Hotel Management February 2023

Page 98

IN THIS ISSUE

Vol.27 No.1 Bi-monthly February 2023 THE BUSINESS OF ACCOMMODATION IN ASIA-PACIFIC
TO EXPECT AT AHICE AND DESIGN INN 2023 OPINION AND INSIGHTS FROM GLOBAL HOTELIERS
HOT THIS MONTH: APAC’s new brand entrants, major hotel signings, and latest openings REIMAGINED 2023 Industry Leaders Forum Your complete industry outlook for the year ahead
stepping up to showcase the next generation of design-led, experience-focused hotels.
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39 INDUSTRY LEADERS FORUM

In the 21st Industry Leaders Forum, global leaders from Accor, BWH, Radisson and more share their outlook for the year ahead.

58 ASSOCIATIONS’ OUTLOOK

Discover the key items on the agenda for industry bodies in 2023.

73 OWNER OUTLOOK

Leading hotel owners discuss recent deals and share their views on hotel real estate.

79 AUSTRALASIAN OUTLOOK

Twenty top hotel leaders discuss the challenges and opportunities in the Australasian market.

HM Q&A

24 CAMIL YAZBECK

Accor’s Global Chief Development Officer, Premium, Midscale, Economy, Camil Yazbeck, discusses the launch of Handwritten Collection.

28 GEOFF BALLOTTI

Wyndham President and CEO, Geoff Ballotti, talks international growth and his outlook for the year ahead.

30 MICHAEL BROWN

Travel and Leisure Co. President and CEO, Michael Brown, discusses leisure travel demand and future growth.

REGULARS

08 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF’S LETTER

James Wilkinson on optimism globally.

10

EDITOR’S LETTER

Ruth Hogan welcomes positive outlook for the industry in 2023.

12 NEED TO KNOW

The essential stories you need to know this month.

20 COVER STORY

Adina steps up to showcase the next generation of design-led, experience-focused hotels.

hotelmanagement.com.au 7 CONTENTS On the cover The next generation of design-led Adina Hotels 13 24 42 BWH Hotel Group CEO Larry Cuculic shares his 2023 outlook in HM’s Industry Leaders Forum FEBRUARY 2023 Vol. 27 No.1 Accor launches Handwritten Collection in Australia Trendy members-only hotel Soho House is coming to Sydney

Record signings, global confidence sets the tone for 2023

Every January, I look forward to attending the Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) as it’s an event that sets the tone for what to expect in the calendar year ahead.

In the lead-up to ALIS, major chains release their final development pipeline numbers for the year prior and, excitingly, this year’s event had a significant buzz thanks to some solid growth from the world’s largest chain by number of rooms and revenue, Marriott International, alongside one of the fastest growing, Hyatt Hotels Corporation.

Hyatt’s growth has been given several major boosts of late, thanks to the planned acquisition of Dream Hotel Group, the global expansion of Caption by Hyatt brand and organic growth of Hyatt’s global portfolio.

The moves have seen Hyatt post a record global pipeline of 117,000 rooms, which is astonishing compared to the levels the Chicago-based company was posting just 10 years ago.

“Through our intentional long-term growth strategy and by working closely with owners, Hyatt boasts five years of industry-leading organic net rooms growth,” said Hyatt Executive Vice President and Chief Growth Officer, Jim Chu.

He said, notably, nearly one in four pipeline properties is classified as a lifestyle hotel, representing 10% of the existing base of hotels, further strengthening Hyatt’s leadership position in the luxury, lifestyle and leisure segments.

Marriott’s global growth also continues to soar at a rapid pace, with the company’s deal signings over the past calendar year up over 21% compared to 2021 and across all major market segments.

The company signed 726 management and franchise agreements globally in 2022, representing nearly 108,000 rooms, with half of them coming in international markets.

The company’s global development pipeline now sits at over 3,000 properties representing more than 496,000 hotel rooms at the end of the year.

“We were pleased with the accelerating pace of development activity in 2022 as the global recovery continued,” said Marriott International CEO, Anthony Capuano. “The proven resilience of travel is powerful and energising.”

At ALIS, the energy across the board was exciting and there’s similar optimism here across Australasia as you’ll read in this special Industry Leaders Forum edition of HM, which features exclusive insights again from the world’s leading hoteliers.

I wish you all the best for success in 2023 and as always, I look forward to your feedback.

Yours in hospitality,

The HM global hot list

Hotels around the world capturing our attention this month.

ONE: Hotel Figueroa, Los Angeles @hotelfigueroa

TWO: InterContinental Sydney Double Bay @intercontinentaldoublebay

THREE: qtqt Gold Coast, Queensland @qtqtgoldcoast

FOUR: Icehotel, Jukkasjärvi, Sweden @icehotelsweden

8 HM The Business of Accommodation EDITOR-IN-CHIEF'S LETTER
Marriott International CEO Anthony Capuano is pleased with development activity Hyatt reports record global pipeline
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A clean slate

Anew year heralds a new start – a time to reset, strategise and make grand plans for the future.

In the business of accommodation, there is a strong sense of optimism about 2023 and the opportunities that lie ahead in the accommodation industry.

We are seeing a flurry of new hotel openings, investment in major refurbishments coming to fruition, and new brands hitting the market. In January alone, Accor, Ascott and Hilton introduced new brand offerings.

At HM, we are kicking off 2023 with a bumper 100-page issue to sink your teeth into. Inside, you will find the 21st edition of HM’s Industry Leaders Forum – a complete outlook for the year ahead with expert opinion and insights from leading hoteliers, tourism professionals and suppliers.

Spotlighting leaders from Australasia and around the world, we get a global view of the industry and the challenges and opportunities that we may be faced with.

While there’s no doubt that issues such as inflation and staff shortages will have an impact, there is an overwhelming sense of positivity about the demand for travel, adventure and experiences.

This year, the industry is sure to benefit from the return of cruising and large events, and hopes are high in Australasia that international traveller numbers will continue to grow.

I think you’ll agree, when reading about all of the exciting developments to expect in 2023, it’s impossible not to feel optimistic.

I hope you enjoy this issue and please do feel free to share any feedback. Also, don’t forget to follow HM on LinkedIn and subscribe to our twice-weekly e-newsletter to keep up with all the breaking news as it happens.

Managing Director

Simon Grover

Publisher

James Wells

Editor–In–Chief

James Wilkinson jwilkinson@intermedia.com.au

Editor

Ruth Hogan rhogan@intermedia.com.au

Group Commercial Manager

Tara Ducrou tducrou@intermedia.com.au

Production Manager

Jacqui Cooper jacqui@intermedia.com.au

Graphic Designer Sean Barlow

Photography TFE cover by Oneill Photographics.

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10 HM The Business of Accommodation
EDITOR'S LETTER
page 58, tourism bodies share their insights on industry recovery
The
cruising industry is expected to grow in 2023 spelling good news for hoteliers James Wells Publisher Tara Ducrou Group Commercial Manager James Wilkinson Editor-in-Chief

Own a hotel business as local as you like it.

Meet Natalie and Amol, proud local business owners of Quest Werribee in western Melbourne. When Amol started his journey over 12 years ago with Quest - as a housekeeper at Quest Caroline Springs reporting to Natalie - never did he think it would be his first step to becoming a business owner. Providing Amol with exposure to other aspects of running an apartment hotel business, Natalie continued to mentor Amol who rose rapidly through the ranks to become Property Manager. In 2018, the duo took on ownership of the Quest Werribee franchise business.

Read more about Natalie and Amol’s story at questapartments.com.au/NatalieAmol

QUESTFRANCHISE.COM.AU

NEED TO KNOW

The essential hotel and travel industry news and trends from across the globe. Read more at HotelManagement.com.au

Accor makes a splash in cruising

The leading hospitality company is entering the cruising market.

ACCOR’S ORIENT EXPRESS brand is legendary for operating luxury trains for over 140 years and now the legend continues on the high seas with the launch of the world’s largest sailing ship, Orient Express Silenseas.

The move will see leading hospitality company Accor enter the cruise market and partner up with Chantiers de l’Atlantique, a French-based global leader in shipbuilding, to launch the first of two extraordinary sailing yachts that will set sail in 2026.

“With Orient Express Silenseas, we are beginning a new chapter in our history, taking the experience and excellence of luxury travel

and transposing it onto the world’s most beautiful seas,” said Accor Chairman and CEO, Sébastien Bazin.

“This exceptional sailing yacht, with roots in Orient Express’ history, will offer unparalleled service and refined design spaces, reminiscent of the golden age of mythical cruises.”

A 220-metre-long ocean vessel, Orient Express Silenseas will feature 54 Suites, including a monumental Presidential Suite featuring a private terrace, two swimming pools including a lap pool, two restaurants and a speakeasy bar.

12 HM The Business of Accommodation

Soho House sets sights on Sydney

The London-born brand has reportedly shelved plans for a Melbourne venue.

MEMBERS-ONLY HOTEL BRAND Soho

House will reportedly make its Australian debut in Sydney’s Darlinghurst, after a consortium abandoned plans for a Melbourne venue.

The AFR reports that Trenerry Property Group and Kanat Group purchased a threestorey “island site” at 256 Crown Street, near Sydney’s entertainment district of Oxford Street, for more than AU$20 million.

It comes after plans to open a Soho House Club at a mansion in Melbourne’s South Yarra – which the consortium purchased for AU$18 million in 2021 – were shelved due to

opposition from local councils.

Soho House is designed to connect creative types, with lavish social spaces including rooftop pools and vibrant bars for “curious, kind people to work, rest and play”.

The brand was founded by British millionaire Nick Jones in 1995, when he was offered the

space above his restaurant Cafe Boheme at 40 Greek Street in London’s Soho.

In July 2021, the company went public trading under the name Membership Collective Group. Today, the brand has 33 houses in 14 countries, with more openings in the pipeline in Europe, Asia, and North America.

hotelmanagement.com.au 13 NEED TO KNOW 1800 314 580 godfreyscommercial.com.au Do not disturb Featuring an eco-mode that helps reduce noise levels and battery consumption, the Vispa 35B, Vispa XL and Antea 50 are suitable for even the most quiet areas meaning your guests will never be disturbed. Quiet operation
Soho House is a members-only hotel brand

Salter Brothers acquires Spicers Retreats

The global fund manager is reported to have paid in the region of AU$130 million for the business.

GLOBAL FUND MANAGER Salter Brothers has acquired luxury accommodation business Spicers Retreats for an undisclosed sum, reported to be in the region of AU$130 million.

The deal encompasses the Spicers brand and Private Collection by Spicers business, the freehold assets of six of the 10 properties in the Spicers Retreats portfolio across New South Wales and Queensland, as well as management rights for the remaining four.

It’s the second major hotels industry acquisition by the Australian-owned fund manager within 18 months following the purchase of Mirvac and NRMA’s Travelodge portfolio of 11 properties for a record AU$620 million in July 2021.

“This is an exciting acquisition and a great fit for our strategy to acquire unrepeatable assets in amazing locations, targeting the luxury retreat market, which continues to grow globally,” said Salter Brothers Managing Director, Paul Salter.

“We know Australians love to take short breaks at home and regional areas are leading the charge, with domestic occupancy rates well above pre-pandemic levels.”

Founded by Jude Turner, who is married to Flight Centre co-founder Graham Turner, Spicers Retreats offers urban retreats and luxury escapes within a two-hour drive of Sydney or Brisbane.

“Spicers Retreats has been a labour of love for me, and everyone involved, for over 20 years,” said Founder, Jude Turner.

“I’m pleased to see it going into the hands of someone equally passionate about Australian experiential stays.”

Salter said the company will continue to uphold Turner’s brand vision of personalised ‘relaxed luxury’ experiences, and passion for the environment, continuing her mission for Spicers to become Australia’s most sustainable organisation.

Following completion of the acquisition, which is expected in the first quarter of 2023, Salter Brothers will have freehold ownership

of Spicers Clovelly Estate, Spicers Tamarind Retreat and Spicers Peak Lodge in Queensland, Spicers Guesthouse and Spicers Vineyards Estate in the Hunter Valley and Spicers Sangoma Retreat in the Blue Mountains – a total of 127 rooms.

The company will also manage the two urban retreat assets, Spicers Potts Point and Spicers Balfour Hotel; Spicers Hidden Vale and Spicers Scenic Rim Trail in Queensland; and the recently renovated Spicers Tower Lodge, which is owned by the Hope family. McVay Real Estate, who brokered the deal, described it as a ‘record’ transaction.

“The value which was in excess of AU$1 million per room is a record for a major transaction of this nature and is testament to the incredible portfolio that Jude Turner and the team have built from the ground up,” McVay Real Estate Co-Founder, Dan McVay, told HM exclusively.

Since forming its hotel platform in December 2015, Salter Brothers has rapidly established itself as a leading hotel owner in Australia with a portfolio of 4497 rooms across 19 hotels. Salter Brothers group assets under management are now valued at over $2.6 billion.

14 HM The Business of Accommodation NEED TO KNOW
Spicers Retreats Founder Jude Turner and Salter Brothers MD Paul Salter celebrate the deal at Spicers Potts Point in Sydney

Bonza takes to the skies

BONZA, AUSTRALIA’S NEW independent lowcost carrier, has finally commenced flights on its first route connecting the Sunshine Coast to the Whitsunday Coast.

The inaugural route is the first of 27 to be rolled out to a total of 17 destinations – 93% of which are not currently served by any other

airline and 96% of which currently have no low-cost carrier.

“Our team of legends couldn’t be more excited to begin connecting Aussies for holidays and time with loved ones,” said Bonza CEO Tim Jordan.

“What better place to start than arguably two

of the country’s favourite holiday destinations.”

Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Matt Stoeckel said the launch of Bonza is one of the most significant chapters in the evolution of the Sunshine Coast.

“The launch of Bonza will be a game changer for the Sunshine Coast,” he said.

“The new routes will open up our destination to many markets we’ve never had direct access from before, and local tourism operators are incredibly excited about the positive impacts this level of connectivity will have on their business and the broader industry.

“The Sunshine Coast has always been popular with regional travellers, but the introduction of direct services will make a huge difference, encouraging them to prioritise the [region] not just for holidays, but also for attending weddings, events and conferences.”

Jordan said he is thrilled to deliver on Bonza’s promise of stimulating new tourism markets by serving underserved regional communities.

Bonza’s Melbourne base will be next to launch after the Sunshine Coast.

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for
Bonza CEO Tim Jordan says Australians can now fly
less
Low-cost carrier Bonza is targeting underserviced, regional destinations.

Yarra Valley winery gets green light for $20 million hotel

MELBOURNE’S PREMIER WINE region, Yarra Valley, is set to welcome a design-led hospitality offering in 2024 after winery Levantine Hill Estate received council approval for a 33-key boutique hotel.

The AU$20 million hotel will be designed by Fender Katsalidis, the international design firm behind Levantine Hill Estate, which was completed in 2021, and other high-profile projects including MONA in Tasmania and the forthcoming Seafarers development in Melbourne.

Owners, the Jreissati family, intend for the hotel to serve as a first-class hospitality venue that can cater to weddings, conferencing, functions and events.

Levantine Hill Estate Managing Director, Samantha Jreissati, says the property will address a shortage of premium accommodation in the area.

“The offering of guest rooms, a top restaurant, great wines, and the unique first-class function facility in the winery fully realises the aspirations of Levantine Hill Estate,” she said.

“We are committed to blending architectural excellence, and the highest quality wine experience in the Yarra Valley, to one of the most beautiful places in Australia.”

The 2,900 sqm hotel, which will be operated by the estate, will be located a short walk from the existing buildings and aims to complement the existing cellar door restaurant and wine production facility.

“There was a conscious decision to create a soft, complimentary architecture to the two distinctive buildings already completed,” said Fender Katsalidis’ Founding Partner, Karl Fender.

“The design is informed by the functions of the building and responds to its placement in the landscape. Located downhill, its linear form further reduces its visual impact, while capitalising on the stunning Yarra Valley views for all guests.”

The ‘simple but elegant’ two-storey structure will feature natural materials including a blend of untreated silvertop ash alongside exposed concrete finishes.

“The raw, natural elements and finishes will weather naturally and patina elegantly with age in harmony with the environment,” Fender said.

“This will bring simple elements together in a seamless and organic way.”

Guestrooms will feature expansive circular spa baths and private balconies with mountain and valley views, while the interior raw finishes such as polished concrete will complement timber and leather upholsteries.

To cater for weddings, a luxurious bridal suite will include its own dressing room, cellar and bar.

“The guest rooms, their functionality and their ambience are seamlessly integrated into this unique winery experience that pays homage to the region through strong connection to place and the earth, with a subtle nod to the industry’s Mediterranean roots,” Fender added.

Plans for a secondary 47-room hotel are also in development, with further multipurpose spaces, as part of the masterplan for the site.

16 HM The Business of Accommodation NEED TO KNOW
The venue will cater to weddings, conferences and functions Levantine Hill Estate will open a 33-key boutique hotel.

EYE FOR EFFICIENCY

JW Marriott Gold Coast recently installed RATIONAL combi ovens in its kitchens and is reaping the rewards.

Since its recent redevelopment, the luxurious five-star JW Marriott Gold Coast has won a ton of accolades. In 2022, it was awarded Overall Hotel of the Year, Best Marketed Hotel and Best Redeveloped Hotel at the QHA Awards for Excellence. As part of the redevelopment, the hotel invested in new RATIONAL iCombi ovens. Now, not only is the hotel retaining staff and winning awards, it’s also saving money.

Comcater spoke with JW Marriott Gold Coast Executive Chef Paul Smart about the challenges JW Marriott, Gold Coast faces in its kitchens, and the solutions.

Tell us about the restaurants at JW Marriott Hotel on the Gold Coast. Citrique is our main dining area. We serve breakfast here every day to between 500-700 guests. Then we serve dinner with an a la carte menu Monday through to Thursday, a seafood buffet Friday and Saturday nights, and Sunday lunch.

Chapter & Verse is our bar dining area where we offer sharing dishes and snacks. We also have Misono, our Teppanyaki restaurant. In-room dining service is available 24 hours a day and the Pool Pavilion, which offers poolside dining gets quite busy.

Which equipment did you choose as part of your kitchen redevelopment?

We’ve got the best equipment in the kitchen that’s available on the market. During the renovation, we had a lot of old equipment

that’s been there for 30 years. Recently we purchased two beautiful RATIONAL iCombis which make our life really easy. They help us out with getting the food on the plate. It’s basically like having two chefs in the kitchen.

Which features of the RATIONAL iCombi have you found to be game changing?

We do a lot of slow, long cooking. When we finish our busy service, we’ll run the iCombi

at 85 degrees with the right humidity for 12 hours overnight. When we come back in the morning, the pork belly is nicely cooked –same with the braise for the short rib. When you come to work in the morning, the smell is fantastic.

The iCombi is really efficient. I love the functionality of it, especially the cleaning cycle at the end of a shift.

What are the biggest challenges you face in the kitchen?

The challenge in the past has been staffing, but that has improved. If you give your team the best equipment on the market, you retain your team players and staff members. They are very happy in their workplace, which creates a great environment. The RATIONAL does that.

Do you use any of the smart features on the RATIONAL iCombi?

We use the iCookingSuite. We’ve got a tomahawk steak on the menu, which takes about an hour to cook. Cooking it the old way by grilling it, putting it in the oven, and testing with a probe is tricky as the result isn’t always the same.

With the RATIONAL, we place the thermal probe in the centre of the tomahawk and select the right program on the iCookingSuite. The end result is it’s evenly cooked all the way through and there’s not too much crust on the outside. If we want the steak medium rare in the centre, it gives us the same result every time, nice and pink in the middle. Beautiful and tender.

Has the RATIONAL delivered any cost savings?

The RATIONAL is a very efficient combi oven. When we cook meats, seafood, or vegetables, it retains all the nutrients. You don’t lose weight cooking a chicken or a steak, it retains the liquids inside and keeps them nice and juicy.

What advice would you give to an executive chef of a hotel who is looking to replace an oven?

I think the RATIONAL iCombi is the go-to oven. The product always comes out superb. When you send food on the plate to the guest, whether it’s a small restaurant or large scale, RATIONAL is the best choice. n

To find out more, contact Comcater’s dedicated Hotel Team and reference HMCC22 email: hotels@comcater.com.au or contact National Hotel Manager, Michael Hyde phone: 0419 551 753 www.comcater.com.au

hotelmanagement.com.au 17 COMCATER NEWS PARTNERSHIP
JW Marriott Gold Coast Executive Chef Paul Smart and Comcater Consultant Chef Cameron Campbell Chef Paul Smart looks for quality, efficiency, and functionality in kitchen equipment

Ascott’s Crest Collection to debut in Asia Pacific

The Crest Collection will expand to several countries in Asia.

THE ASCOTT LIMITED is bringing its Frenchborn hospitality brand The Crest Collection to Asia Pacific for the first time with the opening of hotels in Singapore, China and Vietnam.

A global portfolio of bespoke hotels and serviced residences, The Crest Collection embraces the heritage stories of its properties and offers curated hospitality experiences,

Ascott currently has four of these properties operating in France – La Clef Champs-Élysées Paris, La Clef Louvre Paris, La Clef Tour Eiffel Paris and Chateau Belmont Tours – all of which enjoy a strong average occupancy of over 80%. A fifth French property will be opened in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris following the refurbishment of a Citadines hotel.

To date, Ascott has secured eight properties, with over 1,000 units, under The Crest Collection, with more in the pipeline spanning key travel destinations such as Jakarta, Bangkok, Tokyo, Osaka and London.

“No two properties or stay experiences will be the same,” said Ascott’s Managing Director for Brand and Marketing, Tan Bee Leng.

“The Crest Collection brand meets the growing demand for one-of-a-kind experiential stays and allows our guests to immerse themselves in the history and culture of the destination.

“Leveraging each property’s unique heritage and story, expressed through the

detailed design of the property’s elegant suites and amenities, bespoke programmes, as well as impeccable service, guests can journey back in time for a hospitality experience like no other.”

In Singapore, Riverside Hotel Robertson Quay will be refurbished and rebranded to The Robertson House by The Crest Collection. The hotel, which will exude an old-world colonial charm, is slated for launch by the end of this year.

In China, Yuexiu Hotel Guangzhou by The Crest Collection is expected to be in operation by by Q4 2023. The hotel will be designed to honour the longstanding history of Guangzhou and will feature luxurious furnishings and artwork displays.

The Crest Collection in Tay Ho, Hanoi will be part of the largest serviced residence integrated development in Vietnam. When completed ahead of opening in 2024, its architecture will exude the French Indochine glamour.

18 HM The Business of Accommodation NEED TO KNOW
The Crest Collection in Tay Ho, Hanoi, will open in 2024 A Citadines hotel in Paris will be refurbished before reopening under The Crest Collection
17
HOTEL BRANDS • 6,000 GLOBAL DESTINATIONS • ONE LOYALTY PROGRAM

ADINA REIMAGINED

There’s been a marked change to one of Australia’s homegrown hotel brands, with Adina Hotels stepping up to showcase the next generation of design-led, experience-focused hotels.

PARTNERSHIP 20 HM The Business of Accommodation
Adina Düsseldorf

Off the back of a succession of openings in Asia, Europe, and Australia last year, TFE Hotels has hit the ground running in 2023 with its flagship brand Adina Hotels launching a design-led experience in Australia and its first Adina Hotel in Switzerland in Q1. A rolling refurbishment program and robust new hotel pipeline are also on the agenda, with the aim of transforming Adina and its premium A by Adina brand – into global innovators in what leaders term the “Hotel Living” segment of the travel market.

As an owner, developer and operator, TFE Hotels hasn’t pressed pause during the past few years, but instead continued to make longterm decisions and investments in markets and product types that address changing traveller demands, according to Chief Executive Officer Antony Ritch.

“Building a core competitive advantage is key to our future, so we have invested extensively in delivering new experiences, liveability, and design-led concepts across our hotels,” Ritch said. “And in doing so, we have built a business for the future.

“Adina has also implemented a refurbishment program to reinvigorate first generation assets including Adina Town Hall and Darling Harbour in Sydney and Adelaide Treasury; we continue to work to attract great global talent into our organisation; and we have branched out into exciting new markets in Asia and Europe, with more to come.”

Ritch believes that these initiatives have positioned both TFE Hotels and Adina for strong global growth. He says TFE is committed to creating showpiece properties and elevating Adina Hotels to travel experiences

where guests are fully immersed in the local neighbourhood, while having thoughtfullydesigned places to use as their base to work, play, stay and explore.

“When you run real estate with agreements as short as one day, your product must be competitive and relevant to the traveller of today,” Ritch said.

“It is also important each hotel reflects its local environment. Travellers love new experiences, it’s what keeps them moving.”

AUSTRALIA DELIVERS A QUALITY EXPERIENCE

Adina burst out of the blocks in the first weeks of January with the relaunch of its reimagined Adina Melbourne Flinders hotel.

TFE’s Group Chief Operating Officer, Chris Sedgwick said the brief to designers, Studio Del Castillo, was to reinvigorate all aspects of the hotel from enhancing the arrival experience in the lobby to ambient sleeping comfort in the hotel guest rooms.

“When guests stay at Flinders, they can expect design that showcases the vibrant personality of inner-city Melbourne – its art, fashion and colour – as well as smart functionality,” Sedgwick said. “Not to mention incredibly generous apartments and lofts, and knock-out views of the CBD, the Botanic Gardens, and the MCG.”

In May, the 106-key Adina Pentridge Melbourne will officially open in the city’s creative north with General Manager, Jesse Kornoff, and Executive Assistant Manager, Alex Bilenki, at the helm.

Set inside Melbourne’s new one-billiondollar dining and entertainment precinct, the newly built hotel, dedicated conferencing and events space, Chapter Place; North & Common Restaurant and Olivine wine bar complement Pentridge’s Victorian architecture.

Like all buildings in the precinct, the Adina Hotel has a FirstRate energy rating of 6.5 Stars, achieved in part by built in solar panels; the use of wood, concrete and recycled concrete in the

hotelmanagement.com.au 21 TFE HOTELS NEWS
Adina Munich is the tallest hotel in the city Dean & Nancy on 22 located in A by Adina Sydney

build; and a rainwater tank recycling system. The use of specialty high-tech glass to achieve both the acoustics and the rating – in fact the glass has a coating that reacts with daylight to break down dirt, meaning the façade only needs cleaning every 12 to 24 months.

“That’s good news for hotel guests who’ll be able to enjoy panoramic views of Pentridge or stunning views of Melbourne’s CBD in the distance thanks to the building’s tapered ends,” said Kornoff. “We also have EV charging stations in the basement, we’re close to trams, trains and buses for those that want to make the 20-minute commute into Melbourne’s CBD, and we have plenty of pedestrian paths and bike trails onsite.”

“And, in a nod to the adaptive reuse of the former prison site, all window frames, façade framing and the metal panels and ribbons that add shape to the front of the hotel have been cast from recycled aluminum.”

EAM Alex Bilenki is no stranger to operations having worked for Accor and, most recently, at Mount Lofty House.

“The hotel is set to become an event destination offering eight flexible event spaces (under the Chapter Place brand), plenty of onsite parking and four traditional meeting spaces,” she said.

“It’s also ideally situated to soak up the local culture, eateries, parks, and modern art galleries including The Heide and Division Gallery in the billion-dollar Pentridge lifestyle precinct.”

The Adina and A by Adina brands continue to go from strength to strength in this region, according to Director of Development ANZ, John Sutcliffe, with the modern designs and experiences proving a hit with both guests and investors.

With Adina Apartment-style hotel rooms, guests curate their stay and can choose everything from the way the room is serviced, to the way they eat or do laundry, and how much contact they have with the hotel team. Thoughtful design and functional, yet efficient, use of space enhances the experience.

Sutcliffe says it’s a brand that appeals to a range of market segments and investors.

“Our Adina Hotels really showed resilience during the pandemic and will continue to do so,” he said. “They are versatile with amenities for living on the go – in room cooking, dining, laundry when you need – backed with a variety of hotel services.”

Creative partnerships with world-class operators, like Maybe Sammy at A by Adina Sydney, have elevated the brand further, with Dean & Nancy on 22 named one of the Best New International Cocktail Bars in its first 12 months of operation.

A MARKET LEADER IN EUROPE

Some 16,516km away from Pentridge, final preparations are being made for the Australian brand to make its Swiss debut with the highly anticipated opening of Adina Geneva.

Adina made its debut in Europe in 2005 with hotels in Copenhagen and Budapest, and quickly expanded into Germany, with the Adina Hotel Berlin Checkpoint Charlie opening in December 2007. At that time, Adina was the first Australian hotel operator in the European market, and 16 years later, it has become a global player with 40 hotels across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Europe.

With 14 hotels and a total of 2,261 studios and apartments, Adina is also the market leader in the Hotel Living segment in Germany,

according to the latest market report by Apartmentservice. Adina was recently recognised by business travellers as the Best Serviced Apartment / Aparthotel, while Adina Munich – Munich’s tallest hotel – just took out the top gong in the European SoAPART awards.

In the last two years, the Aussie brand has successfully implemented an ambitious growth plan that has seen six new properties open, expanding the portfolio to 17 European hotels, with more on the way including Adina Vienna Danube, which is set to move into the 48-storey DANUBEFLATS, Austria’s tallest residential tower, in 2024.

“Our portfolio includes top locations such as Stuttgart and Munich, which are of course very important for us strategically,” said Sedgwick. “And, with the new openings in Düsseldorf and Cologne, we now have hotels in the most economically important regions of the country.”

EARLY SUCCESS IN ASIA

Riding high on the successes in Europe and Australia, TFE debuted the Adina brand in Southeast Asia last year with the opening of the 88-key Adina Serviced Apartment Singapore Orchard.

In just six months of operation, the property has received several service accolades including TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice (and a five-star rating from almost 500 reviews) and TripZilla Travel Excellence Award.

The operations team delivers thoughtful touches during the arrival experience and throughout the stay that really deliver Adina’s Australian-style of hospitality.

“Our guests are given personalised service during their stay and a warm welcome with a basket full of Australian staples like T2 Tea and Kettle Chips,” Ritch said. “They’ll find bathroom amenities by Sydney-based Ink and Water; Coffee from the Tablelands, and Source Bulkfoods from Byron Bay.”

In speaking about the global expansion and the transformation of Adina into a leading global brand, Ritch said he was extremely proud of the ongoing growth and the continued evolution to deliver on new experiences across the portfolio.

“Adina is a proven brand for guests and investors and is now repositioned for an exciting future,” he said. “Right now, we are doing a huge amount of work on transforming the brand experience, and we have a great platform and a talented team, to deliver on opportunities for our existing and future owners and developers.” n

Adinahotels.com

22 HM The Business of Accommodation TFE HOTELS NEWS
PARTNERSHIP
Adina Pentridge Melbourne GM Jesse Kornoff and EAM Alex Bilenki (left) joined by TFE Hotels Group COO Chris Sedgwick and TFE Hotels Director of Development John Sutcliffe (right)
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The personal touch

Accor is doubling down on unique hotel experiences in the midscale segment with the launch of a new global brand, Handwritten Collection. Accor’s Global Chief Development Officer, Premium, Midscale, Economy, CAMIL YAZBECK , spoke exclusively to RUTH HOGAN about the thinking behind this new brand and the strong global development opportunity it presents.

Tell me about the thinking behind the Handwritten Collection and its positioning within the Accor Group. Handwritten Collection will join the other existing Collection brands – Emblem in luxury, MGallery in premium – and it will be positioned in the midscale segment, above Mercure, forming the Accor Collections vertical.

When you visit a Handwritten Collection hotel, the personality and the personal touches are what makes it different from other brands. These are subtly staged points throughout each of the hotels that reflect the passion of

the owner which fosters a meaningful connection between the hotel and the guest in order to elevate that experience and make it more memorable and richer. These are hotels within their own neighborhoods that are focused on the local community. And this is the future, this is where we are going. The Handwritten Collection will join our newlycreated division, the Premium, Midscale and Economy division, which boasts a very big, impressive portfolio of hotels, extended stay and private residences. This division has more than 20 brands including Pullman, Swissotel, Movenpick, Novotel, Mercure, Adagio, the ibis family and of course, the regional brands in specific countries like Mantra, etc. We have around 85% of the group portfolio in this division and it’s really loved by the partners, it has very strong global awareness, innovative designs, and reliable business models.

The minimum requirements are matching midscale standards, but it has to be qualitative hotels. It has to be very focused, beautiful design – we want the personality of the local neighbourhood and the partner to be reflected in the property. This is the difference between a standard, hard-branded hotel and a Collection brand. It is limited investment for the owner, it has the flexibility of a franchise contract, and it gives owners the opportunity to stay unique, have immediate return on investment and maximise revenue through Accor’s sales, distribution and loyalty systems.

What makes this a really unique offering in the midscale segment?

On a macro level, hotels remain a very attractive class for investors for several reasons. The first reason is they clearly continue to attract customer demand and they continue to grow. Millennials want to travel more often and spend much more on shorter breaks. Also, these consumers are more attracted to hotels which are designed locally for those who live in the neighbourhood and attract the local community. They are looking for a coworking environment, a great bar to meet, a hotel which is a trendy destination. That’s exactly where we’re going. It’s really important to cater for the demands of this group –this is where we must shift our way of thinking.

From an investment point of view, hotels still offer good returns versus other real estate asset class… office, retail, logistics. With the above in mind, and from a branding perspective, the concept has been in the making for oneand-a-half to two years. We add a brand because we have done the homework first on the consumer. Second, is what the partners want and where their money is going to go –where it makes sense. And that includes the independent hoteliers, but it also includes private equity.

We noticed there was a gap in the core portfolio for a Collection brand within the midscale plus sector. During the post-COVID period, with rising costs, inflation and competition, these etc., these independent hoteliers realised that they needed the strength of a powerful system distribution loyalty platform to increase revenue but also keep their distinctive and offer a great qualitative product, service and experience, as this is highly requested by guests.

24 HM The Business of Accommodation
Camil Yazbeck, Accor Accor plans to open
HM Q&A
250 Handwritten Collection hotels by 2030

Can you share an insight into the growth strategy for this brand?

We have a big pipeline – we’ve already signed 10 hotels, which is brilliant. Hotels will be in capital gateway cities, but also in smaller cities where it's a popular leisure destination.

We have a hotel in Shanghai, that will be the first property to launch (January 19, 2023). It’s next to a National Park and has over 124,000 square metres of landscaped gardens – it’s like an urban resort experience. We are targeting countries and regions with many independent hoteliers – in locations such as Europe, Australia, US and Brazil. This year, properties will open in Australia, China and France, and next year Vietnam, Spain, Poland, Belgium and more. We are expecting to reach around 250 hotels across the globe by 2030.

What types of properties are suited to this brand?

The brand is designed to be flexible, light and easy to attain. Currently, 80% of the hotels are conversions, which is brilliant, [it means that there is a] flexible transition for those who have invested in creating a certain style for the hotel.

It is also appealing for new build – from ground zero to an office or a mixed-use building. In Australia and the UK, there is a big, interesting trend in mixed-use and hybrid buildings, where you can put one or two brands to cater for, say, economy and midscale or midscale and upscale or premium. And you can put in extended stay to get a base occupancy which is very important because it diversifies the risk for the investor.

Is there flexibility on the inclusion of certain elements such as F&B and wellness experiences?

And when every property is different, how do you ensure a consistent guest experience across the various hotels in the collection?

It is flexible in many occasions – the minimum should be midscale, but we have seen more going for upper midscale, even touching on premium. You need to have

the essentials. The big differentiating element is the meaningful human connections. These are mandatory in the brand integration because you can have the best hotel in the world but if you don’t have friendly service, approachable, passionate people, it doesn’t work.

All Accor’s brands have very clear quality standards, follow up, customer feedback and targets that need to be achieved from an customer service [standpoint]. And as franchisors, we follow up with our regional teams, and provide training if needed, and ensure that they understand everything that needs to happen.

What does Accor’s broader development outlook look like for 2023 and beyond?

Over the last several years, the Accor network has continued to expand. We are signing around one hotel per day [according to latest figures] – in 2022, we had approximately 400 hotel signings – and we’re opening nearly one hotel per day. We are growing exponentially, but we’re growing selectively at the same time.

Globally, we’re 50-55% in conversions now. The group is dynamic. It’s a sustainable hospitality leader with some of the most prestigious brands and hotel portfolios around the world. And it provides us with a steady flow of market opportunities. I expect the trend to continue in the foreseeable future

In 2023, Handwritten Collection, in particular, will be at the heart of growth. At Accor, 85% of rooms are premium midscale and economy and it’s growing more and more – from the group’s perspective, these are the engine of growth. n

hotelmanagement.com.au 25 HM Q&A
Hotel Les Capitouls Toulouse Centre is among the Handwritten hotels to launch in France China, France and Australia will be the first to open Handwritten hotels
“Millennials want to travel more often and spend much more on shorter breaks.” Camil Yazbeck, Accor
Save the Date HMawards.com.au Friday 24 November 2023 The Star Event Centre Sydney

POLITICS AND PERSONALITY

The Statesman Hotel in Canberra has reopened to the public after a major refurbishment, designed to showcase its 54 years of history in a unique and playful way.

The Statesman General Manager, Kirsty Danks-Brown, spoke to Swisstrade about the refurbishment and the important touchpoints throughout the hotel.

Australian political history is a great play for a historically well-known hospitality property in Canberra – what would you like to hear and see in a guest’s experience after visiting The Statesman?

We hope our representation is taken with respect but with a tongue-in-cheek ‘cheers’ to all our past or present leaders and parties. Being situated in our nation’s capital, we want to raise a glass in honour of the history of Australian politics and appreciation of the larrikins and personalities that have formed the same. We are a young country but with some seriously fun history, to be celebrated.

How important are guest touchpoints throughout The Statesman, and what products promote that within the hotel rooms?

We are hoping to provide a seamless journey from start to finish at The Statesman. We know

our new digital applications and check-in may take some time to be understood and appreciated by our regular guests and guests that are not familiar with the process, however, the intention is to free up the team to be more physically and intentionally present, rather than stuck behind desks plugging away at administration. We want our guests to be able to come and go at their leisure, not our operating hours. We have focused our in-room services on great beds, great Wi-Fi and incredible coffee in the morning from our Ballot Box coffee and bake shop. We are either the first or one of the very few hotels in Australia to offer IPTV, so for a little hotel in Curtin, we have big dreams.

During the industry recovery period, how important was selecting the right OS&E partner with industry experience?

Our OS&E partner, Swisstrade, was of significant relevance to our rebrand and redevelopment. Such a partner needs to understand the final brand deliverables and not over or under-provide for the rooms’ equipment. Given the cost of so many other variables in a refurbishment, being able to have someone who can reliably quote and deliver on time, and more importantly on budget, provides for one less heartache in an otherwise dynamic environment. Moreover, having an OS&E partner that genuinely cared, followed up, sourced and suggested or re-suggested as necessary (with proactivity) is to be appreciated.

The Statesman is a dynamic operation across Food & Beverage and

accommodation, how important is selecting the right OS&E brands and product design through a consolidated service provider such as Swisstrade?

Being able to source and purchase from one specialist saved a lot of time and that directly equates to money. Additionally, the theme can be carried from one department to the other via the same supplier as Swisstrade already have the impetus of the brand and can seamlessly articulate this in the delivery to other areas.

Given the complexity, extent and quantity of OS&E items to consider, would you agree that the OS&E category needs to be given more time than initially thought?

It is only in hindsight that we realise the value of choosing the right OS&E – when a mini-bar fridge is not just a mini-bar fridge or selecting the perfect guest amenity such as Leif shampoo, body wash, and conditioner, and not just consumables. This is when the right partner quietly and carefully provides their guidance, as Swisstrade did throughout the OS&E selection process. They got us to the finish line. We appreciate their market knowledge which gave us a clear understanding of what guest touchpoints we needed to emphasise to give us a competitive edge. It was simply refreshing to have bona fide hoteliers by our side along the journey which made what could have been a daunting process, a real joy. n

For more information contact Swisstrade on 02 9979 1500 or visit swisstrade.com.au

hotelmanagement.com.au 27 SWISSTRADE NEWS PARTNERSHIP
The Statesman’s playful artworks honour the history of Australian politics The hotel has a strong F&B offering

Winning ways

Wyndham Hotels and Resorts President and CEO, GEOFF BALLOTTI , sat down with JAMES WILKINSON in Parsippany, New Jersey, for an exclusive chat about key travel trends, international growth and his outlook for the year ahead.

Geoff, thanks so much for your time. It’s an exciting time for travel across the world. How’s everything with Wyndham at the moment?

We have seen record leisure demand, it’s been spectacular. We had record third quarter earnings on so many different fronts. We saw RevPAR back at 110% of what it was in 2019 and a really strong fourth quarter with the record leisure demand that’s out there.

A lot of markets around the world are growing for you – Asia is opening up, it’s one of your biggest markets – but the Americas has just been phenomenal for you.

And Asia Pacific has been as well. Here in the United States, we had 24% growth in our new development, construction and overall pipeline, which was great to see, but really strong growth in each of our international regions too. And we are really pleased to see the continued growth across Asia and the Pacific.

In Asia, your resort business has grown tenfold in the past three or four years and now, with travellers starting to come back, your resorts are getting really busy again. Very busy. You want to be planning your vacation early. There are a lot of reasons for that. There are a lot of folks that haven’t used their vacation time and are now

trying to get space and get away. What has really changed throughout all of this is consumers rating travel as the number one experience that they want to get out and pursue – that’s what is driving that.

When it comes to hot brands, you’ve got a whole portfolio you’re growing in the extended stay economy market, you’re also getting great demand in the luxury segment. You’re hitting both ends, right?

We are. Our extended stay demand is really off the charts, it has been for years leading up to the pandemic and really took off throughout the pandemic. We launched our 24th brand this quarter, Echo Suites by Wyndham, and developer demand [is very strong].

We said by the end of the year we’d have 100 contracts awarded and we announced on our quarterly call that we’ve already achieved that – we’re at 120. When it comes to the business portion of our demand, infrastructure work is driving that, and we think that’s going to be the case for a long, long time.

28 HM The Business of Accommodation HM Q&A
Geoff Ballotti, Wyndham Adelaide welcomes its first TRYP hotel this year Wyndham is reporting high demand for leisure travel

You’re seeing a lot of growth in the bleisure segment too as business travel starts to return. Thursday night and Sunday night are our fastest growing occupancy nights which is, to your point, the flexibility of having hybrid work arrangements and offices allowing workers to work on a Monday or a Friday from somewhere else is certainly what’s driving that.

There’s always an excuse for travel, whether it’s a wedding, a family catch up, a reunion – how much of that is still fuelling demand for you?

We’re seeing demand Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday nights. We’re seeing leisure demand throughout the week; weekends have been – throughout the summer months – off the chart. Here we are now in what is ordinarily a time where occupancy begins to trail off because of seasonal slowdowns, and we’re not seeing that to the degree that we saw pre COVID. It’s that type of travel throughout the week that we don’t see any signs of slowing down.

Before you go, what’s your general outlook for 2023? How are you feeling about the year ahead? We’re feeling very good. A really strong fourth quarter and we’re seeing no signs of any slowdown in demand. n

HM Q&A Tailormade to keep your guests returning night, after night. Your guests will Sleep Supported on a Sealy Posturepedic. Proudly Australian Made sealy.com.au/commercial National sales | (07) 3718 2126 commercialsales@sealy.com.au
“Our extended stay demand is really off the charts.”
Geoff Ballotti, Wyndham
TRYP by Wyndham Pulteney Street Adelaide opens in March 2023

Living for leisure

Travel and Leisure Co. President, Chief Executive Officer and Director, MICHAEL BROWN , spoke exclusively to JAMES WILKINSON about leisure travel demand, vacation ownership and future business growth.

Michael, thanks so much for your time. We’re here at the New York Stock Exchange, which just a few years ago was a very exciting place to be when Wyndham Destinations first spun off, and now it’s Travel and Leisure Co. What a journey in four years that has been. How have you seen it all?

Well, it’s been a robust four years, to say the least. When you put in a spin-off of a company, a rebranding, and then throw COVID in the middle of all that – a lot has happened. But it’s good to say that we’re in leisure travel and it’s a great time to be in this space.

It’s great for you guys being in that leisure space because that really has gone gangbusters across the world, hasn’t it?

Well, I think at the very beginning of COVID, everyone wondered how it would all play out, but COVID didn’t affect people’s desire to get on the road, be with people they love, and that’s what leisure travel is. As a result, we’ve seen a really strong recovery in ‘21, it continued in ‘22 and, despite the macro news that’s out there about where the economy is going, no matter the uncertainty, we’re really confident ‘23 is going to be a very good leisure year.

There’s a lot of demand in upper upscale and luxury leisure as well. For you guys, with the Travel and Leisure brand, what does that mean for the company?

Well, it means opportunity in the most simple way. We have a great relationship with the Wyndham Hotel Group. We became a public company as Wyndham Destinations, the vacation ownership and exchange side of

the business. By acquiring Travel and Leisure and really opening up the opportunity for us, we’re now able to participate in the entire leisure travel space – one hundred million households in North America, and we want to play in that. As a result, it’s opened both opportunities to launch new businesses – our travel subscription business for example – as well as start to brand expand in our existing core businesses like vacation ownership.

When we look at vacation ownership and Asia Pacific, which Barry [Robinson] looks after, there has been huge growth for the company and for so long. How exciting is Asia

30 HM The Business of Accommodation HM Q&A
Michael Brown, Travel and Leisure Co Club Wyndham continues to grow from strength to strength

Pacific for you going forward?

When you look at markets beyond the US – 90% of our business is in North America – in the South Pacific, there’s no one that’s bigger than us. And that’s before we’ve really begun to tap into the Asia market. Markets like Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, those are great for us. We’d love to be more expansive in China as well but with all the restrictions, we’re just going to have to wait and see there.

What we’ve seen through the pandemic is a lot of travellers want to travel closer to home and so for your biggest market, the United States, there’s plenty of opportunity still to keep growing, isn’t there?

In times of uncertainty, people want to control their environment, which means our drive-to arrivals went from 72% to over 90% in the depths of COVID. It’s back to normalised rates, around 75%. Booking windows are now back to where we’ve always historically been, which is 120 days. It’s fair to say international travel is lagging. But I think one of the biggest trends we’re seeing coming out of COVID for the leisure traveller is that length of stay is expanding – for us, it’s up about 10%. I think that’s a combination of pent-up demand but also this new hybrid work environment, so we’ll see if that continues to play out in 2023.

Are there any brands in the company that you’re finding that are really in

demand at the moment that you can see just exponential growth for?

Absolutely. This business, which we’ve been in for 50 years on the vacation ownership side, is proving to be extremely resilient. I think our vacation ownership brands – Club Wyndham, Margaritaville, WorldMark – will continue

to grow and take advantage of leisure travel recovery. The value we’re seeing in a high inflationary environment is really supportive of our business model. As we begin to ramp up our travel subscription business, I think we’re going to see those green shoots we’ve been waiting for on the subscription side of the business. n

hotelmanagement.com.au 31 HM Q&A
“We’d love to be more expansive in China.”
Michael Brown, Travel and Leisure Co.
Vacation ownership business remains resilient Travel and Leisure Co. is ramping up its travel subscription business

HOME AWAY FROM HOME

Accor sees continued growth in the serviced apartments sector as travellers seek a more home-like experience.

The variety and calibre of Accor’s serviced apartment offerings continues to rocket as travellers increasingly desire longer stays, increased flexibility, and more space.

Accor is the largest operator of serviced apartment properties in Australia and New Zealand. The Group offers a portfolio of some 140 serviced apartment properties, including more than 22,700 apartments.

Accor Pacific Senior Vice President Development and Franchise, Lindsay Leeser, said: “Interest from developers has never been stronger as they recognise the growth potential and high ROI of serviced apartments. Trusted serviced apartments brands, such as The Sebel, Mantra, Peppers, Pullman, and Art Series, bring quality and credibility to the sector, and serviced apartments are projected to grow even more over the next five years. Many guests are looking for space, flexibility and quality amenities, and preferences for serviced apartments will continue.”

Serviced apartments offer a more home-like experience for guests with a kitchen or kitchenette and usually a separate lounge or dining facilities, which is perfectly aligned for those blending leisure travel with business and opting for an extended stay.

Many guests enjoy the experience of exploring the local neighbourhood, whilst shopping locally for groceries. The amenities

offered by serviced apartments mean that guests also have access to additional luxuries and facilities, such as state-of-the-art swimming pools, spas and fitness centres.

Location is an important consideration for guests when choosing accommodation, and serviced apartments shine here too. Apartments tend to be in the best locations in every city, region and leisure destination.

Accor Pacific Chief Executive Officer, Sarah Derry, said: “Serviced apartments have been rapidly growing in popularity, and that’s largely down to the benefits that these spaces provide. The serviced apartment trend will drive investors to partner with leading brands with experienced asset management teams. A strong asset management team brings huge benefit for investors.”

A typical asset management model for Accor serviced apartments includes 24-hour onsite management, with a concierge, security, and

32 HM The Business of Accommodation PARTNERSHIP
Pullman Port Douglas Sea Temple Resort Peppers is among Accor’s trusted serviced apartment brands

a housekeeping team, which brings convenience, peace of mind and security for guests.

Derry credits the success of Accor serviced apartments to the powerful appeal of its brands.

“As an industry leader, we invest in our brand marketing and advertising, ensuring our brands are well supported and top of mind with consumers. We continually invest in our relationships with our guests, providing them with rewards and benefits through our loyalty programme, ALL - Accor Live Limitless, which intensifies the appeal of the Accor guest experience. Our distribution network is strategically important to driving growth and capturing demand, and we continually innovate and invest to attract guests to our ecosystem of powerful leading brands, such as The Sebel, Mantra and Peppers.” n

PULLMAN PORT DOUGLAS SEA TEMPLE RESORT AND SPA

Located in picture-perfect Port Douglas, Pullman Port Douglas Sea Temple Resort and Spa features a range of accommodation options including spacious guestrooms, apartments and villas. All guest accommodation is situated around the lagoon pool, bathed in sunshine, offering a calm and secluded setting.

PEPPERS SOUL SURFERS PARADISE

Peppers Soul Surfers Paradise’s range of apartments and sub penthouses offer uninterrupted ocean and hinterland views. Facilities include a sauna, steam room and spa, gymnasium, a spectacular swimming podium with striking beach views, and mouth-watering cocktails and Mediterranean bites at Hyde Paradiso.

THE SEBEL WELLINGTON LOWER HUTT

Overlooking the Hutt River and just a short drive from Wellington International Airport, this stylish apartment-style hotel will feature 60 fully serviced studios and one-bedroom apartments, along with a lively restaurant and bar called Biscotti, when it opens in mid-2023.

THE OLSEN MELBOURNE – ART SERIES

Built to honour Australia’s greatest living painter John Olsen, The Olsen on Chapel Street South Yarra focuses on The Art of Creature Comforts. The 224-room property is home to an assortment of suites and penthouses, 494 of Olsen’s lyrical works, and a range of indulgent creature comforts, including a glass bottomed swimming pool.

MANTRA 2 BOND STREET SYDNEY

Located in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, Mantra 2 Bond Street’s range of apartments and penthouses provide direct access to the city’s world-class shopping, entertainment and financial precincts. A rooftop pool and spa overlook the harbour.

hotelmanagement.com.au 33 ACCOR NEWS
“Serviced apartments have been rapidly growing in popularity.”
Sarah Derry, Accor Pacific
The Olsen’s serviced apartments feature a kitchen or kitchenette
Guests can enjoy the comforts of home and the luxuries of a hotel in a serviced apartment setting with access to incredible amenities.

Inspiring success

The Asia Pacific Hotel Industry Conference and Exhibition (AHICE) – the hotel event where deals get done – returns to Adelaide in 2023 from May 2-4.

One of the leading conferences for the global hotel industry, AHICE is expected to attract over 1,000 leading owners, investors, hoteliers, executives, and suppliers from around the world.

The theme for the 2023 conference, being held for the 14th year running, is Inspiring Success and will focus on innovative ways to propel the industry forward.

At this year’s conference, expect world-class speakers, thought-provoking panel discussions and valuable networking opportunities with key industry leaders.

The AHICE advisory council – made up of leading hoteliers from through Australia and New Zealand – has identified the challenges

and opportunities the industry faces. Key topics at AHICE 2023 will include: Latest Trends, Market Analysis, Market Research, Technology and more.

The 2023 conference is being held at Adelaide Oval which is the only stadium in the southern hemisphere that has a hotel as part of the infrastructure.

An exciting city with a booming accommodation sector, Adelaide is set to welcome over 20 new hotels in the coming

years making it the perfect setting for the industry to come together.

The 2022 event saw a string of major hotel signings and announcements from hospitality leaders including IHG, The Ascott Limited, BWH and TFE, to name a few.

A TASTE OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA

On Wednesday evening, after the first full day of the conference, a warm welcome will be extended to AHICE delegates at a bountiful

34 HM The Business of Accommodation CONFERENCES
NOW IN ITS 14TH YEAR, THE ASIA PACIFIC HOTEL INDUSTRY CONFERENCE AND EXHIBITION (AHICE) IS BACK AND BETTER THAN EVER.
AHICE attracted over 1200 delegates in 2022 Marriott International President, Asia Pacific (Excl Greater China), Raj Menon, speaking at AHICE 2022

gala welcome reception at the Adelaide Oval.

Presented in partnership with the South Australian Tourism Commission, the welcome reception, themed ‘A Taste of South Australia’, is a must-attend event where great conversation can be enjoyed alongside the best local food, wine, beer and spirits, and quality entertainment.

CHAMPIONING FUTURE LEADERS

Following its successful debut in 2022, the Future Leaders Forum makes a return to AHICE on the afternoon of Tuesday May 2 (2pm-5:30pm) at SkyCity Adelaide.

The Future Leaders Forum is an under-35s leadership summit that spotlights the industry’s brightest stars. This exclusive, invite-only event will feature keynote addresses from global and local CEOs and think tank sessions on everything from higher learning to owners’ forums and rising the ranks.

In 2022, esteemed leaders including Marriott International President of Asia Pacific excluding Greater China (APEC), Rajeev Menon, and The Star Gold Coast Chief Operating Officer, Jessica Mellor, spoke candidly about their career journeys and valuable learnings.

DESIGN INN 2023

Asia-Pacific’s leading architecture and interior design symposium, Design Inn, returns to SkyCity Adelaide on May 2 from 9.00am-5:30pm.

Curated by the best creative minds in the business, Design Inn will examine the critical components of hospitality design and explore the exciting new properties to open in Adelaide with insightful hotel tours.

Now in its fourth year, Design Inn attracts designers, architects, specifiers, consultants, hotel owners and asset managers from throughout Asia Pacific to learn, collaborate and network.

This year’s theme is ‘Aspire, Inspire & Innovate’ and will focus on the future of hospitality design, taking inspiration from forward-thinking designs and leaders.

Expect inspiring masterclasses, project

deep-dives and evocative panel sessions featuring leading architects, designers, hotel operators and owners.

The most creative and innovative designs in the region will also be recognised at The Australasia-Pacific Hotel Design Awards. Submissions will open soon for projects in Australasia and the Pacific (including Hawaii).

The full AHICE Program will be announced in the coming weeks, but tickets are limited, so please take advantage of the early bird discount and reserve your seats today. n

ahice.com.au

designinnsymposium.com

hotelmanagement.com.au 35 CONFERENCES
Don’t miss the Taste of South Australia welcome event Under-35s leadership event the Future Leaders Forum returns in 2023

ENCORE WINS SILVER FOR SUSTAINABILITY

Sustainability is increasingly a consideration for both venues and event planners when choosing a venue and production company. Encore Event Technologies explains why going green matters to your bottom line.

Demand for more sustainable events is growing at an everincreasing rate, and Encore ANZPAC, in concert with its venue partners, is proactively implementing green measures across all areas of the business to ensure we win each event opportunity and maintain our social license.

COP27 report outlines a Net Zero Carbon Events Roadmap, aimed at greener practices in the events industry. As Meetings Net describes it, the roadmap caused “perhaps its biggest public splash on the issue of making events sustainable”. COP27’s revelations chime with the V-EX’s latest sustainability report, which states that a three-day conference with 800 attendees carries a carbon footprint of 455 tonnes of CO₂ equivalents, which is the same as 455 return flights from Paris to New York.

Such environmental impacts aren’t just tied to materials and energy consumption. To bring an event to life, sustainable procurement must be at the forefront, deliveries must be made, and waste must be limited or recycled at every opportunity. Proving green credentials for a corporate event therefore serves as a major differentiator for hotels in securing the opportunity. In fact, a recent survey from Encore shows that 62% of clients think sustainability is important when selecting a venue, while 65% say it’s critical for choosing a supplier, too.

So, how do hotels accommodate this demand and what concrete evidence should you look for in a production partner? Encore’s

PROVE YOU’VE PASSED A GLOBAL BENCHMARK

Encore’s evolving green journey started in 2015. One of the very first things we accomplished was to shift our operation away from one-time use scenic and design sets to multi-use/multi-function recycled sets. The next step was the implementation of regular auditing of energy use and inventory to help us refine and compare improvements. We have also turned our attention to the technology we select as part of our procurement process and how it is used, taking into consideration its entire product life cycle.

EcoVadis is one of the world’s leading sustainability bodies, rating over 10,000 businesses to date. It investigates numerous factors for a green agenda, including product life cycles, anti-corruption practices, environmental advocacy and the management structures that can make sustainable goals a reality. Our clients increasingly demand to see these credentials as part of their procurement process, their decision on venue and event production partner.

I’m proud to say that EcoVadis granted Encore a silver medal in 2022. By scoring us on environment, ethics, labour and human rights, and sustainable procurement — the group has given us one of the clearest

36 HM The Business of Accommodation
PARTNERSHIP
Encore’s green approach to technology, processes and logistics delivers advantages for venues Operations Director APAC, Nathan Mckenzie, reveals what Encore has accomplished in the quest for a green light.

pictures yet on our sustainable processes and evidences how Encore is helping to lead the industry in this region. Next year we’re going for gold!

SAVE COSTS WITH GREEN TECHNOLOGY

Energy consumption should not be confined to the technology used for the event itself, but it’s a good place to start. For example, LED lighting, has a much lower wattage than traditional bulbs. The Rapid Transition Alliance reveals that LEDs consume 90% less electricity than incandescent and halogen lights, and 60% less than fluorescents. That’s why we utilise LEDs, plus they’re super bright and make a huge visual impact. Similarly, our laser projectors can last up to 20,000 hours without a bulb replacement which reduces maintenance costs too. Clients and venues therefore pay less to power better results on screen. We have started our shift to all laser projectors, with 30% of our stock completed, and projected to be fully converted within six years. This focus on sustainable energy extends to our offices and design facilities, where LED lighting are used extensively and set to timers to keep power down. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, meanwhile, have been optimised for lower energy consumption.

RECYCLE WASTE AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY

Encore uses ISO certified e-waste recycling company Reverse E-waste to recycle electronic items. Further, we recycle batteries and used projector lamps as well as styling items in addition to office waste like paper.

PROVIDE LOW-CARBON TRANSPORT

The road to environmental leadership includes vehicle tracking that shows how fast a driver is travelling, where they are and what vehicle

maintenance might be required all economise fuel use.

Research from VIION claims that petrol use rises by 25% between a vehicle travelling at 88km/h to 112km/h, which is a sizable carbon contribution. Since Encore invested in the latest vehicle monitoring solution, we’ve significantly reduced fuel consumption and with it, the associated cost and carbon footprint.

Encore’s fleet leases are shorter term contracts so dated vehicles can be replaced with more efficient models. At the same time, our fleet management software helps us track and analyse data for smarter fuel economy. Encore aims to transition to a fleet of all-electric commercial vans and trucks as they become available in the Australian market.

GO GREEN WITH ENCORE

Encore has a team focused on exceeding customer demands and shaping event productions to be more sustainable by using local resources to deliver events. Having offices in every major city in APAC helps us to reduce our carbon footprint further, while also supporting the local communities. With environmental pressures mounting, there’s every reason to turn sustainability from a vague aspiration into something more concrete. Green practices, structures, reviews and leadership are fundamental to the events industry moving forward. As every event comes together, we’re looking to double down on that success and give our venue partners the eco-friendly pitch to win even more business.

If you’re looking to host your own corporate event soon, we’re happy to show you how a landmark occasion can stun audiences while caring for the world we all share. Speak to an Encore event specialist today. n

https://www.encore-anzpac.com/get-in-touch

Encore uses local resources to ensure event production is more sustainable

hotelmanagement.com.au 37 ENCORE NEWS
Encore earned a silver EcoVadis medal in 2022
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WELCOME TO THE 21ST EDITION OF THE HM INDUSTRY LEADERS FORUM – YOUR COMPLETE OUTLOOK FOR THE YEAR AHEAD WITH EXPERT VIEWS AND INSIGHTS FROM LEADING HOTELIERS, TOURISM PROFESSIONALS AND SUPPLIERS ACROSS AUSTRALASIA AND THE WORLD.

2023 INDUSTRY LEADERS FORUM

hotelmanagement.com.au 39
David Bowen, Skye Suites

Sébastien Bazin Chairman and CEO Accor

The future of hospitality depends on the sustainability of the industry.

Ihave always said it, we work in a blessed industry. No-one could have imagined how quickly the travel and leisure industry has bounced back after the pandemic. 2022 was an astonishing year and I am pleased to say our teams are now back doing what they know and love best: taking care of our guests. All around the world our teams are focused on delivering the very best in hospitality and 2023 is lining up to be a fantastic year for tourism. We have seen already a clear evolution in the guest’s desire for more life-enriching and accessible travel experiences as well as the blending of leisure and business travel. Some guests are now increasingly seeking to combine hotel

40 HM The Business of Accommodation GLOBAL LEADERS

stays and leisure opportunities with business activities and benefit from remote working capabilities to extend stays and spend more time enjoying destinations with their families. Some business travellers have even changed the pattern of business trips, booking less frequently but tending to stay longer. There is also a noticeable increase in group bookings as families and friends are coming together to connect and create shared memories.

The key to realising our ambitions for 2023 and beyond will be leveraging the unique strength of our brand portfolio. Containing more than 40 brands, this portfolio is amongst the world’s most diverse and attractive and will continue to improve in 2023 through a pipeline of highly anticipated global openings. We have a number of exciting properties scheduled to open next year, from budget-friendly hotels to ultra-luxurious hideaways, including Raffles, Fairmont, Sofitel, Pullman and Novotel as well as Ennismore brands such as Tribe, So/, 21c Museum Hotel, Hoxton and Mondrian.

Experiences are playing an ever-growing role in the hospitality industry as people are looking to visit adventurous destinations with opportunities to explore regional areas and interact with local cultures. Accor has been deeply committed to sustainability through promoting a universal net positive hospitality approach in which we aim to contribute to our planet and communities by always giving back more than we take in. We were the first hospitality group to announce an ambitious science-based emissions reduction target: -46% absolute emissions by 2030. We continue to examine our supply chain in detail and aim to go further in reducing plastic usage outside the guest experience.

For example, in packaging and transportation. Biodiversity and food waste are both a challenge and opportunity, and with our partners we are exploring how we can reduce our environmental impact in this space. The future of hospitality is right around the corner and its prosperity rests firmly on the sustainability of the industry. As such going into 2023, Accor will continually seek ways to adapt to and support emerging sustainability trends such as: local leisure opportunities, domestic tourism, slow travel, workspitality and F&B. n

SNAPSHOT: ACCOR

Year the company was founded: 1967

Year first hotel opened: 1967 Globally; 1982 APAC; 1991 ANZSP

Number of brands in the organisation: 40+

Current number of hotels and rooms (Globally): More than 5,300 hotels; 810,000+ rooms

Current number of hotels and rooms (Asia-Pacific): More than 1,400 hotels; 258,000+ rooms

Current number of hotels and rooms (ANZP): 400 hotels; 64,000+ rooms

Head office locations: Paris, Singapore, Sydney

hotelmanagement.com.au 41
LEADERS
GLOBAL
“Biodiversity and food waste are both a challenge and opportunity.”
Sébastien Bazin, Accor
Le Saint Gervais Hotel & Spa is part of Accor’s newly launched Handwritten Collection

BWH Hotel Group

ESG a key priority for the future.

AS TRAVEL CONTINUES its resurgence, growth in the hospitality industry is focused on international markets. While recovery has not been even around the world, we are encouraged to see that most countries are experiencing a surge in travel. The recovery is led mostly by leisure tourism, but corporate travel is rebounding as well, and we are hopeful based on what we are seeing in the business and group space.

As a global hospitality brand, we have increased our focus in 2022 on embracing our international presence and coming together as a global hotel family to serve our guests, partners, and each other with a sense of shared global responsibility. This includes creating new Vision and Mission statements that reflect our global reach and organisational values. We are dedicated to our new vision of “Inspiring travel through unique experiences”. Also, we are passionate about fulfilling our mission to “Deliver trusted guest experiences, drive hotel success, and foster a caring and inclusive culture that respects the environment”. These values are the cornerstone of our hotel family, a shared purpose that unifies our brands and hotel teams.

Being unified with common goals is the key to success – and we saw just that in 2022. For example, we achieved the strongest revenue year in our company’s history. And we are witnessing strong performance in many parts of

the world with occupancy, average daily rate (ADR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR) exceeding prepandemic levels.

As we look to the future, I recognise the importance of evolving our brand to ensure we are conscientious stewards of the communities, guests, and associates

42 HM The Business of Accommodation GLOBAL LEADERS
The WorldHotels Collection continues to expand its footprint globally

we serve around the world. As such, efforts in the areas of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) have gained increased importance and will continue to do so in the near and long-term. Consumers and other key stakeholders are increasingly making decisions to align with companies who share their sincerely held values and beliefs. At BWH Hotel Group, we are proud to prioritise ESG as a Key Result Area with our own Earth, People and Community (EPC) initiative for our global organisation and we will continue to leverage our partnership with the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance.

While we are tackling these significant initiatives and celebrating the many successes our industry has seen in the past year, we must remain aware of the lingering challenges that face the global hospitality community –the impact of the Ukraine/Russia war, possibilities of a recession, and labour, supply, and shipping challenges.

But if there is anything the last few years has taught us, it is that our industry is resilient. We will overcome the challenges that lie ahead.

I am optimistic for the future of our industry and our global BWH Hotel Group family. With a portfolio of stunning hotels across the globe, BWH Hotel Group is positioned for continued growth, providing unique offerings and experiences to travelers and developers worldwide. We look forward to the continued resurgence of travel and working with our global partners to ensure a successful 2023 and beyond. n

SNAPSHOT: BWH HOTEL GROUP

Current number of hotels & rooms (Globally): 3,929 hotels; 344,729 rooms

Current number of hotels & rooms (APAC): 153 hotels; 32,632 rooms

Current number of hotels & rooms (ANZSP): 76 hotels; 4,668 rooms

Year first hotel opened: Globally 1946; APAC 1993; ANZSP 1975 Head office locations: Phoenix, Bangkok, Sydney

GLOBAL LEADERS
“In 2022, we achieved the strongest revenue year in our company’s history.”
Larry Cuculic, BWH Hotel Group

Trent Fraser

Chief Executive Officer

Choice Hotels Asia-Pac

Businesses must adapt to meet changing corporate and leisure traveller demand.

THE CURRENT ECONOMIC conditions have created exciting opportunities for Choice Hotels Asia-Pac to demonstrate the value of our pure-play franchise model, enhance the profitability for existing hotels, and attract new properties to the group.

Small business owners, and especially those in the travel and accommodation industries, had an incredibly tough time through the pandemic. We were grateful for the busy winter rebound, which continued through the year, but this strong growth brought its own challenges on the ground.

Staffing shortages mean many hotel owners have been very hands-on in their businesses. Properties in the Choice Hotels group have the benefit of our head office team supporting their distribution strategies, pushing their brands to corporate and consortia customers, driving direct online bookings, and supporting their dayto-day operations. However, talking with independents we hear that they have struggled to plan ahead and stay on top of competitive aspects of their businesses.

The impact of inflationary pressures is looming in 2023, and there’s a lot to consider for businesses around how to adapt to meet changing corporate and leisure traveller demand.

This is opening opportunities for engagement with us, with particular interest in expanding the hotels’ client base, our revenue management services and driving profitability, and procurement savings.

The incredible rebound in 2022 has been exciting for Choice Hotels Asia-Pac, with the end of lockdowns signalling a return to normality and many opportunities to reconnect and celebrate with our franchisees

In April, the Ingot Hotel Perth, Ascend Hotel Collection won a major international Best of Choice award, recognising it as the best Ascend property globally.

In July, we signed a 15-year Master Franchise Agreement with Suba Group of Hotels in India, transferring assumed responsibility for the 58 Choice Hotels properties open and under development in India, and assigning it exclusive rights to develop the Clarion, Quality and Comfort brands in market.

Recognising the importance of the communities within which we operate, we launched our inaugural Choice Community Sports Grants, which gave AU$12,000 in grants to sporting clubs and individual

athletes across Australia and New Zealand to aid in their COVID recovery and return to competitive sports and travel. Our partnership with United boosted this program, with another AU$5,000 in fuel vouchers to get sporting clubs and athletes back on the road.

Our results throughout the year have exceeded all expectations, with significant growth in RevPAR and ADR each quarter compared to 2019 pre-pandemic numbers.

Over lockdowns, we doubled down on our marketing campaigns, promoting our brands as they were preparing for the inevitable revenge travel demand that we witnessed in our US hotels. This pro-active approach

44 HM The Business of Accommodation GLOBAL LEADERS
The Beachcomber Hotel and Resort is part of Choice Hotels’ Ascend Hotel Collection

paid dividends and in Q3 2022 Asia-Pac direct online bookings were up 132% on the same quarter in 2019 –continuing the trend for previous quarters, resulting in historically high results for 2022.

The highlight for our team was welcoming franchisees from across Australia and New Zealand to Melbourne in August for the Choice Hotels Asia-Pac Ignite Conference. It was inspiring to have so many hoteliers together again, sharing challenges, successes, and learnings from the pandemic, and eager to learn new systems and strategies to grow their businesses.

2023 will have its own challenges, which I feel confident our group is well prepared to meet. We have a slew of new properties coming online in Thailand, New Zealand, Australia, India, and Japan, and many more in the pipeline ready to reap the benefits of being part of the Choice Hotels Asia-Pac family. n

SNAPSHOT: CHOICE HOTELS ASIA-PAC

Year the company was founded: 1939

Year first hotel opened: Globally 1939; APAC 2002

Number of brands in the organisation: 5 in APAC

Current number of hotels (Globally): 7500+ hotels

Current number of hotels (Asia-Pacific): 300+ hotels

Current number of hotels (ANZP): 170 hotels

Head office locations: Rockville, Melbourne

hotelmanagement.com.au 45 GLOBAL LEADERS
“The impact of inflationary pressures is looming in 2023.”
Trent Fraser, Choice Hotels Asia-Pac
Guest Wifi In Room Streaming Interactive Guest Experiences Smart Integrations Converged Networks CCTV 24/7 Support For more information contact www.honeybadger.tech
The Ingot Hotel Perth won a major international Best of Choice award last year

Chief Executive Officer – EMEAA IHG Hotels and Resorts

Challenges abound but consumer demand for experiences is encouraging.

IT’S MY PLEASURE to wish you a happy and prosperous 2023, and I’m sure you share my enthusiasm for what lies ahead, despite the varied and evolving challenges we’re facing.

Globally, our industry has been buoyed by the ongoing recovery in many markets (although, as ever, we’ll have to wait for full-year results to wholly understand the situation). Leisure business has been the main driver of this improvement, with groups and meetings bookings now also coming back strongly.

Together, we’ve shown great strength and resilience to return to where we are. But, as you know, it hasn’t all been plain sailing – so, what can we expect over the next 12 months?

There are certainly many macro-level challenges facing us, including the war in Ukraine, high interest rates, inflation, disrupted supply chains and the shortage of talent (which I know is of particular concern in Australia). We cannot ignore these headwinds, but it’s important to remember that they don’t paint the full picture of our industry, the long-term drivers of which remain in good shape.

Consumers are prioritising spending on experiences such as travel above everything else, and not just in hotels, with airlines, cruise companies and other sectors also reporting improvements. In those markets that reopened first – such as the US, UK and Middle East – we’ve seen a healthy level of sustained demand for a consistent period of time, while others are now beginning to get there, too.

At IHG Hotels and Resorts, we started 2023 encouraged by this improving global backdrop, against which we achieved a lot last year. This included expanding and strengthening our brands, transforming our loyalty and technology offer, fine-tuning our hotel operations, making great strides with our Journey to Tomorrow responsible business plan, and helping our teams bring True Hospitality for Good to life for millions of our guests.

This time last year, I wrote in these pages how I was planning to return to Australia for the first time since the pandemic to attend AHICE in Adelaide, where it was good to reconnect with so many hotel owners and members of our IHG teams. I especially enjoyed the positive response to our two big signing announcements – Holiday Inn and Suites Mawson Lakes in Adelaide and Crowne Plaza Shell Cove Marina, IHG’s first hotel on the south coast of New South Wales. I’ll be attending AHICE again this year, and am looking forward to what’s always a really important and productive few days.

Last year, our business also celebrated the Diamond Anniversary of its brands in Australia – we’ve certainly come a long way since InterContinental Southern Cross Hotel Melbourne opened in 1962. To keep growing so healthily, we’ll always need great partners, and I want to say thank you, once again, to the Australian Federal, State and Territory governments, as well as the Accommodation Association and Tourism and Transport Forum, for all your ongoing support.

Further afield at IHG, with the recent addition of Iberostar Beachfront Resorts, we’re now ambassadors of 18 distinct and much-loved brands. Together, we look forward to another successful year in 2023, providing our guests with outstanding stays and many long-lasting memories in Australia and all around the world. n

SNAPSHOT: IHG HOTELS AND RESORTS

Year the company was founded: 1777 (as Bass)

Year first hotel opened: Globally 1946 -

InterContinental Belem, Brazil; ANZSP 1962 -

InterContinental Southern Cross Melbourne

Number of brands in the organisation: 18

Current number of hotels and rooms (Globally): 6,061 hotels; 888,147 rooms

Current number of hotels and rooms (EMEAA): 1,138 hotels; 222,524 rooms

Current number of hotels and rooms (ANZP): 74 hotels; 15,632 rooms

Head office locations: Windsor; Sydney

46 HM The Business of Accommodation GLOBAL LEADERS

FORCE FOR GOOD

Satoshi Konagai, Leader of LIXIL Water Technology APAC, discusses how GROHE, one of LIXIL’s power brands, has sustainability at its heart, while continuing to craft bathroom and kitchen solutions that focus on meeting real, tangible consumer needs.

Sustainability by design is not just a growing trend, it is a necessity. Consumers are seeking brands and solutions that deliver sustainable benefits without compromising consumer comfort or performance. Every GROHE product is crafted on brand values of quality, technology, design and sustainability and offers intelligent, rational, emotionally appealing and life-enhancing solutions that provide “Pure Freude an Wasser” — the Pure Joy of Water.

The GROHE brand sustainability journey started over two decades ago, when in 2000, we identified the brand’s relevant areas of activity in sustainability according to the 16 principles of the Business Charter for Sustainable Development published by the International Chamber of Commerce. The GROHE brand embodies sustainability in detail – from product design, manufacturing through to eco-friendlier packaging. We are proud to be creating innovations which enable designers, architects, hoteliers, and developers to create spaces that are both sustainable and adds to property values.

GROHE continues to develop eco-friendly technologies across its premium bathroom products and solutions, such as water-saving EcoJoy technology that is available across a wide range of taps and showers. We also focus on the finer details, such as the GROHE Tempesta 250 showerhead, which has a 4 Star WELS rating, to deliver water in GROHE’s Rain Spray pattern at a reduced flow, while offering a premium shower experience. The showerhead is coupled with GROHE Ecojoy technology which allows maximum flow performance whilst at lower flow rates, ensuring the most sustainable showering experience. Our intuitively designed shower thermostats further encourage water saving

with models equipped with volume control that allows the user to opt for a reduced water flow. Optimising water use also helps saves energy by reducing hot water usage. These water and energy saving technologies and features enable hospitality establishments to materially reduce water and energy costs, while being environmentally conscious.

Alongside our product development, GROHE aims to achieve net-zero carbon emissions for its various housing and lifestyle solutions as well as operations by 2050. Our efforts include shifting to plastic free packaging; with savings of 37 million plastic items per year from eliminating all unnecessary plastics in our product packaging as of June 2022.

ABOUT LIXIL

A global manufacturer of pioneering housing and water solutions, LIXIL is a multi-category industry leader with leading brands that have different value propositions and positionings but are united in fulfilling LIXIL’s purpose of “making a better home a reality for everyone everywhere”. n

hotelmanagement.com.au 47 GROHE NEWS PARTNERSHIP
Satoshi Konagai, Leader, LIXIL Water Technology APAC GROHE aims to achieve net-zero carbon emissions for its various housing and lifestyle solutions

Craig Bond

Managing Director

La Vie Hotels and Resorts

New brands and properties coming to fruition this year.

2022 WAS A year of extraordinary growth across Australia and South and South-East Asia for La Vie Hotels and Resorts. We had our strongest year of growth, signed agreements with some of the world’s most recognised brands and formed meaningful partnerships, notably and most recently, with Small Luxury Hotels.

2022 was the year La Vie Hotels and Resorts really came into its own, and people who hadn’t heard of us before, started to take note. Our fresh approach to hotel management and our leading position in franchising put us on the radar of a lot of owners and investors, not only in Australia but importantly across the South and SouthEast Asia region. Our owner-centric model has been widely embraced and we are so thankful and humbled by the support of our partners.

While COVID brought about obvious challenges, it also provided us with some great opportunities; to focus on our processes, bolster our team and solidify our structure in order to future proof our business for 2023 and beyond. The slowdown also meant owners were looking for alternatives when it came to hotel management, with many wanting greater transparency and tighter owner/ management relationships, and this is where we were able to make some great gains.

We are so proud of the way our teams have grown and worked so collaboratively together with our owners. We have an amazing leadership team across the regions we operate, all with an incredible depth of experience and passion. In 2022 we hired Shankar Sreekumar as Head of South and South-East Asia based in our Bangkok regional office and Russel Cool as Group Director of Operations in Australia (to name a few), and their expertise in hotel management, commercial and development will hold us in great stead as we move into 2023.

With a commitment to putting the best brand in the right location, in 2022 we worked hand in hand with our owners to procure franchise agreements with major hotel brands and signed agreements with Radisson Hotel Group in Sri Lanka, Choice Hotels in Phuket, and with IHG and Accor in Australia. We see huge growth in conversion properties, and we are working with a number of owners on transforming their asset into one that has a deeper connection with guests and the community.

In addition, in 2022 we secured the exclusive rights to manage the design-led YOO brand, which led to the announcement in May that Melbourne would call home to Australia’s first By YOO Luxury Lifestyle hotel in 2025. We have other incredibly exciting YOO announcements coming in early 2023, which will see the YOO brand expand into South-East Asia.

While we have a solid pipeline of hotels coming online with major brands attached, after months of market research we identified a gap in the market for a fresh, upscale lifestyle hotel and resort brand. Based on this, we have spent the last nine months developing our own upscale lifestyle brand which is incredibly exciting. More details will be released imminently, but we can say the first outpost for this brand will be in the Maldives. We are buoyed and optimistic by the year ahead and have great confidence that international travel will rebound, and domestic travel will remain strong as people will continue to explore their own backyard. Our hotel spread spans CBD, suburban, regional and resort locations and we see great growth opportunities in each of these markets. We will continue to keep pushing the boundaries to deliver the best possible returns for owners.

At the time of writing this and as the ink dries on some major signing agreements, we’re excited to sink our teeth into 2023 and deliver for our owners and support the incredible hospitality industry that exists here in Australia and in Asia Pacific. n

SNAPSHOT: LA VIE HOTELS AND RESORTS

Year the company was founded: 2014

Year first hotel opened: 2014 in Singapore

Number of brands in the organisation: 15

Current number of hotels and rooms (Globally): 26 v; 3,983 rooms

Current number of hotels and rooms (Asia-Pacific): 15 hotels; 3529 rooms

Current number of hotels and rooms (ANZP): 11 hotels; 454 rooms

Head office locations: Sydney, Bangkok

48 HM The Business of Accommodation GLOBAL LEADERS
“We have spent the last nine months developing our own upscale lifestyle brand.”
Craig Bond, La Vie Hotels and Resorts

Antony Ritch

Chief Executive Officer, TFE Hotels

Owners seeking efficient builds and sustainable operating models.

REAL ESTATE IN Australia and the way commercial hotel developments come to fruition is changing, so 2023 and beyond will be an interesting time for Australian investors in a higher interest rate market.

It is key, however, to remember that our hotel industry sits within a global market for capital and the attractiveness of the Australian and New Zealand markets to international capital will continue to grow.

On the domestic front, inflation has led to increased costs for labour and materials thus slowing down developments as financing becomes more constrained. As cost bases come under pressure, owner/developers – from the luxury to the economy sectors – will naturally seek out efficient builds and gravitate towards sustainable operating models that allow them to still deliver on differentiated experiences. Our job then, as hotel operators, is to demonstrate long-term sustainable returns on investment to attract investor interest.

To achieve this in 2023, brands need to embrace smart design that provides core efficiencies from the initial design and build stage to allow for investments in moments that delight our guests.

I am proud that TFE Hotels has long been known as the ‘Developer’s Hotelier’ and, as an owner as well as an operator with a centralised service model, we are well positioned for the change that is coming.

A good example of this is our A by Adina brand, which is enjoying great success. The brand debuted in Australia with properties in Sydney and Canberra in 2021, and there are more in the development pipeline, including the first A by Adina in Melbourne.

At A by Adina Sydney, developed in partnership with TOGA, every square metre of the 597m2 site has been optimised to create prime street level retail and a 194-room hotel which prioritises the guest experience including a mineral pool, gym, an international awardwinning cocktail bar and restaurant all immersed in the skyline on levels 21 and 22. And, beyond the guest experience, it provides excellent energy performance, due to the high wall to window ratios, automated room climate control and laminated mesh shading on the glazing.

Likewise, A by Adina Canberra builds on the brand’s success story. Developed under a different model with TFE’s long-term partner, Canberra Airport Group, this hotel regularly makes the Best Accommodation in Canberra lists and has gone from strength-to-strength winning the Australian Institute of Architects’ John Andrews Award for Commercial Architecture; whilst the wider Constitution Place precinct took out the institute’s Sir John Overall Award for Urban Design soon after opening.

As hotel operators and owners one thing is clear – in 2023 we cannot rest on our laurels. We need to continue to explore new innovations in design, in experience and through the partnerships we develop. And if we do these things, our industry will continue to prosper. n

SNAPSHOT: TFE HOTELS

Year the company was founded: TOGA 1963; TFE Hotels 2013 (joint venture with Far East Hospitality)

Year first hotel opened: 1982

Number of brands in the organisation: 7

Current number of hotels and rooms (Globally): 70 hotels; 10447 rooms

Current number of hotels and rooms (ANZP): 51 hotels; 7407 rooms

Head office locations: Sydney, Berlin

hotelmanagement.com.au 49 GLOBAL LEADERS
Adina Melbourne on Flinders unveiled a new look in January
“Brands need to embrace smart design.”
Antony Ritch, TFE Hotels

Brett Butcher

Chief Executive Officer, Langham Hospitality Group

Innovation in the midscale segment.

LANGHAM HOSPITALITY GROUP is coming out of the pandemic with optimism. I am proud of the way our hotels have performed and how the industry has rallied in the wake of the pandemic. My enduring memories of 2022 revolve around the creativity and resilience of my colleagues.

In 2022, we expanded our Pacific footprint with The Langham, Gold Coast in Queensland, which opened to great acclaim and performed beyond expectations. We also had a full year of the expanded Cordis Auckland including the new Pinnacle Tower with its incredible views of Auckland and Rangitoto Harbour. It is now the largest hotel in New Zealand at 640-keys and has created a strong MICE and leisure offering.

In its first year, The Langham, Jakarta set new benchmarks for luxury in the city whilst commanding the highest rates amongst its competitors. Asia Pacific continues to be a bedrock for us and anchors our growth as we build a chain of properties from Auckland to Beijing and beyond. As China returns to the international stage, we anticipate a return to normality in the region and we will welcome Cordis, Xuzhou in 2023.

Strategic growth continued apace with the recent announcements of The Langham, Seattle and The Langham, Riyadh and breaking ground at The Langham, Venice. The latter will see the former Murano glass factory, with direct lagoon access, restored and fashioned into luxury hospitality. This stunning hotel will enhance the

Venetian heritage story and include 500-year-old frescos on the ceilings of our reception and arrival experience. In 2022, we answered the needs of our many partners with the introduction of a new midscale select service

50 HM The Business of Accommodation GLOBAL LEADERS
The Langham, Jakarta commands the highest rates amongst its competitors

brand, Ying’nFlo, which offers a forward-thinking balance of aesthetics and functionality. Our first property opened in Hong Kong, and we have developments underway in Xiamen, Hangzhou, Shanghai and Chengdu. This carefully developed brand rounds out our portfolio. We now have a brand to meet the needs of investors in each major customer segment.

This digital-first, tech savvy brand has been designed around a generation that manages every aspect of their lives from their phone. This creative brand speaks in a younger design language offering amazing communal spaces and brilliant basics executed exceptionally well.

The elephant in the room remains the global manpower crunch. We remain committed to retaining

SNAPSHOT: LANGHAM HOSPITALITY GROUP

Year the company was founded: 2003

Year first hotel opened (Globally/APAC /ANZSP): The Langham, London (1865)

Number of brands in the organisation: 3

Current number of hotels and rooms (Globally): 26 hotels; 9,623 rooms

Current number of hotels and rooms (APAC): 7 hotels; 2,660 rooms

Current number of hotels and rooms (ANZP): 4 hotels; 1,295 rooms

Head office locations: Hong Kong

our great staff with programming and benefits that are attractive and competitive. To date, this strategic focus has and continues to achieve retention goals though the road remains bumpy ahead.

I am confident we will emerge from our recent global disruptions, bigger in terms of our portfolio, more digitally enhanced in relation to technology and even more creative and resilient with our brands’ expansion and development. n

Ying’nFlo has been designed around a generation that manages every aspect of their lives from their phone

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“The elephant in the room remains the global manpower crunch.”
Brett Butcher, Langham

President and CEO

Outrigger Resorts and Hotels

Businesses must be strategic about investments to win customers.

EACH NEW YEAR brings palpable optimism and hope; this sentiment about 2023 is particularly abundant for the hospitality industry following the pandemic and the dawn of recovery that we saw in 2022.

That said – Outrigger is stepping into 2023 with eyes wide open, both looking for prospects to capitalise and being vigilant in our efforts to retain and build market share as the world’s pendulum of obstacles and opportunities continues to swing back and forth.

Leisure demand is now high, but so is competition for consumers; with travel restrictions down and more countries reopened to tourism, the euphoria of business that some destinations felt will evaporate if dedicated marketing dollars are not strategically allocated.

Current headwinds for development and renovations include the uncertainty of debt markets, budding inflation and an impending recession – but Outrigger remains bullish on continuing to invest in beach communities through acquisitions and third-party management, especially in Oceania and Asia Pacific. The good news is that there is pent-up demand for deals alongside ample beach resort destinations eager for expansion.

For 2023, Outrigger is leaning into our bold mission of being The Premier Beach Resort Company in the World – elevating our iconic beach brand with new resorts, innovative technology and fresh branding.

The seeds we planted over the last 18 months are now producing offshoots: US$250 million is being reinvested

in our current Hawai‘i assets and five new premier beach resorts were added to our portfolio including Hawai‘i, Thailand and the Maldives.

A multi-million-dollar, state-of-the-art technology stack has been implemented – most notably, the all-new Outrigger.com website that brings to life Outrigger’s premier beach resort product in digital format.

Beyond a new logo and icon with the Outrigger “O” akin to the sun rising and setting on an ocean wave – all guests at our resorts will enjoy five iconic elements: a renowned beach location, the must-see beach bar, authentic live music, signature experiences and our commitment to conservation.

Outrigger’s overarching ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) direction is aligned with its corporate compass called ‘The Outrigger Way’ – a tripod of authentically caring for our hosts, guests and places where it does business. Last summer, Outrigger presented a new outline for its ESG initiatives across all Outrigger Resorts and Hotels with programmatic approaches and specific KPIs connected to 23 initiatives. 2023 will be a year of executing this plan.

The company is now receiving Green Seal certifications for a number of its properties in Hawai‘i as well as Fiji and Mauritius – making Outrigger the first hospitality brand to pursue certification in Hawai‘i and outside of the US. It also signed a Climate Coalition Pledge committing the company to inventory and track the organisation’s carbon emissions annually and developing a reduction plan with the objective of supporting the achievement of a safe, livable climate.

52 HM The Business of Accommodation GLOBAL LEADERS
Outrigger added a new Maldives property to its portfolio last year

Outrigger’s development pipeline across Oceania, Asia Pacific and our home state of Hawai‘i is robust and we look forward to sharing some announcements soon. We’ll also be communicating some exciting updates to our culinary offerings and entertainment spaces in 2023. Celebrating our 75th Anniversary, Outrigger is focused on looking forward – continuously investing heavily in our people and our product to build brand

Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School is the home of tomorrow’s hotel leaders.

Global careers start here

value and provide a barefoot luxury experience that’s rooted in the culture of the location and shared with heartfelt hospitality. n

SNAPSHOT: OUTRIGGER RESORTS AND HOTELS

Year the company was founded: 1947

Number of brands in the organisation: 3

Current number of hotels and rooms (Globally): 33 hotels; 6,000 rooms

Current number of hotels and rooms (APAC): 7 hotels; 1,000 rooms

Current number of hotels and rooms (ANZP): 26 hotels; 5,000 rooms

Head office locations: Honolulu, Thailand, Sydney

hotelmanagement.com.au 53 GLOBAL LEADERS Torrens University Australia Ltd, ABN 99 154 937 005, RTO 41343, CRICOS 03389E TUA-3923
“Outrigger remains bullish on continuing to invest in beach communities.”
Jeff Wagoner, Outrigger
Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort opened last August following renovations

Chief Executive Officer Ovolo Hotels

A time to make positive change to create a lasting impact

AFTER A PERIOD which has challenged us to think differently and evolve, the new year brings much hope and stability for us all. As I write this, China has just announced it will open to the world, and the holiday season has seen bumper room rates and occupancy as travellers make up for lost time. While there are still some bumps on the road ahead, I am confident that 2023 will be a great year for the tourism industry.

We were able to successfully open two new hotels during the pandemic across two countries – Ovolo South Yarra and Mamaka by Ovolo – and both hotels are performing better than we could have hoped. We also refurbished Laneways by Ovolo and added new and exciting F&B concepts to our portfolio. This year, we will continue our expansion, and are looking for value-add and conversion opportunities to take advantage of the recovery. Ovolo is one of Australia’s favourite brands, and we have the experience and expertise to turn around under-performing assets, with our eyes firmly on opportunities in Australasia, South-East Asia, the EU and even the US. We see great potential with the distinctive, designer By Ovolo Collective, which provides investors with the ability to collaborate with Ovolo to manage properties with existing brands.

Thanks to the vision of our founder Girish, Ovolo is a brand that stands out in a world where travellers demand different. Lifestyle hotels will lead the recovery and our design-led, generosity-driven culture sets us apart. We will continue to strengthen our experiential offerings for guests, with a focus on events, celebrations, and partnerships, to bring our destinations alive and connect people with each other and their communities. We dare to dream, and we applaud creativity and innovation, and we believe this is why we won the HM Award for ‘Hotel Brand of the Year’ for the third time in 2022.

The pandemic made us all more aware of environmental and social issues, so we head into 2023 with a laser focus on ESG. We recently launched our Do Good. Feel Good green perk, where we will plant one tree for every direct booking. As the first hotel group to introduce global veg-led menus across Ovolo hotels, we will continue to push plant-led conscious cuisine to limit our carbon footprint, and we will double our charitable giving. Working with Eden Reforestation Project, we are investing in reforestation in Nepal, using predominantly women farmers, many of whom have never been employed before. This means we can make a lasting impact and empower women not just in the workforce, but in the world at large.

Happy teams make for happy guests, so it is our promise to look after the physical and mental wellbeing of our employees, because happy people shine brightest. We have created a culture that is centred around providing a Wonder. Full. experience for both guests and staff and we live with passion and purpose. As the tourism industry faces its biggest talent crunch, it’s even more important that we create rockstar teams who are empowered and passionate about creating good vibrations for our guests. So, we are increasing development and learning opportunities for all, and are targeting equal representation in management by 2025, because we know diverse and inclusive teams create better outcomes.

As Ovolo embarks on the next phase of its growth, we are looking to the future with optimism. Let’s hope that 2023 will be the year when we all recover what was lost, and rebuild a better, more sustainable tourism industry, together. n

SNAPSHOT: OVOLO HOTELS

Year the company was founded: 2010

Year first hotel opened: 2010

Number of brands in the organisation: 2

Current number of hotels and rooms (Globally): 13 hotels; 1,146 rooms

Current number of hotels and rooms (APAC): 5 hotels; 527 rooms

Current number of hotels and rooms (ANZP): 8 hotels; 619 rooms

Head office locations: Hong Kong, Sydney

54 HM The Business of Accommodation GLOBAL LEADERS
“The pandemic made us all more aware of environmental and social issues.”
Dave Baswal, Ovolo Hotels

Ramzy Fenianos

Chief Development Officer APAC Radisson Hotel Group

A renewed confidence in hospitality and development.

2022 WAS A transformative year for Radisson Hotel Group in Asia Pacific, as the world emerged from the shadows of the global pandemic and travel rebounded rapidly.

A year that started with continued travel restrictions ended with almost complete freedom of movement, and this is reflected in the statistics. According to the UNWTO, arrivals to destinations in Asia Pacific more than tripled (+230%) in the first nine months of 2022. This rapid recovery will accelerate in 2023 as China, the world’s largest outbound market, opens up.

This positive outlook is driving renewed confidence in hospitality and development. RHG secured 40% more signings in Asia Pacific in 2022, compared to the year before, helped by a flexible and innovative development strategy that is driven by highly localised initiatives to support our owners and partners.

In India, 80% of RHG’s new deals marked our entry into new markets, such as Jim Corbett, Nainital, Palampur and Kasauli. We launched Radisson Individuals Retreats, a brand extension of Radisson Individuals. Tailored to the Indian market, the affiliation brand is an ideal fit for boutique properties with unique experiences focused on local culture, sustainability, and wellbeing. Within months of its launch, we’ve signed three boutique lifestyle retreats and opened our first property in Palampur, Himachal Pradesh.

We also introduced the midscale Park Inn and Suites by Radisson brand to the Indian market and entered into a strategic alliance with local developer, Ruptub Solutions, to add 150 Park Inn and Suites by Radisson hotels to India over the next decade. The first pilot is already completed, our first hotel signed under the brand is set to open in Guruvayur, Kerala in 2024. In addition, our core brands continued to rise in key leisure destinations such as Goa, where we unveiled a new Radisson beach resort.

In Southeast Asia and the Pacific, we’ve grown our business units in Jakarta, Sydney, Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City as part of our mission to provide exceptional on-the-ground support to our local partners.

In Thailand, the signing of five properties in top leisure destinations such as Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin, as well as a new flagship property in Bangkok, are a testament to the strength of our brands, partnerships and flexible business models. In Vietnam, we expanded our presence to four hotels with the opening of Radisson hotels in Danang and Phan Thiet. 2022 also marked our entry into Sri Lanka with the signing and opening of three hotels located in Galle, Colombo and Kandy under the Radisson Blu and Radisson brands.

RHG continues to expand rapidly in China, with a healthy mix of organic growth and Master Franchise Agreements (MFAs). In 2022, our company signed and opened more than 80 hotels in China under the Radisson RED, Park Inn by Radisson, Park Plaza and Country Inn and Suites by Radisson brands. The reopening of China to inbound visitors in 2023 will stimulate this development even further.

As the travel industry’s recovery gathers pace in 2023, RHG will continue to work side-by-side with local owners and developers to introduce our brands to even more parts of Asia Pacific, including important established markets and exciting emerging destinations all across the region. n

Radisson opened a resort in Phan Thiet, Vietnam last year

SNAPSHOT: RADISSON HOTEL GROUP

Year the company was founded: 1960

Year first hotel opened: 1960

Number of brands in the organisation: 9

Current number of hotels (Globally): 1,700 hotels

Current number of hotels (EMEA and APAC): 1,100 hotels

Head office locations (EMEA/APAC): Brussels, Singapore, Sydney

hotelmanagement.com.au 55 GLOBAL LEADERS
“A year that started with continued travel restrictions ended with almost complete freedom of movement.”
Ramzy Fenianos, Radisson Hotel Group

Chairman and President

Swiss-Belhotel International

2022 HAS BEEN a positive year for Swiss-Belhotel International. All our hotels are now fully open and fully operational. This has put considerable pressure on our executives and operational teams – but we have been so proud of how well they have taken up their responsibilities with true passion and professionalism.

We opened six hotels in 2022: Maua Nusa Penida in Bali, Indonesia – the first ever ‘Maua’ branded environment friendly luxury retreat; The Scene Cliff View Villas by Swiss-Belhotel International, Krabi, Thailand, marking our return to that market; SwissBelcourt Makassar, Indonesia; Swiss-Belcourt Bogor, Indonesia; Swiss-Belboutique Napier, New Zealand; and Swiss-Belinn Sharq, Kuwait.

We have focused on our staff and executive training through state-of-the-art online real-time training and education systems, and the staff reaction and support has been amazing. Daily and weekly communication with the whole executive team throughout the company was introduced during COVID and has proved to be so much more successful than I could ever imagine. It is amazing – and allows us to almost sit in every office and sit with every team member.

But we are in a “touch, feel and experience” industry – so the personal face-to-face service and communication is critical – and I am now back to my punishing travel schedule of flying twice per week to our operations and projects. This is also the exciting part of being the President – meeting my people and being with my people.

So, Swiss-Belhotel International is back on the road. Back into its expansion mode. Back to meeting the growth of the exciting international hotel industry. Back to excitement.

The surge of international travel over the past six months confirms that we want to meet each other; visit each other; experience each other; leverage off each other. The people of the world are a gregarious and communicative species – we behave differently but we behave similarly.

We have introduced a new experience brand, Maua, the brand name coming from the Maori language in New Zealand – my heritage, my culture, my belief. Maua is about the bringing together of people, of support, of respect, of historical acknowledgement. Our first Maua opened in Nusa Penida, Bali, Indonesia, a very special product on the top of the island of Nusa Penida which has taken the market by storm and has almost been at 100% occupancy from the opening date in June 2022.

We have also opened two new Swiss-Belcourt branded hotels in Makassar and Bogor in Indonesia, an Economy brand that represents apartment-style hospitality product.

We have opened regional offices in Malaysia and in Thailand to meet the huge expansion we have planned for these areas. We expect to open at least 20 hotels in Malaysia and Thailand in the next two years. We have already signed MOUs for many hotels and projects.

We are returning to Brisbane, Australia with the opening of Swiss-Belhotel Brisbane immediately adjacent to The Gabba Sports Ground which has huge international sports events all through the year. We will be well placed for the 2032 Olympics which will be held in Brisbane.

We are in final negotiation on a number of projects in the Philippines; Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, The Middle East, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, Indonesia and The Middle East. Our corporate goal to double the number of hotels and projects in Swiss-Belhotel International from 125 to 300 by 2025 is well on target. 2023 will be a positive year. It will have its challenges of inflation and economic recession. Success will come from our attitudes rather than the market.

This year, we are opening hotels in Brisbane and Sydney; Melaka and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia; Bangkok in Thailand; East Java, West Java, West Kalimantan, and Papua in Indonesia; and Quezon City, Philippines.

Swiss-Belhotel International will have a record business year and a record development year in 2023. Our projects are showing a 50% growth on 2022. What a trend; what challenges; wow – this is exciting. n

56 HM The Business of Accommodation GLOBAL LEADERS
Investing in people and properties to drive success.
“The surge of international travel over the last six months confirms that we want to meet each other.”
Gavin M. Faull, Swiss-Belhotel International

International Operations, Wyndham Destinations

Travel and Leisure Co.

Asia recovery still a way to go.

2023 PROMISES TO be another successful year for the international operations at Travel and Leisure Co., with the continued growth of Club Wyndham vacation clubs, major hotel openings in our management portfolio, and a focus on elevated customer experiences.

Our international region consists of some 71,000 vacation club members, approximately 75 resorts and operations across 13 countries. We are focused on growing our member base, acquiring properties suited to our vacation clubs, as well as mixed-use and pure-play hotel management opportunities.

We are in interesting times. Leisure travel is back, but while most markets are shaking off the shackles of the pandemic, China has only just opened its borders. Interest rates, inflation and a dramatic increase in the cost of air travel are impacting travel choices, and while we are seeing international traveller numbers rise, Asia as a whole has been a slower recovery. As such, we are still largely focused on serving the domestic markets within the countries that we operate. Fiji is an exception – Club Wyndham Denarau Island been operating above 90% occupancy since March 2022, filled with international visitors. This is pleasing to see, when you consider how the Fijian people (with an economy so largely reliant on tourism) were impacted by the border closures of 2020 and 2021.

Our refurbishment program is perpetual and in 2022, we completed a robust calendar of works. In Australia, this included upgrades at Ramada Golden Beach, Ramada Shoal Bay, and Club Wyndham Airlie Beach, including the addition of three Presidential Suites, which are proving very popular.

We also added to our hotel management portfolio, taking on the management of Wyndham Hua Hin Pranburi Resort & Villas in Thailand, Zenmaya Oceanfront Phuket, Trademark Collection by Wyndham, and the 130-room Wyndham Garden Sapporo Odori in Japan. This March, the 120-room TRYP by Wyndham Pulteney Street Adelaide will open its doors. TRYP is a youthful vibrant brand and the hotel will certainly be the city’s hippest new place to stay.

At all our properties, sustainability is a priority with energy saving, composting, biodegradable room entry swipes, bulk dispensers for amenities, and car charging bays (at select resorts), just some initiatives in place.

As the world returns to travel, our need to attract and retain great talent is crucial. We have offered more

benefits across the business to retain associates, and increased our referral payouts. We continue to lead the industry when it comes to our healthcare, mental health, and wellbeing benefits. As a result, Travel and Leisure Co. was recognised by Forbes Magazine as one of the World’s Best Employers for 2022. n

SNAPSHOT: TRAVEL AND LEISURE CO.

Year the company was founded in Australia: 2000

Year first hotel opened in Australia: 2000

Number of brands in the organisation: 20

Current number of resorts and rooms (Globally): 245+ resorts; 26,000+ suites

Current number of resorts and rooms (APAC): 75 hotels and resorts; 4,500 rooms

Current number of hotels and rooms (ANSP): 44 hotels; 1,145 rooms

Head office locations: Singapore, Gold Coast, Orlando

hotelmanagement.com.au 57 GLOBAL LEADERS
Club Wyndham continues to expand its vacation clubs
“Our need to attract and retain great talent is crucial.”
Barry Robinson, Travel and Leisure Co.

Leanne Harwood

President, Accommodation Association

accommodation association

THIS YEAR IS going to be a great year for Australia’s accommodation sector. Sure, 2022 threw the box at us with ongoing COVID breakouts, workforce challenges and the continuing fracturing of supply chains, yet, we made it through. We are proud to have been our members’ advocates as we have worked together to meet the challenges, develop the solutions and ensure the contributions of our sector and people are appropriately recognised.

We were delighted to finish 2022 with the decision from the Fair Work Commission allowing the secret postal ballot of members on the amalgamation of our association with Tourism Accommodation Australia to take place earlier than expected. The Australian Electoral Commission oversees the process with the ballot closing 13 February 2023. Following the ballot and depending on the outcome, the Fair Work Commission will then make its final orders regarding the proposed amalgamation.

The amalgamation working group has invested 19 months of time and effort in developing a robust and detailed case to present to the Commission and it was rewarding to see that deliver results as we move closer towards this historic merger.

At the same time, we have continued to deliver for members. Our wins included:

• the Federal Budget announcement of AU$48 million over four years from 2022-23 to support recruitment and marketing in the tourism and travel sectors, and for infrastructure upgrades for caravan parks, including a AU$10 million commitment to support the Accommodation Association’s The Hub platform to connect people to vacancies, foster skills development and showcase tourism as a career

• putting the proposed ‘bed tax’ aka ‘visitor levy’ to bed

• an investment of over $5.6 million from the Victorian Government to support paid training for up to 400 priority cohort jobseekers as part of a new Accommodation Association Victorian Jobs program

• representation at the Federal Government’s Jobs and

58 HM The Business of Accommodation INDUSTRY LEADERS
A milestone year ahead as associations prepare to merge.
“Together we are stronger.”
Leanne Harwood, Accommodation Association
Tourism Accommodation Australia and the Accommodation Association are working towards proposed merger this year

Skills Summit and ongoing engagement with key Federal Ministers and decision makers

• ongoing involvement in the Federal Government’s Thrive 2030 strategy for recovery of Australia’s visitor economy recovery

• advocacy around the re-opening of Australia’s international border and resumption of cruising after the two-year ban

• ongoing advocacy on the need for urgent action on regional housing to free up sufficient long-term rental accommodation to support regional employees

• the NSW Government’s Parents NSW and Stay NSW voucher programs

• the Victorian Government’s Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme extension which effectively provided an additional two months of rent relief and protection for small and medium businesses.

Thank you to all our members, to my fellow Council Members, and to the Association team for your support and guidance in helping the Accommodation Association deliver for you in 2022. This year is a milestone year for our association and our sector as we look to finalise the plans shaped over so many years to form a single, united voice for Australia’s accommodation sector. Together we are stronger. n

The Accommodation Association helped secure $48 million over four years to support recruitment and marketing in the tourism and travel sectors

INDUSTRY LEADERS

James Doolan Strategic Director, Hotel Council Aotearoa

The New Zealand hospitality industry needs to deliver on service and value for money in 2023.

WITHOUT DOUBT, THINGS are looking much rosier for Kiwi hotels in 2023 than they were 12 months ago. It’s worth reminding ourselves that New Zealand’s international borders were still effectively closed in January 2022, with possible reopening signaled for the start of summer 2022/23.

Thankfully, robust advocacy from Hotel Council

Aotearoa (HCA) and others contributed to an earlier loosening of travel restrictions, which likely saved many hundreds of jobs and businesses. Consistent messaging around that fundamental truth – that New Zealand’s tourism economy would permanently suffer if forced to survive on domestic business alone – is a piece of work I’m proud of as we look back on 2022.

Unfortunately, HCA could not replicate our advocacy success in other areas. New Zealand, like many other countries, is suffering from a massive shortage of tourism and hospitality workers. It’s near impossible to fill entry-level hospitality jobs, especially in resort locations such as Queenstown which are also experiencing a cost-of-living squeeze. HCA clearly signposted the looming labour shortage to government in mid-2020 – well before border reopening was even a thing – but we failed to get buy-in for targeted policies and interventions to make it easier to attract foreign workers to fill the gaps.

As a direct result of chronic labour shortages, stories of limited service and reduced opening hours are now commonplace throughout New Zealand. A key servicedelivery pressure point in 2023 will be the FIFA Women’s World Cup, which is being co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia. New Zealand’s true ability to deliver international travellers an even adequate experience will be fully tested on the world stage.

Over time, technological changes (self-service, anyone?) and more domestic training and career pathways will no doubt help to ease some of the global

60 HM The Business of Accommodation
“It’s the basics that matter in 2023.”
James Doolan, Hotel Council Aotearoa
New Zealand’s tourism industry continues to grapple with staff shortages

reliance on migrant workers in tourism and hospitality. But the fact that isolated locations with low populations turn to imported hospitality workers is not a market failure and will never go away completely. It’s important that government policymaking is more nuanced and thoughtful around this topic, especially when tourism was once New Zealand’s largest export earner.

The biggest challenge and opportunity for 2023 is undoubtedly the return of outbound Chinese travel. Countries that welcome and host those first waves of outbound Chinese travellers in the best possible way will be the most successful tourist destinations for the next decade. That means, ensuring visa processing is efficient and dependable; not imposing unnecessary COVID-related testing regimes; welcoming Chinese travellers warm-heartedly and sympathetically following the recent upsurge in COVID cases there. Finally, while acknowledging that costs have increased and dynamic pricing is an industry reality, we must still strive to deliver value-for-money. Otherwise, long-term reputations will take a hit.

Once again, it’s the basics that matter in 2023. Ultimately, the COVID period will be remembered for the constant overhang of fear, restriction, illness and death. Successful hotels, tourism businesses and countries

Successful hotels, tourism businesses and countries will be those that actively create hassle-free and life-affirming travel experiences. In 2023, guests are once again seeking the joy of travel

will be those that actively create hassle-free and lifeaffirming travel experiences. In 2023, guests are once again seeking the joy of travel. n

hotelmanagement.com.au 61 INDUSTRY LEADERS

CEO, Tourism Accommodation Australia

Interim CEO, Accommodation Association

Resilient industry prepares to speak with one united voice.

FINGERS CROSSED 2023 will finally be the year our mighty accommodation sector speaks with one voice to government at all levels.

In December, the Fair Work Commission gave the go ahead for the next stage of the proposed amalgamation of the Accommodation Association of Australia (AA) and Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA), including approving an AA member vote.

That secret ballot of AA members is now underway. If the anticipated outcome is positive, the Fair Work Commission will then make its final orders regarding the proposed amalgamation which will see the new united body, Accommodation Australia, formed hopefully by mid-2023.

This could not come at a better time for an industry still recovering from the impacts of the worst pandemic in 100 years and still dealing with crippling staff shortages.

We just have to look back at 2022 to see we are not out of the woods yet. It was a year of challenges with hotels starting off on sub 20% occupancies.

Advocacy for a range of initiatives such as voucher programs in various states – including NSW – was successful in stimulating domestic leisure demand with hotels operating back in the 80% zone by November. Some regional areas, in particular, have boomed throughout the year, which is obviously pleasing to see.

However, even in ‘boom areas’ staff and skills shortages are still a major concern, with widespread support for the removal of the cap on international student hours being extended until 30 June 2023.

It was good to see the incoming Albanese Government

tackle the skilled and unskilled worker shortage head on; the visa backlog was immediately addressed with AU$36.1 million awarded to employ an additional 500 employees to help rectify the problem and start clearing the backlog to finally bring much needed workers into Australia.

The Government also honoured its pre-election pledges of AU$48 million towards tourism and hospitality – another great win for us, with AU$10 million specifically awarded to The Hub for an employment and training portal to support the visitor economies’ labour and skills shortages.

Looking ahead to what I’m positive will be a brighter 2023 for our industry, major events will play a key role right across Australia.

With the international market still sluggish, and slow to return to pre-pandemic levels (we will get there!), major events along with strong domestic leisure business will be the driver of strong occupancies, average rates and ultimately RevPAR growth.

I look forward to a busier, brighter 2023 as our resilient industry speaks with one united voice for the first time for the benefit of all members – big and small –right across Australia. n

62 HM The Business of Accommodation INDUSTRY LEADERS
Festivals and
in
events will drive occupancies
2023
“Major events will play a key role right across Australia.”
Michael Johnson, Tourism Accommodation Australia
www.ahbeardcommerical.com

Phillipa Harrison Managing Director, Tourism Australia

Travellers seeking adventure, wellness, food and drink during their stays.

2022 MARKED A significant turning point for Australia’s tourism industry and, after a challenging few years, there were some notable highlights. A key moment in 2022 was the reopening of Australia’s borders to the world in February. We were so excited to welcome international visitors back to our shores after a two-year pause and it was great to be at Sydney International Airport in person to warmly welcome visitors arriving on the first flights as borders reopened. Another key moment was the launch of our new global brand campaign, Come and Say G’day, to remind international travellers why There’s Nothing Like Australia. Whilst it is still early days for the campaign, and we expect it to run for several years, we are already seeing good results.

Of course, as parts of the tourism industry have been rebuilding from the ground up there have been some challenges along the way. Aviation capacity, which is so critical to Australia, has been growing and we expect that trend to continue in 2023. By the end of 2022, international inbound seat capacity levels to Australia had climbed back to 68%, when compared to 2019 levels. That capacity is forecast to rise to 75% by March this year and up again to 83% by June. Another challenge across the industry, not only in Australia but around the world, is staff shortages. But we know the tourism industry is a fantastic industry to work in and we expect people will come back to the fantastic opportunities available.

As tourism globally continues to emerge from the pandemic we believe travellers, who have been so travel restricted, will have different expectations when it comes to overseas travel. That is why, late last year, Tourism Australia released new research on the future of travel

and tourism demand. With so much change over the past two years the research was very timely and was designed to support the tourism industry to make decisions about where demand exists and ways to maximise the opportunities in this recovery period. The research found that travellers are seeking adventure, wellness, food and drink. There is also a growing demand for sustainability, accessibility and Indigenous tourism experiences.

Looking ahead, we are incredibly positive about the outlook for the tourism industry this year and beyond. During 2022, international visitor arrival numbers were steadily growing and have now recovered to more than half of pre-pandemic levels. There is no doubt there is still plenty of work to do and Tourism Australia’s new Brand Ambassador, Ruby the Roo, will be hard at work encouraging travellers around the world to visit our shores. As 2023 unfolds we hope to see inbound visitor numbers normalise towards the end of the year as we build back international tourism to pre-COVID levels. As we work towards this goal, we look forward to working with all of our industry partners across our trade and consumer marketing initiatives to bring back more international visitors to Australia. n

64 HM The Business of Accommodation INDUSTRY LEADERS
“We are incredibly positive about the outlook for the tourism industry this year.”
Phillipa Harrison, Tourism Australia
Hopes are high that international visitor numbers will normalise towards the end of 2023

Margy Osmond

Chief Executive Officer

Tourism and Transport Forum

Making Australia attractive and accessible for working holidaymakers.

CAN YOU BELIEVE January marks a full year since Australia reopened its borders to the world? Since then, our tourism industry has shown remarkable resilience in recovering from the pandemic. While 2023 still brings some uncertainty, I’m optimistic the sector will bounce back even stronger this year.

2022 saw a boom in domestic tourism that shows no sign of slowing. The monthly Hemisphere Digital TRiiiPS spend predictor, enabled by Visa, shows Australians are spending more on holidaying locally now, than preCOVID and I expect this will continue. While our research suggests cost-of-living pressures forced some Australians to adjust their summer holiday plans, the appetite to travel remains strong. We may just see more Australians choose to holiday here than overseas. More Aussies are appreciating the tourism experiences in their own backyard and saving money at the same time.

Despite the recovery of domestic tourism, international visitors to Australia are still below preCOVID levels and may not exceed them until 2025. Not only are we facing the most competitive tourism market the world has ever seen, but the extent of the return of Chinese tourism, which was our largest source market pre-COVID, remains uncertain. That’s why global campaigns, like Tourism Australia’s new ambassador Ruby the Roo, are crucial to encourage

international visitors from a broad range of countries to return. As more flights become available, and the world regains confidence in Australia as a safe and enjoyable destination, things should improve. We should see a significant lift in international visitors in the first half of this year.

Our cities have struggled with fewer business travellers and more Australians working from home. But despite fewer workers returning to the office full-time, more people are flocking to our CBDs to enjoy major events, arts and entertainment. Our DSpark research shows more people are heading into cities in Australia after hours and on weekends than before the pandemic. Attractions like the new Sydney Modern Project at the Art Gallery of NSW are thriving. We need to keep investing in our arts and cultural sectors to attract people back into our CBDs throughout 2023.

Sustainability will be high on the agenda this year, with increasing demand globally for nature-based experiences. Australia is perfectly placed to offer these experiences, with First Nations, industry and government working together. It’s also an opportunity to promote health through activities like hiking and increase conservation efforts to help protect Australia’s national parks.

The skills shortage was a key challenge in 2022 and will continue to hurt our sector. Staff lost during COVID are proving difficult to replace so what more can we do? Thankfully, the Federal Government has been reviewing the migration system and any worthy recommendations to increase the tourism workforce must be acted on swiftly. I’d also like to see the age limit for working holidaymakers increased from 35 to 50, to attract overseas workers with a wider range of skills for our sector. It’s also important we maintain the rules requiring backpackers to work in agriculture for three months to extend their visas. However, perhaps it’s time to consider a similar scheme for other industries, like tourism, which are struggling to attract staff.

Despite the challenges we face, I’m looking forward to starting this year with one of the biggest celebrations Sydney has ever seen. From February 17, Sydney World Pride is set to attract half a million people to celebrate LGBTQIA+ visibility. I hope to see you there! n

Sydney World Pride is set to attract half a million people

hotelmanagement.com.au 65 INDUSTRY LEADERS
“We should see a significant lift in international visitors in the first half of this year.”
Margy Osmond, Tourism and Transport Forum

Peter Deveny Group Commercial Manager, A.H. Beard

Hotel owners are seeking sustainable and locally-made solutions.

2022 HAS BEEN an incredible year for us at AH Beard in many ways. Like many Australian manufacturers, we have enjoyed sustained support for our products across all of our distribution channels, including the continued growth of our Hospitality and Export categories in particular.

Demand for high quality, Australian made products is growing all around the globe and we have been approached by potential partners in many new territories, as well as seeing significant growth in existing markets as businesses reopened and customers returned.

Our commercial business across Australia and New Zealand has enjoyed strong demand and continues to grow at a sustained and strong rate.

The pipeline of new hotels being built here remains strong and we’re excited by the number of new brands and operators that are looking to our region as an area of great opportunity for growth.

We feel strongly that our region’s reputation as being safe, clean and spectacularly beautiful will continue to drive travel hungry tourists here in increasing numbers and that demand for high quality hotels and resorts will see the current development surge continue.

We’re encouraged by the growth in properties that want to leave as little impact on the environment as possible, without sacrificing comfort and luxury as they challenge the concept of “luxury hotels”. This thinking aligns perfectly with our vision of premium sleep, using natural materials, hand crafting products that deliver outstanding performance whilst being gentle on our landscape and environment. We feel confident that this focus will drive innovation in product design and construction with new materials and techniques being

used to deliver better outcomes in terms of product performance and life cycle.

We are continually being approached by hotel owners and operators who want to talk about sustainability and how we can help them achieve a better outcome when choosing their new beds. Our Origins range is the first mattress in the world to achieve Global Green Tag’s Platinum approval and are fully recyclable, another world first. This range will be available to our commercial customers early in 2023 and we are looking forward to seeing it featuring in the rooms of properties who genuinely want to make a difference to their guests, not only through the life of the bed but also after it.

The focus on quality and local manufacturing isn’t confined to our hotel customers, we recently won a tender to supply Australia’s biggest miner with in excess of 10,000 beds for their WA mining accommodation and a key condition of their selection process was the need for the product to be Australian made. You’ll hear more about that early in the new year, as both of us are excited to talk about the great synergies between our respective businesses.

We are enormously excited by our new brand advertising campaign, which kicked off late in 2022, focusing on our passion for premium sleep. As the year progresses, you will see more of this advertising and hear more about why we believe that premium sleep is so important to each and every one of us. n

66 HM The Business of Accommodation LEADING SUPPLIERS
“We’re encouraged by the growth in properties that want to leave as little impact on the environment as possible.”
Peter Deveny, A.H. Beard
A.H. Beard’s Origins range will be available to commercial customers from early 2023

Executive General Manager, ahs hospitality

Supporting diversity at the heart of hotels.

AFTER A CHALLENGING start to the year, it has been fantastic to see the tourism industry recover so quickly. Now we are past critical labour shortages, we must turn our thoughts to retention of our teams and develop our superstars so that we can collectively grow the level of knowledge and experience across the sector.

We have built an incredibly strong leadership team at ahs hospitality over the last year with our Operational General Managers in each state holding deep-rooted experience as Hotel General Managers, bringing with them a firm grasp on the pressure points for our clients. Our nationwide Human Resources team are continuing to prioritise the optimisation of our training and succession planning in collaboration with industry partners.

As our teams stabilise, we are in a position to start working on our social commitments, and one key part of this is our Reconciliation Action Plan, which was endorsed this year by Reconciliation Australia. We have genuine commitments to support sustainable employment and growth opportunities within ahs

hospitality – and not just for our Indigenous colleagues but also through our foundations in the Hospitality Disability Network. Supporting this level of diversity brings real heart to what we already consider the ‘heart of the hotel’.

With economic challenges on the horizon, we are optimistic about hotel occupancies remaining buoyant, albeit somewhat more stable, particularly from April onwards. We are looking forward to a busy year of supporting our partners throughout 2023. n

Managing Director – Australia, Assa Abloy Global Solutions

Cloud-based solutions reshaping industry operations.

FOR THE GLOBAL accommodation industry, much of 2022 was a time of resurgence and renewed growth. With the brunt of the pandemic behind us and thanks to the availability of new technologies, guest reservation numbers have seen a much welcomed uptick, while service quality standards have only become more exceptional. Yet with guest expectations ever-increasing and with businesses becoming more competitive, advances in technology have certainly not slowed and are set to further redefine what it means to achieve success in today’s industry.

Arguably, topping the list of technologies reshaping industry operations are cloud-based solutions. From PMS to access management systems, cloud-designed solutions are fast eclipsing older alternatives due to being inherently more secure, customisable, responsive and just as important for business budgets, as they are scalable and able to evolve as business needs progress.

Yet not all technologies set to make a big impact on the industry in 2023 are completely new – some have been

available for a time but continue to evolve to keep pace with changing guest preferences. An example is digital key services, where more advanced solutions can now provide users with the option to store and use room keys within digital wallets located on personal devices. Selfcheck tablets located at hotel front desks are also enabling guests to check in and out faster while enabling hotel staff to focus their time on guests that need assistance. Additionally, the importance of CSG has increased the focus on energy management within hotel rooms to save energy while still providing guests with a comfortable environment when they arrive. n

hotelmanagement.com.au 67 LEADING SUPPLIERS hospitality
“We must turn our thoughts to retention of our teams and develop our superstars.”
Leanne Graham, ahs hospitality
“Cloud-designed solutions are fast eclipsing older alternatives.”
Michael Benikos, Assa Abloy

Jerome Casteigt

General Manager, Business and Hospitality Torrens University Australia

Investing in hospitality’s future leaders.

IT HAS BEEN great to see the hospitality industry bounce back in a big way as the world reopens. What thrills us more is knowing that the best is still to come. But first, let’s reflect on an extraordinary 2022.

Kicking 2022 off with a bang, we launched our cutting-edge Extended Reality and Virtual Reality simulated training hotel, designed specifically for hotel management education. Torrens University won multiple awards for this incredible innovation, including the ASCILITE Innovation award, as well as being recognised as one of Australia and New Zealand’s Most Innovative Companies in AFR’s prestigious annual list for the third year running. This innovation is the way Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School is keeping hotel management students fresh, excited and engaged.

Now as we look to 2023, it’s essential that we invest in training and equipping talented young leaders to deal with the challenges we continue to face. Staff shortages endure across the hospitality industry, while

Benjamin Krieg Vice President Operations, Futurelog Oceania

The need for automation and increased operational efficiency as well as smart investments in technology will continue to dominate this year.

2022 WAS ANOTHER year of significant growth at FutureLog. We extended our global footprint to seven offices including new locations in Paris and Singapore, and the size of our global organisation more than doubled to over 120 team members, with our Oceania office in Sydney growing dramatically. We re-launched our mobile app for greater simplicity, speed and efficiency, and our desktop application also underwent a complete development and UX overhaul.

With many businesses continuing to face staffing challenges, technology that streamlines and expedites processes remains crucial in 2023. Effectively managing staff resources will only become more important and ensuring efficiency in procurement spend and processes will be fundamental to improving profitability, given the high inflationary pressures all businesses will be navigating.

With margins in mind, I believe that a robust menu and recipe strategy is one key opportunity for savvy operators and F&B teams this year. Being able to easily evaluate a menu and make smart, data-driven decisions

an accelerating digital revolution continues to shape the landscape for operators worldwide. Transitioning to a sustainable, net-zero hospitality industry is also now a top priority for many major hotel brands, and for a growing market of eco-conscious travellers.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned during the past two years, it’s the importance of great leadership during times of crisis.

Great leaders see opportunity in disruption. Great leaders understand that vision, courage and innovation aren’t optional, they are necessary in order to adapt and evolve. Right now, the industry needs great leaders, and great leaders need the best education they can get. n

about the profitability of each dish and the larger overall macro analysis of all outlets will be essential to contribute to improved profits. Our newly-enhanced Recipe Module helps customers to calculate menu profitability quickly and easily, factoring in the costs of labour, raw ingredients, and other expenses to give accurate, realtime insights and menu-engineering reports.

In addition to the advantages brought about by automation, having a single, centralised location like ours for all P2P tasks is hugely beneficial, especially for businesses with multiple properties.

From my conversations with industry stakeholders, it’s clear that 2023 will be the year for prioritising efficiency and making smart investments in technology to support that. n

68 HM The Business of Accommodation LEADING SUPPLIERS
“Great leaders see opportunity in disruption.”
Jerome Casteigt, Torrens University

Scott Wiedemann National Manager – Accommodation Foxtel Business

Understanding the viewing habits of domestic and international guests

AS WE LOOK ahead to this year, tourism and international travel is growing each month, in-person conferences and key events are back, and some tourist destinations are seeing more visitors than they had prepandemic. From Foxtel’s side of things, over the past 12 months we have grown our Business iQ product to over 10,000 screens installed nationally with around the same again in the pipeline, and we’ve launched our streaming Business iQ product for smaller accommodation properties and businesses. We’ve also extended the AFL and cricket broadcast rights until 2031 and formed a commercial partnership with the Reivernet Group to assist in the network space.

The whole accommodation industry has been affected by rising power and food costs as well as experiencing staffing and supply chain issues and Foxtel too has been affected by these post-pandemic challenges. Our challenge has been to navigate through these times without compromising the product or content we provide to our customers. The outlook for 2023 is very exciting. Our Business iQ user interface will be receiving an impressive facelift, we have added ‘vuReel’ technology which enables the creation and management of streamed custom in-house channels, we are further increasing our exclusive 4K/Ultra HD content offering, we recently launched a 24/7 WWE channel and are constantly reinvesting in key content rights and technology upgrades. 2023 will also see us further solidify our commercial relationships with our loyal partners as we strive to create a greater guest experience together.

A key focus throughout the year will be preparing for the national switch-off from underground cable. Our dedicated technicians will be busy migrating hundreds of commercial cable customers over to satellite or streaming. As a result of this project, we have increased our resourcing in project management and support to ensure no one is impacted with loss of service.

Throughout 2023, Foxtel will also continue to create awareness of how guests are consuming entertainment in hotels when provided with different entertainment options. With the emergence of casting, there is a misconception in the marketplace that guests prefer to bring their own content and cast. The viewing habits of guests in hotels that have Business iQ shows that when given the choice, guests overwhelmingly prefer not to cast. Data analytics from Business iQ Hotels in 2022 show guests spent 97% of their time watching live TV & Foxtel On Demand vs just 3% casting. Whilst guests may or may not leave a negative review about lack of TV content if they’re only provided with casting, the lack of content

offering may affect their decision to come back to the hotel. Having casting as your only TV entertainment also doesn’t meet international travellers’ viewing preferences as their own streaming apps can often be geo-blocked. It’s a competitive market for business which has the accommodation industry motivated to provide their guests with a more enhanced and personalised experience. We look forward to the journey ahead with our partners with the primary objective of providing guests with a better experience. Hopefully Foxtel can contribute in a small way to achieving this goal. n

hotelmanagement.com.au 69 LEADING SUPPLIERS
“There is a misconception in the marketplace that guests prefer to bring their own content and cast.”
Scott Wiedemann, Foxtel Business
Foxtel data shows guests spent 97% of their time watching live TV & Foxtel On Demand vs just 3% casting

Heinrich Saayman Director, HoneyBadger/Simplifi

Global supply chain issues will continue to impact industry.

HONEYBADGER TECHNOLOGIES HAD a very exciting 2022. With Simplifi Solutions merging with us, we have created a highly diverse company (HoneyBadger/ Simplifi) that offers the very best in fully integrated guest room entertainment technology, networks, communications solutions and security, from design through to installation and support.

We have delivered multiple installations including four Marriott Hotels around Australia, two Nesuto properties in Perth and Melbourne, the Silky Oaks Lodge in the Daintree, as well as the new JW Marriott Auckland.

One of the highlights for us was the stand-out performance of our partner ANTLABS at the Soccer World Cup in Qatar. They were responsible for providing the Wi-Fi for eight stadiums with seating capacity from 40,000 to 80,000 spectators at a time. HoneyBadger/ Simplifi is proud to continue to offer this best of breed technology to our clients and the industry.

Craig Coughlin

Chief Executive Officer, LUXXE

Setting a new baseline for future performance.

AS I LOOK back and evaluate 2022 and what it meant for LUXXE and our team members across the country, it is important to acknowledge our achievements as well as learn from the challenges we were faced with.

Back in 2020, we saw our workforce reduce by approximately 70% as the pandemic took hold, borders were closed, and lockdowns became the norm. We made a conscious decision throughout 2021 and the majority of 2022 not to grow the business even though there was unprecedented demand for outsourcing – the most important thing for us was to retain our current clients and ensure we focused on servicing their requirements; it was not the right time to look at top line revenue growth.

We knew that 2022 was going to be a year of rebuilding our workforce and that this would be challenging due to massive labour shortages but through investment in technology and a focused approach by the People and Culture team we would slowly, but surely, get there.

We have seen revenue increase back to 2019 levels, however, the challenges facing recruitment, training, higher hourly rates, increasing expenses and a very casual workforce have meant that below the line costs are now far greater than in previous years. This has put

Both Dave Lowthian and I have found that during 2022, there have been challenges with product availability due to global supply chain issues and we believe that this will continue to be an issue. The rising costs of labour and parts and transport will continue to have an impact on the industry as a whole in 2023 and we believe that strong technology investments can help offset some of these costs.

2023 is already shaping up to be a good year for the company, with numerous local and international projects in the pipeline. We are confident that our high level of integration, best of breed solutions and proven track record will enable hoteliers and developers to see the long-term benefits of working with us.

immense pressure on margins and has meant general pricing increases across the board.

Further enhancement of our employee value proposition, team engagement as well as a complete review of our reward and recognition program is our priority for 2023 and staff retention is now more important than ever. We have also recently rolled out a Financial Wellness program with our partners in which our team members can have early access to wages, set up savings accounts and even access financial coaching.

Our workforce is now back to 2019 levels, and we see 2023 as a year to create a baseline for future performance as the past three years have been far from normal. n

70 HM The Business of Accommodation LEADING SUPPLIERS
“There have been challenges with product availability due to global supply chain issues.”
Heinrich Saayman, HoneyBadger/Simplifi
“There was unprecedented demand for outsourcing.”
Craig Coughlin, LUXXE

David Elia Chief Executive Officer, Hostplus Confidence is returning to the hospitality industry.

I WAS EXCEPTIONALLY proud that Hostplus delivered number-one ranked returns for members in our Balanced option in 2022.

We were one of only a few funds that returned a positive result for our MySuper Balanced option over the 12 months to 30 June, beating all other balanced options surveyed according to SuperRatings. Plus, over the long term, our Balanced option is ranked by SuperRatings in this survey as the number one MySuper option over 10, 15 and 20 years, using the most recent available data. These outstanding results mean more money in our members’ accounts for their retirement.

We were also awarded the 2023 SuperRatings’ Fund of the Year. SuperRatings judge the award across three key categories: strong investment performance, competitive fees, and an ongoing focus on member services. It was great recognition for our ongoing commitment to improving the retirement outcomes for our 1.6 million members.

In April, we transitioned 140,000 members, 24,000 employers and $11 billion in funds under management into our fund from South-Australian-based Statewide Super. This has cemented our position as a truly national, multi-sector industry fund, and one of Australia’s 10 largest super funds by funds under management. Our growth plans also include a merger with Maritime Super in 2023.

We also delivered some great products and services last year. We launched three new investment options in March, expanded the direct investment options within our Choiceplus platform to include more climate-themed ETFs, announced our commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and redesigned our website.

And we now offer greater flexibility with our financial advice services. Through our dedicated Hostplus Advice 1300 number (1300 303 188), a friendly and professional Advice Support Officer can get a member general superannuation information faster. That’s because they’re now licensed to provide general advice, at no additional cost.

For members who need personal advice about planning for retirement from one of our comprehensive financial planners, our flexible pricing structure, which starts at $295, gives you more control. You decide the level of advice you want, and pay for it as you go. Of course, if you’re looking for personal advice about contributions, investments and insurance relating to just your Hostplus account, these services are still included as part of your membership fee.

It’s been great to see some buoyancy return to the hospitality and tourism sector after an extremely tough few years. 2022 has also presented its challenges, notably

staff shortages and the related impact on long-serving team members.

Nonetheless, it’s evident that confidence is returning to the industry. We’ve seen strong contributions and new members joining through hospitality and tourism employers into Hostplus.

We’re also continuing to experience significant new member joins through our personal division. Overall, we welcomed more than 220,000 new members over the last financial year – that’s outside mergers. This brought our total membership to 1.6 million. It’s a great indication that our core sectors of hospitality and tourism are faring well.

Our upcoming merger with Maritime Super will be a big focus for us this year. Plus, we’ll continue to focus on uplifting our digital member services such as our mobile app, website and member portal.

It goes without saying that our number one objective is to continue delivering the best possible investment returns to our members. We aim to do this while keeping our admin fee low. This is our core focus and we’ve proven we can deliver on it. That’s a plus. n

hotelmanagement.com.au 71 LEADING SUPPLIERS
“It’s evident that confidence is returning to the industry.” David Elia, Hostplus
Hostplus has seen buoyancy return to the hospitality and tourism sector after an extremely tough few years

Antony Raiteri

National Commercial Accounts Manager Sealy of Australia

Innovation top of the agenda.

SEALY POSTUREPEDIC IS a proud family-owned and operated company with a legacy of dedication, commitment and hard work. We are Australia’s leading bedding manufacturer, driven by our passion for supported sleep. Our focus on orthopaedic research and innovation helps us to provide mattresses and bedding solutions that are second to none.

Research and development are at the heart of what we do. We conduct extensive testing on components, materials and prototypes in our nationally accredited laboratory — the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere. This provides a foundation for unmatched product performance. We can say with confidence that all of our products are designed to provide superior support, comfort and durability.

Our focus in 2023 is to provide a comprehensive,

personalised service across the hospitality sector in both regional and metropolitan areas for all levels of accommodation providers. This might seem simple, but very few bedding manufacturers (if any) have the infrastructure or the resources to deliver this level of support.

Our six state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities across Australia and New Zealand ensure that we can provide coverage, deliver on expectations and service customers across the entire region with optimal turnaround times on all our products.

Sealy recognises the importance of environmental responsibility. We are proud to report that over 90% of the materials in our mattresses are recyclable. Throughout 2023, we will have an even greater focus on sustainability and minimising our carbon footprint.

This year will also mark a special milestone for the Sealy company, reaching 100 years of manufacturing bedding in Australia.

When you purchase a Sealy, you can rest assured that your guests will sleep supported. n

72 HM The Business of Accommodation LEADING SUPPLIERS
RETURNING IN OCTOBER 2023 ahice.co.nz Hosted by:

Terry Ngan

Director of Hotel Operations, CP Group

New Zealand focuses on rebuild and recovery in 2023.

2022 WAS A positive year for CP Group’s 25 hotels in New Zealand as the country emerged from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic. Five of our hotels in MIQ (Managed Isolation and Quarantine) returned to normal trading in June 2022 but in Auckland this added room inventory (combined with other MIQ hotels) and lack of overseas visitors suppressed Auckland market wide hotel occupancy in the second half of 2022 to mid-60%. Our Wellington hotels, like the overall market, achieved reasonable occupancy in 2022 and strong room rates due to major events and reduced hotel inventory. This trend will continue in 2023 after the new Takina Wellington Convention and Exhibition Centre opens in May 2023 benefitting hotels strongly for three years until the new SkyCity convention centre opens in late 2025. Our Fable Christchurch hotel, like most hotels in Christchurch, benefitted greatly from the new Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre which opened in May 2022. This helped push market-wide monthly occupancy over 70% in the second half of 2022, accompanied by strong room rates. The rebuilding of Christchurch following its devastating earthquake 10 years ago, including a new stadium opening in two years’ time, will ensure demand for Christchurch hotels remains strong. With no COVID quarantine restrictions in place for international visitors to New Zealand, all cities and regions will benefit from increased occupancies and room rates in 2023. This is essential to recovering significant cost increases in the hotel industry, particularly in payroll costs which have increased over 20% since 2019. This visitor growth in 2023 will be supplemented by strong conference and event demand, particularly from the new Te Pae and Takina convention centres and the FIFA Women’s World Football Cup in July-August 2023 and final qualifying games in February 2023.

2022 was the first full year of trading for two of CP Group’s four hotels acquired in 2021, Fable Christchurch and Fable Terrace Downs golf resort, one hour out of Christchurch. These two hotels along with three other Fable-branded hotels in Auckland and Dunedin have helped Fable Hotels, the only dedicated luxury hotel brand in New Zealand, to earn a solid market reputation. CPG Hotels, the in-house management company of CP Group, now manages 13 hotels and 800 rooms – up from five hotels when the company started in 2015 – and plans to launch a new and exciting middle market brand in mid-2023 to complement its Fable brand.

CP Group also announced in 2022 that it had entered into management contracts with Accor to manage three hotels – Tribe and Jo&Joe in Auckland and Hyde in Queenstown – after their refurbishment in 2023. CP Group rounded out 2022 with the joint acquisition of the 286-

room centrally located Stamford Auckland and rebranding it to the luxury JW Marriott brand in December 2022, with a major refurbishment in 2023-2024.

Key staff challenges in 2022, staff and skills shortages and COVID illness, should hopefully be alleviated in 2023 due to New Zealand’s borders opening up to the return of overseas workers and international students, as long as work visas are processed by Immigration New Zealand quicker than has been the case in the last 12 months. n

SNAPSHOT: CP GROUP

Year first hotel opened: 1995

Brands in the organisation: Accor brands (SO, Sofitel, Movenpick, Pullman, MGallery Novotel, Ibis); Fable (5 hotels run by in-house management company); and CPG (8 hotels run by in-house management company)

Current number of hotels and rooms (Globally): 33 hotels

Current number of hotels and rooms (Asia-Pacific): 28 hotels

Current number of hotels and rooms (ANZP): 28 hotels; 2600 rooms

Head office location: Auckland

hotelmanagement.com.au 73 LEADING OWNERS
“Visitor growth in 2023 will be supplemented by strong conference and event demand.”
Terry Ngan, CP Group
2022 was a positive year for CP Group’s 25 hotels in New Zealand as the country emerged from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic

Shantha de Silva

Chief Operating Officer, Pro-invest Hotels

High hopes for New Zealand in 2023.

WITHOUT A DOUBT, 2022 was the biggest year on record for Pro-invest Hotels. We opened eight hotels in the space of eight months, we announced a joint venture with Next Story Group and launched Vista Hospitality Group, and we continued to excel in ESG, winning awards for our green builds.

The beginning of 2022 was the start of our push into the lifestyle space which has always been part of our long-term strategy, and in February we opened Kimpton Margot Sydney – the first Kimpton hotel in Australia, which continues to be one of the city’s most celebrated hotels. Working with renowned chef Luke Mangan has been a highlight and Luke’s Kitchen at the Kimpton continues to innovate and excite guests and Sydneysiders.

Shortly after we opened Kimpton Margot Sydney, our run of lifestyle hotel openings continued, with the opening of voco Brisbane City Centre, Hotel Indigo Brisbane City Centre and voco Auckland City Centre. We see a lot of potential for growth in the lifestyle sector as people continue to search for something different, unique and a fresh approach to hospitality, and into 2023 we will be accelerating our growth in this space and we have some exciting announcements which we’ll be making in the first quarter of 2023, so watch this space.

In keeping with Pro-invest’s track record of pioneering new brands in new locations, in 2022 we were proud to introduce the Holiday Inn Express and Suites brand to Australia, with the opening of Holiday Inn Express and Suites Sunshine Coast, a fantastic 181-room new build property in the heart of burgeoning Maroochydore. It has been pleasing to see the local community and business wholeheartedly embrace this hotel and we are grateful for the positive feedback we continue to get.

Pro-invest’s established central services model was one of the keys to the success we achieved in 2022. Having a team of experts with in-depth industry experience and knowledge in market not only enabled us to optimise performance of the operating hotels, but also to successfully open eight hotels across six cities within a span of eight months. With the ramp up of the business, the centralised services model has proven to be an important advantage to the business, delivering industry leading returns.

Two years ago, we established Fund III, where investing in distressed assets in the upscale and upperupscale full-service hotel market is a focus. In May 2022, we made our first Fund III purchase, acquiring Campbell5 Hotel in Canberra and rebranded it to The Sebel Canberra Campbell. This new-build hotel is in a great location and has benefited greatly from a steady stream of government and corporate business. The Sebel

Canberra Campbell is our second hotel in Canberra, and we look forward to growing Fund III further in 2023.

Looking ahead, we’re hoping to see a stronger rebound in New Zealand as more travellers return from overseas and we’re looking forward to the Australian market remaining strong with domestic travel at an all-time high. We’ve seen very encouraging signs, particularly in Brisbane with corporate travel and events returning and our voco and Hotel Indigo hotels being well positioned to capitalise on this trend.

With all that we have managed to achieve, we could not have done it without the incredible team behind the scenes at Pro-invest Hotels and with our partners and we are very grateful for the energy, determination and skill they bring to our business. Having just been announced as being a Great Place To Work, we are proud of what we have created and we will continue to invest in our people and our culture as we move into 2023. n

SNAPSHOT: PRO-INVEST HOTELS

Year the company was founded: 2015

Year first hotel opened: 2016 – Holiday Inn Express Sydney Macquarie Park Number of brands in the organisation: 5 (excluding VHG)

Current number of hotels and rooms: 13 hotels (excluding VHG); 2,875 rooms

Head office locations: Sydney, London, Vienna

74 HM The Business of Accommodation LEADING OWNERS
Pro-invest acquired Campbell5 Hotel in Canberra and rebranded it to The Sebel Canberra Campbell
“We see a lot of potential for growth in the lifestyle sector as people continue to search for something different.”
Shantha de Silva, Pro-invest Hotels
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Paul Salter

Founder and Managing Director, Salter Brothers

Continued focus on ESG in 2023.

THE KEY TREND for 2022 was the speed of the industry recovery across Australia, with continued improvements and a steady return towards pre-COVID operating levels. We are delighted that many of our hotels have in fact rebounded beyond 2019 numbers.

2022 was another huge year for Salter Brothers’ growth, with major acquisitions and a new hotel management agreement. We settled on our Travelodge portfolio of 11 hotels located across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Newcastle. We also entered into one of the largest hotel management portfolio deals in Australian history, partnering with Accor to rebrand each of the assets on settlement under the Mercure, and ibis Styles brands. We welcomed Accor’s commitment to an Australian first, innovative ESG-linked management agreement. As a result of this record AU$620 million transaction, we were very proud to win the Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific (HICAP) Deal of the Year award for 2019-2022.

In December 2022, we announced the acquisition of the Spicers Retreats business, including the Spicers brand and six of the 10 Spicers Retreats located in Queensland and New South Wales. The acquired portfolio

of award-winning freehold retreat assets includes Spicers Clovelly Estate, Spicers Tamarind Retreat and Spicers Peak Lodge in Queensland, Spicers Guesthouse and Spicers Vineyards Estate in the Hunter Valley and Spicers Sangoma Retreat in the Blue Mountains, totalling 127 rooms. The Private Collection by Spicers business is also included in the acquisition. We are excited about the luxury retreat market and look forward to growing the Spicers Retreats brand both in Australia and globally. We also share Spicers Retreats passion for the environment and will continue their vision to become Australia’s most sustainable organisation.

2022 was also a year of seeking more key industry talent, to broaden our hotel platform. The Salter Brothers hotel platform now consists of over 30 highly qualified executives in our asset, development, investment and transaction managements teams, with experience across 52 hotel brands in 79 countries. We have an entrepreneurial culture at Salter Brothers, where we think differently and encourage our team to analyse opportunities from multiple perspectives. It’s a culture we are very proud of and it continues to underpin our success.

76 HM The Business of Accommodation LEADING OWNERS

as we continue with our hotel refurbishments to benefit from this trend. An excellent example is our Hyatt Regency hotel in Brisbane, where we’re experiencing a great outcome post refurbishment, with recognition as one of the city’s top luxury hotels.

Our achievements and investments over the past twelve months have set us up for another busy and exciting year in 2023. n

Looking forward in 2023, we see the demand in sustainability to increase at pace for both owners and operators. At Salter Brothers, we will have a continued focus on ESG initiatives – in 2022 we participated in GRESB for the first time and improved our NABERS ratings and will be taking further steps on our sustainability journey.

The international events market is also expected to rebound, with confirmed events driving a volume of forward hotel bookings. We look forward to supporting the ongoing recovery and improved trading conditions,

SNAPSHOT: SALTER BROTHERS

Year the company was founded: 2011

Year first hotels purchased: 2015 InterContinental Melbourne, Crowne Plaza Coogee, Crowne Plaza Melbourne, Crowne Plaza Canberra, Holiday Inn Potts Point

Number of brands in the organisation: 7

Current number of hotels and rooms (America): 1 hotel; 291 rooms

Current number of hotels and rooms (Australia): 18 hotels; 4,192 rooms Head office location: Melbourne

hotelmanagement.com.au 77 LEADING OWNERS
“The international events market is also expected to rebound.”
Paul Salter, Salter Brothers
Hyatt Regency Brisbane is recognised as one of the city’s top luxury hotels Salter Brothers experienced strong growth in 2022 with major acquisitions and a new hotel management agreement

Dr Jerry Schwartz

Co-Founder and Director Schwartz Family Company

Newcastle hospitality school planned to boost staff numbers.

MY RESORTS AND regional hotels performed out of their skins in 2022, with my two Gold Coast hotels – Paradise Resort and Hilton Surfers Paradise – breaking occupancy and ADR records. The extra revenue enabled me to invest heavily in both properties’ upgrades, which has to be a crucial priority for the industry in 2023 and beyond.

The domestic travel love affair will wane as more Australians travel overseas. If leisure-based hotels are to remain competitive in an increasingly tough marketplace, they need to invest in experiences, facilities and activities.

That has been the case with most of my hotels. The Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains has added a new ice-skating rink and the Two Doctors Whiskey Bar, Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley is launching an equestrian centre, and Rydges Newcastle has enhanced its familyfriendly facilities.

We have also identified quieter periods in the calendar, adding destination events such as wine and craft beer festivals in Canberra, the Hunter Valley and Gold Coast, an equestrian festival in the Hunter Valley in March, and also a superyacht festival on Sydney Harbour in March, to stimulate the market when our hotels most need business.

While regional and resort hotels flourished in 2022, my city hotels were constrained by the slow recovery of business and international travel. That makes the leisure and conference markets even more important. We added a sensational Sofitel Spa at Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour to provide even more incentive for visitors to stay with us, and this will ensure the hotel has a competitive edge even as more new hotels enter the market.

We applaud government initiatives to boost events as that activates the cities, but it will be important in both NSW and Victoria for governments to encourage a return to the office, as corporate travel is hardly going to flourish if there is no one in the office to meet!

We also need to see an acceleration of measures to encourage more backpackers and students to the country and a greater flow of working visas. Despite some easing of pressure, most hotels still have difficulties attracting permanent and casual staff.

Such is the shortage that I will establish a hospitality school in Newcastle in the second quarter of next year, but more immediate government initiatives are required if the industry is to recover fully.

Presenting a more concerted and coordinated voice to government is imperative, and the proposed amalgamation of TAA and AAoA – while long overdue –fills me with optimism for the future of our industry. We just need to get it done. n

SNAPSHOT: SCHWARTZ FAMILY COMPANY

Year the company was founded: 1973

Number of hotels and rooms: 14 hotels ; 4,208 rooms

Number of brands in the organisation: 9

78 HM The Business of Accommodation LEADING OWNERS
The Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains recently added a new ice-skating rink
“If leisurebased hotels are to remain competitive, they need to invest in experiences, facilities and activities.”
Dr Jerry Schwartz, Schwartz Family Company

Maintaining excellence in the guest experience.

IN 2022, ACCOR Pacific maintained our market leading position, we grew our network by 2,600 rooms, delivered an outstanding customer experience and invested in our excellent loyalty program. We have hosted many hundreds of ALL - Accor Live Limitless loyalty guests at Accor Stadium, loyal guests who love to unlock the rewards of our lifestyle eco-system and enjoy the benefits of our partnerships with leading brands such as Qantas and Avis. Our network continues to grow in appeal. This year we launched Mövenpick Hotels in New Zealand, we opened The Porter House in Sydney, with a distinctive café, restaurant and bar offering over three floors: Henry’s Bread and Wine, Dixson and Sons, and Spice Trader. We also opened the Novotel Devonport in Tasmania, one of the most significant tourism investments in the region in years and we opened a further nine Mercure hotels with our partners Salter Brothers, growing Mercure from 44 properties in Australia to 53, making Mercure the largest and fastestgrowing global midscale brand in Australia with more than 50 hotels.

After nearly three years of Australians visiting regional destinations, our cities are making a comeback, particularly in cities where major events have resumed. Accor has an incredible range of new hotels preparing to open in 2023 which will transform the hotel landscape in some of our most desirable city locations, such as Sydney, Perth, and Auckland. Accor continually innovates to appeal to locals as well as guests with our restaurant, entertainment and bar offerings, and the lifestyle and

luxury properties opening in the next few years in Australia and New Zealand reflect this. They will exceed all expectations, bringing opportunities for our teams, guests, partners and owners.

The outlook for 2023 is strong in the Pacific region and we remain firmly focused on delivering seamless, high-quality guest experiences. Excellence in the guest experience is made possible by our talented teams and we have a strong culture of developing our people, to empower them to excel and advance their careers. Accor has created a culture of inclusion that is open to all, offering skills development opportunities and open pathways to travel and work around the world. We also recognise that greater flexibility in the workplace creates a fulfilling and inclusive team member experience where our teams can contribute in a healthy, stimulating and productive way. That’s why we’ve introduced Work Your Way at Accor. This program is creating dramatic positive change by attracting great talent that will enrich our industry’s future. Through these initiatives, we have been able to secure great talent who are enjoying a rewarding career with Accor. In 2023 we will continue to invest in and develop our people, supporting our commitment to deliver outstanding memorable guest experiences. n

SNAPSHOT: ACCOR

Year the company was founded: 1967

Year first hotel opened: 1967 Globally; 1982 APAC; 1991 ANZSP

Number of brands in the organisation: 40+

Current number of hotels and rooms (Globally):

More than 5,300 hotels; 810,000+ rooms

Current number of hotels and rooms (Asia-Pacific):

More than 1,400 hotels; 258,000+ rooms

Current number of hotels and rooms (ANZP): 400 hotels; 64,000+ rooms

Head office locations: Paris, Singapore, Sydney

hotelmanagement.com.au 79 AUSTRALASIAN LEADERS
“Our cities are making a comeback.”
Sarah Derry, Accor Pacific
This year Accor opened The Porter House in Sydney, with a distinctive café, restaurant and bar offering over three floors

Graham Perry

Managing Director – Australasia BWH Hotel Group

Work, travel and attitudes towards sustainability have changed.

2022 PROVED TO be a bumper and groundbreaking year for the hotel industry and BWH Hotel Group –particularly in Australasia (for BWH). Our success was driven by our focus on performance, people and product.

Against a backdrop of revenue challenges and increasing skills shortages during 2020 and 2021, BWH experienced record-breaking performances throughout 2022 month after month. From March onwards, BWH consistently outperformed the pre-pandemic year of 2019, in terms of both occupancy and, even more so, revenue. Not only this, but monthly reviews of the STR RevPAR Index confirmed that BWH Hotels consistently outperformed the market.

This combination of high revenue growth (driven by increasing ADR) and ongoing skills shortages means BWH, and the industry must continue to monitor the guest experience to ensure we deliver on our brand promise with every interaction. This is vitally important, because whilst the Australasian hotel industry had a captive domestic market during 2022, there will be more options including international destinations to tempt guests away throughout 2023.

In terms of people, the hybrid working model is here to stay and is having a profound impact on business. It is transforming how and where employees work which can be from virtually anywhere and not just from work or home. This is cultivating a new and growing generation of travellers with great expectations to seamlessly link their business and leisure travel. This has changed booking behaviours at hotels over the past year leading to extended stays and changes to day of week booking patterns. This trend is here to stay and will continue throughout 2023.

Travellers have become more ethically minded and socially responsible meaning sustainability is no longer a fringe issue but a major deciding factor in travellers’ choices. To address this BWH is embracing strong ESG initiatives and credentials.

In terms of product, these new travellers are demanding more from their stay. They are looking for real authentic experiences and local stories to collect and take home with them. This transformation is having profound implications for brands and brand compliance as the brands have to allow flexibility in hotel design to ensure the end products align with the communities and what they stand for rather than what the brands themselves stands for.

The fast-emerging lifestyle and long stay brands are presenting places for guests to stay that reflect their neighbourhood’s unique personality whilst allowing guests to immerse themselves in the heart of the local

community. This is why it was so important that we at BWH launched our new Aiden lifestyle brand, with the opening of our first Aiden in Darling Harbour, Sydney in January 2022 and why it is so important that we launch our Executive Residency long-stay brand to Australia in Woolloongabba, Brisbane in early 2023.

The hotel industry has a lot to think about during 2023 and it remains to be seen as to which brands are up for the challenge. With the launch of our soft and hard lifestyle brands and our long-stay brands – including the launch of Home by BWH in late 2022 – we at BWH have already adapted and are bracing for an exciting and prosperous 2023 and beyond. n

SNAPSHOT: BWH HOTEL GROUP

Current number of hotels & rooms (Globally): 3,929 hotels; 344,729 rooms

Current number of hotels & rooms (APAC): 153 hotels; 32,632 rooms

Current number of hotels & rooms (ANZSP): 76 hotels; 4,668 rooms

Year first hotel opened: Globally 1946; APAC 1993; ANZSP 1975

Head office locations: Phoenix, Bangkok, Sydney

80 HM The Business of Accommodation AUSTRALASIAN LEADERS
“Sustainability is no longer a fringe issue but a major deciding factor in travellers’ choices.”
Graham Perry, BWH Hotel Group

Geoff York Chief Executive Officer Crystalbrook Collection

2023 must be the year of international holiday makers.

discretionary spend and travel. What’s already here is a return to value (not price, however) being dominant in buying preferences, along with the need for flexible booking conditions.

However, the market mix is shifting. If 2022 was the year of domestic travellers, I hope 2023 will be the year of international holiday makers, not just visitors.

There are three areas I believe will define who emerges most successful this year:

Power of data - Hotel groups with a single customer view across their portfolio will stream ahead as they leverage behavioural data to deliver meaningful communication and personalised experiences. We’re automating what we can to free up our staff so they can engage with guests in a more meaningful way.

Make it local and unique - With increasingly levels of global homogenisation, travellers who are looking to taste, see and feel the differences of the world, will gravitate to brands that deliver unique experiences.

Sustainability a basic requirement - Sustainable design and practices are becoming the base norm for customers. It’s a ticket to play. As consumer values strengthen, so too will their demands on companies to not only be limiting their global impact but improving it.

2023 will be an exciting year for Crystalbrook. We will continue to invest in delivering world-class, luxury, sustainable and unique stays. We will find that special hotel in Melbourne to join our group. We will look offshore. Watch this space. n

SNAPSHOT: CRYSTALBROOK COLLECTION

Current number of hotels & rooms: 8 hotels; 1,476 rooms

Year the company was founded: 2017

Year first hotel opened: 2018

Number of brands in the organisation: 3 Head office locations: Sydney

IN 2022, AUSTRALIANS bounced out of their COVID cocoons and started travelling again. Consumers were ready and our teams were too. Our hotels in Cairns, Byron, Brisbane, Sydney and Newcastle, were perfectly positioned to capitalise on this pent-up demand. Our results reflected strong occupancy figures and increased average room rates across the board.

One of the biggest moments of the year, however, was our purchase of Rydges Sydney Harbour. It represents our second Sydney based hotel. Post refurbishment and repositioning, it will be a stunning flagship property for the group and a great addition to The Rocks precinct. We also opened Arte wine bar in Cairns and Mews restaurant in Brisbane.

The past 12 months were not without challenges. Amongst those were airline flight availability and pricing, plus increased hotel operating costs, from linen to staffing, all impacting our bottom lines.

This year will see the real impact of rising interest rates and inflation on consumer confidence,

2022

hotelmanagement.com.au 81 AUSTRALASIAN LEADERS
Crystalbrook Byron recorded strong occupancy figures in

Mark Ronfeldt

WITH THE HEADWINDS of 2020 and 2021 behind us, 2022 was about staying the course and delivering on our ambitions to grow the Nesuto brand across Australia, New Zealand and internationally. Our teams remained focused on delivering great experiences for our guests and great returns for owners.

A major highlight for the Daiwa Living Nesuto Group was the opening of our first full-service new build hotel –Nesuto Curtin, located in Perth’s $500 million Exchange precinct at Curtin University’s Perth campus. The 60room hotel is an essential addition to this growing area where education, industry and events converge.

Nesuto Curtin became the 13th property in the Australian/New Zealand Nesuto portfolio, and we are on track to increase our number of rooms across Australasia from 1,600 to 5,000 rooms by 2025.

Another highlight in 2022 was the opening of the first ‘by Nesuto’ hotel outside of ANZ in San Jose California with the rebranding of San Jose Studios Inn, located in the heart of Silicon Valley. We are thrilled to see the by Nesuto brand situated steps away from world class entertainment and shopping at Santana Row, and minutes from major freeway access to Silicon Valley’s major players.

By Nesuto is our brand to represent a collection of diversified properties, all with a unique story and offering. Providing the ability to be built around independent styles, no two by Nesuto properties will be the same.

We are excited to be working with savvy investors who own, or have a vision to create new tourism infrastructure, with multiple business drivers to maximise their investment. Our team is focused on growing our investors’ returns through world-class distribution and marketing, transparent, honest agreements, and real experiences for our guests. We will continue to grow the Nesuto brand and redefine hotel

and apartment stays offering guests the freedom of apartment living with the benefits of a hotel service.

February 2023 will herald the arrival of the first Victorian property for Daiwa Living Group with Nesuto Docklands, a $100 million new-build apartment hotel, conveniently located within Melbourne’s incredible Docklands entertainment and lifestyle waterfront precinct. We have been working with AshMorgan right through the pandemic and have remained focused together on delivering an amazing product. I’m confident that Nesuto Docklands will set a new benchmark for apartment-hotel product in Melbourne.

At Nesuto our RevPAR is already above 2019 levels. For our industry, however one key challenge remains. The retention and recruitment of people to care for our guests and play an integral part of a passionate team of hoteliers.

We look to the future operating with one strong brand in the market, Nesuto, as well as our new by Nesuto brand which we know will provide both guests and our investors a flexible option, successfully evolving organically to adapt to any changes in that market. n

SNAPSHOT:

DAIWA LIVING NESUTO

Year the company was founded: 2019

Year first hotel opened:

All hotels rebadged from Waldorf Apartment Hotels to Nesuto in July 2019

Number of brands in the organisation: 3

Current number of hotels and rooms (Globally): 14 properties; 1600 rooms

Head office locations: Tokyo, Sydney

82 HM The Business of Accommodation
CEO Daiwa Living Nesuto New builds and new brands come to market. Nesuto Curtin is the group’s first full-service new build hotel
“Our RevPAR is already above 2019 levels.”
Mark Ronfeldt, Daiwa Living Nesuto

Jure Domazet Managing Director Doma Group

Opportunities in mixed-use developments.

THE TRADE UP that started in 2022 in the industry as a whole was very welcome. For Doma, the year produced excellent results although these were not without challenges. Staff shortages were definitely felt at periods throughout the year but during this time we opened two new bars in Canberra, being Leyla and The Alby and opted to take our housekeeping workforce back internally. In this resource-tight market, it was our reputation as an employer that really shone through and allowed us to overcome these challenges relatively quickly, putting us back on the front foot. For our restaurants, bars and day spas, I was initially cautious on performance due to the slow return of the office worker and the impact this would have on trade but, pleasingly, these have all experienced excellent growth.

Little National Sydney which had opened in 2020 finally got its opportunity to shine this year and we are very pleased with the results and that the property held down the number 1 spot on TripAdvisor for the city. We head into 2023 with cautious optimism. The impact of rate rises, inflation and the impact on confidence of a possible risk of a recession will have at some point have an effect on travellers’ disposable income which may lead to a tightening of demand. This could affect all sectors, but particularly leisure as the year progresses. Balancing this should be the increase in international visitor numbers which will continue to drive major city performance.

From a development perspective, Australia is the immediate go to for our hotels, although we are looking further afield with interest in New Zealand and Europe. Underway, we have Little National Newcastle which will finish construction and open its doors in November this year. The 181-room hotel will be part of a mixed-use development featuring a CLT (cross laminated timber) office building of 5,000sqm and ground floor retail. Work is due to commence on Little National Adelaide in the second quarter of this year and the hotel will feature 240 guest rooms and apartments along with a library and lounge on levels 21 and 22. Adelaide will also have a bar that is open to the public compared to our usual guest-only facilities in our other Little National Hotels. We purchased Marina Resort in Port Stephens in 2021 with plans underway for a mixed-use development set to transform this property this year into a stunning 5-star resort.

The expansion of Little National Hotels will continue to be our focus, but we are also working on new restaurants, bars, spas, expanding a gin and vodka distillery that we purchased a majority share of, and a boutique winery accommodation hotel. In all, we are looking forward to a busy 2023. n

SNAPSHOT: DOMA GROUP

Year the company was founded: 1972

Year first hotel opened: 1988

Number of brands in the organisation: 5

Current number of hotels and rooms: 6 hotels; 842 rooms

Head office locations: Canberra, Sydney

hotelmanagement.com.au 83 AUSTRALASIAN LEADERS
“Work is due to commence on Little National Adelaide in the second quarter of this year.”
Jure Domazet, Doma Group

Norman Arundel

Director of Hotel and Resorts Operations, EVT

Maximising assets for better returns.

I SUSPECT THIS summary of 2022 will mirror the views of many of my industry colleagues in that the overriding theme of this past year has been one of optimism. This new era of positivity has been underpinned by the return of normalised trading conditions following the cataclysm of the pandemic; undeniable evidence that the underlying demand for what we do will continue to drive our industry forward.

At EVT, we’ve used the last few years to transform our business and look for new ways to maximise our assets – we are stronger for it. Today, our brand strategy covers the entire market, from luxury to budget. The firepower of our established brand portfolio of QT, Rydges and Atura, has been strengthened with the launch of the Independent Collection by EVT and the new and exciting budget accommodation brand, LyLo.

As an experienced owner/ operator, it is all about maximising assets. From major ground up developments to conversions and updating key assets. We recognise the importance of continually growing the value of each asset, and commercialising under-utilised spaces. A great example is the major refurbishment and new accommodation experience we launched at QT Gold Coast in late 2022. Along with a complete transformation of guest rooms and conferencing and event spaces, we launched, qtQT, a collection of six luxe cabins on a previously unused low-level rooftop. This unique offering is for an immersive experience curated for modern travellers, group getaways or innovative events.

In December, we launched LyLo, a ground-breaking new lifestyle budget accommodation experience in Auckland. Designed for travellers to stay in an epic and affordable way by giving them all the perks of communal and social travel but with the privacy of their own comfortable sleeping space.

We recognised that there are owners that are seeking flexibility in brand and business models. Independent Collection by EVT enables hotel owners to leverage the scale and expertise of our hotel solutions and also design a unique brand with us or leverage an existing independent brand. This is an agile and highly transferable model for any and every property and has resonated in the market very well. From a standing start, the Independent Collection now comprises 14 hotels.

In Autumn of 2023, we will unveil a new flagship property for the group, Rydges Melbourne. Every element of the property has been transformed to focus on better maximising the asset by creating new spaces in previously underutilised areas and responding to customer needs. We also recognise the importance of digitalising the customer experience and have invested in the technology for creating a seamless guest experience. n

SNAPSHOT: EVT

Current number of hotels and rooms (ANZSP): 76 hotels; 11,644 rooms

Year the company was founded: 1910

Year first hotel opened: 1988

Number of brands in the organisation: 6

Head office location: Sydney

84 HM The Business of Accommodation AUSTRALASIAN
LEADERS
Lifestyle budget accommodation brand Lylo launched in Auckland in December
“We also recognise the importance of digitalising the customer experience.”
Norman Arundel, EVT

Paul Hutton

Area Vice President, Head of Australasia, Hilton

Two new brands on the horizon in 2023.

AFTER A PERIOD of so much uncertainty in the world, our strong industry recovery highlights the transformative power of travel to connect people.

Whilst domestic leisure business continues to underpin our recovery, confidence from international leisure travel and corporate travel continues to normalise and it has been wonderful to see the return of our valued guests across all our business segments.

Despite the pandemic, our growth momentum has never wavered. We have signed 13 new properties in this region and opened Hilton Melbourne Little Queen Street, DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka, DoubleTree by Hilton Perth Waterfront and our first Hilton Garden Inn in Albany Western Australia during these crazy years.

By focusing on organic growth that is purposeful and strategic, we are now poised to bring our Waldorf Astoria brand to the region, with another two brand launches to be announced in 2023 rounding out Hilton’s offering from Luxury to Focus Service.

Interest in our Hilton Garden Inn brand is continuing to escalate – with six of our 13 recent signings under this brand alone, including Brisbane, Busselton, Western Sydney, Melbourne and Suva and we are thrilled at the interest from our ownership partners to work with us in the focus service segment.

This growth is helping us reinforce our position as the fastest growing hotel company in the world, serving our customers wherever they need to be.

With the well documented industry wide labour shortages, now more than ever, our team culture plays an important role in attracting and retaining the best-inclass teams for our hotels. We were therefore thrilled that Hilton has been recognised by the Great Place to Work

Institute as one of Australia’s best companies to work for in 2022, placing fifth on the top 50 list for companies with over 1,000 employees and the only hospitality company to receive recognition.

Despite so many limitations imposed over the past few years, we have continued to make an impact on the communities we operate in, as we bring our purpose to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality to life.

Our team members across Australasia collectively achieved over 2,500 hours of volunteer work across more than 200 volunteer events and donation activities to positively impact local communities, including almost 33,000 young people alone.

We know that sustainability is important to our owners and our guests, as they reassess the way they travel, we continue to pave the way to a net-zero future for our company and the travel and tourism industry. Globally, we have pledged to reduce our waste, including food waste, by 50% by 2030. Our waste reduction strategy seeks to decrease the overall amount of waste produced in our hotels, while taking steps to divert remaining waste from landfill through donation, recycling, composting, and other opportunities. n

SNAPSHOT: HILTON

Year the company was founded: 1919

Year first hotel opened: 1919 (Texas)

Number of brands in the organisation: 18

Current number of hotels and rooms (Globally): 7,061 hotels; 1,111,147 rooms

Current number of hotels and rooms (APAC): 594 hotels; 137,439 rooms

Current number of hotels and rooms (ANZP): 32 hotels, 6,675 rooms  Head office locations (APAC): Sydney, Beijing, New Delhi, Tokyo, Singapore, Shanghai and Shenzhen

hotelmanagement.com.au 85 AUSTRALASIAN LEADERS
Interest in the Hilton Garden Inn brand continues to escalate

Matt Tripolone Managing Director – Australasia and Pacific IHG Hotels and Resorts

A year of opportunity for hospitality.

2022 WAS A record year for IHG from a number of perspectives. Firstly, we celebrated our Diamond Anniversary in Australasia, marking 60 years since Southern Cross InterContinental opened in Melbourne in 1962. From a growth standpoint, we opened 11 hotels in our region including the first Kimpton hotel in Australia and the first new build voco hotels in Melbourne and Auckland, along with continued growth of Holiday Inn Express with our partners Pro-invest. And we can’t fail to mention the grand reopening of InterContinental Sydney following a $120 million refurbishment – Mulpha Australia’s once-in-ageneration redesign taking one of Sydney’s most loved hotels into a new era of luxury.

Ongoing challenges such as talent shortages and cost of living are expected to still be present in 2023, but we are in great shape to manage through them. We are seeing early signs of improvement in the talent space in some eastern seaboard markets, however there are still considerable challenges across the Australasia and Pacific region, particularly in New Zealand. We are proud to be on the front foot in this space, having launched several innovative, market-leading initiatives, including myFlex, myBenefits, Journey2GM, and LINK. These programs demonstrate IHG’s commitment to being an employer of choice and offer a holistic approach to employment in our hotels.

In terms of key market growth in Australasia, we’ve seen a temporary softening of new build development in 2022, however we expect this to improve in 2023 as supply chains and construction costs stabilise, giving confidence to banks and lenders. In fact, there has been significant interest in the hospitality sector in

this part of the world from global investors, which we expect will lead to increased appetite for conversion and rebranding of assets. It remains to be seen what impact rising inflation and cash hikes by the Reserve Banks in Australia and New Zealand will have on their respective markets.

We see continued interest across all of our brands. In the bigger cities we’re seeing a higher appetite for luxury and lifestyle brands, including InterContinental, Kimpton, Vignette, Hotel Indigo and voco, while in regional and metropolitan areas, growth tends to be more focused around our global powerhouse brands in the mainstream and upscale segment: Crowne Plaza and the Holiday Inn brand family. All brands are supported by our newly-launched loyalty program, IHG One Rewards – and you will no doubt have seen us on billboards and screens everywhere recently as we’ve launched our biggest ever global loyalty campaign, Guest How You Guest.

Our outlook for 2023 is largely optimistic and we see huge opportunities for our industry ahead. IHG is an increasingly nimble company, and our efficient operating model and labour management tools enable us to ride through any challenge and make the most of the opportunities. We’re investing in great people, and we have been excited to welcome Emma Hynes as Director of Operations for Australasia in January. Emma will drive operational excellence and ensure we continue to have brand-defining hotels that deliver on performance and guest expectations. n

SNAPSHOT: IHG HOTELS AND RESORTS

Year the company was founded: 1777 (as Bass)

Year first hotel opened: Globally 1946 - InterContinental Belem, Brazil; ANZSP

1962 - InterContinental Southern Cross Melbourne

Number of brands in the organisation: 18

Current number of hotels and rooms (Globally): 6,061 hotels; 888,147 rooms

Current number of hotels and rooms (EMEAA): 1,138 hotels; 222,524 rooms

Current number of hotels and rooms (ANZP): 74 hotels; 15,632 rooms

Head office locations: Windsor, Sydney

86 HM The Business of Accommodation AUSTRALASIAN LEADERS
InterContinental Sydney is sporting a new look following a AU$120 million refurbishment

Julian Clark

Chief Executive Officer, Lancemore Group

A new brand and holiday letting business in the works.

LIKE MANY, WE were excited by the continued return of business in 2022, with the market coming back strongly post lockdowns and border openings. What was especially pleasing was how the industry responded from an ADR perspective – yielding when demand was constrained and holding when it was unconstrained.

From a Lancemore Group perspective, many of our hotels saw fantastic trading conditions with most hotels, bar Sydney and Melbourne, having record financial years. I’m very proud and appreciative of our teams for the job that was done.

2022 was a big year for Lancemore on the asset side also. We renovated Lancemore Milawa, transforming it into what we hope will be one of the most exciting boutique hotels in the country. We are also busying ourselves with the refurbishment and repositioning of the recently purchased Cleveland Winery and we are very excited about what that hotel will become, as well as revitalising it as a wine brand.

We are excited to have four new hotels in the pipeline across South Australia and Queensland, all of which are expected to break ground this year. Each one of them, we think, will make a splash.

2023 will see Lancemore launch a new business in the holiday letting/MLR space, which will be seeded with Alamanda Palm Cove which we currently manage. We are very excited about this new business model and what it can do for owners in terms of producing excellent returns and just as excited about how it provides exceptional value for customers.

This year will also see us bring a new brand to market – TLG Collection – that will be the brand of choice for fantastic, unique hotels that operate in the 4- to 5-star space but are not congruent with our Lancemore brand. We already have two assets ready to operate under that banner and see real growth potential here.

So, there is immense excitement here at Lancemore at what 2023 holds for both us and our industry. It will no doubt be one of progress and excitement. However, as always there are threats that loom large. The biggest one here that keeps me awake at night is the projected slowdown of the Australian economy and/or international tourism to Australia not returning to preCOVID levels.

There is little doubt that the skills shortage and inflationary pressures will continue to challenge the industry. The good news on inflation is that we can control our rates on a daily basis unlike some other real estate asset classes, so the ball is really in our hands again as an industry on how we handle this. I must say, I am bullish on our capabilities here and I hope to be surprised on the upside with international travel, especially as we

start to see China emerge from its COVID slumber at the same time as our relations with their governments are starting to thaw. Chinese inbound tourism is the real x-factor for me in 2023. n

SNAPSHOT: LANCEMORE GROUP

Year the company was founded: 1986

Year first hotel opened: 1986

Number of brands in the organisation: 3

Current number of hotels and rooms: 10 hotels; 769 rooms

Head office location: Melbourne

hotelmanagement.com.au 87 AUSTRALASIAN LEADERS
Lancemore Milawa reopened in October after an extensive renovation
“Chinese inbound tourism is the real x-factor for me in 2023.”
Julian Clark, Lancemore Group

Sean Hunt

gaining strong momentum in Asia Pacific.

AS WE HEAD in to 2023 with buoyancy and optimism, Marriott International has cause to reflect on and celebrate our achievements from 2022.

The reinvigoration in the luxury accommodation segment in Australia, bolstered by a resurgence in the affluent domestic travel market, has been a core marker for Marriott International’s growth. Signature brands including W Hotels, The Ritz Carlton, JW Marriott and The Luxury Collection have been our most resilient performers.

Our development pipeline is robust with high-quality projects secured in collaboration with experienced developers. Record average room rates have given renewed confidence to hotel developers – and has seen us announce significant new builds this year, including the St. Regis and The Ritz-Carlton resorts on the Gold Coast, the conversion of an existing hotel to JW Marriott Hotel Auckland, along with the Courtyard by Marriott Western Sydney Airport hotel, the first hotel announced for one of the NSW Government’s largest infrastructure projects at Western Sydney Airport.

On the international front, franchising is a trend that is gaining strong momentum in North America and across other continents, including Asia Pacific. In the Australia Pacific region, Midnight Hotel, an Autograph Collection hotel in Canberra and Courtyard by Marriott Brisbane, South Bank are the first hotels to benefit from a new focus on franchising in our region, and Marriott Executive Apartments in Port Moresby will follow, when it opens in mid-2023.

Franchisees report the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program as their single most potent market source, with the 173 million global members often representing 50% of occupancy and producing higher yield that nonloyalty members.

We are on track to open a further half a dozen hotels in 2023, including The Ritz-Carlton Melbourne, W Sydney, Le Meridien Melbourne and Moxy Sydney Airport. Our lifestyle brands are also performing very well extending our customer reach beyond the luxury tier of accommodation. Marriott’s mid-tier brands in AC Hotels by Marriott and Moxy offer distinctive contemporary accommodation at affordable price points.

We kick off January with the second year of our multiyear hotel partnership with Tennis Australia, fronted by Marriott Ambassador Ash Barty. Closely following in February, our partnership with W Hotels and the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and World Pride will come to life along with our partner activity with the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Melbourne for the third consecutive year.

Marriott’s commitment to gender parity continues and we’re incredibly proud that we have exceeded our goals in female leadership across the business. Globally, women represent 54% of Marriott’s workforce and in the ANZP region, 42% of Marriott’s on-property leaders are female.

At Marriott, we’re really looking forward to 2023 and growing our footprint of incredible brands, guest experiences and elevating our anticipatory guest service across all our properties. n

SNAPSHOT: MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL

Year the company was founded: 1927 (A&W “Hot Shoppes” Franchises)

Year first hotel opened (Globally): 1957

Number of brands in the organisation: 30

Current number of hotels and rooms (Globally): 8,100+ properties; 1,500,000+ rooms

Current number of hotels and rooms (APAC): 980+ properties; 264,000+ rooms

Current number of hotels and rooms (ANZP): 40 properties; 9500+ rooms

Head office locations: Bethesda, Singapore, Sydney

88 HM The Business of Accommodation
Area Vice President, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Marriott International Franchising
“We are on track to open a further half a dozen hotels in 2023.”
Sean Hunt, Marriott International
Ritz Carlton Melbourne is expected to open in March 2023

Craig Hooley

Chief Operating Officer, Minor Hotels Australia and New Zealand

Domestic travel expected to remain strong this year.

FROM ONGOING INVESTMENT in regional properties to our pipeline for future openings returning to pre-pandemic levels, there is plenty of activity in train for 2023.

On the development front, we’re anticipating significant growth during 2023, and beyond, with highlights including the construction of two new properties for the Minor Hotels brand in Australia, the country’s first NH Collection in Sydney’s central Surry Hills neighbourhood, and the Avani Mooloolaba Beach which will capitalise on the Sunshine Coast’s considerable growth as a holiday destination for both domestic and international travellers.

In terms of identifying new locations for future hotel development, we’ll continue to actively look at all Australian capital cities and key secondary locations, including the Gold Coast, Wollongong, Newcastle and Geelong.

We’ll also continue our commitment to renovating key regional properties to support continuing growth and strong rates as domestic leisure travel remains robust – a trend we expect to continue throughout 2023 – especially in light of rising living expenses and the sustained high cost of international airfares.

As a further result of our strong performance in regional Australian locations, one of our key target areas this year will be continuing to identify franchise opportunities as part of our broader growth and acquisition strategy to further expand the Oaks Hotels, Resorts and Suites and Avani Hotels and Resort brands throughout the Australia and New Zealand region.

In early 2023, two of our Oaks properties move to franchise models in partnership with Kenneth Wagner’s KPAT, with the soon-to-be-built Avani Mooloolaba Beach Hotel also set to operate under a franchise agreement when it opens in 2025.

Delivering the best possible guest experience in line

with our philosophy to provide a comfortable, ‘home away from home’ experience continues to be a focus area, so to further enhance our offering, we’ve signed a company-wide agreement with Foxtel to elevate our in-room entertainment, and we’ll be introducing Coffee Club coffee as a standard room amenity throughout all Oaks Hotels, Resorts and Suites properties during 2023.

Of course, 2023 won’t be without its challenges as developers and investors strive to find a value position for hotel projects in a market where hotel rates are relatively high whilst resources, including the availability of talent and skilled labour, remain in short supply.

To address this, we’ll continue to work closely with our partners to ensure consistent supply, as well as investing heavily in initiatives designed around talent retention, including improving our benefits packages and prioritising training to incorporate opportunities outside the scope of employees’ existing roles. n

SNAPSHOT: MINOR HOTELS

Year the company was founded: 1990

Year first hotel opened (Globally/APAC /ANZSP): 1990

Number of brands in the organisation: 8

Current number of hotels and rooms (Globally): 527 hotels; 77,852 rooms

Current number of hotels and rooms (APAC): 63 hotels; 9,909 rooms

Current number of hotels and rooms (ANZSP): 61 hotels; 12,662 rooms

Head office locations: Bangkok, Dubai, Johannesburg, Madrid, Maroochydore, Brisbane

hotelmanagement.com.au 89 AUSTRALASIAN LEADERS
Minor will identify franchise opportunities to grow the Avani brand
“2023 won’t be without its challenges as developers and investors strive to find a value position.”
Craig Hooley, Minor Hotels

David Chaplin

Chief Operating Officer, Pacific Hotels

Captivating locals and guests with superior food and beverage offerings.

PACIFIC HOTELS HAS entered 2023 confidently after closing out a successful 2022. From refurbishments to recruitment, the past 12-months saw capital improvements, positive guest sentiment, technology enhancements and constructive team building.

Freshly refurbished Pacific Hotel Cairns is looking ahead to the anticipated recovery of the international tourism market after a year of domestic visitation by Australians. As outbound travel increases, sales and marketing are connecting with travel partners at home and abroad to ensure the renowned international hotel remains at the forefront of inbound recovery. This includes the highly anticipated return of the iconic Bushfire Flame Grill Restaurant, set to open in March 2023.

Pacific Hotel Brisbane has equally focused on captivating corporate guests, delivering an optimal business travel experience. Embracing technology without losing the magic of personal interaction is essential. After piloting several new systems in 2022 at the vibrant accommodation, restaurant and conference venue, Pacific Hotels is excited to streamline technology across the portfolio in 2023.

Innovations include contactless check-in, activating multiple food and beverage ordering points via QR codes and increasing communication throughout the

guest journey. Synergy is further extended to driving brand awareness and optimising distribution channels, offering value whilst maintaining the good fight for direct market share.

Captivating hotel guests and locals with superior food and beverage experiences is also fundamental for Pacific Hotels. Osteria Roma Spring Hill opened its doors to Brisbane in May 2022, shining a spotlight on fresh Italian cuisine from the hotel’s alfresco dining space, and in Mackay, Coral Cay Bar and Grill was refurbished and rebranded.

Strengthening ties with our surrounding neighbourhoods and Australian-based charities are part of Pacific Hotels’ ethos. New initiatives include supporting Australia’s primary producers by partnering with Drought Angels, recognising the essential role farmers play in cultivating an authentic dining experience, and regionally located Seasons Steakhouse in The Pilbara launching community-centred events.

Highlighting the ongoing recruitment challenges facing the industry, our team have embraced the Pacific Hotels’ Business Leaders program. We strive for our staff to feel supported to succeed, presenting genuine pathways for our next generation of General Managers. Flexibility is also encouraged for cross-training and multi-hotel work experience. Formal qualifications are available to all Pacific team members through our partnership with Allara Learning.

The importance of a strong team to deliver exceptional guest experiences is more apparent than ever. I extend my appreciation to all our hospitality professionals at Pacific Hotels for the phenomenal past 12 months and promising 2023 ahead. n

SNAPSHOT: PACIFIC HOTELS

Year the company was founded: 2015

Year first hotel opened: 2015

Number of brands in the organisation: Pacific Hotels

Current number of hotels and rooms: 5 hotels; 705 rooms

Head office location: Perth

90 HM The Business of Accommodation AUSTRALASIAN LEADERS
Osteria Roma Spring Hill opened its doors in May 2022
“Embracing technology without losing the magic of personal interaction is essential.”
David Chaplin, Pacific Hotels

Lachlan Hoswell

Managing Director – Australasia Radisson Hotel Group

Increasing interest in soft brands.

AUSTRALASIA’S TRAVEL, TOURISM, and hospitality sectors have witnessed a rapid recovery in 2022, as the region reopened to the world and consumer confidence started to rebound from the challenges of recent years.

According to the latest data from Tourism Australia, inbound visitor numbers reached 2.2 million in the first nine months of 2022, representing an increase of over 1100% compared to the same period in 2021. In New Zealand, thanks to the easing of entry restrictions in July 2022, we are seeing a gradual and encouraging uptick in arrivals, mainly driven by trans-Tasman demand.

Radisson Hotel Group has always remained positive about the outlook for hotel development in Australasia. Our dedicated business unit in Sydney is set to grow in 2023 as we continue our focus on supporting our owners and helping their teams achieve commercial success, and increase operational efficiencies while accelerating the expansion of our regionwide portfolio in the coming years. We’ve also made recent enhancements to our central services operations that will expand our franchising capabilities with additional resources from reservations, and revenue management through to sales and marketing.

Looking ahead, we will continue to roll out our brands in high-potential markets across Australasia, including key cities, emerging hubs, and leisure destinations.

Brands like Radisson, Park Inn by Radisson, and Country Inn and Suites by Radisson have the potential to cover the midscale to upscale segments. Radisson RED, our designled lifestyle brand, is well-suited to Australasia’s upscale

and upper-upscale market segment. The brand is a select-service offering that combines bold interior design as well as vibrant social spaces that owners can either operate independently or outsource, giving them plenty of flexibility to maximise their return on investment.

Radisson Individuals is another brand that we believe has strong potential in Australasia. Our affiliation brand made its regional debut in 2022 with the launch of Grand Papua Hotel, a member of Radisson Individuals in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, a highly rated property recognised for its service quality. We’re seeing an increased interest in our soft brands – from new owners who have not franchised before, or owners thinking of a change in brand, as Radisson Individuals offers tremendous flexibility, and cost-efficiency, while giving them the ability to leverage the strength of RHG’s distribution platforms and systems.

RHG is optimistic that the recovery of Australasia’s tourism economy will continue to pick up pace. The highly anticipated return of Chinese travellers will have a significant impact on arrival numbers to destinations across the region, including Australia’s key cities.

With RHG’s leading presence in China, India, and Europe, we believe we will be in a prime position to capture guests traveling to Australasia from these key source markets. n

SNAPSHOT: RADISSON HOTEL GROUP

Year the company was founded: 1960

Year first hotel opened: 1960

Number of brands in the organisation: 9

Current number of hotels (Globally):

1,700 hotels

Current number of hotels (EMEA and APAC): 1,100 hotels

Head office locations (EMEA/APAC): Brussels, Singapore, Sydney

hotelmanagement.com.au 91 AUSTRALASIAN LEADERS
Grand Papua Hotel, a member of Radisson Individuals in Port Moresby, launched in 2022
“The highly anticipated return of Chinese travellers will have a significant impact on arrival numbers to destinations across the region.”
Lachlan Hoswell, Radisson Hotel Group

David Bowen

Head of Hotels – Australasia Skye Suites

Return of Chinese travellers, conferences and cruising point to strong 2023.

AS WE LOOK back at 2022, I am reminded of a quote by the famous English writer Charles Dickens: “Reflect upon your present blessings – of which everyone has many – not on your past misfortunes, of which all of us have some.”

Despite our many “past misfortunes”, we need to focus on our growth as an organisation and having the right culture is essential, particularly with the current challenges.

We have implemented two new initiatives, our Employee Assistance Program and Employee Engagement Survey which are now a part of our ways of working to better support and build on the culture of the Skye Suites brand.

As mental health becomes a prevalent challenge throughout society, we have partnered with Acacia as Skye Suites Employee Assistance Program partner to assist team members and their families as we continue to navigate the post pandemic era.

We have, of course, many “blessings” to reflect on with the significant uptick in business in 2022. At Skye Suites, we have been achieving record Average Rate and RevPAR growth with increases of 30-40% above 2019 levels. Our occupancies have also been industry leading with Skye Suites having the advantage of a product that appeals to both short and long stay guests.

During 2022, our hotels and key team members across the portfolio were recognised as both finalists and winners in several categories in both the TAA and HM Awards.

The change in rules for business, student and VFR travel from China has been positive for the industry. This coupled with the continuing pent-up demand for travel, increased occupancy at the International Convention Centre and the return of the cruise ship industry points to a strong 2023.

Our key partnerships with the entertainment industry have further strengthened over 2022, with several television productions hosted at our hotels in Parramatta, Green Square and Sydney CBD.

2023 will be our third year as the official accommodation partner for Afterpay Australian Fashion Week, after a stunning event in 2022 we expect this year to be even bigger.

Responsible Business is a key pillar at Skye Suites, and we are very proud of the work we do with Ronald McDonald House Charities and the Sydney Children’s Hospital and are continuing our support with these fantastic local organisations.

For 2023, we have secured capital partners for two key

development projects in our pipeline – Macquarie Park and Chatswood.

Additionally, following incredible results in 2022, our development of in-house capability for sales and marketing, revenue management and distribution, operations and finance will be a key focus for Skye Suites to further grow our pipeline through Hotel Management Agreement opportunities. We believe we are in a great position to partner with small to medium developers that are interested in holding assets that can provide strong returns. n

SNAPSHOT: SKYE SUITES

Year the company was founded: 2017

Your first hotel opened: 2017

Number of hotels: 3

Number of rooms: 331

Brands in the organisation: 1

Head office locations: Sydney, Jakarta, Los Angeles

92 HM The Business of Accommodation AUSTRALASIAN LEADERS
“Our occupancies have been industry leading.”
David Bowen, Skye Suites
Skye Suites opened its first hotel in Parramatta in 2017

Simon Wan President and Director Staywell Holdings

Expect mid-tier and luxury brands to prosper.

TRAVEL IS MOST certainly back, and thank goodness for that, but the resurgence in demand for hospitality has not come without its challenges. Despite all of this, StayWell has managed to not only bounce back to preCOVID levels, but we have also committed to a strong growth and development period in the next decade.

As part of the international conglomerate Seibu Holdings Inc and Seibu Prince Worldwide Inc, StayWell Holdings will play an important role in the overarching goal of the company to expand its current 92 locations to 250 in the next 10 years. Working towards this goal, a cornerstone to the local expansion of the StayWell portfolio will be the introduction of two new brands to market, Park Proxi and Park Regis by Prince, within the next 24 months including the opening of a Park Regis by Prince in Dubai early next year. In addition, StayWell will manage the expansion of global hotel brand The Prince Akatoki into the Australian market, slated to open in Sydney by 2025 and Melbourne by 2026.

In addition to introducing three new brands to the Australian market, StayWell’s commitment to the local hotel industry has seen considerable funds allocated for upgrades to existing products in market. Upgrades have commenced on properties in Sydney, Melbourne, Launceston, and Pokolbin, with future refurbishments planned for their Blue Mountains and Townsville hotels in 2023.

With clear brand distinctions, the expansion of StayWell’s portfolio in the Australian market will result in our management team overseeing five hotel brands and chains. We were fortunate enough to witness our local brands Park Regis and Leisure Inn experience robust growth through the pandemic period as well as strong performance YoY, and our existing hotel brands will continue to form a core component of the StayWell stable whilst new brands will reinvigorate the company’s domestic offering.

Like most, we are anticipating the high level of demand for travel to be sustained, despite inflation affecting the majority of the population. As people look to stretch their leisure dollars further, mid-tier brands such as some of those in the StayWell portfolio will be well suited to travellers looking for options that enable them to travel for longer. On the other end of the spectrum, luxury travel has continued to experience strong demand and we expect to see this continue. Across all categories of travel, planning is back on the cards – so we are looking ahead to capture the attention of those guests who are doing the same. n

SNAPSHOT: STAYWELL HOLDINGS

Year the company was founded: 2006

Year first hotel opened: 2006

Number of brands in the organisation: 10

Current number of hotels and rooms (Globally): 33 hotels; 5,473 rooms

Current number of hotels and rooms (APAC): 18 hotels; 2,564 rooms

Current number of hotels and rooms (ANZP): 10 hotels; 553 rooms

Head office location: Sydney

hotelmanagement.com.au 93 AUSTRALASIAN LEADERS
The Leisure Inn brand is experiencing robust growth
“We are anticipating the high level of demand for travel to be sustained.”
Simon Wan, Staywell Holdings

Les Morgan Chief Operating Officer Sudima

Hotels

Growth expected in values-led tourism.

2022 WAS AN exciting year for Sudima Hotels. Most recently, we opened our 4.5-star Sudima Kaikōura hotel in time for summer. The 120-room hotel with conference facilities features a gallery-style atrium displaying Māori heritage. We are proud of the strength of Sudima Hotels’ relationship with local iwi Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura, hapu of Ngāi Tahu. It has been a joy connecting with locals, international and domestic guests, and to be a part of Kaikōura’s rebuilding story.

We opened Sunset Bar at Sudima Auckland City in July 2022, and its rooftop location on the 10th floor perfectly showcases Auckland with sprawling views over the Waitematā Harbour and out to the Waitākere Ranges. Sunset has made a wonderful addition at a time of renewal for the industry.

The opening of locally inspired Hiku Restaurant at Sudima Kaikōura has been another highlight for us. The name Hiku comes from the Māori word for ‘whale tail’, with whale sightings being a world-famous drawcard for the region. Influenced by the historic heritage and modern culture of the area, Hiku serves fresh local kai moana straight from the ocean it faces.

While there have been some fantastic highs, this isn’t to say the year has been without its challenges. There is a direct correlation between hotel bookings and airline connectivity, and frequency issues in the aviation industry alongside increased cost have featured in people’s travel experience since our borders opened to international visitors. We’ve also felt the shortage of hospitality staff with challenging immigration settings, and there is talk of an economic downturn.

However, the pandemic gave the world pause and we expect to see the growth of values-led tourism. With people considering how they can support the change they want to see, we feel well positioned at Sudima Hotels as

we continue to ensure our core-beliefs are at the centre of everything we do.

In preparation for the continued growth we expect to see in 2023, this year has seen us double-down on our commitments to sustainability and people. We became the first hotel group in New Zealand to roll out the Hidden Disability sunflower scheme across all our properties, widening the breadth of ways we serve guests with accessibility needs. We became the first hotel group in New Zealand to partner with the Bank of New Zealand to receive a sustainability linked loan. We’re investing in our environmental practices and the rigour of the reporting process with this loan further ensures accountability and transparency, and we’re hoping to inspire others in the sector towards similar action. n

SNAPSHOT: SUDIMA HOTELS

Year the company was founded: 2000

Year first hotel opened: 2000

Current number of hotels & rooms:

7 hotels; 1,358 rooms

Number of brands in the organisation: 7

Head office location: Auckland

94 HM The Business of Accommodation AUSTRALASIAN LEADERS
Sudima is investing in sustainability throughout the business
“The pandemic gave the world pause and we expect to see the growth of values-led tourism.”
Les Morgan, Sudima Hotels

Insider guides, executive style.

Catch over 50 TV episodes of Wayfarer Series 1, 2 & 3 now on our website and YouTube channel.

David Mansfield Managing Director – Australia The

2022, LIKE THE two years prior, felt at times like it was never going to end with the challenges, but it was also one of the busiest and most productive years I and the team have celebrated.

We have continued to deliver against our ambitious growth strategy as we focus on boosting the presence and awareness of Ascott’s serviced residence and hotels brands in this market. On top of the relaunch of our Citadines brand globally, we have celebrated the opening of Oakwood Premier in December 2021 and lyf Collingwood in May.

2023 is set to be even busier as we further expand The Ascott, Citadines, lyf and Oakwood Premier in key CBD locations, as well as Quest in inner city, suburban and regional locations. In fact, we currently have over 1,100 rooms under construction across nine locations. A further 40 properties are in the pipeline with Citadines Walker North Sydney and lyf Bondi Junction to open this year. Our balanced stakeholder approach continues to deliver and while interest rates and construction costs are high, RevPAR remains extremely strong.

We also celebrate 35 years of success for the Quest brand this year, another milestone and reinforcement of the strength of our brand portfolio.

We continue to focus on building inclusive and diverse corporate cultures that support and celebrate excellence, professional development and innovation. We love what we do and as we rebuild, grow and adapt to the changing landscape, we are determined to showcase the many benefits of choosing to work in our sector. This is also a priority for the Accommodation Association alongside the historic progression to amalgamation.

I am incredibly proud of our achievements.

SNAPSHOT: THE ASCOTT LIMITED

Year the company was founded: 1984

Year first hotel opened: 1984 (Singapore)

Number of brands in the organisation: 15

Current number of hotels and rooms (Globally): 593 properties; 93,000 rooms

Head office locations: Ascott – Singapore; Quest – Melbourne, Auckland

Accommodation is an industry where we lift each other up to achieve even greater and the recent recognition through multiple awards – including the National Travel Industry Awards (Most Outstanding Industry Support - Accommodation), National Excellence in Franchising Awards for Franchisor Social Responsibility and Marketing, and, of course, HM Awards – were valued endorsements.

To be selected as the Australasian Hotelier of the Year is an honour beyond words and I would have loved to have been at the HM Awards to accept it but, unfortunately, I got struck down with COVID. The award is an award that recognises the work of the entire team across our Ascott family in Australia.

We already know that 2023 is going to be a highly positive year. Corporate and consumer confidence continue to climb. The focus on value for money will continue to grow as cost of living pressures intensify. The desire for greater personalisation of interaction is entrenched across all demographics as we are delighted to be ideally situated across all brands to deliver. n

96 HM The Business of Accommodation AUSTRALASIAN LEADERS
Value for money a focus as cost of living rises
Ascott Limited
Quest is celebrating 35 years in 2023
“Corporate and consumer confidence continue to climb.”
David Mansfield, The Ascott Limited

Zed Sanjana Chief Executive Officer Veriu Group

Pressure on government to open up labour market.

Inflationary pressures, supply chain uncertainty as well as skilled and unskilled labour shortages nationally have had a significant impact on the feasibility of new hotel developments. Despite interest rates increases of the last 12 months, hotel yields have demonstrated resilience, albeit with a limited pool of transaction activity in 2022. Unless government policies on migration and visas change to open up the labour market, it’s likely that the 20-30% increases in construction pricing will have an affect on the ability of new hotels to be developed over the next two to three years, stabilising the supply of rooms in the Australian market for a period, and providing a significant opportunity for operators to drive the types of ADR increases required to grow, maintain margins and keep pace with the rising costs of operating and developing hotels.

IF NOTHING ELSE, the last 12 months have demonstrated the strength and resilience of the Australian travel and tourism industry. Indeed, after successive years marred by the impact of the pandemic, 2022 saw a rebound faster than most commentators would have expected.

While aviation is not yet back to pre-pandemic levels, it’s certainly trending in that direction with domestic passenger traffic by September 2022 approaching levels consistent to those in 2019. And while inbound international travel is understandably recovering at a slower pace, pent-up demand in the domestic market more than off-set the shortfalls as the year progressed. Prior to the pandemic, Australian travellers historically had spent three times more on international hotels than internationals had on Australian hotels. With certain global obstacles still in place last year for international travel, we saw much of this spend diverted back to the Australian market, to the benefit of the industry. Indeed, our group saw ADR increases of in excess of 20% from 2019 levels at occupancies consistent with that period.

Fast forward to 2023, and we can see that challenges still exist for operators – albeit different ones. Rising inflation figures, interest rates and an impending economic downturn are all risks to the recovery of domestic (and international) demand. That said, the comparatively low 2022 international passenger numbers suggest there is still scope for demand growth in that segment. Segments like MICE which have long lead times (particularly international business conferencing) will also support continued recovery in the market. Despite the challenges ahead, the industry fundamentals are still strong, and consumer preference shifts of the last decade or more from acquiring products to investing disposable income into experiences/services like travel, shows no signs of abating.

For our business, 2023 is an exciting year which will be driven by a combination of consolidating our new openings – Veriu Queen Victoria Market, Punthill Essendon North, Veriu Collingwood and Punthill Maitland – as well as overseeing the commencement of new hotel construction projects in Victoria (Sunshine, Geelong), New South Wales (Macquarie Park, Liverpool) and Western Australia (Fremantle). The Veriu Group is on track for its expansion plans to grow to 80+ hotels in the coming years. n

SNAPSHOT: VERIU GROUP

Year the company was founded: 2016

Year first hotel opened: 2016

Number of brands in the organisation: 2 Current number of hotels and rooms: 25 properties; 1,876 rooms Head office location: Melbourne

hotelmanagement.com.au 97 AUSTRALASIAN LEADERS
Veriu Queen Victoria Market opened in December 2022
“The industry fundamentals are still strong.”
Zed Sanjana, Veriu Group

A.

Imbardelli

Vista Hospitality Group

2022 WAS A watershed year for Vista Hospitality Group Australasia, launching last March with the ambition of creating a new-era approach to hotel management. The joint venture between Pro-invest Group and Next Story Group brought together unparalleled bench strength to the sector, identifying the time was right to change the landscape of options for how hotels are developed, operated and optimised.

Taking this leadership position was a bold step as our industry emerged from the shellshock of a global pandemic, and Vista Hospitality Group entered the market with an end-to-end suite of hospitality business resources under one umbrella and versatile brand-fit solutions.

While Vista launched with a 2,000+ room foundation portfolio including our own independent brands, together with opening two new properties in 2022 –managing pre-opening, centralised sales, marketing, IT plus day-to-day operations on behalf of global brands voco and Hotel Indigo – 2023 is where we see our multidimensional approach come to the fore.

There are exciting signings for new hotel builds and projects to be announced in the coming year, but the

opportunity for development lies within third party management of existing properties. It’s a capability Vista is pioneering in Australia.

Our impressive team of industry experts, established systems, centralised operating models plus ESG expertise powered by Pro-invest, means we can provide ways for owners and investors to optimise their assets at any and every stage of the hotel lifecycle. From planning through to opening and operation, as well as conversions and repositioning – we’re looking forward to building third party management as a key offering to help owners realise the potential of their asset and drive greater returns for the sector.

And while Vista will be redefining how to work with owners by tailoring resources and providing third party management services, our white label approach is being brought to market too. This ensures we can engineer the best brand-fit solution to suit a new or existing hotel, drawing on our network to creatively partner with a raft of global brands, or access our own portfolio of global and independent brands. It provides the best of both worlds; no need to select a brand because of a management company, or a management company because of a brand. It’s another way Vista’s committing to a more dynamic management approach for the future of our sector.

Our outlook is optimistic and ambitious for the year ahead, underpinned by our unrivalled versatility and the collective expertise our talented team. n

SNAPSHOT: VISTA HOSPITALITY GROUP

Year company founded: 2022

Year first hotel opened: 2022

Brands in organisation: 7

Current number of hotels and rooms: 13 properties; 2,000 rooms

Head office location: Sydney

98 HM The Business of Accommodation AUSTRALASIAN LEADERS
Patrick Director, Opportunity in third-party management of existing properties. Vista launched in 2022 with a 2000+ room portfolio
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