Home' Hotel Management : HM February 2018 Contents SNAPSHOT: SWISS-BELHOTEL
Number of Hotels and rooms (globally): 150 hotels
and projects in 22 countries totalling approximately
18,000 rooms and keys.
Number of Hotels and rooms (Asia Pacific): 110
hotels and projects with 11,000 rooms and keys.
Number of hotels and rooms (Australia and New
Zealand): 6 hotels and projects with over 800 rooms,
suites and apartments.
Number of Employees (globally): 12,000 including
hotel operational staff.
Year the company was founded: 1987.
Brands in the organisation: Grand Swiss-Belhotel,
Grand Swiss-Belresort, Swiss-Belhotel, Swiss-Belresort,
Swiss-Belsuites, Swiss-Belboutique, Swiss-Belvillas,
Swiss-Belresidences Swiss-Belinn, Swiss-Belcourt, Swiss-
Belexpress, Zest plus, Zest, Zest OK.
Head office locations: Auckland, New Zealand
(global), Hong Kong (corporate office).
The world continues on its juggernaught of disruption.
hether we are talking of the continuing power and growth of the internet;
the power of on-line e-commerce; the huge change in retail shopping;
whether we are talking of the political challenges of the USA, North
Korea; the European Economy or Brexit; whether we are talking of the
security issues in The Middle East; Asia or Europe; or whether we are talking of the
economic slow-down of Asia and the strong economic growth of the USA.
Our thoughts, as we prepare to manage our way through 2018, continue to be
concerned with the unexpected; the disruptive; and yet the exciting opportunities of the
My Group – Swiss–Belhotel International – continues to be very positive, yet careful,
of the opportunities of our medium sized international hotel management company.
I am continually aware of the need to change; the need to challenge; of the need to
understand the market and we have to be prepared to change and question what we are
doing. I find this very challenging at times as the hotel management industry has come from
a conservative background; has come from traditional management structures; has come
from an executive approach which has been reactive rather than proactive; has historically
lacked questioning of itself and executives with ‘other people’s problems’ attitude. This
is why the major changes in the hotel and hospitality industry have so often come from
non-hoteliers; from property experts; from the e-commerce industry; from the distribution
industry; from the transport industry; from the investor and capital raising industry.
Do you really see the Hotelier being an investor? Do you really see the Hotelier
looking at new building techniques? Do you really see the Hotelier looking at major
systems changes until they are forced to?
This is because the Hotelier is a reactive manager rather than a proactive manager.
This is because the Hotelier so often does not question why or how. This is because
the Hotelier thinks of profitability as a resultant rather than the key driving force for
which they are responsible. The Hotelier must start thinking; must start understanding
With Airbnb, Uber and other disruptors, as an industry we continue to ignore them
and we do not see the long-term changes and challenges. When the biggest and richest
companies in the world operate by using other people’s assets for ‘free’ – which is what
Airbnb and Uber does – there must be a total change in the thinking of the business and
financial structures of the world.
When these huge companies escape the regulatory and governance requirements
that asset based corporations have to conform to, then there must be a total change in
the governmental process and Government regulations. Where taxation structures are
avoided and transfer pricing takes on a whole new dimension then governments have real
funding challenges with their geographical functions and responsibilities.
These are disruptive changes and disruptive challenges. The hotel industry is a global
operation and must also recognise such issues and such challenges. We are now seeing
Airbnb investing in property and balance sheets. We now see global hotel management
companies investing in distribution companies like Airbnb. We now see horizontal and
vertical business integration on a global scale.
This is exciting and Swiss-Belhotel International is in positive discussions with
potential partners and potential distribution companies to investigate how we can grow
into this exciting consolidation process.
With these challenges in mind, Swiss-Belhotel International has acquired the real
estate of Swiss-Belresort Cornet Peak, Queenstown New Zealand: has bought the
management rights of Swiss-Belsuites Pounamu, Queenstown, New Zealand; has taken
a long term lease on Swiss-Belsuites Victoria Park, Auckland, New Zealand; has taken
on a long term lease of Zest Ok budget brand hotel in Auckland, New Zealand which
will open in December 2018; has taken on a long term lease of Swiss-Belhotel Brisbane,
Australia and has renewed for 10 years the management of The York by Swiss-Belhotel,
Sydney Australia. These are real development changes for a purely international hotel
management company with 150 hotels and projects in 20 countries.
Swiss-Belhotel International is a privately owned international hotel management
company with limited capital resources. However 2017 and 2018 has seen the Group
modify its strategy and taken investment positions in Australia and New Zealand, two
key markets where tourism is growing at a record rate. This approach is bringing strength
and stability to its global expansion.
Our culture of Passion and Professionalism and our unique accessibility for owners
and investors to the senior executives of the Group, is giving the investment market an
exciting and viable alternative to the large and consolidated hotel management groups.
Chairman and President
36 HM The Business of Accommodation
Asia Pacific Leaders
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