Home' Hotel Management : HM FEB 2017 Contents Rarely have conditions for growth and opportunity been as perfect and bountiful for any
industry as they are for the accommodation sector at present.
Demand for quality accommodation continues to outstrip supply, capital investment
is flowing into the sector from Asia, upgrades to airport infrastructure, and the slowing
of the residential boom have all contributed to create the ideal environment for focused
hoteliers to prosper.
Last year, Quest Apartment Hotels opened 10 new properties, and will continue this
rate of expansion into 2017 with plenty of opportunity remaining to create new inventory
and supply in core markets such as Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart. The same favourable
conditions also exist in second tier cities, suburbs and across regional Australia where the
quality of offerings continues to be of a very poor level.
Quest will continue to be one of the few investors in this part of the industry through
the creation of new, good quality product in some of these centres which attract tourists
on their own merits.
Our challenge domestically will be to ensure we are developing the right type of
supply to attract and meet the needs of our guests both now and into the future. An
exciting part of this plan will be bringing to life our new hotel concept, which I expect to
launch during the first half of next year.
Further afield, we will work to consolidate our position and growth into the UK, and I
am hopeful we will soon be in a position to announce that we have secured a presence there.
2017 will also see the unveiling of Quest ’s new website which has been developed and
created to set the benchmark for user experience in the accommodation industry.
In essence, opportunities abound with the general business outlook for the year
remaining very positive. Melbourne and Sydney are going through very strong periods
of growth and we can expect that to continue into the future. Brisbane rebounded
somewhat during 2016, and although that city will be under pressure with new supply
coming onto the market, great opportunity remains.
This positive outlook should also continue in the minor centres – Hobart is
performing exceptionally well, Adelaide has held strong and Perth is trading well –
despite the negativity around that market from an accommodation perspective.
A lot of growth is being driven from non-corporate travel and from inbound markets such
as the US and the UK as well as NZ that have continued to show growth and improvement
during the last couple of years. We are also seeing emerging markets such as China, India
and Indonesia – which have performed extremely well during the last three years – cause a
displacement of inventory within the industry, and this benefits the entire sector.
It is within this environment that hoteliers must ensure they don’t become too
engrained in systems and processes that were created for a customer need 30 years ago.
Now is the most crucial time for hoteliers to be bold, innovative, and creative in showing
they understand their customers’ needs in order to maintain and grow their market share
and make the best of what are really great market conditions for the industry.
Companies that have recently succeeded in disrupting an industry have been
successful because of their ability to recognise an opportunity within the market which
will improve the lives of their customers.
As hoteliers, we need to take heed, ensuring we continuously strive for improved creativity
and innovation in order to deliver a better product and service and to own our guests.
As an industry we need to become a little more agile to ensure that we meet the needs of
our guests of today and tomorrow, as opposed to being steeped in the traditions of the past.
As an industry we are still a poorly organised, disunited, disparate group of very big
and medium sized companies. We need to organise ourselves into one united body and
voice to lobby as well as support the Government to help solve some of the industry ’s
issues and improve its professionalism.
We currently only capture less that 1% of the emerging markets that are coming to
Australia and we are struggling to manage that.
The infrastructure investments that have occurred already at most major tier-one city
airports have had a massive impact on our ability to be able to attract and secure various
different types of capacity and routes from different countries. This in turn helps to
generate and stimulate tourism related services and products. The continual investment
into major infrastructure assets remains a critical lifeline for the success of the industry. In
fact, if you look at the two big gateways of Melbourne and Sydney, the passenger number
growth of the past 10 years tells an absolutely phenomenal story. It is no coincidence that
it’s the same story on the side of the hoteliers. It’s oxygen for hotels.
All of these factors along with the countrywide slowing of the residential boom will
see greater opportunities for new hotel development.
In summary, the scene is set for hoteliers to think big and be ambitious about their
growth plans. It’s certainly where Quest ’s mindset is firmly focused.
Number of hotels & rooms (Australia, New Zealand
and South Pacific): 160 properties, over 9500 rooms
Number of employees (Globally / APAC / ANZSP):
Year first hotel opened (Globally / APAC /
ANZSP): 1988 in Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia
Year the company was founded: 1988
Brands in the organisation: Quest Apartment Hotels
Head office locations (Globally / APAC / ANZSP):
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Chief Executive Officer
Quest Apartment Hotels
64 HM The Business of Accommodation
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