Home' Hotel Management : HM OCTOBER 2016 Contents The decision by the ACCC to e ectively
enshrine anti-competitive practices through their
agreement with OTAs is very disappointing and
highlights the continued power of the OTAs to
set prices online.
TAA was involved extensively in discussions with
ACCC on the issue and while we were pleased
that hotels will no longer have to give OTAs the
same availability of rooms and will have greater
ability to o er more competitive rates over the
phone and through their loyalty clubs, prohibiting
hotels from o ering lower rates online clearly
lessens competition and is detrimental to both
hotels and travellers.
We will continue our advocacy to the ACCC
that hotels should be able to set their own rates
online and not provide 'rate parity' to OTAs.
French authorities have outlawed rate restrictions
both o ine and online and Germany and Austria
have moved to protect hotels in similar fashion.
The disappointing move by the ACCC
highlights the need for hotels to encourage
direct-bookings, either by providing members
of their loyalty programs with exclusive rates
lower than that o ered by OTAs or through
campaigns encouraging travellers to pick up the
phone and call direct.
The issue of labour and skills still dominates.
With our industry experiencing the fastest-ever
expansion of its tourism infrastructure over the
next five years, it is essential that we have the
labour resources -- both skilled and unskilled -- to
meet the demand.
We have therefore responded strongly to the issue
of the 'backpacker tax' which threatens a valuable
and motivated source of labour to the industry.
Working Holiday Makers (WHM) have been on
the decline (12% over the past two years), largely
as a result of our increasingly uncompetitive policy
settings with visa costs rising 50% during that time
and continued restrictions on length of time with
one employee. TAA is calling on government to
scrap the backpacker tax and remove constraints
that make the WHM visa internationally
uncompetitive. We are also asking government
to invest in marketing and promotional campaigns
to restore WHM confidence in Australia as an
attractive and competitive destination.
Plans to introduce an additional public holiday
in Queensland for Easter Sunday, without
removing another public holiday, highlight that
while Governments enjoy talking about the
positive benefits of tourism and hospitality, they
are still reluctant to follow it up with tourism-
In this regard, we are still hopeful of a positive
result in the FWC review of Sunday penalty
rate loadings, but we don't believe a decision is
imminent. TAA and AHA have led the case for
reform before the FWC for much of 2015-16,
and will continue to push for positive changes to
penalty rates, part-time work provisions and for a
cap on public holidays.
Carol Giuseppi is CEO of Tourism
Accommodation Australia (TAA)
MANTRA GROUP RAISES ,
FOR LUKE BATTY FOUNDATION
Mantra Group properties and team members
from all around Australia have united to raise
AUD$79,265 in the past year for the Luke Batty
Foundation, the Group's o cial charity partner.
The FY16 donation, which was presented to
Rosie Batty at a fundraising event at Peppers
Noosa Resort and Villas on 5 August, will help
the Luke Batty Foundation continue their
important work of building awareness of family
violence in our community.
Luke Batty Foundation CEO and 2015
Australian of the Year Rosie Batty said the
Foundation depends on businesses and the
community for assistance and support.
"We are very appreciative of the continued
support Mantra Group provides to the
Foundation," said Rosie Batty. "This donation will
deliver long lasting benefits to the community by
supporting our e orts to put victims at the centre
of the conversation on how to address the family
"The Luke Batty Foundation aims to lead
the way for prevention in Australia through
awareness raising and education partnerships."
Mantra Group Executive Director Human
Resources, Cherie McGill, said the Group is
focused on supporting charities through various
programs and initiatives.
Mantra Group's Cherie McGill presenting Rosie Batty with Mantra Group's donation
Credit: Alan Hughes Photography
Hamilton Island's occupancies
hit record highs in 2016
For its end of financial year 2016 market
update, Hamilton Island has reported it
has achieved the highest hotel occupancy
levels on record of 93.2%, representing an
8% increase on the previous year's record-
Hamilton Island's CEO, Glenn Bourke, said
it was pleasing to see the Island continuing to
achieve incredibly strong occupancy results
year after year, with the Island also reporting
a 15% increase in annual room revenue on the
back of room nights sold, which were up by
11% on 2015.
"Hamilton Island's results have been
underpinned by three
things: the multi-million
dollar reinvestment strategy
to keep the Island's o ering
updated and fresh; the
lower Australian Dollar; and
healthy competition among
Australia's airlines, bringing
more guests to the Island,"
"The legacy Mr Bob
Oatley has left the business,
following his passing at
the beginning of 2016, is
immense, and we continue
to deliver on his vision for Hamilton Island.
"The Oatley family's ongoing commitment
to reinvest significant capital each year has
proven correct. Our primary focus is to
continue to create a better ambience each
time our guests visit, and we have some guests
who have visited more than a dozen times.
As a result, in excess of $25 million is invested
each year to ensure our premium holiday
o ering remains fresh and appealing with new
and improved accommodation and activities.
"Importantly, we are now seeing the
strongest repeat business ever registered,
with 30% of total bookings accounting for
repeat business, which is
testament to the service
and unique o ering the
Island delivers to guests.
Linked to this, we are
seeing our guests taking
greater numbers of short
escapes to the Island to
rejuvenate," Bourke said.
The lower Australian
Dollar and improved Island
access also supported the
strong increase in booking
numbers over the past 12
months, he said.
CEO, Glenn Bourke
12 HM The Business of Accommodation
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