Luxury property rental platform onefinestay has finally launched in Australia, adding 22 Sydney properties to its global portfolio, soon to be followed by 20 in Melbourne and 10 in Noosa. New Zealand is coming online in June, starting with Auckland, Wanaka and Queenstown. The company has employed Vara Glover (Australia) and Daniel Holwerda (NZ) to accelerate regional growth. onefinestay now has more than 10,000 properties.
AccorHotels has agreed to buy Swiss accommodation group Movenpick Hotels & Resorts, which operates more than 80 properties in Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa, for 560 million Swiss Francs. It’s the latest acquisition among many for AccorHotels, which over the past three years has bought FHRHI Hotels & Resorts (Fairmont, Raffles, Swissotel), luxury home rental business onefinestay, Australia’s Mantra Group and several technology and digital marketing companies.
There’s been a bitter backlash from Adelaide’s advertising community over a decision by the South Australian Tourism Commission to go outside state borders and award its coveted creative advertising contract, worth almost $5m, to Melbourne agency TBWA.
The account is the most lucrative in South Australia (think about that) and had been held for the past 20 years by local outfit KWP, who made the final round of the tender process but were ultimately overlooked – a move that’s been branded an “absolute disgrace” by the Adelaide Advertising and Design Club. More
AccorHotels is one of the world’s largest accommodation companies with more than 4500 properties under management, many of them hotels. But that’s not how Accor sees itself. In a recent release announcing a deeper relationship with Chinese OTA Ctrip, the company’s brand positioning declared that AccorHotels is a “world-leading lifestyle and travel and digital innovator”. Not a hotelier. Interesting.
Known for its private though provocative nature, Airbnb is becoming increasingly willing to share data as it moves further into the tourism mainstream. For the sake of having a reference point, here are the 2017 Australian statistics Airbnb recently made public: More
There’s a technology and aggregation arms race on in the tours and activities sector. First to fire a shot was Booking Holdings, which announced the purchase FareHarbor last Thursday. Following day, TripAdvisor said it’s buying Bokun which, like FareHarbor, also provides booking, admin and distribution technology to tours and activities operators. More
In further confirmation that the tours and activities sector is hot, hot, hot, industry giant Booking Holdings is buying the sector’s largest online booking and reservation management platform, FareHarbor, which has more than 5000 clients and 200 employees. “We see an immense opportunity to leverage this technology to bring more local experiences online,” said Gillian Tans, CEO of Booking.com, adding that FareHarbor will operate as an “independent business”.
Tourists continue to steer clear of the Gold Coast theme parks with Village Roadshow reporting a slump in business, saying it may lose up to $10 million for the financial year.
Just a couple of months ago Village had forecast an underlying profit of between $12 million to $17 million.
How could things go so wrong, so quickly?
Village says tourists have stayed away due to bad weather and competition from the Commonwealth Games. More
Marriott International, the world’s largest hotelier, is merging its three loyalty schemes, introducing “one set of unified benefits” across Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) programs. More
Hoteliers, stand aside. New stats from Tourism Research Australia show it’s not a question of if but when your mantle as the top provider of accommodation to international tourists will be passed to the thousands of Aussie individuals and businesses who are marketing their short-term rental play through the likes of Airbnb and HomeAway. More
New research claims that 42.5% of Australian adults still book international holidays through their local travel agents, vastly in excess of the reputed 15.5% who head to the web to do the deed with an online travel agent. But what of the other 42%? Regrettably, the Roy Morgan Travel Agent Report media release does not say. You have to assume these are the people who are booking direct, no doubt using the web.
SeaLink Travel Group, which recently diversified from shipping into accommodation, has further spread its wings by investing $3.2 million in UWAI, a new Chinese travel marketing app part-owned by Chairman Andrew McEvoy while also becoming its largest customer.
UWAI markets local travel businesses to Chinese tourists. Its name translates as “travel overseas” in Mandarin and has been successfully trialled in South Australia, where 1500 businesses have signed up.
“We believe it will appeal to the fast-growing Chinese free independent traveller segment which is an increasingly important More
Marriott International says it will employ 19,000 new staff in Asia Pacific by the end of this year.
That’s around 500 a week – demonstrating the value (in terms of employment at least) hotels bring their local communities.
The new staff will be employed in 80 new hotels due to open by late December More
The supply of new rooms in Sydney during March increased 5% – the biggest growth spurt since the 2000 Olympics – however local hotels were still able to increase room rates despite a marginal fall in occupancy due to continuing strong demand. STR reports Sydney’s average March room rate exceeded $250, occupancy was 89% while RevPAR rose 0.8% to $226.
It’s an unfortunate fact that Manus Island north of Papua New Guinea has a horrible reputation defined by an exceptionally controversial offshore detention centre for refugees.
Commissioned and paid for by the Australian Government, four asylum seekers have died while there’s been endless negative news stories based around alleged abuse of human rights.
Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia have agreed to end their trans-Tasman alliance in October and start over as competitors. Air New Zealand once owned 26% of Virgin Australia but sold its holdings down over the past two years. Both carriers said they were looking forward to going it alone on the fiercely competitive routes between Australia and New Zealand.
Qantas is accepting applications for its second AVRO Accelerator program, run in partnership with Slingshot. It’s looking for “the world’s most innovative startups, scaleups and digital disruptors” to join the program, which “gives entrepreneurs the chance to work with Qantas Group to develop, incubate and scale their businesses. More
Founder Simon Lenoir has made the big decision to step away from his day to day management responsibilities at Rezdy, handing the CEO reins to Chris Atkin, previously Chief Operating Officer. More
Roshan Mendis has been appointed chief commercial officer of Sabre Travel Network, responsible for leading global sales, sales operations and business development initiatives. Mendis has worked with Sabre companies for the past 20 years, and was most recently served as senior vice president of Travel Network for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific (APAC) regions. He will continue to be based in London.
Apollo Tourism & Leisure has continued its aggressive global growth, acquiring Camperco, one of UK and Ireland’s largest independent motorhome operators, saying it will provide a “beachhead” for further European expansion.
Apollo paid £4.5m in cash and shares for the business, the major asset of which is the Bunk Campers brand, with a fleet of approximately 200 recreational vehicles, and offices throughout the UK/Ireland. More
Sabre and Amadeus have locked in new multi-year agency technology and distribution agreements with Flight Centre Group, one of the world’s leading retailers. The Amadeus partnership includes 17 countries through Asia, Europe and the Middle East, while Sabre’s covers Flight Centre’s home market of Australia and also New Zealand.
Merren McArthur has been appointed the new CEO of low cost carrier Tigerair Australia, which is owned and operated by the Virgin Australia Group. More
Well-known Sydney online travel entrepreneur Mirza Juddani has sold his company Flight Systems, which operates skiddoo.com.au, to listed retailer Helloworld. Technology was a major reason for the acquisition, providing a low risk and low cost entry to some sophisticated distribution technologies, said Helloworld CEO Andrew Burnes. Flight Systems is expected to have turnover of $80m this financial year and the purchase amount was not disclosed. Juddani will be staying on and joining the HLO team.
Travelling through Vietnam, skiing in Japan, venturing to India and relaxing in Thailand – these were the hot destinations for Australians in the peak travel month of January.
Vietnam travel by Australians was up 28%, Japan holidays increased 16%, Indian tourism grew 14% while Thailand – which had been losing market share – rose 9.6%. More
“We’ve been hit right in the balls!” exclaimed Stephen Howard, the new Marketing Director of Ovolo Hotels. “A mysterious individual decided to take one of our beloved Ovolo Balls from our hotel late last week, they didn’t even buy us dinner first! ???? We’ve got $1000, a nights accommodation and a dining voucher for Alibi Woolloomooloo up for grabs for whoever reunites us with our steely beloved sculpture.” Get on it!
The surge in Chinese visitors helped drive international tourism spending in Australia to a new high of $41.3 billion in 2017, an increase of 6% over the previous year, according to the latest International Visitor Survey. More