AUSTRALIA’S five biggest hotel companies – Accor, Mantra Group, Toga Hospitality, InterContinental and Mirvac – have rejected the powerful Australian Hotels Association and thrown their weight behind the newly-named Accommodation Association of Australia, formerly known as the HMAA.
The move, announced today, comes after years of frustration that the AHA – fundamentally a pub, alcohol and poker machine lobby – did not properly represent the accommodation industry’s interests despite lucrative industry support. Conversely the AAA had trouble attracting the big end of town.
But that changed last year when hotel industry leaders such as Andrew Turner (Mirvac), Rachel Argaman (Toga), Bob East (Mantra), Bruce McKenzie (IHG) and Simon McGrath (Accor) decided that AAA was their best bet for a united voice in the corridors of power.
Chief executive Lorraine Duffy says today’s announcement has been 20 years in the making. “It’s a milestone in the evolution of the industry,” she says. “We are the premiere accommodation group now. having the major groups on board gives us that clout.”
Meanwhile the AHA yesterday announced the launch of Tourism Accommodation Australia as part of a spoiler campaign.