Home' Hotel Management : HM February 2018 Contents We need to make sure that Sydney is sustainable so
that it doesn’t become too expensive and price itself out of
Over the past 12 months the company has undergone
significant change, including a rebrand to Next Story
Group; the introduction of Next Hotels and Resorts;
the acquisition of a new media marketing agency, Brand
Karma; the development of Virsa, our tech services
division and the creation of Kafnu, a real-life social
network, integrating the best aspects of living, working,
playing, learning, and recharging.
These developments came from a need to recognise
the changing landscape of consumer demand and to
ensure the returns from every asset are optimised. We see
Kafnu as an opportunity for asset owners to future-proof
their businesses as we can adapt quickly to changing
market circumstances and audiences.
The future for the group includes the acquisition of a
well-located hotel in Singapore which will be announced
in the New Year. We will also be announcing further
transactions across the region and specifically in South
East Asia and South Asia shortly.
Franchising is another focus for Next Story Group.
The company has completely revisited its approach to
franchising and is rolling out a highly competitive model
to the market under the Sage and Country Comfort
conomic growth within Australia over the next year is expected to broadly match
average estimated growth over the last ten years (2.6%), before improving to 2.9%
in 2018-19. Conditions in the other states however are far less favourable with
new supply outstripping demand.
We see our regional properties in NSW being positioned well to take up new
opportunities as a result of the new initiatives implemented by Adam Marshall, Minister
for Tourism and Events in his efforts to grow regional tourism.
With improved global economic conditions, and the Australian economy showing
positive indicators; with increases in business investment and business confidence; we
see 2018 as being positive from a MICE and business perspective. With household
consumption softening, there will likely be a weakening in outbound leisure travel in
favour of domestic holidays. The traditional inbound markets of Europe and North
America remain strong, and the emerging economies of Asia show no signs of stopping.
We see today ’s mobile citizens wanting something different from the traditional
hotel model. We feel they are looking for a blended space that ’s more customized to
their particular needs. Hoteliers, whether they be owners or operators, need to adapt
to the changing landscape and at Next Hotels and Resorts, through our varied brands
such as Next, Sage, Country Comfort and a new brand soon to be released targeted at
Millennials, we have the flexibility to meet their needs.
There will always be disruptors in any industry and as Hoteliers, we need to
accommodate the change when new players such as Airbnb, enter the marketplace. We
don’t see Airbnb as a particular threat to our business model. The Airbnb model caters to
a specific niche customer in the market and while we continue to provide the quality of
product and service that our brands offer our customers will continue to remain loyal to us.
With Asia being an emerging market and given the fact that our head office is in
Singapore we feel that Next Story Group is well placed to take advantage of the great
opportunities within the region. Being an Asia based company we have a focus on the
emerging economies, with Next Story Group now having a physical presence in North
East Asia, South East Asia and South Asia.
Over the next two years, international visitor numbers to Australia are expected to
increase by more than 13%. We see Asia outperforming all other inbound markets and
this combined with the domestic market remains our focus for 2018 and beyond.
To meet this increased demand, airlines are adding additional capacity to
accommodate these emerging markets.
Sydney and Melbourne are the two strongest markets in Australia. Development
is important, especially in Sydney which is borne out by very much higher occupancy
and average room rates being enjoyed by Sydney properties. The issue that remains for
Sydney is the high-cost of entry which will continue to inhibit development.
SNAPSHOT: NEXT STORY GROUP
Number of hotels & rooms (globally): 29 hotels,
2, 293 rooms
Number of hotels & rooms (APAC): 14 hotels,
Number of hotels & rooms (ANZSP): 29 hotels
Number of employees (Globally): 566
Year the company was founded: March 2003 (it was
previously the Constellation Hotel Group Pty Limited)
Chief Executive Officer – Australia and New Zealand
Next Story Group
Next Story Group is seeing the hotel market continue
to grow steadily overall with the Australian economy
growing at a subdued pace.
56 HM The Business of Accommodation
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