Big news in the small but growing world of indigenous Singapore travel tech – BeMyGuest Labs, flush with recently raised funds, has poached Graham Hills from Wego, making him an offer he couldn’t refuse to become its new Chief Commercial Officer (also his title at Wego).
BeMyGuest further strengthened its team by making respected Japanese entrepreneur Kei Shibata a board member. Hills, an Australian, joined Wego in 2011 and is best known for building the Indonesian business. He was also Chief Product Officer for a time.
South Korea’s tourism industry is in deep trouble with the nuclear threat of North Korea hitting visitor numbers hard, especially from the key Chinese market.
Meanwhile, a hotel building boom has resulted in an incredible 369,000 hotels rooms coming online over the past two years. “Demand is not nearly keeping pace partly due to geopolitical tension in the region,” says industry data company STR. More …
Qantas yesterday accepted delivery of the first of eight Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, which can fly further for longer than any other commercial aircraft. Named Great Southern Land, features include larger windows, better air quality and ride dampening technology. It is quieter, more fuel efficient and less polluting than comparable aircraft. Qantas has confirmed two Dreamliner routes – Melbourne to Los Angles from December, and Perth to London next March, the first first non-stop service between Australia and Europe.
The surge in Chinese visitors to Australia accelerated during August with a 22.3% increase over the previous year, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures. This follows 18% growth in July, 11% in June, 8.2% in May and 7.5% in April. Visits by Australians to China also grew strongly during the month by 15.2%. Italy (+16%) and Vietnam (+24.6%) were also popular with Australian travellers.
AccorHotels today announced it has agreed to buy Mantra Group for $1.3 billion. Mantra’s board unanimously accepted the Accor bid, priced at $3.96 a share, a 23% premium to the last closing price of $3.23. Mantra operates 127 hotels, resorts and apartments in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Hawaii across three key brands: Peppers (28 properties), Mantra (75 properties) and BreakFree (24 properties). It has more than 5,500 employees. AccorHotels says it operates 200+ properties pre-acquisition.
Global aviation passenger numbers during 2016 grew 7% over the previous year, reaching 3.8 billion. Once again Asia Pacific aviation dominated with 35% global share at 1.3 billion passengers, up 11.3% on 2015, according to the 2017 edition of the IATA World Air Transport Statistics (WATS), the yearbook of the airline industry’s performance. The top five city pairs were all in Asia, though US citizens fly more than any other nationality and three most popular airlines were all based in the United States. Highlights of the 2016 airline industry performance include: More …
French accommodation company Accor has made a bid to buy Mantra Group, a hotel and resort company that operates 128 properties with more than 21,500 rooms across Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Hawaii. Accor is offering the equivalent of A$3.96 a share, well up on Mantra’s closing price of $3.23 on Friday. More …
Australian consumers love their mobile technology as much as any nation – except when it comes to researching and booking travel, according to new research from Amadeus and YouGov. Here are the key regional findings:
“Australians under-utilise mobile technologies: Just 33% use a mobile for researching and 20% for booking a trip, compared to 54% and 46% respectively for APAC – most Aussies (81%) still do their travel research and booking on a laptop/desktop. Aussies also prefer email for updates/recommendations about their trip, while APAC travellers are more diverse in their preferences; including IM services, travel company apps and social media. More …
Thai hotels recorded their best-ever August occupancy rate at 81% while revenue per available room rose 6% over last year, according to STR. The reason is simple – a record 3.13 visitors for the ‘low-season’ month. But Thai hoteliers need to make hay while the sun shines. STR says Thailand has 100 hotel projects in the pipeline (21,615), equivalent to 11% of the country’s existing hotel supply.
In an extraordinary move for someone who should be smoothing the way in the halls of power, Brent Thomas, the Head of Public Policy at Airbnb in Australia, has effectively told the Premier of NSW, Gladys Berejiklian, that she has no idea about innovation and that her predecessor, Mike Baird, would be doing a much better job. More …
Overnight visitor nights to the Gold Coast exceeded five million in a year for the first time but the average visitor spend was down. The number of day trips also fell, largely due to the River Rapids accident at Dreamworld last October in which four people died. More …
Tourism is not always a force for good, or indeed spreading the economic love, as is so often claimed by industry advocates. Orphanage tourism is a case in point. In Cambodia, for example, there are less orphans than in 2005 but since then the number of orphanages has increased by 75%. How can this be? The simple answer is demand and supply. More …
Low cost carrier Tigerair Australia has expanded its services on the rapidly evolving and historically high-yielding Canberra route, where planes come stuffed with political fat cats and corporates, launching three return services between Brisbane and the national capital each week. It’s also boosted its Melbourne-Canberra service by an extra weekly flight. Tigerair’s Canberra expansion is good for competition but not for yields. Fares start at $49 ex-Melbourne and $69 ex-Brisbane.
The number is big but the timing could be better. Just one day after STR revealed that room rates in Singapore have declined for 18 consecutive months, AccorHotels has announced the Sofitel Singapore City Centre will become its 800th property in Asia Pacific region when it opens in October. More …
China has been confirmed as the world’s most dynamic cruise market with annual growth of 76% between 2013 and 2016, according to an Asia Cruise Trends report from industry association CLIA. The report reveals that 3.1 million Asians took cruises in 2016, 55% more than in 2015. “Of these, 68% (2.1 million) were from mainland China, a market which almost doubled as it grew by 99% last year.” More …
Australia was the only major aviation market where domestic demand dropped during July, according to the International Air Transport Association. “Domestic travel demand grew by 7.9% year-on-year in July, in line with 8.0% growth recorded in June. China led all markets (+15.0%).”
Don’t expect much to change at Expedia following the departure of online travel savant Dara Khosrowshahi, who has taken the top job at Uber.
That’s the message from his replacement, Mark Okerstrom, the former Expedia CFO, pictured, who says the company will focus on building out its accommodation inventory and take advantage of opportunities as they arise. See Skift story.
Hotel and resort company Mantra Group boosted its net profit by more than 22% to $45.6m for the year to June 30, 2017. CEO Bob East said: “The majority of this improvement was driven by six new property acquisitions during the year supported by strong revenue growth from the key markets of Sydney, Melbourne, ACT, and Sunshine Coast.” More …
Flight Centre shares rose another 10% yesterday to $49.10 – the highest in three years – despite posting a profit before tax ( $325 million) that was -5.7% down on last financial year. The shares have risen from just $28.53 in late March. So why the surge? More …
Retail and inbound travel company Helloworld has reported a $31 million net profit for 12 months to June 30 – up from $3.5 million last financial year – largely driven by by revenue growth of 8.7% in its Australian business and the contribution of recently-arrived AOT businesses. More …
Intrepid Group has bought 50% of Chimu Adventures and its subsidiaries from co-founders Chad Carey and Greg Carter, pictured, who will continue to run the business independently. More …
Content Is King
- It's All About The Information -
TravelTrends founder Martin Kelly has diversified and now also runs a communications consultancy specialising in travel.
"I am particularly interested in bigger picture, strategic work but happy to pitch in with the bread and butter tasks that good communication entails," he says. Services include:
- Strategic Communications
- Media Releases & Distribution
- Crisis Management
- Thought Leadership
- Industry Advocacy
- Positioning, Messaging
- Marketing Plans & Execution
- Engaging Content
Martin is a communications, public relations and media professional with extensive high-level experience across the travel, internet, property and banking industries, both in-house and as a consultant.
He is skilled at working collaboratively and building lasting relationships, accustomed to pressured, complex environments.
No Vacancy Returns
July 17-18, 2018
Exciting times ahead for No Vacancy, which has been acquired by National Media from founder Martin Kelly, who also publishes TravelTrends.biz.
“We’ll be taking No Vacancy to another level, combining high quality content with a large trade show featuring up to 150 exhibitors across all verticals, transforming it into the business hub of Australia’s accommodation industry,” says Harvey.
He says the accommodation industry is worth more than $18 billion to the Australian economy. “Yet surprisingly, given the size of the industry there is no dedicated exhibition designed to meet all its needs.”
“No Vacancy - The Accommodation Business Expo will fill this void and offer hoteliers and other accommodation industry professionals a platform to discover products and ideas to optimize their properties, create amazing guest experiences and ultimately boost their profits.”
Historically No Vacancy has been very much an accommodation marketing conference, but the new look exhibition will embrace all aspects of the accommodation business.
Content is still central to the event and will be expanded upon with more topics, more sessions and more speakers.
The exhibition will showcase the best quality suppliers across design and decor, property management, operations and finance, housekeeping, spa and leisure, in-room and guest-facing technology, and marketing, distribution and reservation solutions.
“We are really excited about where we can take No Vacancy and look forward to working closely with the community that's been supporting the event since 2007,” said Harvey.
Change is the only constant in travel and so it is with TRAVELtech, which will be returning early in the second quarter of 2018.
The event has been bought by National Media - one of Australia's most respected event management companies - from founder Martin Kelly, who also publishes TravelTrends.biz.
Kelly says he’s happy TRAVELtech is in good hands and will remain connected in a programming and moderation role.
“I’ve really enjoyed creating and running TRAVELtech but it was time to step aside and let someone else with the capacity to accelerate their evolution take it on,” says Kelly.
He will now focus on further developing TravelTrends.biz, while also consulting to travel companies on communications, innovation, industry trends and strategy.
Mark Harvey from National Media says TRAVELtech, founded in 1999, will evolve into a much larger event.
"We have plans for become the main exhibition and conference in Asia Pacific for travel technology buyers, travel agencies, tour operators and transport professionals to source, learn and network," he says.
"It will bring together a large selection of specialist suppliers showcasing the latest innovations across distribution, reservation, business operation and sales and marketing."
For more information, contact:
Mark Harvey, MD, National Media
Phone: +61 7 5510 5101 // 0419 775 488