 26 years. We provide a number of essential and luxury items for the accommodation sector including Pillows, Quilts, Toppers, Blankets and Protectors.

In short, luxury accommodation providers construct layers of crisp, clean sheets; sumptuous, soft, fluffy pillows; plush, absorbent towels, warm snuggly blankets, textured throws, and cushions – generally, luxury accommodations do bedding and linen well. So, what are the essential qualities of perfect luxury bedding? •

Breathability: guests do not want a sweaty sleep. The breathability of bed linen matters. A key ingredient to ensure sleep comfort is to use fabrics that have minimal hypothermic action to reduce hot and cold sweats.

Thread count matters but it should not be the only reason you purchase certain sheets. Focus should also be on the weight of the fabric and what yarns are used. Thin, basic yarns do not last as long as thick, strong yarns so you must use linen that is specifically designed for commercial use.

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h housekeeping Luxury Linen:

Spotlessly clean, fresh linen must be provided with no compromise. Make sure you buy quality linen that will launder well and always organise for top-notch, highly recommended laundering.

Layer linens and always offer a warming choice with soft, quality blankets or duvets/doonas.

The trend in high-end properties still includes romance and drama using plush and luxurious upholstered headboards but now they are adding technology

What’s on trend? •

Eco-guests: alongside luxury, there is a massive responsibility to improve sustainability across every aspect of your business. Luxury and eco-friendly do not always go hand-in-hand but with eco-guests being a huge industry trend, you must consider the environmental footprint of your luxury linens.

A major problem is that all hotel linen is washed frequently and to get that pristine, luxurious white linen look, the use of a strong detergent in a hot wash is the most effective way. To reduce the washing frequency, most hotels, motels and apartments remind guests to reuse their towels and some hotels offer bargain eco-stays, where linen only gets changed every third night. Some hotels also use linen change cards or reminders, and linen is only washed between guests unless otherwise requested by the guest. •

Bed skirts are out, in favour of utilising the under-bed space. With



guestrooms getting smaller, especially in cities, space is never wasted. Exploiting the simple clean lines of the bed, minimal bedding and cleverly utilised space is the answer. •

Custom headboards are in: make your headboard an inspiring focal point and utility space! Use the architecture of the bed and make it ultra tech with gadgets, lighting, phone, tablet, and USB connectors.

Hotels designers are busy creating custom, oversized headboards to serve as a dramatic focus of attention and they are tending to be more three-dimensional. The trend in high-end properties still includes romance and drama using plush and luxurious upholstered headboards but now they are adding technology. By Mandy Clarke, Industry Reporter

housekeeping h Outsourcing:

supplier profile HOTEL PRODUCTS DIRECT

Let someone else wash your dirty laundry ONCE UPON A TIME, ALL ACCOMMODATION PROVIDERS MANAGED THEIR OWN HOUSEKEEPING AND LINEN DEPARTMENTS. IN A LARGE PROPERTY, HOUSEKEEPING WAS OFTEN THE LARGEST DEPARTMENT AND BIGGEST HEADACHE! Managing and facilitating both housekeeping and linen within a hotel is a costly and time consuming affair, not to mention the need for space to house all the equipment. One way to solve this expensive problem is outsourcing. Many accommodation managers have already discovered outsourcing as a productive way to manage expenditure, better manage time and resources, and maintain a high level of guest service. Within the industry, housekeeping and laundry are now commonly outsourced. Many have analysed the pros and cons of outsourcing, and frequently the pros have outweighed the cons… But what are some of the possible pitfalls? Some accommodations, even well-known brands, have come unstuck thanks to sham contracting. The entire industry has, at times, found itself embroiled in a tangled web of employee/contractor problems. Clearly, outsourcing is a legitimate business arrangement but in highly competitive markets for low-skilled work, it could increase the risk of underpaid workers. As a business near the top of the supply chain you (as an accommodation provider) must be the price-maker and settings controller. It is vital that before you outsource, you do some research and find an outsourcing business with an outstanding reputation within the sector. Take care to ensure that misrepresentations in employment are not made regarding the true nature of a worker’s engagement: if you don’t do this, you risk exposure to prosecution and pecuniary penalties for breaching the Fair Work Act.

How can outsourcing to a reputable service provider help your business? Task focused. Commercial laundries are all about the linen. They are set up to handle large volumes of linen from a variety of sources, and they have the facilities to wash, dry and iron hundreds of kilograms of linen each day with trained staff to cope with it all. Some can also offer a linen rental service where the linen is owned, managed, and replaced by the laundry, while others simply launder the accommodation facility’s own linen. Outsourced housekeeping companies have their eye on hygiene and can provide a very attentive service.

Branding your guest amenities How big do you need to be to start producing your own branded guest amenities? Amenities in bottles and boxes, like shampoo and soap are not just essential items but potential business cards for returning guests. “There are many samples I have collected over the years, but to be honest I don’t remember which properties they came from, mainly because most amenities just advertise the manufacturer, not the property,” shared Andrew Kloester, director of Hotel Products Direct, who travels frequently for business. “What a huge waste of potential advertising: you’re spending the money anyway, so why not sell your own name and image? If you already spend more than $20,000 per year on amenities, then it makes perfect sense to start producing your own label identity that will promote your business.” It’s often discussed that guests like to take amenities with them as mementos and souvenirs that will take pride-of-place in home bathrooms or be re-gifted to family and friends. Andrew added that “the five most essential items are shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, soap and shower caps”. “Quite often, producing your own brand is far cheaper and more cost-effective than purchasing already existing product lines. Therefore, you are not only getting the advertising benefit, but also reducing your bottomline on running costs. Any CFO can see a big advantage in doing this yet, despite all the

obvious benefits and advantages, some of Australia’s biggest accommodation chains have failed to take heed and see the cost and advertising benefits of self-branding.” Hotel Products Direct has been in business for 15 years, designing and manufacturing branded sets of quality amenities with a variety of choice in bottle shape, style and fragrance. “We also do boxed items such as shower caps, sanitary bags and survival kits.” The company has several integrated partners overseas that produce high quality manufacturing of all styles and sizes. Andrew the Director, and his designer wife Judy travel in person to all their overseas manufacturers to build personal business relationships and establish quality benchmarks. “This is what has made our business successful,” Andrew noted. For more information please contact Hotel Products Direct on 1300 651 355

Financial benefits can come from outsourcing. Streamlining what you do allows your business to focus more on guests and increasing profits. Peace of mind for accommodation managers, if you work alongside your outsourced company, you can achieve great results without the headache of managing a huge team of housekeepers yourself. Analysis of your linen/housekeeping processes, budget, needs, standards and ideal schedule, carried out by the outsourcing company can prove useful. Save time, for you and your team because it’s precious. AUTUMN 2017


h housekeeping Outsourcing:

Storage ability. Outsourcing means there is no need to dedicate space for laundry equipment, or to accommodate large staff teams.

in chaos.

Increased standards. Monitor standards to ensure a top-notch service and if you are not happy, change to another service provider. This power gives you more of a guarantee that cleaning and linen will exceed the standards achieved in-house, which may not be fully equipped to cope with the required turnaround or have the most up-to-date machinery. Cost, demand and competition determine this! Beware, the cheapest provider is not always the one for you. Remember to make sure employees are paid correctly. Consistency. Monitor standards and the quality of service/product. Sheets and towels, for example, can be replaced by the laundry when required rather than proving a budget constraint. You are relieved of personnel headaches. With less staff to manage, you can feel relieved, use your free time for other things and increase the budget in other areas. Reduce your carbon footprint. Use your buying power to outsource with a sustainable business; some outsourced cleaning and linen contractors have state-of-the-art machinery and earth-friendly practices. Laundering is a harsh process that uses up resources, as well as harsh chemicals during the washing process; however, sustainability is much more attainable by an outsourced laundry contractor because they have more of a customer-driven incentive to reduce their carbon footprint. Most commercial cleaning businesses do have eco-friendly cleaning practices and products, but some are more committed than others. Increase environmental efficiency. Again, choose a provider who (at the operational level) practices environmental efficiency. Many leading commercial laundries and cleaners focus on reducing water and energy use.

Industry opinion: We hear from Robert Herz, managing director at Sunshine Linen Services P/L. He describes what he believes are the main benefits when outsourcing linen: • Avoid the CAPEX of the linen purchase because the linen hire service now bears this cost. • Avoid the cost of linen replacement due to age and ordinary wearand-tear because the linen service is responsible for maintaining the linen stock on an ongoing basis. • Maintain the quality of the linen throughout the term of the contract; a good linen service will maintain the quality of the stock through an ongoing replacement and renewal program. • Generous stock: it is typical that hotels owning their own linen are driven to minimise cost by minimising linen ownership and postponing or avoiding ongoing linen replacement. The outcome is insufficient linen onsite, with negative flow-on effects for housekeeping management and efficient room return. Once deliveries become time critical, due to linen shortage, housekeeping’s job becomes impossible; if anything goes wrong with delivery schedules, housekeeping is starved of linen, rooms are returned late or not at all, leading to unhappy guests and unsold rooms resulting



Robert Herz, managing director at Sunshine Linen Services

On the other hand, when a laundry provides linen rental with correct stocking, housekeeping runs efficiently, delivery disruptions are immaterial, deliveries are no longer time critical and all rooms are returned to service on time, with a minimum housekeeping labour input. Hotels will notice labour savings in their

housekeeping department. • Flexible: a good linen service provides stock flexibility. This can sometimes include different stock balances to reflect changing occupancy patterns at the hotel. At times, a hotel may need higher levels of certain products, and at other times, lower levels. The ability of the rental linen service to adapt deliveries to the hotel’s requirements is key to efficient supply and maximum room use. Need more stock due to a busy time? Just call the linen rental laundry… • A linen buffer: a good rental linen service will encourage a customer to hold enough linen on site to deal with the sudden increases in demand. • Better quality: when hotels use their own linen, there is pressure to continue using items way beyond their ‘use-by date’. On the other hand, when they are receiving rental linen, the linen rental laundry works with the hotel to ensure that linen is replaced as and when it becomes necessary. The hotel will therefore avoid making up rooms with linen that sells the hotel short on quality. A good linen rental laundry builds its reputation on the quality of its linen and is more than happy to work with the hotel to continuously improve standards. • Cost advantage: linen rental services are able to bring to bear production and buying advantages to the overall cost of supply, making linen rental more cost-efficient and therefore cheaper overall than customer-owned linen. Mr Herz expands on how outsourced linen rental and laundry works The right start-up stock level is established, based on room configuration, delivery schedule and length of stay characteristics. This is best done as a joint effort, combining the knowledge of housekeeping and the linen hire service. These figures are critical to the smooth operation of supply and must be subject to variation in accordance with the dynamic and changing requirements of the hotel. Proactive flexibility is the key, as well as ongoing good communication between the linen hire service and the hotel. An ongoing supply and re-supply schedule must be established, guided by the hotel’s usage and occupancy. Deliveries should always be at least a day in advance of requirement, to facilitate good distribution through the hotel and to allow housekeeping maximum staffing flexibility. Again, good communication between the hotel and the linen hire service is critical to successful supply and re-supply. Regular stock-taking and adjustments. Inevitably, imbalances will occur in a hotel’s stock both in terms of oversupply and undersupply.

housekeeping h

Regular stock-taking allows the hotel and the linen hire service to correct these imbalances and ensure that the right linen is onsite at the hotel.

Your Partner In Quality, *VZ[,ɈLJ[P]L3PULU Supply & Management

Sharing information is of utmost importance. A linen hire service needs to know the hotel’s business forecast so as it can be ready to supply the hotel’s changing requirements. The linen hire service can then be flexible to the hotel’s requirements. The most important thing to remember, is that the linen rental service and housekeeping department work best when they work together! Mr Herz examines how a linen hire service should manage quality They should carry the right linen standard, matching the requirements of hotel customer. Quality starts with the quality of the linen owned by the linen hire service. They should own the right quantity of linen for each customer, with ample stock on hand at the laundry to allow for replacement of stock as required. If the linen rental service does not own enough linen for its customers, linen will degrade quickly. They should implement an ongoing linen replacement programme.

Working With Sunshine Linen Simply Makes Better Business Sense

Talk to one of our team today HIV\[ÅL_PISLSPULUZ\WWS`VW[PVUZ

Call 02 9698 1411 ^^^Z\UZOPULSPULUJVTH\

Every single day, the linen rental service will need to remove damaged, stained or aged linen from the customer’s stock, and replace it with new linen. While linen has a theoretical life, things happen to make individual

At Empire Hospitality we pride ourselves in providing Quality Housekeeping Solutions. Our focus is on the delivery of cost effective housekeeping services and we continually strive for service excellence, through this method we have built an enviable reputation as a market leader in housekeeping services by providing site-specific delivery to each of our clients. With proven experience in providing the best and efficient service, we are the housekeeping partners of the leading hotels and serviced apartments in Australia.

Contact us now on 02 9571 6811 or 0451 374 970 I Empire Hospitality Australia Pty Ltd - Suite 102/243 Pyrmont Street - Pyrmont NSW 2009



h housekeeping Outsourcing:

pieces of linen inadequate for use, and they must be replaced as part of linen rental service procedures. Quality should be controlled. The linen rental service must have quality control procedure to identify and remove faulted linen from circulation. An important element of this is an effective rewash and stain treatment programme to return good linen to circulation. It is recommended that the linen service keep records of rejection and manage them as a KPI. Your accommodation should be a quality partner: when items reach the hotel that should not have, the hotel can support the linen rental service’s quality management by separating rejected linen and returning it to the linen service’s attention. It is recommended that the linen service keep records of rejection and manage them as a KPI. AS4146 – Australian Standard for Laundry Practice. All good linen rental services should meet and exceed the requirements of AS4146. This is your guarantee of absolute hygiene. Linen hire services that do not meet or exceed this standard cannot provide quality. ISO Accreditation. Quality linen rental services should be capable of meeting ISO Standards by having a Quality Management System in place. Mr Herz offers up some outsourcing trends to watch out for Technology is playing an enormous role in bringing the outsourced supplier and end-user closer together. This holds true in the relationship between linen rental services and hotels; to the point where technological integration is becoming a reality. This is bringing about improvements that will bring about better stock control, linen tracking, and usage-specific supply. It will help the linen rental service better track the life-cycle of its product and allow real time stock management data to be accessed, ensuring that the hotel has exactly the right amount of linen on site and minimum wastage. There will be significant labour savings at both ends of the supply chain, which means cost savings. The driving technology at the core of these improvement is RFID technology and its integration within the linen rental factory, distribution system, hotel loading dock, linen store rooms and housekeeping processes. We also see a greater integration between outsourced linen and outsourced housekeeping, reducing the management burden of hotels. We also hear from Julben Serrano, business development manager of Empire Hospitality Australia P/L. He outlines what he believes are the numerous benefits of outsourcing housekeeping: • Improvement of quality – housekeeping service is guaranteed by the service provider which must deliver a housekeeping service which is set at the brand standard by you for your guests. • Increased resources and knowledge – access to intellectual property and wider experience and knowledge. • Access to operational best practice that would be too difficult or time consuming to develop in-house. • Access to a larger talent pool and a sustainable source of skills. Hotels increasingly use external service providers to supplement limited in-house capacity for product and service innovation. • Cost Savings – the hotel can save on their housekeeping costs



Julben Serrano & Darren Sacks from Empire Hospitality at AHICE 2013

by eliminating all their fixed costs attributable to housekeeping, as well as additional costs that are associated with running the housekeeping department. The hotel can eliminate all costs associated with payroll: wages leave entitlements, superannuation, worker’s compensation, payroll tax, sick leave, award conditions, annual leave, administration costs, and public liability. All costs associated with recruitment and training is eliminated. All staff members are thoroughly trained and experienced in the hospitality industry. Indirect costs which are difficult to quantify, such as staff maintenance and wellbeing. The hotel can reduce housekeeping costs whilst improving housekeeping quality. The hotel is therefore able to budget better as costs are directly related to occupancy. The hotel only pays for the services needed when they need them. The flexibility allows the service provider to manage the housekeeping workload during both the busy and quieter times of the year. • Focus on core business – the hotel can focus its resources on its core business of selling rooms not cleaning rooms. Mr Serrano expands on how outsourced housekeeping works… The outsourcing of the housekeeping department whether full or partial operates on the premise that all the headache of running that part of the business is removed and passed on to the service provider. This is all done at a fixed price to the hotel on a user pays system. Mr Serrano examines how outsource housekeeping should manage quality… Quality is managed on daily basis through on site management through inspections. This is supported by external operational support that will conduct separate audits and inspections in conjunction with the hotel representative to ensure brand standards are being met or exceeded. Mr Serrano offers up some outsourcing trends to watch out for… We see an increase in the number of roles and positions outsourced in the hotels. This will also be aided by improvements in technology, equipment, and resources available to increase productivity without sacrificing quality. Mr Serrano explains how outsourcing companies can best communicate with managers… The best way for outsourcing companies to communicate with managers is to make sure that they are part of the team and the solution. This is best done by having a day to day presence and involvement with hotel management and their team. This eliminates the ‘us’ against ‘them’ mentality that destroys any chance of a long term successful partnership. By Mandy Clarke, Industry Reporter



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Hotel beds that combine durability with luxury and comfort PEOPLE USED TO GO TO HOTELS FOR A STEP UP IN LUXURY BEDDING, TO STRETCH OUT AND TO ENJOY A SUPERIOR NIGHT’S SLEEP. As consumers direct more of their disposable income towards home comforts, some people’s beds are hard to top. How can you achieve the durability required of commercial bedding, combined with the luxurious technology of domestic lines? Luckily, bed manufacturers have you covered. They are one step ahead and have designed ways to incorporate the luxury of domestic lines with the durability necessary for a commercial accommodation setting. So how important is it to provide the most comfortable bed possible? Most accommodation providers have felt that cool breeze of discontent from a disgruntled guest - after a poor night’s sleep that has been attributed to shortcomings in your hotel bed. While it is impossible to cater to every guest’s dorsal requirements, there’s plenty that can be done to ensure as many of your guests as possible enjoy blissful slumber, and glide past reception with the smug smile of the well-slept. So, what is an accommodation provider to do to ensure guest comfort? What level of luxury do guests expect? How can you combine luxury and durability in a commercial grade mattress? What factors should be considered? To lay these mysteries to rest, we asked some industry experts to fill us in on ideal solutions for every setting from five-star luxury to a busy backpackers’ hostel.

Industry views David Sapuppo of Comfort Sleep Bedding says accommodation providers are looking for a healthy, comfortable and quality product: “Delivering a comfortable and good night’s sleep is critical to overall guest satisfaction.”

Other factors include the lifespan of the product, the length and breadth of the warranty, and “they want to select a bed that will offer their guest with a memorable sleeping experience”. Mr Sapuppo says standards are lifting: “Hotels are looking to ensure their guests enjoy the best experience possible and they are harnessing technology to achieve this.”

Comfort is King in hotel bedding WHAT’S IN A BED? COMFORT, MATERIALS THAT ALLOW FOR EASY BREATHING, CONTOURED SUPPORT FOR OPTIMUM BACK HEALTH; AND WHEN SOURCING BEDS FOR HOTELS, DURABILITY IS PARAMOUNT. Peter Deveny from AH Beard says most consumers now have much better beds in their homes than ever before. Couple this with the expectation of an even better sleep on holiday, and you have the need for high quality bedding. He says the popularity of pocket coil support systems is a result of their superior comfort and durability: “10 years ago, this technology was beyond the reach of all but the most elite properties, but it’s now more affordable and many more properties are investing in this technology. “King Koil’s Reflex technology is the only spring system that carries



endorsement from International Chiropractors Association. This means that hoteliers can buy confidently knowing that not only do the beds feel great and offer unsurpassed comfort and support, they are also better for their guests’ health.”


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He told AMG that the use of pocket coils for greater support, as well as premium perimeter support and luxury pillow tops are also on the rise: “Perimeter support is vital when you think about how many guests get in and out at the side of the bed. A commercial bed requires inbuilt support to safeguard against perimeter depression.” Catering to an unknown entity is a challenge, and Mr Sapuppo suggested that, “as you don’t know who will be sleeping on the product, err on the side of general quality and medium firmness”. He said: “Ensure a stable and supportive spring system, and adequate support using a heavier gauge wire, as well as layers of support under the surface.” He also recommended “high density comfort foams with conforming properties to offer contoured support”. Mr Sapuppo covered general material requirements such as flame retardant fabrics, but emphasised the importance of environmental health for guests, as well as keeping he eco-footprint of production to a minimum.

another thing to wash: “We’re seeing the ‘rise of the upholstered base’ to coordinate with the décor of the room. Mr Sapuppo says clients just select a colour or design and it can be matched to their hotel branding, resulting in a more cohesive guestroom appearance.

What should accom operators search for in a bed? Peter Deveny of AH Beard says influencing factors can vary, and will largely depend on your budget, your clientele, and the characteristics of your individual property: “Generally speaking, they should be looking to buy the most technically advanced product that their budget allows.” He says the better quality the spring system and foams are, the better the bed will perform: “You should be looking to use a high quality, zoned spring system, combined with locally produced comfort fills, such as foam and latex. “It’s vital to choose a spring system that is zoned, so that the spine and organs are supported correctly, and in a way that promotes good quality rest.”

He says that GECA certification indicates a reduction in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC): “This is especially important in small spaces with recycled air through air conditioning, such as a hotel room.”

Mr Deveny says a zoned mattress will provide contoured support, cradling the body for a supported sleep. This system supports concave areas of the body, and relieves pressure on the convex, such as the hips in a side sleeper: “This not only means you wake feeing more rested, but also has benefits to the circulatory and nervous system. Unzoned support systems can exacerbate issues caused by build-ups of pressure on the skeletal system and muscles.

Health and safety is vital, but in a hotel environment, impressions count. While a valance neatens the appearance of a hotel bed, they are just

“For respiratory health, research carefully to ensure your provider offers fabrics and foams that have been treated to resist mould, mildew and

“Using Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) certified comfort foam means the process has been audited by GECA for both environmental impact and consumer health and safety.”

Meeting guests’ great expectations IN RESPONSE TO THE GREAT EXPECTATIONS OF THE MODERN GUEST, DAVID SAPUPPO FROM COMFORT SLEEP BEDDING HAS COMBINED THE LUXURY OF THEIR DOMESTIC LINE, WITH THE DURABILITY AND STAMINA OF THEIR COMMERCIAL OFFERING. “The result is a quality bed that offers comfort and allows for blissful sleep in a healthy environment with durability that represents value for money.” Mr Sapuppo says attention to detail is paramount: “We use extra high density foam for the edges, to withstand repeated pressure on the bed perimeter from guests getting in and out. “Density translates to quality. So, we use high density comfort foam, as well as a stable and supportive spring system, with adequate support where it’s needed most.”



With quality assured, Mr Sapuppo says they are innovating with their hotel clients, by matching their bedding to the clients’ hotel brands: “We have personalised branding on our mattresses for clients, offering an opportunity for their clients to reinforce their core brand message.”

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other allergens,” he added. Mr Deveny also recommends sourcing mattresses that use pocket coil support systems, “due to their superior comfort and durability”: “Ten years ago, this technology was beyond the reach of all but the most elite properties, but current affordability means more properties are investing in this technology.” He says the product life of a commercial mattress is influenced by factors like occupancy rates, bed maintenance, but also the quality and amount

of comfort fill used: “However, properties should be expecting a highly serviceable lifespan of six to eight years. “Most consumers have very comfortable beds at home, and expect something equal to or better from a hotel, so it’s well worth investing in quality.” After all, a guest complaining of a poor night’s sleep is the last thing you want on TripAdvisor. By Suzy Barry, Industry Reporter

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r refurbishment Lift Modernisation:

More than just an investment in your guests’ comfort FIRST IMPRESSIONS MATTER. YOU METICULOUSLY PLAN YOUR CUSTOMER’S JOURNEY: CHECKING IN AT RECEPTION FOR THE FIRST TIME, WALKING THROUGH THE LOBBY AREAS AND HALLWAYS, OPENING THE GUESTROOM DOOR… ALL TO ENSURE IT IS SMOOTH, SEAMLESS AND WELCOMING. But what about the elevators and lifts that take them from the lobby to their floor? Once thought of as just equipment used to move people and items up and down floors, travelling in an elevator is now recognised as an essential part of the customer experience in any building. Guests have come to expect aesthetics, comfort and reliability in their elevator ride and an older elevator just won’t cut it. Luckily, delivering on this can be as simple as investing in your elevators, modernising them to meet today’s safety, eco-efficiency and design standards. Various options exist to modernise elevators, from small cosmetic updates to larger equipment upgrades that offer energy saving benefits and better ride comfort, all the way to complete elevator replacements that put a new lift into your existing shaft.

A fresh, new look A good-looking elevator complements your building and makes an elevator ride a pleasant experience. In today’s digital world, where online reviews contribute to the performance of hotels and motels, you want to put your best foot forward as photos of your facilities are shared, and this includes the elevators. You can transform your old elevator car into a modern one, refurbishing it with stylish, durable and easy-to-clean materials, without increasing

the weight of the elevator. You can tweak a ready-made car design or make a design of your own, by mixing and matching materials and accessories according to the design of your building and its interiors.

A safe and reliable service The safety and wellbeing of guests and staff should always be the top priority for building owners or managers. Modernising your elevator to take advantage of innovative improvements will make your elevators safer, giving you and your guests peace of mind. The reliability and safety of your elevators is essential to providing quality service to your customers and guests. Safety improvements, such as smoother operating car doors, accurate landing of elevator car and improved lighting and visibility can help ensure your guests can travel between floors without incident, while the addition of emergency power supply and general performance improvements will provide a reliable service with minimal disruptions.

A cost-efficient investment Increasing energy efficiency has been on our radars for a long time. Most rooms are equipped with LED lights and sensors or card keys to reduce wasted energy, so why not look at how you can save through your elevators. Like the sensors in your room, modernised elevators can give you the option to place it in standby mode when it’s not in use. You can also enjoy the benefits of energy-efficient LED lighting in the car and energysaving drive system that recovers the excess braking energy and feeds it back into the network.

Not sure where to start? Contact an elevator expert and request an assessment of your existing equipment. They will help you get a clearer understanding of your elevator lifecycle and what potential upgrades are available, allowing your modernised elevator to fit seamlessly into your customer journey and enhancing their stay with you. By Philip Lau, KONE Elevators

Is the NBN available in your area? The rollout of the NBN Network means all lift emergency telephone systems will need to be upgraded. The emergency telephone line is an integral part of your lift’s safety system and it must be operational at all times, even when there is a power failure. Speak to your current elevator service provider to make sure your elevators are ready for the NBN or check online for more information.































r refurbishment Guest Rooms:

The importance of guestroom artwork TO SOME PEOPLE, WALLS PLUS A CEILING AND A BED MIGHT BE THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENTS OF A HOTEL ROOM, BUT TO A GRAPHIC DESIGNER LIKE ME, IT’S GOT TO BE THE ARTWORK. While this might be a slight exaggeration, I have some seriously valid points about guestroom artwork and why it’s crucial to hotels, motels and resorts. In fact, everyone in the tourism industry should allocate sufficient time, money and attention to the artwork element. Nobody wants to feel like they’re staying the night in an interrogation room or a hospital room, which can be the effect rooms – especially new rooms – give to customers if they’re not livened up with some artwork. Guestrooms are often quite neutral to suit a wide range of tastes and also to avoid becoming dated too quickly. Artwork is one thing that can give a room a bit of personality and can be regularly changed to give a room a new life, with minimal cost and effort.

But why does personality matter in a room? If a customer is only staying a night or two, are touches like artwork really worth it? I say, ‘definitely’. Those smaller touches make all the difference. In fact, they might be the deciding factor; every hotel has the basics, it’s the smaller touches like artwork that make the difference. It’s like a complimentary note on the pillow or a fluffy gown in the wardrobe; well-placed artwork makes guests feel at home, relaxed and ultimately, they enjoy their stay more. That makes them more likely to return, to recommend or to leave a good review online – the smaller details make all the difference. But plonking a $10 canvas on the wall isn’t going to do the trick. It’ll do the business good to enlist the services of a professional who can work on aesthetic cohesiveness throughout the entire establishment. “There should be a theme throughout the entire establishment that is identifiable but not too ‘in your face’,” according to Ross Lang, founding director of Picture Warehouse at Arundel.

“And there will be certain characteristics that link the artworks and decoration together, like a colour, an artist, an object, a place – there’s thousands and thousands of possibilities. “And again, cohesiveness throughout the entire hotel or resort, leading all the way to individual rooms, will mean a better experience for the guests. “But it can be very hard to achieve for someone with no knowledge of themes and artistic cohesion or even someone who doesn’t have access to unique artwork, which is why I always recommend getting professional help.” One thematic suggestion Ross makes is an artist, which can mean displaying artwork from one particular artist throughout a venue. They can be hugely famous or lesser known, but authenticity is important. This is a great way to achieve cohesion as their artworks will obviously be similar, but like any artist, each piece they produce will be unique. Another interesting suggestion is focusing on places, whether the place being showcased is the actual location of the hotel (for example, Gold Coast imagery in a Gold Coast hotel) or a place referenced in the hotel’s theme (for example a Parisian themed hotel on the Gold Coast might have imagery from the era). This could involve hand-painted scenery, photographs of iconic landmarks stretched onto canvas, or simple framed prints of everyday moments. Using both of these themes will take guestroom artworks from blending into the background, to being a feature, as they stir up feelings of recognition and admiration from guests. Ross notes there is even UV protective glass and non-reflective glass available from higher quality framers for artwork in well-lit areas. An interesting development in guestroom artwork is the recent emergence of using wallpaper as a centrepiece. Feature walls always make a big statement, but they are highly detailed, intricate and costly to install by traditional painting methods and often date quickly. I have seen a spike in demand for designing and supplying wallpaper for guest room feature walls, thanks to wallpaper becoming far more advanced. I don’t think people realise how amazing wallpaper is, but hotels and a lot of commercial tourism developments are cottoning on. I think people have that image in their head of men in overalls struggling with a glue covered roller, slapping wrinkled wallpaper to a wall and later realising it’s upside down. But it’s not like that anymore at all, the print and design technology has made wallpaper increasingly attractive to tourism bosses – and the price point doesn’t hurt either. Basically, they can design anything you want and cover a whole wall with it, pretty much anything you can conjure up in your mind. It prints dry, so it’s able to go up straight away, installation is easy and it’s also easy to take down. So, you can realistically change the design every year, which will be a huge wow factor for guests. As the standards of service in every area of tourism continue to rise, people within the industry are constantly looking for new ways to get ahead of the pack and guestroom artwork is one simple way to ensure you don’t get left behind. By Corrine Brown, Innovate Interiors



Supplier Profile

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Wallpaper impressively defining interiors spaces Thanks to the arrival of our brand new, state-of-the art HP Latex 560 Printer, Innovate Interiors now has the ability to satisfy a wide range of wallpaper requirements.

time searching for something that might not exist. Finally, modern wallpapering techniques are no mess and no fuss, taking significantly less time and effort than traditional painting. Your space’s completion time will be quicker than ever before, meaning you can utilise it even sooner - and cutting down project time is never a bad thing.

We strongly believe wallpaper is cementing its longevity in interior design in new and innovative ways, and by using advanced equipment like the HP 560; fast, environmentally friendly and safe wallpaper production is a breeze. At Innovate Interiors, we’re focusing on utilising this new technology to complement the artwork services we offer already, including the framing, designing and sourcing of top quality artwork, creating, stretching and framing custom canvas, plus an in-house graphic design team at your disposal. All of our services are carried out of our Gold Coast factory and supplied nationwide.

Every frame is handmade and every design is personalised. Since we already have a wealth of experience in artwork and interior design, adapting this knowledge to wallpaper is second nature. The HP 560 uses a water-based ink, which makes colours vivid and the finished product safe and sustainable. Despite this, all

wallpaper produced by this printer emerges dry, ready for immediate use. This means high volumes and fast turnaround are totally realistic. We can also use our Innovate Interiors graphic design team to create custom pieces for your project, pieces that are completely unique. Our designers can take that vision inside your head and bring it to life, so you don’t waste

The HP 560 also comes with a range of industrial grade health and safety certifications that are necessary for wallpapering sensitive spaces, particularly medical and hospital related. Simply get in touch with a member of our team for more information on this. So whether it’s for interior design flair or practicality among any residential, commercial or industrial project, Innovate Interiors will make your wallpaper visions a reality.





HOW ORIGINAL ART CAN PUT YOUR HOTEL ON THE MAP With more options for accommodation now than ever before, guests’ demands are changing. Beyond value for money people now choose personality and convenience over corporate consistency and sterile grandeur. They want to be immersed in culture even in their own guest rooms, and for many tourists, accommodation should be a memorable attraction in itself, worthy of being shared over Instagram or Facebook. Original artwork is a beautiful and comparatively affordable way to achieve this X factor and heighten the personality of any interior. While mass-produced decor often serves a necessary purpose, original art is an obvious signifier of the love and care poured into the room. Unique art accentuates your hotel’s unique image, and ensures that guests remember their visit for all the right reasons. “A statement artwork can elevate a space from a 5 to a 10!” says Justine Wilson, Director and Principal Stylist of Vault Interiors. “Original artwork can make a room feel more luxurious, top end and elegant. Artwork should be an anchor for the furniture, joinery and other items. With this approach, the end result always looks more designer and tailored.” For the busy hotelier, selecting a series of original artwork with which to fit out a space might seem like too much time

and effort. As Justine goes on to say, “The style of architecture, the location of the hotel and its cultural tone should be considered alongside the client demographic when selecting statement artwork, and scale is also important.” Luckily, online art gallery bluethumb offers an easy solution in their free art advisory service. Now, you can receive industry discounts and professional curatorial guidance for their huge selection of Australian artworks, making it an efficient, affordable way to freshen up a space and turn onetime guests into loyal friends.

bluethumb ‘ The team are absolutely fantastic and their advisory service was seamless from start to finish. says Andrew Crichton, Marketing Manager at Pace Development Group. “Janni, the curator we worked with, is very knowledgeable in her field and had a clear vision for the project. We had a near deadline and the quick turnaround was impressive. Local artists delivered their works the day after ordering and interstate works arrived on time.”

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r refurbishment Hotel Design:

Innovative interior design trends for resorts and hotels THE LOOK AND FEEL FOR 2017/18 INTERIORS EMBRACES A HOLISTIC DESIGN SOLUTION WITH DECEPTIVELY SIMPLE SOPHISTICATION. WHILE PROVIDING PRACTICAL CONVENIENCE WITH WOW, THE PERVADING AMBIENCE IS EMBRACING COMFORT, TACTILE, AND FREE OF CLUTTER. Airbnb has shown that many consumers are looking for more than the ‘typical’ hotel stay. In this increasingly dynamic and competitive space, hotel design needs to be much more visionary. A well-controlled, secure guest and staff experience is also becoming increasingly important. For public areas, interior planning should look well beyond providing classic lobby, foyer and guest amenities. The evolution of advanced technology is enabling focus to centre around customer support and services, rather than on administrative ‘processing’ at expansive front desks; a dynamic public space that enables greater connectivity for guests. An interactive, homely space, which guests can share with others outside of their own room, offering a range of activities and experiences. For examples of this new trend, look at The Getty’s Red Lion Hotels Corporation RL brand and Arlo Hotels, or even early innovators such as Post Ranch Inn.

Quick design trend checklist for room design considerations Whatever the brand positioning of the project, any in-room design solution must strive to meet a set of criteria that will deliver an awesome, unique guest experience. Create a space that reflects the project location and history, as well as integrating the latest in technology. A space that works practically for operations, as well as being environmentally and economically sustainable. ••


Collaborate early in the design process to enable requisite space allocations.



Utilise innovations in tiles and cladding materials for wall and floor finishes. Innovative wall claddings can double up as bedheads or décor details add character and enable future updates with ease.


Quality beddings and linens, are always ‘in’ but a good designer will consider practical service and operating costs when making these selections.


Ensure all practical needs are accommodated. Luggage, robe, iron and board, safe, new mini bar trends, coffee-making, TV, etc.


Consider how to provide flexibility of room configuration for potential guest mix. Single, couple, family and special needs: optimise future potential with creative design.


Optimise internal space by using glazing or decorative sliding screen walls to provide light and open the visual sightlines, or when required, to close for privacy.

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r refurbishment Hotel Design:


Choose a palette of colours that is soothing yet uplifting and reflects the palette of the location. Avoid colour palette trends, especially for fixtures as these will quickly date the property. Instead, use loose furnishings that can more easily and cheaply be replaced.


Get expert advice and integrate the latest, (reputable) hardware, electrical and technology for guest wow and convenience with ease-of-use touch points, to deliver a great atmosphere with energy-saving task lighting, temperature control, noise dampening, sound system, wifi and security.


Ensure easily accessible international power outlets and USB ports for practical convenience.


Bathrooms offer great potential for romance but don’t overlook practical vanity space for guest toiletries; a high magnification mirror, universal power outlet with USB port and great lighting. A shower timer can help guests conserve water-use. Design, walk-in shower and bathing experiences that are practical, safe, and add wow. Enable ‘specialist care’ access.



Add in-room kitchenettes for longer term stays if relevant to the location. Consider a cocktail bar as part of the mini bar experience.


Use textures in fabrics and finishes to create contrast and comfort. If practical, offer a variety of themes that are nurturing, luxurious and commercially durable; or, plan into budget an annual replacement program. (Staining often necessitates replacement before wear-and-tear!)


Integrate local culture into the décor and design details in quirky, meaningful ways to create character and a point of difference. These are the hallmark of the design and should not be underestimated for the message they will send to the future guests about the property.


Keep the design simple yet sophisticated; uncluttered but very functional.


Ensure all design elements are environmentally sustainable, and easy to service.


Wherever and whenever opportunity allows, seamless transitions from indoors to outdoor.


Ensure safety compliance, from fabrics and furniture to steps, flooring, spas, as well as any local regulations in the early design stage.


Create warmth. A spiritual, caring energy. How the guest feels is the ultimate test!

Stylish and clever integration of room amenities into joinery, will reduce ongoing maintenance and replacement costs, and keep the clutter down.

This set of criteria can be equally applied to all interior design concepts and solutions for the project. Your design solutions will directly affect the ongoing viability of the project and your reputation, well past the first excitement of the opening launch! A great designer will ensure the daily service staffs can maintain the look created and understand the impact their design may have on operating and replacement costs as well as revenue opportunities. Finally, whenever possible, try to collaborate from the earliest planning stages of the project. Once the planning is done, the opportunity to deliver an innovative design with appropriate consideration to these new trends, (whether public spaces or in-room guest experience), can be limited. By Karen Taylor, Director, Taylor Dade Consulting



food & beverage fb Drinking Water Options:

Water, water, everywhere: where’s a guest to drink? WATER IS A FUNDAMENTAL REQUIREMENT FOR LIFE: IT FEEDS OUR CELLS, REJUVENATES OUR SKIN, HAIR, AND CLEANSES OUR SYSTEM. POSSIBLY DUE TO ITS LIFE-SUSTAINING STATUS, IT FLIES SOMEWHAT UNDER-THE-RADAR…UNLESS IT’S BAD. Gulping down poor tasting tepid water is not how guests like to begin their day after a rich holiday meal and a few glasses of celebratory accompaniment. The business traveller, recently descended from a dehydrating mission across the skies, is also not enamoured by tepid water with a touch of chlorine or tank moss, nor a chilled plastic carafe of tap water with more than a hint of its receptacle. These products may be approved for human consumption, but are they advised for valued guest consumption? Guests may not advertise their pleasure upon tasting the delectable bouquet of a good glass of water but in this case, silence is golden. If guests can hydrate in a way that doesn’t offend the palate, you’ve won the round. So how do you hydrate your guests in a way that won’t mar their hotel review? Filtered tap water, spring water in dispensers with 15-litre barrel bottles, or water contained in individual plastic bottles? Could guest water present a marketing opportunity with branded bottles?

With options and questions flowing freely, we took to the pool of industry experts for some clarity on supply, packaging, method of distribution within your hotel, and relative price points.

Industry views Peter Molloy of BIBO Water says options for guest drinking water fall into a few main categories: “Unfiltered tap water, filtered tap water, and bottled water (still or sparkling). “The best option for guests will depend on their needs, location, and the relative cost and value to the establishment.“One such option is a ‘water bar’ style unit; a compact, countertop water dispenser that provides filtered, purified, chilled, warm, and boiling water at the touch of a button.” So how does it work? The machine is plumbed into the mains supply using flexible quarter-inch pipe; drainage plumbing is not required due to a removable drip tray, which can be emptied. “The water passes through a 1.0-micron multi-stage carbon filter, which removes tastes, odours, chemicals (such as chlorine), heavy metals, and microorganisms, such as giardia and cryptosporidium. “The water then splits off to either the hot or cold tank where it is exposed to ultraviolet light from a UV lamp inside the tank to prevent regrowth of microorganisms.



fb food & beverage Drinking Water Options:

“It is an ideal in-room solution for luxury serviced apartments, or motels wishing to provide a value-added amenity for guests - replacing both the kettle and water jug in the fridge.” The option could also suit public areas where guests can help themselves to a chilled or hot beverage: “For example, lobby areas, gyms, spas, loyalty clubs, and golf-pro shops. “Let’s not forget the hardworking back of house staff,” Mr Molloy added. Responsible service of alcohol: Mr Molloy said establishments offer chilled water for self-service in bar areas to meet the license regulations, alleviating the need for staff to constantly fill urns with ice and water. Conferences and seminar programs can be serviced using portable pump systems allowing relocation of the units to function rooms. Mr Molloy says the option is highly efficient, with energy saving features like a sleep mode for times the machine is not in use: “The units use less energy and wastes far less water than boiling a kettle many times a day.” Peter Molloy’s parting advice? “Why serve poor tasting water in carafes or bottles on the table, when there are so many ways to improve the guests’ water experience?”

Water as a hotel branding tool? Ross Files of Source Direct told AMG that custom label bottled water has been “big in overseas countries for many years but it is just starting to gain momentum in Australia”. For in-room applications, Mr Files says the custom label water can be used for turndown service or to stock the guest’s fridge. Custom branded water bottles can add value to the product and provider by adding “an aura of reassurance” from a trusted brand. “You receive a bottle of Park Hyatt spring water and you know it is going to be good,” he noted. This is where quality is vital: “You don’t want to put your valuable brand on a bottle of filtered tap water!” “Bespoke beverages have a high perceived value and receiving a complimentary bottle of water is often the best possible reward at the end of a busy day. There is nothing worse than arriving at your room late at night and having nothing in the fridge to drink!”



What about all that plastic? Bottled water requires a responsible approach, against the backdrop of the worldwide push against its use. Cities and institutions are banning the sale of bottle water outright with mixed success. A research paper titled ‘The Unintended Consequences of Changes in Beverage Options’, published in American Journal of Public Health found a total ban at The University of Vermont actually increased the number of bottles being thrown out. People just drank more sugary beverages – and people tend to reuse water bottles but not soft drink bottles. Perhaps then, focussing on the bottle is advised: what is going to happen to those bottles afterwards and what sort of care is being taken in their production? Ross Files advised sourcing “certified carbon neutral bottles that are fully recyclable”. He also recommends ensuring that your water is both sourced and bottled under good manufacturing practices (GMP), including adequate food safety assurance. Many plastic containers are now available BPAfree: BPA stands for bisphenol A, which is a chemical that has been used in the industrial production of plastics and resins since the 1960s and can leach into food or beverages from containers. “Make sure potential suppliers only use BPA-free bottles,” Mr Files recommended. His parting advice? Don’t over-order: bulk prices may be attractive, but less ideal is “getting caught with too many old labels or bottles when marketing changes are made or legislative requirements mandate change”. And with label design, less is more: “Don’t try to overload the label design with information. A clear concise logo and message says a lot to patrons.” So, for guest water options, the message is clear. Make sure your guests enjoy access to clean, fresh-tasting water, served at desired temperature and maybe your water won’t rate a mention on TripAdvisor, but that’s probably a good thing after all. By Suzy Barry, Industry Reporter

food & beverage fb supplier profile BIBO WATER

Keep your guests well hydrated with a BIBO Water Bar Looking for a smart alternative to that unsightly water cooler or noisy kettle? Well here’s the perfect solution. Introducing BIBO – the future of water. BIBO is the latest filtered, purified chilled and boiling water dispenser. Beautifully designed, the BIBO Water Bar is ideal for serviced apartments, restaurants, bars, gyms, spas, function rooms, loyalty clubs, reception areas and back office. The BIBO Water Bar comes in 10 designer colours to suit any décor. It’s a true point of difference

for those venues looking for an innovative, convenient and healthy water solution.

have peace of mind that the water you are drinking is clean and healthy.

With BIBO you can say BYE BYE to expensive bottled water for guests, BYE BYE to water coolers and filter jugs and BYE BYE to that slow, noisy kettle.

Service costs are low as well, BIBO supplies an annual Filter Pack and filter changes take seconds.

BIBO delivers chilled and boiling water effortlessly and instantly at the touch of a button. BIBO uses the latest technology in multistage carbon filtration to remove tastes, odours, heavy metals, chlorine, microorganisms, and other potential nasties from tap water leaving behind the good minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium. It’s unique ultraviolet lamp system ensures water stays pure and fresh all the way to your glass, mug, or sports bottle. You can

The BIBO Water Bar is easily connected to an under sink mains system ensuring an endless supply of pure, refreshing water, perfectly chilled or boiling hot, on tap at any time.

thing in the morning or after a long day. It’s a perfect fit for the hospitality sector – and for your home. Try BIBO, you’ll love it. To learn more contact BIBO Water: 1300 00 BIBO (2426)

It’s great for reception areas when guests arrive and can be installed in gyms or function rooms as an alternative to those outdated ‘80s water coolers. And why not treat guests to a BIBO in their room instead of that old fashioned kettle? With BIBO you no longer wait for water to boil for a cuppa first



m marketing Data:

How to create a 360-degree customer view using data

HOW VALUABLE WOULD IT BE TO KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT YOUR CUSTOMER’S INTERACTIONS WITH YOUR COMPETITION? Creating a 360-degree customer view is considered the holy grail of customer intelligence, and you can create it, today. Would you like to know how much they’re spending, when they’re spending, why they’re buying with the competition and not you, what drives their purchase behaviour and what steps you can take to capture a greater share of wallet? This consumer intelligence is fundamentally obtained and analysed through the creation of a 360-degree customer profile platform, which your organisation can create without a lot of effort and without hiring expensive consultants or data scientists. For many organisations, creating a 360-degree platform that they can feed data into can represent the largest challenge. How do we collect the data? Where will it come from? How do we store it, keep it structured and keep it up-to-date? Who will own and maintain the data set internally? What privacy protections do we need to put in place, and how will our new market intelligence affect existing business? While I won’t go into in-depth detail on all of these questions, it is important to note that having a full 360-degree view of your customers is becoming the new norm. For many organisations, the biggest risk is being late to the party. Not having up-to-date, real-time information on your customers’ engagement, spending and transactions with the competition means your organization is at a significant disadvantage. How do you know what your share of wallet is if you don’t know how much they’re spending with the competition? In essence, the opportunity cost of not taking action to create a platform is the biggest expense.



Creating the 360-degree view platform In an early article, titled How to Commercialise your Frequent Flyer Program Data, I spoke about how the NSA doesn’t yet run a commercial division where it sells personal user data, and you’ll need to create your own. Engineering a platform to work for your economic goals is key. The first step is to understand everything about your customers; from transactions, engagement propensity, who they are connected to in their social network; and combining all of this information in a structured format so that you can easily cross-reference and compare it when creating models.

Where to capture data Put on your creative hat and get to work. Consider the channels, partners, and process a user would go through to transact with your competitors. For example, let’s say you own a small hotel and want to know if any of your previous guests have spent more than $200 at any hotel within a two-mile radius over the past 12 months. To answer this question, you would need to be capturing data from external sources, which will help you understand the problem.Here’s a few to get you thinking: • There are sites that sell hotel guest data. While it may sound like privacy-hell, sometimes, the data is semi-anonymised and will give you a return value of ‘one’ or ‘zero’ based on the query rather than a full list of hotel guests and the hotel names. • Partner with local governments to conduct surveys on business travel. You’ll be amazed at how many doors open when there’s a government stamp of approval on your surveys. • Telcos are making billions selling user data. Location services, metadata and network cluster data, is highly valuable information.

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• Marketing intelligence: Does your hotel have a smartphone app? You can practically capture a person’s entire life on a phone by capturing sensory and location data. The insights this can create can be very powerful. • Email communication: This is business intelligence 101. You should be tracking, at all times, where your guests are in the world at any point in time. Log their IP address on every email opened and clicked. Storing this in a database will enable you to paint a visual map of where your guests where in the world, and when. You’ll quickly notice if they frequent the city where your hotel is based. There is no one single magic source to collect data to create a 360-degree view of your customers. You’ll be capturing multiple data points, from multiple vendors and running services on your side to ensure ephemeral data remains relevant.

Capitalising on data intelligence Once you’ve started capturing and storing external information, you’ll want to create meaningful insights to be leveraged for commercial gain. Now is the point where business intelligence meets data science. If you’re capturing all the right data, you’ll want to understand the propensity of customers buying your product over competitors, and what other factors may have influenced their decision to transact with you, and your competitors at any point in time. For example, by overlaying weather data on specific transaction dates it’s possible to understand if hotel guests would have considered your hotel over the competition or they were forced to stay somewhere based on weather or location. Best-selling author and big data expert Bernard Marr gives an example: “The US economy hotel chain Red Roof Inn who, during the recordsetting winter of 2013/2014, realised the huge value of having a number of hotels close to major airports at a time when flight cancellation rate was around three percent. This meant around 90,000 passengers were being left stranded every day. The chain’s marketing and analytics team worked together to identify openly available public datasets on weather conditions and flight cancellations. Knowing that most of their customers would use web search on mobile devices to search for nearby accommodation, a targeted marketing campaign was launched, aimed at mobile device users in the geographical areas most likely to be affected. This led to a 10 percent increase in business in areas where the strategy was deployed.�

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StayAngel, the hotel price monitoring service which closed in 2016, captured transactional data from hotel guest stays, and using machine learning, were able to predict how much a hotel guest would pay for a room at any given hotel – before they booked a room. It is said to have increased ADR by up to 30 percent without any change in hotel operations. This was only made possible by having a full view of each hotel guests share of wallet across all the major chains. Finally, the underlying key to designing, engineering and implementing your 360-degree customer view platform is to think with the end in mind. What does your organisation want to achieve, and how will this intelligence be used in a positive way to bring new value and enhance the customer experience? By Mark Ross-Smith, Hospitality & Big Data Specialist, Talking Data


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m marketing Ancillary Revenue:

Strategic - consistent - targeted RECENTLY, ON A BUSINESS TRIP, I HIRED A RENTAL CAR AND WAS INUNDATED WITH NUMEROUS UP-SELLING OPTIONS BY THE SALES AGENT AT THE CHECK-IN COUNTER. I found this amusing, as I knew the strategy was to increase ancillary revenue, and I was impressed at the consistent level of up-selling to customers taking place from across the counter. They almost convinced me to purchase some of these extras, but I resisted the temptation only because they didn’t appeal to my needs at that point in time for that trip. However, had I been on a leisure trip I may have been tempted to accept some of these add-ons. Driving ancillary revenue is incredibly valuable and important, but do so in a strategic, consistent and targeted way. When presented as ‘options’ and ‘experience enhancers’ rather than an obvious sales-pitch for extras, it is much more enticing for the customer. It is also important to note that while a customer may not have accepted some extras on one occasion, they may do so at another time depending on the purpose of the transaction. In addition, revenue strategy teams must always access up-to-date

data and be diligent in the collection and quality of data because you may have the same person checking in time and again; however, their purpose of travel may change as may their lifestyle wants and needs. In this era of loyalty programs to maximise margins, it is even more important to be accurate with our guest data and offerings, including measuring the results. Targeting the right message to the right customer at the right time is key rather than a flood of irrelevant offers. Not only do irrelevant message annoy consumers, they hinder the opportunity to drive effective revenue growth. The traditional approach of offering discounts to lure business or booking extensions needs a fresh approach and is not always required.


Why you should dig deep and analyse the way guests search online TRAVELLER SEARCH AND BOOKING BEHAVIOUR CAN ENCOMPASS A HUGE NUMBER OF VARIABLES AT TIMES, AND HOTELS NEED TO DIG DEEP USING ANALYSIS TO ENSURE THEY’RE TARGETING THEIR MARKETS PROPERLY. Because the path to purchase is often long and diverse, it can be hard for hotels to pin down one area they need to focus on. The number of factors that play a part in a buyer’s decision can range from individual demographics and personalities to broader trends based on technology. As complicated as it can get, mapping out customer behaviour is one major way hotels can gain control over the volume of bookings they can attract to their property. Recently, Sojern published its interactive 2017 hotel report, detailing many facets of customer search and booking behaviour. From this source, we were able to pull out some key findings that we think hotels should be incorporating into marketing and distribution plans this year.

The guest’s first steps of travel planning When travellers first begin their search, a fifth have no defined destination in mind, preferring to use search engines to inspire them. Currently, Google is an overwhelming resource for travellers, but interestingly, branded vacation rental searches are seeing a rise in



relation to branded hotel searches, indicating travellers are willing to look at alternative accommodation options.

The most popular form of travel research Sojern teamed up with Google for its report and, according to the online giant, 60 percent of leisure travellers and 55 percent of business travellers use search engines to plan their travel options. This means a strong search engine optimisation and marketing strategy is absolutely essential for hotels. Here are three key considerations for when you’re planning to target differing groups of travellers:

1. Key search and booking periods In the planning stage, there is a massive discrepancy between leisure and business travellers. While 40 percent of leisure travellers begin searching more than 60 days in advance, 58 percent of business travellers don’t plan their travel more than a week in advance. The trend continues with actual bookings, 30 percent of leisure travellers booking 60 days before their trip, with 72 percent of business travellers making their purchase within a seven-day period before their stay.

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When presented as ‘options’ and ‘experience enhancers’ rather than an obvious sales-pitch for extras, it is much more enticing for the customer

Can you manage your property from anywhere, anytime and on any device?

Offering value added targeted offerings to compliment guests wants, needs and lifestyle is of great benefit to both the property and the customer. Today, the accommodation industry can access vast amounts of data on their customers and can apply a revenue management approach to drive ancillary spend and room night revenue through strategic, consistent and targeted campaigns. Finally, regular and consistent sales training for front line staff and reservations staff should be a standard at all properties. One should not underestimate the significant amount of revenue and ancillary revenue these employees can generate when given the right training, confidence and tools to succeed.

Run your small property...

By Melissa Kalan, Founding Director, Australian Revenue Management Association

2. Key hotel segment searches Large chains obviously dominate search traffic, but there has been a significant rise in boutique hotel searches. In addition, consumers are very careful when it comes to finances.


Unsurprisingly, luxury travellers investigate a greater number of hotels than travellers who are spending less.

3. Key mobile search data Mobile continues to be a crucial component of the path-topurchase and is primarily used to search for travel, rather than to book it. Budget accommodation enjoys the lion’s share of this traffic with 73 percent, while luxury properties attract a smaller share of mobile search volume at 45 percent.

Find Out More

The most popular time to search on mobile is on Saturday (28 percent) and Sunday (27 percent), which make up 55 percent of all mobile search. This is reflected in desktop search, which is most popular towards the middle of the week.

The all-in-one business solution for B&B’s, Guesthouses and Small Hotels

More evidence, if any was needed, of the continuing indicator that hotels need to be visible and actively present on mobile devices.

By SiteMinder AUTUMN 2017


er energy & resources Outdoor Lighting:


He says that as a safety precaution the surface contact temperature generated by fixtures should comply with international national standards for ground recessed luminaires: “This is a critical occupational health and safety practice, as guests will be walking bare foot on these fixtures.”

Carpark access

Guest safety is another consideration: how well-lit are your outdoor areas? Think about your stair wells, carparks, rubbish disposal areas, and externally located laundries. Academic journal, Urban Studies published research in 2015 indicating that lighting “normalised a site by deterring potential wrongdoers”. The report, titled ‘Fear of crime and affective ambiguities in the night-time economy’, argued that a person’s ability to decipher the appearance of “moving bodies” in their proximity created a greater sense of safety. A recent study in inner city Melbourne, Australia echoed the importance of lighting, especially for women. If you want to avoid comments like “creepy at night”, ensure your facility is well-lit. Women rated public areas across the Melbourne CBD according to perceived levels of personal security at night. The resulting map was analysed and showed a positive correlation between lighting and a sense of safety. Women, understandably, feel better when areas with adequate lighting, and your guests will be no exception. Outdoor lighting objectives cover guest safety, effective lighting for alfresco summer eves, or adequately illuminated tennis courts, to explore the best way to achieve these bright ambitions, we took to the field for some expert advice.

Industry views Mahmoud Kebbi of Legrand says the use of appropriately muted lighting for outdoor dining maintains ambience while ensuring guests don’t trip over chair legs, or struggle to locate their food. Colour temperature is vital, and Mr Kebbi recommends warm white colours: “Choosing warmer lamp colour temperatures of around 3000K will add to the comfort in this application, and to avoid glare, indirect lighting is recommended.”

For outdoor sports Whether it’s for tennis courts, swimming pools, or pathways for nightrunning, lighting should adhere to Australia and New Zealand standards. According to Tennis Australia, court lighting must “control the brightness of the ball, and the background against which it is viewed, so that the ball is visible, regardless of its location and speed, while simultaneously minimising any potential adverse effects of obtrusive and spill lighting”. As hotels are generally catering for social tennis, the Tennis Australia recommendation of 250 Lux for social tennis is appropriate. Mr Kebbi says regulations regarding control of obtrusive effects of outdoor lighting (AS/NZ 4282) must also be noted: “We don’t want light to spill into neighbouring areas, or even worse, into guestrooms.” For those installations that have in-ground recessed lights around the pool area, Mr Kebbi says that “frosted covers will minimise the light penetrating the eye as people look down”. He added that high chemical use and dampness in pool areas mean products with high ingress protection in high-grade stainless steel will minimise ongoing maintenance issues.



Mr Kebbi said, “the Australian/New Zealand standard (AS/NZS1158), which regulates to lighting for roads and public spaces, provides recommendations for the lighting levels for carparks and pathways”. He explained that lighting should “provide enough light to guide guests to their vehicles, but also enough illumination to perform basic tasks, such as locating keys and unlocking cars”. In the Urban Studies article mentioned previously, researchers made a case for continuous light distribution: “A person who moves from the dark into a circle of light created by a lamp-post experiences anxiety, as what happens beyond that circle is rendered extra dark and invisible.” “Trees can also cast shadows on the path, which may result in a discomfiting effect for someone walking alone to the carpark at night,” Mr Kebbi added. Mr Kebbi says the importance of exterior lighting is often downgraded and low quality products are installed, resulting in maintenance issues and discomfort for guests. While this could be a response to budgetary concerns, as technology races ahead in the exterior lighting sector, guest safety and comfort need not cost the earth. “Traditionally high wattage metal halide products were used with wattages up to 400W; LEDs now provide the same level of light output with around half the power.” “For exterior security lighting, there are now LED luminaires that have integrated sensors so that the lighting is dimmed down to a certain level, and instantly increases to 100 percent when presence is detected,” Mr Kebbi concluded. So, why not take a walk around your grounds at night, alone? Do you feel safe? Can you see what you’re doing? Failing the night safety test might just prevent return business, or worse, a ‘creepy’ review on TripAdvisor. By Suzy Barry, Industry Reporter

er energy & resources Outdoor Heating Options:

Winter is coming, heat up your venue WINTER IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER. GUESTS EXPECT COOLER EVENINGS BUT SEEK AL FRESCO DRINKING, DINING AND SOCIALISING AS PART OF THEIR EXPERIENCE. What if winter nights are a too bit cool to enjoy outdoor life? After all, you want your guests to shiver with excitement, not because they are bitterly cold. Most accommodation properties, if possible, want to provide fantastic outdoor facilities for their guests all year round. For a modest outlay, you can find a vast array of outdoor heating options available to you, and continue to please your al fresco loving guests. Providing a delightfully warm outdoor space for your guests can be a huge attraction and extend the use of al fresco areas throughout the evening and all year round. Utilising this outdoor space over cooler periods can create extra revenue and, if marketed correctly, as an added attraction you can draw many more guests and visitors. Therefore, adding warmth and style to your outdoor area may add to the bottom-line success of your establishment. Outdoor heating options can range from wood, briquette and coal fires to electric and gas heaters but, with rising energy costs, efficiency and effectiveness are key considerations when selecting outdoor heating. Here are some options available: Gas heaters are available in two types: gas and propane. Propane heaters usually have a heavy base for the gas bottle and a mushroom-shaped cap to reflect the heat. They should have a tip-over safety switch and piezo ignition to start them at the press of a button. These heaters require adequate ventilation as they release carbon monoxide. A 9kg bottle for a propane gas heater will need replacing after about 10 hours of use.

safe to mount under shade sails, umbrellas and other fabric coverings. While more electric radiant heaters may be needed to heat the same area as gas heaters, the total running costs work out about the same. While a wood-burning fireplace has plenty of warm appeal, it also releases smoke and requires somewhere to store firewood. They are reasonably easy to keep clean as they come with an ashtray. Gas fireplaces don’t have the cleaning or exhaust problems associated with wood fire and can run on natural or bottled gas to create the same ambience. Another option is the chiminea (a Mexican outdoor fireplace traditionally made from volcanic clay or more recently from cast iron). These have an open flame fuelled by briquettes or wood and are usually unsuitable for use around young children. Considerations Both gas and electric outdoor heating options have benefits but decide which best suits your property, refer to an expert.

Natural gas heaters are usually fixed and plumbed into position by a licensed gasfitter but the gas never runs out and cannot be overturned. Wall-mounted models are available.

Outdoor spaces with ceilings up to four metres can use both gas-fired and electrically powered high intensity heaters, mounted from the walls or suspended from the ceiling.

Electric radiant heaters run on regular power supplies and just need to be plugged in. They produce a soft, ambient light as well as heat and are

In spaces with low ceilings, mid-intensity electric heaters may be more suitable. You can find heated umbrellas with in-built heating to provide shade and protection from the rain and outdoor heating. Zone controls ensure optimal power/gas consumption and running costs and you can add timers for further control. Remotes and passive, infrared switches are good alternatives to timers as they can be controlled by detecting movement in an area. These are best suited to units that provide instant heat, such as electric infrared heaters, to ensure equipment is operational only when required. Industry opinion: Greg Trezise, national sales manager, Thermofilm Australia P/L • What are the benefits of adding outdoor heating? The main benefit of adding outdoor heating in a hospitality environment is that it enables use of outdoor areas all year round, ensuring that valuable floor space is fully utilised. It also allows customers to enjoy outdoor areas, beer gardens, smoking areas and more, in complete comfort, maximising venue potential.




Ideal for Hotels

Our portable outdoor gas heater and lantern is now the world’s leading heater and is simply the best in heating, style, ambience, atmosphere and appearance. Designed and manufactured for the hospitality industry to create a magical setting, the FireStick will add that extra ambience to any space. It’s dancing flame provides a mystifying fascination. The FireStick can be used all year round; as a heater in winter and a lantern in summer. The unit provides superior heat coverage, efficiently heating areas up to 25sqm, and has three levels of flame height and heat. The FireStick comes fully assembled with wheels. There is also a full range of accessories available.

Purchase 2 or more heaters and receive a one-off free freight offer to capital cities. Our LPG Flame Heaters will reduce your gas bill by more than 50%.

The new smaller FireFountain packs a mighty punch and is sensational for hospitality or any home. Specially constructed at only 2m high for use with lower clearance ceilings. The FireFountain creates a fantastic ambience with three separate heat and flame settings and is available in 11 fantastic finishes. The FireFountain comes fully assembled with wheels.

The great new smart retro look is a working feature for any hospitality venue or home looking for a change. The FireLamp looks stunning at night creating a mesmerising effect with its flickering flame and is also realistically priced to suit all budgets. The FireLamp has three heat and flame settings and comes partially assembled with wheels.

Unit 3/8 Aquatic Drive, Frenchs Forest Sydney NSW 2086 PO Box 1130 Manly NSW 2095 Phone 02 9977 3474 | M 0414 48 5555 | Fax 02 9977 7882

NSW Department of Fair Trading declares FireStick and FireFountain SAFE FOR USE and exempt from the new ban in effect for area heaters. Therefore our area heaters are the only product with full National approvals.


er energy & resources Outdoor Heating:

Care needed with outdoor heating IN RECENT YEARS, SOPHISTICATED OUTDOOR GAS HEATING HAS BEEN A GODSEND TO THE ACCOMMODATION AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY, WITH EVER INCREASING RENTS AND RUNNING COSTS, THE UTILISATION OF SPACE AND SEATING IS USEFUL ALL YEAR ROUND. Outdoor gas heating enables the use of these outdoor areas on cooler summer evenings and colder days, transforming these areas into warm intimate seating all year round. This accommodates dining and bar patrons to comfortably enjoy themselves in outdoor environments, not only to their own benefit but also that of the venue. If patrons are happy eating and drinking outside, there is far less pressure on spaces inside, a win-win situation for establishment and guest. Al fresco dining is becoming more popular worldwide. It must, however, be noted that the key word is outdoor. The use of gas portable heaters is restricted to outdoor areas and the Australian standards require the following: 1. That any areas using a portable gas heater have at least 25 percent of the perimeter walls open with no restrictions. In the case of balconies, at least 20 pecent of the total wall area shall be open. 2. That the clearance from the top of the heater to ceiling or roof must be no less than 60cm 3. That all units should be placed 120cm from a wall. 4. That the appliance shall be used in the correct area and not indoors

• What choices are available? The main options for commercial venues are electric and gas heaters. For electric units, including infrared radiant strip heaters, which are mounted either on walls or ceilings, and portable electric heaters. Both types utilise glowing or non-glowing element technology. For gas heaters, there are permanently mounted, mains-connected natural gas units (either wall or ceiling mounted), as well as fully portable bottled heaters. • In terms of safety, what should managers look for? Firstly, managers should ensure that the products are of true commercial quality, as the demand in a hospitality environment is significantly more than in a domestic situation. It is imperative that the location of the units and mounting heights ensure guests cannot touch or be burnt by the heaters under normal conditions. Therefore, ceiling and wall-mounted units are ideal, as they are permanently mounted and not accessible to children, for example. New ranges of uni-directional portable heaters allow for the heaters to be located on the boundaries of the outdoor dining areas, meaning they are less accessible to patrons, but also allow extra floor space for tables. For electric heaters, the addition of automatic timers will ensure that systems are not left running. For gas portable heaters, it is imperative that safety features such as flame failure protection, and tip over cut-off are included as standard. Outdoor portable heaters must also not be used indoors under any circumstances. All systems must be professionally installed by qualified and licenced tradespeople. We would always recommend that outdoor heating systems are sourced from reputable international brands/



These risks are well realised on both sides of the Tasman. The Department of Fair Trading NSW recently introduced a new ban on outdoor heaters. These include some of the small bird cage type heater and some of the pyramid type glass heaters. Some types were exempt from the ban as the department found them to be safe for use. The significant increase and incorrect use of poor quality and uncertified portable LPG heaters within the hospitality and accommodation industry is introducing a potentially harmful hazard to both patrons and staff. In any situation where fumes and hot flames from illegal portable heaters are too close in proximity to people and buildings, fire damage, injury and even death are possible. Portable heaters are not de-signed for indoor use and create carbon monoxide that will kill users and cause fires. It is imperative to use these heaters in the manner that they were designed for. Some companies now fit protection measures into their products in the form of ODS - oxygen depletion systems. This turns off the heater when the oxygen in the area falls below a safe level; however, they are still strictly for outdoor use. This caution was well justified as tragedies have occurred. In New Zealand in 2009, a Taumarunui couple were found dead in bed by their children. The most probable cause of death is thought to be suspected carbon monoxide poisoning from using an outdoor patio heater in their room to keep them warm.

suppliers that are experts in the hospitality markets, as some products that are primarily marketed at residential applications may not be robust enough for touch commercial-use. • How should outdoor heating appliances be looked after? With most reputable brands of electric and gas heaters, there is generally not an on-going service schedule/requirement. Normal maintenance will include cleaning of the units to remove build-up of dirt, dust and other contaminants. This is especially important in coastal locations, where build-up of salt can lead to corrosion issues. In these circumstances, it is recommended to clean the units at least every three months with a wet cloth and gentle cleaning solution. • What new trends in outdoor heating aesthetics do you foresee? The key drivers in outdoor heating design and development is to produce products that have unobtrusive and contemporary designs that can blend seamlessly in a range of decors. Often, outdoor heaters are seen as a ‘need and last resort’, as they can be unattractive and detract from the design quality. New products on the market are designed with aesthetics (and quality performance) in mind, so that the units actually add to the appearance of the venue. This includes electric heaters that are sleek and slim-line; options that can be flush mounted into the ceiling or new colours such as off-white, to blend in with white alfresco ceilings. For gas heaters, the design of the grille and portable stand can have a huge impact on aesthetic quality. It is also popular to include timers and heat output based control of heaters to improve customer comfort.














energy & resources er




Hazards associated with these types of heaters include: •

Leaking gas that can ignite and explode;

Radiant heat igniting nearby combustible material;

Hot surfaces causing serious burns when touched;

Carbon monoxide being produced and accumulating in enclosed areas;

Frost burn from LPG contact with skin.

Recommendations on how those dangers could be reduced and avoided include these simple rules: •

Portable outdoor LPG heaters are not for indoor use;

Position heaters upright on stable ground in well ventilated areas;

Position heaters away from ceilings, awnings, combustible materials and flammable liquids;

Have all heaters serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions;

Allow heaters to cool before moving and placing upright in storage cupboards or before replacing empty gas cylinders;

Regularly check appliances, hoses and cylinder connections (apply soapy water, if bubbles appear, you have a leak. Close the valve immediately and contact an LPG service agent.)

So, the last word and bottom line is stick to the simple rules and use common sense. By David Diamond, Climate Australia

• What energy efficient and environmentally friendly options are around? Running costs and efficiency are considered very important factors for reputable outdoor heating manufacturers. For energy efficiency in gas heating, new models now have directional infra-red ceramic burners, which are significantly more efficient than typical mushroom or pyramid type gas heaters. Not only will a ceramic burner produce a much higher output and temperature (covering a larger area), they are much more efficient with gas-use. To maximise efficiency, heaters should be selected and installed to provide spot heating to customers; that is, heat only the areas that are used by customers, not all large spaces as that would lead to wasted energy. This will reduce the initial capital cost, reduce ongoing running costs and be the most environmentally friendly option. With recent and ongoing cost increases for both electricity and gas, running costs for both electric and natural gas options are quite similar (however a gas heater will generally produce a higher output and cover a larger area). New ceramic burner technologies also significantly reduce running costs, compared to standard stainless steel burners, that are still very popular in the industry.


OU T DOOR H E AT ING N E VER LOOK ED SO GOOD HEATSTRIP ® available in electric and gas models, DIY, portable or mains connected. To find out more please call (03) 9562 3455.

By Mandy Clarke, Industry Reporter AUTUMN 2017


hr human resources Careers:

The need for hotel careers in the face of the gig economy AS THE GIG ECONOMY CONTINUES TO TAKE HOLD IN VARIOUS INDUSTRIES, IT IS ALSO CHANGING HOW WE THINK ABOUT OUR CHOSEN LINE OF WORK. THE NINE-TOFIVE OFFICE IS ERODING, WHILE WORKING FROM HOME AND WORKING WHEN YOU WANT BEHAVIOURS ARE GAINING WIDESPREAD ACCEPTANCE. THE IMPACTS FOR HOTELS ARE MANIFOLD. At its core, this freelance economy promotes a transient approach to wage earning. That is, you get exactly what you put into it and not a penny more. The more you work, the more money you make, with a few demand-based algorithms to keep rates attuned to market pressures. Further, there's little emotional investment in the parent company, largely due to the disconnectedness of employee-employer relationship; nor are there any incentives to rise within the ranks of the corporate hierarchy. While it's easy to see how this new system plays out for network-based enterprises like Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit or even Airbnb, my fear is that this 'gig' or 'e-lancing' outlook on employment will have a ripple effect through the bottom rungs of the hotel ladder. It used to be that hospitality was an industry that not only extolled but also excelled at promoting from within. If you started as a bellhop, or in my case as a car jockey, in your teenage years and if you worked hard, you could rise to be the general manager one day. In this sense, a hotel or other hospitality organisation acted like a family, nurturing and encouraging its youthful recruits then gradually giving them more important responsibilities and showing them how all parts of the operation worked. Now, however, this promise of ascension is being attacked on two fronts, both by the increasing education requisites for introductory management roles and by the aforesaid gig mentality. While the former could be the subject of a much lengthier piece on the applicability of university or college degrees, the latter has the power to destroy any sense of passion for hospitality in those employees not already in



supervisory roles. And it's that passion that will fuel everything from properly cleaning rooms and excellent guest service delivery to many future innovations. If a bright, young and eager employee enters a junior hospitality role with a freelancer attitude, then it means they will treat this position like a 'job' and not the start of a 'career'. The distinction between these two words is paramount; the former is akin to a mercenary whereas the latter is a patriotic soldier for the cause. Simply put, you are either passionate about your chosen line of work and see it as a career opportunity, or you shouldn't be there. This is doubly true for hospitality, where passion and guest service excellence are inextricably linked. In an ideal world, every single employee or associate would view his or her role within your organisation as part of a career. But quite a few people don't know what they want, and that's not something you can control. The best you can do is create a healthy environment where these individuals will come to see a career with you as a worthwhile pursuit. Ultimately, the passion must come from within. Yes, you can screen for attitude during an interview, but in the much the same way as dating gives way to co-habitation, marriage and kids, passion and determination to pursue a chosen career path must continue to blossom over time. If your corporate culture is not familyoriented and does not support the long-term growth of associates into managers, directors and executives, then any individual who passes your screening process with flying colours will become progressively demoralised, eventually reverting to a gig-like mentality whenever they grace your halls. In other words, the interview is just the beginning of the relationship. While it mandates an associate to work hard and to growth within a role, it also entails some effort on your part to earmark those individuals showing promise and mentor them accordingly. And as freelance work becomes ever more prevalent, ensuring that employees understand the true value of working with you over the long-term will become all the more vital. By Larry Mogelonsky, Chairman, LMA Communications

human resources hr Upskilling:

Are you talented or skilled? AUSTRALIA IS OFTEN CONSIDERED INTERNATIONALLY AS A GREAT COUNTRY TO WORK IN THE HOSPITALITY OR ACCOMMODATION INDUSTRY. A HIGHLY QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED WORKER IN THIS SECTOR CAN QUICKLY GAIN A SUBSTANTIAL REPUTATION IN THEIR FIELD BUT ALSO THEIR COMMUNITY. On a local level, if you ask an Australian where they get their morning coffee you will likely be given the full name and biography of a talented local barista who upskilled until they were able to open their own establishment. Aussies love an underdog; they like to reward those who work to build something successful. The combination of talent and upskilling is therefore a winning formula for those working in hotel management and one that garners great community influence. There are generally two types of people we should talk about: experienced workers who want to make their skills ‘official’ so they can reach for a bigger promotion or fill in some technical knowledge gaps, and millennial school-leavers who need a tertiary education bridge to transition over to the workforce. Let’s start by talking about the former.

Experienced workers These are the people who have put in the hard yards. They’ve worked all the hours a person can work, they’ve learnt on the job, paid attention to where the sector is moving and want to either stay or get ahead of the curve. More than anything, these guys want to gain some recognition for the skills they have already built up. How they can go about this is by turning hands-on experience into actual accreditation and/or qualifications. Thankfully, there are plenty of options. Crucial, is figuring out what specific accreditation or qualification they want. Do you just want or need a degree? Do you need accreditation from a particular association or centre so you can apply for a new position? Do you already have some tertiary qualifications but want to expand your language skills, or computer-savvy? These are all incredibly important considerations, because they may each lead you to a difference course or institution. Each institution has a slightly different way of doing things; some are mostly academic while others include practical placements. If you’re already firmly situated within the workforce and just need some accreditation, then a long distance or part-time program might be better suited to your needs.

Millennials and new recruits There is a plethora of courses, diplomas and degrees, that people interested in accom management or hospitality can take. Historically, career players in the sector were more likely to ‘work their way up’ the traditional ladder and this is still the case in many ways. Room attendants can work their way up to become head housekeepers. This doesn’t mean education is irrelevant though. Quite the contrary, competition is fierce and there are valuable skills to be learnt in tertiary education. A lot of the recommended courses will include various business management modules but things like languages, economics and multimedia marketing are becoming more and more useful. Particularly for millennials looking to travel internationally as they build their careers, diversifying your skillset could be the difference between a solid job offer

A highly qualified and experienced worker in this sector can quickly gain a substantial reputation in their field and rejection. Lots of Australian tertiary education providers promote travel as at least an optional part of their course, and many encourage integrated work placements. In fact, the Australian government also has lots of different schemes and channels available for people to receive funding in exchange for developing new skills that will help them grow in their hospitality careers. Each state has different schemes available to help with funding and these schemes include apprenticeships and traineeships as well as a variety of diplomas and certificates in tourism, hospitality and business. A quick Google search will let you know which of these are offered at which institutions. Most of the schemes, like the apprenticeships and certificates, are designed for recent high school graduates or those without any other qualifications, so they can have an opportunity to get a foot inside the industry door. Many hospitality businesses will require at least a Certificate III from those applying for a job. Some of the national or state accommodation associations also offer short (sometimes one-off) training development programs for managers and/or staff. These types of options relate more to those who want to upskill or develop a particular skill to help with either a promotion or job aspect. In Victoria, for example, Tourism Accommodation Australia offers short staff courses on things like ‘negotiating’, ‘venue finances’, and ‘event sales’. If you are feeling antsy and want to give yourself a professional boost, get the accreditation you think you’ve earned, or think your staff could benefit from some upskilling, it’s worth doing some research on what programs are near you. By Rosie Clarke, Industry Reporter AUTUMN 2017


hr human resources supplier profile WILLIAM BLUE AT TORRENS UNIVERSITY AUSTRALIA

Making your staff a competitive advantage The good news? The tourism industry is booming. Tourism Research Australia (TRA), part of Austrade, recently released a report on the Tourism and Hospitality Industry for 2015-16, which highlighted what many who work in the hospitality industry already knew, the industry is in a period of massive growth. International visitors are up 10% to 7.2million visitors, domestic trips accounted for 88.9 million overnight stays by Australian residents, and there are 249,131 available hotel rooms across Australia.* The bad news is that industry is growing at such a rate, in fact, that finding and retaining skilled staff is becoming an increasing challenge. Gone are the days where mediocre service is acceptable. In the old days, if someone had a bad experience they would tell a few friends and you might lose a little business. With the advent of social media and online travel review sites, one bad experience can be broadcast worldwide, leading to untold loss of custom and revenue. That means it is essential that your people are absolutely top notch. The TRA report outlined that in 2015-16, the industry directly employed 580,200 people, more than the mining and agriculture industries combined. With employers encountering a significant skills shortage, the Australian hospitality industry needs to find ways of encouraging workers to view hospitality as a career in and

of itself, and not just as short term employment until something better comes along. Helping workers envision the potential a career in hospitality can offer is key in attracting and retaining talent. With the right training and qualifications, staff working in entry level positions can advance their careers in whatever direction they choose. It is an industry that encourages progression, and supports employees who show potential. Hospitality opens a world of opportunity, where employees can find themselves moving from frontline positions into sales, marketing, finance, revenue management and operational leadership. Not to mention the

potential to work internationally. Education and training is key to effective staff development and promoting workers from front line staff into management. William Blue College of Hospitality Management at Torrens University is known globally for its high-quality graduates, who have a deep understanding of hospitality concepts, business and management principles. It has developed courses designed for professionals currently working in the hospitality industry and in particular, those interested in pursuing management positions. A qualification from William Blue can help advance the careers of future managers and leaders in hospitality. With programs designed in consultation with industry, students are learning the skills that industry require and arming themselves with qualifications that can help them take that next step in their career development. Realising that many hospitality staff can’t leave their jobs to study, William Blue offers flexible options. Students can study 100% online, face-to-face or blended (a combination of face to face and online) at The Rocks campus in Sydney. Key to the William Blue difference



is the focus on real-life needs and industry engagement, so students have access to high-level industry lecturers. Students learn widereaching principles, relevant to individual aspirations and designed to develop students both personally and professionally. In an industry that has an increasing challenge to fill a growing number of vacancies, it is essential to recognise and nurture talent. Identifying and encouraging future leaders is key in attracting and retaining staff, which of course impacts your bottom-line. Encouraging staff to enter into formal training and education is crucial to ensure you have an engaged, motivated and skilled workforce. William Blue courses range from Diplomas to Bachelor Degrees in culinary management, event management, tourism and hospitality management, and advanced standing for work experience is offered. For those currently working in the hospitality industry, a 15% industry scholarship is available for the Diploma of Business (Hospitality Management). To find out more about William Blue come along to their open day on Saturday 29 April or visit * Source



Preferred Supplier Programme assisting the industry FOR OVER TWENTY YEARS IN AUSTRALIA THE PREFERRED SUPPLIER PROGRAMME AND DIRECTORY HAS BEEN AN EXTREMELY VALUABLE AND EFFECTIVE TOOL FOR ACCOMMODATION MANAGERS. It allows managers to access industry specialists who are committed to the highest levels of service and dedicated to the accommodation and hospitality industries. This is extremely helpful for all accommodation providers but especially new managers as it allows them to benefit from the positive experiences other managers have had with their suppliers. Listed below are the stages of the process that ensure only the best industry suppliers can participate in the Preferred Supplier Programme: 1. All suppliers must receive a nomination from a property currently using their services that is completely satisfied with their levels of service and are prepared to recommend them to another complex in the industry (ie. if asked by another manager they could comfortably recommend the required supplier). 2. All nominations received are then qualified through a secondary questionnaire process to ensure nominated suppliers are able to provide the highest levels of service required and expected by managers. 3. Suppliers that still qualify are then asked to commit to the required levels of service for the next 12 months guaranteeing their commitment to the industry. 4. Subject to the satisfaction of these processes and commitments suppliers then go on to the Preferred Supplier Database. Only Preferred Suppliers in this database have the opportunity to utilise the Preferred Supplier logo and make their contact details available to managers via the Preferred Supplier Directory, located in every issue of the Accom Management Guide and online at 5. Preferred suppliers have their status reviewed every 12 months to ensure they still qualify and that their commitment to the industry is being met. With these criteria in place it means that you as a manager have access to a complete range of specialist suppliers who are actively seeking to improve their services to the accommodation industry. For your own peace of mind when dealing with any supplier ask if they are a Preferred Supplier. This can be verified by viewing a Preferred Supplier logo – made available for use in any of their stationery or marketing material or more simply by locating them in the Preferred Supplier Directory. So when looking for products or services give yourself the peace of mind that you are dealing with a recognised industry specialist and support these suppliers who are committed to servicing your needs. 94


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The sign of an Industry Specialist. AUTUMN 2017


Accom Management Guide - Autumn 2017  

Issue 59

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