Home' Hotel Management : HM AUG 2015 Contents Both the Accommodation Association of Australia (AAoA) and the
Australian Hotels Association (AHA) say they will each push on and run
separate organisations after it has been revealed the Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU) signed by the organisations in September 2014 to
form a joint venture is no longer on the table.
While the AHA and AAoA established a joint working board and
implemented due diligence with the aim of developing a ‘one voice’
organisation to represent the accommodation sector, HM understands at
the completion of the due diligence process a deal was unable to be struck,
effectively leaving the organisations to part ways.
Since then, the AAoA says most chains in Australia have now backed
the AAoA to be the voice of the industry going forward at this stage, with
AAoA CEO Richard Munro revealing to HM that 85% of chains were
committed to that organisation.
“The Accommodation Association of Australia continues to be firmly
committed to uniting the accommodation industry through strong
representation which has a single vision and a single voice, purely focused
on accommodation beds,” he said.
“ We have consulted widely and the overwhelming vast majority of
the chains (in excess of 85% of chains) in Australia will join with the large
regional network of independent members of the Accommodation
Association of Australia to achieve the single vision, which will lead to better
outcomes for members.
“The majority of operators of accommodation businesses in Australia
have expressed a desire for industry representation which is no longer
compromised by competing interests, such as gambling and liquor, and that
is what will be delivered.
“The Association is an evolving organisation, reflecting our growing
industry and as a result, we will soon announce a number of exciting
initiatives to ensure advocacy on behalf of the accommodation industry is
taken to a new level, nationally and across each state and territory.
“The first step is to reinvigorate the Board and we are delighted to
announce the following additional appointments to join the existing Board
members, being: Simon McGrath, Chief Operating Officer, Accor; Trent
Fraser, Chief Executive Officer, Choice Hotels Australasia; and Zed
Sanjana, Chief Executive Officer, Quest Serviced Apartments.”
On the AAoA board, they join President Julian Clark, Chief Executive
Officer, Lancemore Group; Rachel Argaman, Chief Executive Officer, TFE
Hotels; Col Hughes, Independent Director; Bruce Copland, Independent
Director; Ian Sandilands, Director, Best Western Hotels; and Andrew Turner,
Executive Vice President of Hotel Management, SilverNeedle Hotels.
Munro told HM “additional appointments to the board are pending” as
further chains committed to AAoA.
“ While these changes have been taking place, we have not been
distracted from our main task of continuing to advance the interests of
operators in the accommodation industry to key external stakeholders,
including government,” Munro said.
“For example, our Association was the only one to lodge a submission to
the Federal Government’s Tax White Paper process which has a sole focus
on issues which directly impact on tourism accommodation businesses.
“During July, we submitted a policy paper and consulted with key
Ministers in Canberra in response to the current review of disability access
standards, another issue which is of vital importance to our industry,” he said.
AHA CEO, Stephen Ferguson, told HM the organisation was firmly
committed to forming one voice and he was disappointed a deal could not
He said following the completion of the due diligence process “AHA
made an amended offer to AAoA during May which proposed that TAA
would service the obligation of their members at no additional fee, for up to
12 months, with the intention of retaining the spirit of the agreement whilst
attending to the matters raised by the advisors”.
“This offer was rejected but the AHA is committed to maintaining
and strengthening an accommodation representative body – Tourism
Accommodation Australia – to focus solely on the needs and drivers of the
“ We are disappointed that the original negotiation for a united voice
did not proceed, but through Tourism Accommodation Australia, we
remain committed to creating one well-resourced and effective national
“This organisation, with [former Federal Tourism Minister] Martin
Ferguson as Chair, will provide the accommodation sector with its highest-
ever level of advocacy and representation at Federal Government level.
“AHA/TAA is in the best position to tackle the most pressing issues
facing the accommodation sector, in particular workplace reforms, which are
to be examined by the Fair Work Commission.
“The TAA Board will be supported by the strong financial base of the
AHA, with 15 dedicated workplace relations staff, and representation in
every state and territory. It will be resourced at the national level as well as
the state level.
“TAA has strong representation from the majority of the international
hotel brands, and remains committed to broadening our membership base,
welcoming both licensed and unlicensed premises to ensure we represent
the full views and interests of Australia’s accommodation sector,” Ferguson
With Martin Ferguson joining the TAA, the organization now has one of
the most senior voices in tourism and he said he was committed to growing
the association’s voice in Canberra.
“TAA has strong representation and advocacy nationwide through its
branches in each state and territory and I am looking forward to ensuring the
industry has a strong voice in Canberra,” he said.
AAoA , TAA
part ways on
The proposed merger between the AAoA and
TAA is off the table as the Associations part ways.
AAoA President Julian Clark
TAA Chair, Martin Ferguson
8 HM The Business of Accommodation
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