All posts by Martin Kelly

Matthew Fuller, General Manager, Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Matthew Fuller, Taronga Western Plains ZooMatthew Fuller is the General Manager of Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, the largest and most visited attraction in Regional NSW. He has carried out this role over two tenures returning in 2008, and encompassing ten years in total.

Matthew has had extensive experience in tourism, eco-tourism, and leisure commencing in the family accommodation business at an early age, through to senior management roles in three states as well as prior national responsibilities within the then Packer family owned Hoyts Cinema group.

Matthew has served extensively on external committees, boards and reference groups. Appointments have been across tourism, leisure, economic development and wildlife conservation organisations.

Matt is currently a director of the Inland NSW RTO and is Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee. He also contributed  as a member of the NSW Government’s Visitor Economy Taskforce Regional Reference Group.

In 2012 Matthew became a Winston Churchill Fellow, which provided the opportunity to undertake a global study on creating a world leading conservation based visitor attraction where he also gleaned an enormous amount of information on destination management and  visitor economy activities as well as access to leading industry representatives in South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.

He has a strong connection and commitment to Regional NSW and regional destination management and development.  He is highly motivated to ensure that regional visitor economies have every opportunity to succeed through the development of their own unique propositions.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo is the current Qantas Australian Tourism Awards Winner for Best Tourist Attraction, and in November the Zoo was awarded Best Attraction and Best Unique Accommodation at the New South Wales Tourism awards

Accor Backs Indigenous Employment Goals

Accor indigenous training picAccor Hotels says it is aiming to employ 1000 Indigenous Australians – or 10% of its workforce on present numbers – by 2018. The hotel operator has just helped launch the Federal Government's Employment Parity Initiative, the goal of which is to increase Indigenous employment. It wants 'corporate Australia' to set goals on Indigenous employment with a 3% target by 2020.

Andrew Taylor, Director of Acquisitions & Development – Pacific Region, Starwood Hotels and Resorts

Andrew Taylor, StarwoodAndrew Taylor joined Starwood Hotels & Resorts as Director of Acquisitions & Development for the Pacific Region including Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific in June 2011.

Since joining Starwood, Andrew has led the company’s growth across the Pacific region including signing the following significant deals:

  • W Brisbane (305 rooms)
  • Westin Perth (368 rooms)
  • Aloft Perth (224 rooms)
  • Four Points by Sheraton Brisbane (246 rooms)
  • Sheraton Fiji Resort & Spa, Tokoriki Island (100 rooms)
  • Four Points by Sheraton Melbourne, Docklands (269 rooms).

Starwood operates 9 world class brands across more than 1,600 hotels globally.

In Australia, Fiji and New Caledonia Starwood manages 22 upper-upscale and luxury hotels under the Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, Westin and Le Meridien brands and just signed and converted two properties into the Luxury Collection in early 2012.

Starwood is one of the fastest growing hotel management companies in the Asia Pacific region.

Prior to joining Starwood, Andrew was the Development Manager at Mirvac Hotels & Resorts for over 5 years.

During his tenure, Mirvac Hotels increased its footprint from 28 to 47 hotels and resorts in CBD and regional locations across Australia and New Zealand.

Andrew also holds a law degree and was a qualified lawyer for over 6 years, working mainly on real estate and property transactions.

Andrew’s experience spans the full gamut of hotel management, acquisition and development deals including hotel conversions, large scale refurbishment & rebranding projects, mixed used developments, branded residential projects and the construction of a number of corporate and leisure based hotels in both CBD and regional resort locations.

Emma Fraser, Group Director of Marketing, TFE Hotels

Emma Fraser Business Close UpEmma Fraser is a true hotelier, a strategic marketer with a creative mind and a strong PR advocate, she has a real passion for creating and delivering results-oriented initiatives across the business, principally acting on guest behaviour and insights.

With a genuine belief in the power of relationships and partnerships, Emma ensures all Marketing and PR activities are collective, responsive and market driven.

Through creating multi- channel, integrated and targeted campaigns, whilst managing alignment across the brand portfolio, Emma ensures initiatives are continually delivered through a guest focused lens.

With 15+ years in Marketing and Communications in the Hospitality industry, Emma’s wealth of international experience includes working for major hotel groups such as Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Raffles Hotels & Resorts, Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts and Starwood Hotels after starting her career with InterContinental Hotels Group.

TFE Hotels, a leading Australian hospitality management company with more than 10,000 rooms across Australia New Zealand and Europe, welcomed Emma Fraser into its fast growing business, in the position of Group Director of Marketing, late 2013.

Dan Lynn, Vice President Asia Pacific,

Dan Lynn, HomeAwayDan has spent most of his career in online travel.

He currently leads the HomeAway APAC business, which incorporates Stayz in Australia, Bookabach in New Zealand, and TravelMob in Asia, as well as a stake in Tujia in China.

Before this Dan spent most of his career at Expedia, latterly as VP APAC based in Sydney and Singapore, and previously as VP Search Marketing, and in other roles.

Dan started his career in London at McKinsey and at a VC called Smedvig Capital.

Forget the US Dollar, What About The Euro?

Oz dollar v Euro 12.03.15There's been heaps of commentary about the impact a weakening Aussie dollar will have on outbound travel. Yet the comparisons are always done with the USD.

What about the Euro, against which the AUD has been strongly rising over the past few weeks? That is surely a good news story for Aussies heading to Europe this northern summer…

Cameron Stewart, Vice President – Hotel Operations, Australia & New Zealand, SilverNeedle Hospitality Group

Cameron Stewart, SilverNeedle HospitalityCameron Stewart is Vice President – Hotel Operations, Australia & New Zealand for SilverNeedle Hospitality Group which currently operates 55 managed and licensed properties in the Asia Pacific Region.

Cameron’s key responsibilities are framed by the delivery of commercial outcomes to all stakeholders and owners of hotel assets and businesses under management.

Along with managing owner relationships for all branded hotels be they owned assets, management agreements, management letting rights, leases, and or Brand licensed hotels.

A true hotelier with over 24 years’ experience, Cameron has enjoyed General Manager roles in regional, city, suburban & coastal locations across four states & territories of Australia before managing the launch and subsequent rapid expansion of a new 4.5 star hotel brand.

Soon after, adopting a regional operational management role of a large, multi-brand, hotel/apartment portfolio ranging from 3 to 5 star. This role included managing multiple hotel takeovers, refurbishment projects, and hotel rebranding projects in a regional capacity.

More recently Cameron has been involved in the re-development and subsequent launch of arguably Australia’s most technological advanced full service, 305 room, 4.5 star NEXT Hotel® Brisbane.

SilverNeedle® Hospitality has also launched the NEXT App, into which the Mobile Key is embedded. The NEXT App, available in both Android and iOS versions, allows guests to control every touch point with NEXT Hotel® Brisbane through their smartphones – from making a room reservation, entering the room, controlling in-room gadgets, ordering room service to checking out of the hotel.

At NEXT Hotels®, every aspect of technology is designed to make every part of your stay seamless, so that every minute you save is another minute you can put to better use.

David Hamblin, Senior Director of Market Management – Asia Pacific, Expedia Lodging Partner Services

David Hamblin, ExpediaWith over 10 years’ experience working with some of the world’s leading accommodation and travel providers, David Hamblin works in his current role at Expedia Lodging Partner Services to help hotel partners across the Asia Pacific region drive occupancy and increase revenue.

One of the world’s largest travel companies, the Expedia group comprises a portfolio of leading international travel brands including,, Trivago, Hotwire and the Wotif Group, and powers bookings for around 435,000 hotel and accommodation establishments in more than 70 countries.

Prior to his current role, David was Director of Sales & Marketing for Toga Far East Hotels, and before that was General Manager at 8HOTELS, a boutique hotel company.

Based in Sydney, David grew up in the UK with initial ambitions to become an actuary. He obtained a BSc. and Honours degree in Mathematics before discovering his passion for travel.

History Doesn't Always Repeat says Duetto

Patrick Andres, DuettoHistory repeats. It's been the mantra of hotel revenue management since it's become sort of sexy, in a hot accountant kind of way, among hotel managers over the past decade or so.

But Patrick Andres reckons that while the past has relevance, the future is equally important in terms of modelling how far hoteliers can push rates and increase the bottom line without hurting occupancy. More