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.
RMS – The Hospitality Cloud has become the first accommodation technology company to achieve FedRAMP security certification for its Property Management System enabling it to win a game-changing contract with the US Marine Corps. More
Hospitality tech company TravelClick has proved to be an amazing investment for its past two owners – will incoming owner Amadeus, which has just agreed to pay private equity firm Thoma Bravo USD$1.52 billion for the business, be able to say the same? More
Klook is now officially valued at more USD1 billion, making the ‘in-destination services booking platform’, the Asian travel industry’s first ‘unicorn’* following a USD200 million raising this week. More
Australia’s tourism industry has the potential to grow visitor nights in Australia to one billion by 2029-30 and contribute $150 billion to the national economy, according to a new report from the NRMA called Are We There Yet?
The NRMA, the largest motoring organisation in Australia, is a major tourism investor owning a $800+ million portfolio across Thrifty Car Rentals, Manly Fast Ferries, Travelodge, Hotel Kurrajong and Holiday Parks in six states. More
Consolidation in the travel insurance sector has continued with NIB Holdings Limited (ASX: NIF) buying QBE Travel, Australia’s fourth-largest travel insurer, for up to $25m, the final price dependent on performance. The acquisition is expected to close in early 2019. QBE Travel will be rolled in the World Nomads Group, which NIB bought for $95m in July 2015. The sector’s biggest travel insurer, Cover-More, was bought by Zurich Insurance for $741m in April, 2017.
Meriton has been fined $3 million by the Federal Court of Australia for “engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct” and breaching the Australian Consumer Law by not soliciting TripAdvisor reviews from guests the serviced apartment operator believed would be negative. More
It’s been a massive week for AccorHotels, which is moving faster than a rabbit down a hole, chasing new opportunities and deals from Sub-Saharan Africa to the Australian coast, all the while continually reinventing itself as more than an accommodation business. More
It’s official, InterContinental Hotels Group has won the management rights for Hayman Island, which will re-open in 2019 after a revamp by its owners Mulpha Australia due to the devastation wrought by Cyclone Debbie last year. More
Australia’s hotels were busier than they ever have been in the period from April to June with an average occupancy rate of 73.2% – “the highest for any Q2 on record”, according to STR. The record run came despite an overall increase in room supply of more than 2%. The Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast during April were a significant factor with strong demand driving a revenue per available room increase of 24% for the quarter.
The new super-sized NoVacancy Accommodation Business Expo in Sydney last week was a huge success with 160 exhibitors and more than 3,300 visitors. More