Just six weeks after Sydney pub baron Justin Hemmes was quoted as a potential buyer of Sydney Seaplanes, hotel mogul Dr Jerry Schwartz has swooped and invested in the business. More
Cruise tourism contributed almost $5 billion to the Australian economy in the 17/18 financial year, according to a new combined report from industry groups CLIA Australasia and the Australian Cruise Association. The report claimed 1236 “ship visits” led to 3.5 million passenger and crew visit days, raising $2.3 billion in direct economic output and $2.5 billion in indirect and induced output. More
Queenstown’s landmark The Rees Hotel has been sold to Pioneer Capital and will be the cornerstone of a boutique accommodation group targeting high-end leisure visitors to the South Island of New Zealand. More
The world’s longest scheduled non-stop air service – between Singapore and New York – is due to start operations this Thursday. The 15,2000 kilometre journey will take the brand new Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-900 ULR almost 19 hours to cover the distance. Take a good book and plenty of deodorant. See the full story at CNN Travel.
Merlin Entertainments – the biggest owner of visitor attractions in Australia and New Zealand – is on track for a record year and actively scouting for expansion opportunities.
Divisional Director Rob Smith, who is speaking at Travel IQ in Sydney on October 24, predicts that visitor numbers to Merlin’s local attractions for 2018 will be up by 3% to 4% over last year.
Highlights include: More
Overall global airline load factor hit what the International Air Transport Association (IATA) believes may be a record high of 85.3% during the peak travel month of August. “The industry experienced continued strong traffic growth in August, putting the cap on a very good peak travel season. The all-time record load factor reflects that airlines are maximizing the efficiency of their assets at a time of rising fuel prices and other costs that are limiting the opportunities for low fare stimulation,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
AccorHotels has opened its 1000th in Asia Pacific, the Pullman Tokyo Tamachi, and is aiming to open one new property in the region every two days by 2020.
“We currently open, on average, a new hotel in Asia Pacific every three days, but our goal is to move this to a new hotel every second day by 2020 and one hotel per day globally,” said Michael Issenberg, CEO Asia-Pacific AccorHotels. More
Susan Bonner, VP & MD of Royal Caribbean Cruises, pictured, and Quirin Schwaighofer, co-founder of MadeComfy, are the latest speakers to confirm for the Travel IQ conference in Sydney on October 24.
They feature in The Next Big Thing, a provocative session moderated by Tammy Marshall of The B Hive and join a star-studded line-up including Bob East, Jamie Pherous, Anthony Hayes, Darrin Grafton, Rob Smith, Sue Badyari, Brett Mitchell, Robert Halfpenny, Les Szekely, Simon Lenoir, Anthea and David Hammon, Rod Cuthbert and many more. More
The NRMA, one of Australia’s largest travel and tourism investors, has further boosted its tourism investment portfolio , acquiring another six holiday parks in NSW and Victoria, bringing its stable of owned and managed parks to 44. More
Flight Centre has bought Unmapped, a technology company that builds travel documentation, communication and itinerary management software for the travel industry. Unmapped products include the Trip Publisher itinerary builder and TripLinQ API services, which consolidates bookings, content and real-time location data into a single interface. The company’s products are already being used by Flight Centre in the US and will roll out globally. No acquisition price was revealed.
Shoulda Been There – Back in 2019
You should have been there. The first sold-out edition of Travel IQ was a fantastic day.
Make sure you don’t miss out in 2019 – register your interest here to get the latest updates.
Travel IQ is a one-day conference that celebrates the business of travel.
It’s designed for entrepreneurs, key executives, business owners, directors, analysts, investors and managers across all verticals.
The aim is to get people thinking – and also inspired – with case studies from some of Australia’s most renowned travel entrepreneurs and innovators.
This unique format resonated with the attendees at the first event, which was staged at the Langham, Sydney, on October 24, 2018.
As one high-profile speaker commented: “I met with many great people and the overwhelming comment was how much they got out of Travel IQ.
“Personally, I also enjoyed the event very much.
“It is always great getting the heads of companies in the same room, inspiring. So well done!”
Travel IQ 2018 Program – Celebrating The Business of Travel
THIS CONFERENCE HAS ALREADY BEEN HELD
9.00am – 9.45am Travel – A Growth Story. Travel remains a growth story despite global uncertainty and is forecast to grow at more than 5% a year for the next decade. Our opening speakers crunch the data on key industry sectors. We also look at where the smart money has been heading with analysis of key industry investments over the past two years, both in Australia and overseas.
- Follow the Money: Martin Kelly, TravelTrends.biz
- Hotels: Vasso Zographo/Michael Simpson, Savills Hotels
- Aviation: Anthony Moulder, Head of Transport & Infrastructure Research, CLSA Australia
9.45am – 10.05am Founder’s Story. Jamie Pherous founded Corporate Travel Management (CTD) 24 years ago with a couple of staff in Brisbane and big dreams. Now the business he created is a publicly-listed global enterprise with offices in 70 countries, thousands of staff and a market capitalisation of more than $3 billion. Learn about Jamie’s journey in this presentation.
10.05am – 10.40am Trends, Issues, Challenges & Opportunities. Travel may be growing however progression is anything but linear. That’s because travel is a complex, occasionally volatile industry that’s ultimately all about people, who are anything but predictable. Strategies change, opportunities emerge, and growth is an ever-present challenge. Meanwhile globalisation looms large. Tightly moderated panel discussion involving travel business leaders.
- Bob East, Chairman Tourism Australia, Chairman Experience Co (EXP)
- Anthony Hayes, Chief Operating Officer, Sealink Travel Group (SLK)
- Rachel Wiseman, Chief Investment Officer, NRMA Group
10.40am 11.10am – Morning Tea
11.10am – 11.35am Investor Insight. Les Szekely has picked a few winners in his time: HotelClub, SiteMinder and Rezdy to name a few, so what he says is worth listening to. What is his philosophy on investing, what does he look for in a company and what does he think the future holds? Find out here.
11.35am – 11.55am Going Public: Serko is a story of dogged perseverance and bloody mindedness. After a rocky start on the NZSX, Serko staged a huge turnaround and became its top performing share last year while achieving a long-time goal of co-listing on the ASX in June.
11.55am – 12.40pm Attractive Proposition: Attractions are the invisible infrastructure underpinning Australian tourism. Session opens with focus on the rapid evolution of third-generation company Hammons Holdings, owner since 1945 of Scenic World Blue Mountains and now operator of commercial climbing on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Followed by industry leader discussion covering everything from ski resorts and aquariums to water parks. Moderator Nigel Benton, Publisher, Australian Leisure Media.
- Anthea Hammon, Managing Director, Scenic World; Director Hammons Holdings
- David Hammon, CEO and Director, Hammons Holdings (Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb Experience)
- Rob Smith, Divisional Director, Australia & NZ, Merlin Entertainments
- Dax Eddy, GM, Jamberoo Action Park
12.40pm – 2.00pm Lunch. Sensational lunch in Bistro Remy, a great space and brilliant food. Delegates will get the chance to relax and catch up with fellow delegates in a beautiful environment.
2.00pm – 2.30pm Engineering an Exit. Building a travel business is one thing, selling it or stepping back something else altogether. Here’s how two quite different travel entrepreneurs managed their transition. One sold, the other stepped aside from day to day management. Presentation followed by discussion.
2.30pm – 2.40pm Owning the Moment: Why lease when you can build and own? Australian travel companies APT and Scenic have been at the forefront of investing in and building their own ships. Now Aurora Expeditions has joined the party, commissioning the ‘Greg Mortimer’ expedition ship. Case study on rewards and risks of building your own ship.
2.40pm – 2.50pm Focus On – Intrepid Group: It’s been a remarkable journey for the Intrepid Group, which is pushing ahead with an ambitious strategy to be the biggest player in the global adventure travel industry through a combination of acquisitions and organic growth
2.50pm – 3.10pm Adventure is Where You Find It: Discussion… Adventure, expedition and experiential travel is hot right now with consumers increasingly looking for culture, meaning and interaction when they take a break. Find out what’s driving this sector, where the opportunities lie and what the future holds
- Brett Mitchell, Regional Director APAC, Intrepid Group
- Robert Halfpenny, Managing Director, Aurora Expeditions
- Sue Badyari, CEO, World Expeditions
3.10pm – 3.30pm Working Locally, Growing Globally. The common wisdom is that you can’t build a global business from Australia. However, it can be done. Rod Cuthbert has used Australia as a launching pad for two global businesses, Viator, now owned by TripAdvisor, and Rome2rio, headquartered in Melbourne. What did he learn along the way? Interview format.
3.30pm – 4.00pm Afternoon Tea
4.00pm – 4.30pm The Next Big Thing… If only if it were that simple. Here is your chance to get ahead of the curve in our closing session featuring a panel of well-connected industry insiders with their take on how travel will evolve in the coming years and who will be best placed to take advantage of the ever-shifting tourism landscape.
- Tammy Marshall, Founder The B Hive (intro and moderation)
- Kathryn Valk, Director of Marketing, Royal Caribbean Cruises
- Jeff Lewis, VP Technology & Strategic Initiatives, TripAdvisor
- Quirin Schwaighofer, co-Founder & COO, MadeComfy
Australia’s most significant private hotel investor, Dr Jerry Schwartz, will soon assume control of his 13th property, the Four Points Sheraton at Central Park in Sydney, and has pledged to donate first night profits to Australian farmers battling drought. More
Leading serviced apartment owner and operator, The Ascott Limited, has bought 70% of Tauzia Hotel Management, one of Indonesia’s top five hotel operators.
Tauzia has a portfolio of 122 hotels across Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam, half of which are under development. Most of Tauzia’s hotels target business travellers with about 30% leisure focused.
Its brands include Harris Hotels, Yello and Pop!
The number of US visitors to Australia has slumped for the third straight month according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics travel overview for July. The number of Americans visiting Australia during July was -6.8 down on 2017. This follows year on year falls of -6.1% in June and -4.5% during May.
The BridgeClimb brand will live on under new owners Hammons Holdings who won recently won commercial climbing and tourism rights for the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
BridgeClimb is the incumbent company and its contract expires at the end of September.
In mid-August Hammons Holding bought BridgeClimb’s assets and today confirmed the iconic brand would continue, appointing Scenic World’s Chief Operating Officer Chris Zumwalt CEO from 1 October. More
Two of the world’s biggest tourism cities, London and Barcelona, experienced dramatically different fortunes during August. Hotel demand in London grew 7.5% but Barcelona hoteliers said negativity about the city caused by political unrest and residents rebelling against over-tourism caused hotel revenue to drop 20%, mainly due to discounting. More
Four of the world’s top five airlines may be from the United States but it’s Asia-Pacific that rules the global skies with a 36% share of the 4.1 billion passengers flown during 2017 – a record, of course. More
Tasmanian Walking Company (TWC) today officially opened the eagerly anticipated Three Capes Lodge Walk, claiming to offer “Australia’s most innovative and environmentally sustainable lodges”. More
The global cruise industry is in a transitional phase. Some markets are growing fast while others such as Australia – where growth has regressed from a long-term average of 18% to 5% last year, are slowing down. More
Most tours, activities and attractions are still sold the old-fashioned way through traditional travel agents using phone and emails – however the balance is set to dramatically tip over the next few years as the fast-growing sector becomes increasingly automated, according to a new Phocuswright report – Escaping the Sidelines, Tours & Activities Get Going. More
Travel networking app Travello has raised a further $5 million from a consortium of investors to help fund international expansion. “To continue our rapid growth, we need a presence in our key markets, namely: the UK, Europe, South East Asia and the US, and this investment will kick-start that process,” said co-founder, Ryan Hanly.
Travello is currently used in 180 countries by 350,000 travellers and enables users to browse and book more than 50,000 in-destination activities from a range of sources including Livn, Asia-Pacific’s super-aggregator of Tours and Activities. Travello has so far raised more than $6 million.
Here’s a great founder’s story as told by Michael Tauber, the Australian CEO of TravelCard. Tauber recalls that the Israeli company founder Alon Ketzef was the in the US 30 years and “tragically found out he had a brain tumour.”
His travel insurer “effectively told him we are not doing anything, go away and die.” Ketzeff spent a year in Massachusetts General Hospital before returning to Israel healthy but with a debt of USD450,0000. More
The credibility of Trivago – possibly the Australian travel industry’s largest broadcast advertiser – and its supposed mission to offer consumers the lowest possible hotel rates, has taken a heavy hit with the Australian competition watchdog taking the global meta-search site to the Federal Court for deceptive conduct that breaches Australian Consumer Law. More
Cost cutting continued to yield strong results at Helloworld Travel with net profit increasing 48% to $32 million in the year to June 30. Revenue was basically the same as 16/17 at $326.9 million however operating costs “lowered significantly”, hence the dramatically improved profit.
The announcement also revealed that the price of international airfares fell 6.6% through the year, driving volume but not margin. More
Loyalty ain’t what it used to be, says Google, and it’s time that travel marketers woke up to the new reality which, being Google, is all about businesses using technology to personalise messages and advertising. Loyalty was also a hot topic at the Australian Revenue Management Association conference in Melbourne last week, where the view was that loyalty can’t be bought but must be earned. See Google post.
Australian visitor numbers to New Zealand have now fallen for six consecutive months with the June overseas arrival and departure stats showing a -1.5% slump over last year, presenting a major challenge for Andrew Waddel, who has just been appointed GM Australia for Tourism New Zealand. More
It’s been reported in Skift that the price Booking Holdings agreed to pay for HotelCombined was USD140m while the global giant also outlaid USD250 million for tours and actvities tech company FareHarbor. Small change really. Neither was mentioned in the acquisition announcements by Booking Holdings because they are “immaterial” – and it’s hard to argue. Booking Holdings is still sitting on USD7.3 billion in cash and marketable securities.