Travel, Tourism & Events

Australia’s tourism promotion falls away as marketing costs climb 

AUSTRALIAN tourism businesses are facing sky-high increases in marketing costs as the country struggles to regain its hold on a once-strong export earner, according to the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC).

ATEC managing director Peter Shelley said while the flow of overseas holiday makers was yet to return to 2019 levels, Australian tourism businesses were spending up to twice their pre-Covid budgets on marketing activities to lure international visitors back. 

“We always knew the restart of tourism would be tough – shutting borders effectively closed many tourism businesses servicing international markets – and more than two years on we are still working hard to revive our visitor markets,” Mr Shelley said.  

“More recent headwinds have added to the challenge with geo-political, environmental, aviation and economic concerns putting pressure on decisions to travel. 

“For Australian tourism businesses in particular, the costs of marketing their product in Europe or the US have increased significantly, and this is really showing in our ability to hold space in the international travel marketplace.” 

A recent survey by ATEC found more than three quarters of export tourism businesses had seen increases in their marketing budget of more than 20 percent with a quarter now facing marketing budgets double their 2019 spend. 

Businesses are citing pressures including increased spending by competitor destinations, exchange rates, cost of attending trade shows, advertising costs and overall business travel expenses as major contributors to marketing budgets. 

“While we are seeing pressures on individual businesses, the cost of marketing Australia to a global audience has also increased for our marketing agencies who are now needing to significantly increase their advertising spend to maintain ‘top of mind’ awareness for intending international travellers,” Mr Shelley said.

“As we move towards this year’s Federal Budget, we are seeing agencies such as Tourism Australia trying to do more with much the same budget, in real terms, they’ve been working with for the past decade. 

“While many of our competitors have doubled down on their tourism marketing spend, Australia has seen state tourism budgets trimmed and the collective pool of marketing funds to promote Australia to high spending international travellers shrink in real terms.” 

Mr Shelley said he hoped the Federal Government will recognise the return-on-investment export tourism creates by increasing Tourism Australia funding in next week’s budget.   

“Failing to invest in tourism is failing to invest in an Australian success story,” he said. “We should not forget that in 2019 tourism’s GDP grew by 3.5%, outpacing the national GDP and that is an economic benefit we are currently missing out on. 

“We call on the Federal Government to support tourism, to support the economy by helping tourism businesses across Australia to get back to into the market and get back to doing what they do best.” 

www.atec.com.au

ends

 

F1 Australian GP revs up record corporate crowds despite escalating cost of business

CORPORATE travel bookings to the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix this weekend are up 146 percent on last year. And that is in spite of significant rises in business operating costs and reductions in overall corporate hospitality expenditure.

What is the magic formula that gives the F1 Australian GP a special place in the corporate hospitality pecking order? According to business travel organiser, Corporate Traveller, domestic corporate bookings account for 90 percent of the event, with Canberra bookings jumping by a massive 300 percent on last year. 

Corporations are paying from $1550 to $4595 per ticket to host clients for the main race day. They paid up to $6550 per person for two- to three-day passes, which were almost sold out two weeks in advance1

Air travel data showed a 146 per cent jump in bookings around the four-day event compared with last year. General admission sold out within two hours1. According to Corporate Traveller global managing director, Tom Walley, who is based in Australia, the figures demonstrate the value of investing in major events as a way of retaining key business connections and developing new relationships, even in uncertain economic conditions.

“It’s been a hard couple of years for many businesses, but our data strongly suggests that businesses across the country see value in major events like the Grand Prix,” Mr Walley said.

“This year, we have seen a massive increase in attendance by Canberra-based corporates compared with last, however, the majority of bookings are still from Sydney, followed by Brisbane, across both years. While expensive, events like this are a prime opportunity to network, nurture existing relationships and develop new business and sponsorship opportunities. Savvy businesses from all over Australia are beginning to make the most of those benefits.”

Research by Corporate Traveller, part of the Flight Centre Travel Group, compared corporate inbound and outbound flight bookings from March 20-25 to capture travel to the four-day event. It found the Thursday (March 21) is the busiest day, with 25 percent of all bookings scheduled. 

Businesses under financial pressure

Over the past two years, businesses have been hit by much of the same financial pressures as Australian households2 with multiple interest rate rises and increases in the cost of fuel and materials, Mr Walley said.

Cautious consumers and efforts to retain staff in a competitive environment of skills shortages have added to the pressure. Increasingly, he said, businesses facing profitability challenges were drawing down on cash buffers to support their operations or service debts3, with the failure rate of businesses expected to rise from 4.2 percent to 5.8 percent of all businesses by November this year4.  

He said amid the widespread downturn, the travel, hospitality, and entertainment sectors might outperform other sectors in 2024. With food and drink, entertainment, and travel and experiences noted as categories where individuals were most inclined to increase their spending.5

Networking and marketing a priority

With the focus firmly on networking and brand exposure, corporate bookings between 20-25 March this year were up 146 percent on bookings for the six days before, during and after the 2023 Grand Prix (March 29 to April 3). Of those, only 9 percent were international and 91 percent were local.

Of local bookings in 2024 compared with 2023, Canberra jumped by 300 percent, Adelaide by 226 percent, Brisbane by 191 percent, Perth by 177 percent, and Sydney by 194 percent. Sydneysiders made up 36 percent of all bookings.

Mr Walley said corporate travellers have a variety of exclusive events to choose from, and none of them come cheap.  The Australian GP offers a choice of 19 exclusive experiences, including a three-day Red Bull Energy Station experience at the top price of $6550 per person. The Red Bull Energy Station is held in a two-storey facility with views of the pit exit and main straight. The experience includes dining, drinks, DJs, entertainment and appearances from the Red Bull racing team6.

The least expensive three-day experience was The Park at $2195 per ticket, including dining, DJs and an outdoor viewing deck7.

Crowd-breaking records and a stellar line-up

In 2023, 444,631 people attended the Australian GP over four days, a record attendance for Melbourne8. Higher numbers are expected to flock to the Albert Park Lake circuit this year with race-day tickets selling out in a couple of hours9. The Albert Park circuit can hold an estimated 125,000 people per day, including 44,000 seated.

“Business owners recognise the importance of investing time and money into their team and associates for long-term gains,” Mr Walley said.

“Grand Prix attendance has grown exponentially over the past couple of years as businesses recover, maintain and grow in a tumultuous economic climate. This is one expense that has the long-term potential to relieve financial pressure as well as give businesses and their employees a morale boost and something exciting to look forward to.”

www.corporatetraveller.com.au

 

Percentage change in business travel to the Australian Grand Prix 
 (29 March – 3 April 3023 & 20-25 March 2024)

Origin

% Change

Sydney

194%+

Brisbane

191%+

Adelaide

226%+

Perth

177%+

Canberra

300%+

All International & Domestic

146%+

 

REFERENCES

[1] 2024 Australian Grand Prix race day tickets sell out in two hours (raceweek.com.au)

[2] https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/fsr/2023/oct/pdf/02-household-business-finances-in-australia.pdf

[3] https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/fsr/2023/oct/pdf/02-household-business-finances-in-australia.pdf

[4] https://creditorwatch.com.au/blog/business-conditions-ease-further-maintaining-a-slow-downward-trend/

[5] https://www.cosboa.org.au/post/resilience-amidst-challenges-cosboa-and-square-release-2023-small-business-data-report

[6] Red Bull Energy Station, FORMULA 1 ROLEX AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX 2024

[7] The Park, FORMULA 1 ROLEX AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX 2024

[8] Record Melbourne crowds attend chaotic 2023 Formula One Australian Grand Prix – Drive.com.au

[9] 2024 Formula One Australian Grand Prix race day tickets sold out – Drive.com.au

 

ENDS

Nine insider ‘hacks’ for cutting business travel costs

BUSINESS TRAVEL is continuing its growth, with a projected 188 percent rise in the next five years, according to research by Statistia on the size of the global travel market by 20281.

Alongside this trend, the costs associated with doing business, including travel, have also grown. In response to these trends, seasoned international business travel expert, Saskia Boxem, has nine ‘hacks’ to offer – from taking flights on the half-hour mark and early weekdays, to booking eight days in advance – to help businesses get more value out of their travel in the next financial year.

Ms Boxem is the NSW/ACT head of customer success for Corporate Traveller, the flagship small and medium enterprise (SME) travel management division of Flight Centre Travel Group.

“Part of our service is to create the best, most cost-effective travel management plans for clients,” Ms Boxem said.

“As travel experts, we know the tricks of the trade to secure the most convenient, cost-effective travel options for corporates that travel regularly. I’m pleased to recommend a few money-saving hacks that have been tried and tested by business travellers over the years. 

“Corporate Traveller has helped more than 6,500 businesses with their travel through a whole suite of offerings, from expert advice through dedicated travel managers and 24/7 support, to innovative booking technology and AI-powered travel assistants. Our team knows that, ultimately, service, efficiency and value are priceless for businesses, which is why many of these hacks will also improve the travel experience and save our client’s time.”

Nine insider hacks to cut costs on business travel:

1. Save up to 20 percent on airfares by booking 8-14 days ahead. Corporate Traveller’s own experience shows that the cheapest domestic airfares are those booked 8-14 days before departure. Airlines tend to release cheaper seats around this time to fill their flights. Given business meetings are often arranged one to two weeks ahead, this hack is more useful to businesses than leisure travellers. 

2. Book flights on the quarter-hour or half-hour for cheaper fares. Corporate Traveller’s veteran business flyers swear by this rule, and they put this down to a classic case of supply and demand. Flights that leave on the hour are more costly, as they are booked more frequently. For example, an executive assistant or travel booker might be instructed by management to book a flight at 8am, and they will simply book a flight at that exact time. By booking flights 15 or 30 minutes either side of the hour, travel bookers can find a less busy, and therefore more affordable, option.

3. Book early-week flights. Google Flights data shows that, on average, flights that depart on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday have been 12 percent cheaper than weekend departures (based on the Google blog How to find the best deal on your next flight)2. This hack will be useful for business travellers who have the flexibility to book early-week meetings. Late-week flights, while more expensive, come with other bonuses: a traveller may be paying more for a Friday flight, but they have the added advantage of tacking on a weekend away in that destination.  

4. Stick to one or two airline rewards programs. It’s tempting to sign up to every rewards program out there, but Corporate Traveller recommends maximising just one or two of the major ones and growing your membership status within them. The most covetable perks in these programs – such as the first pick of seats, additional luggage and business lounge access – are available for members that reach gold or platinum status, which is difficult to achieve across multiple programs. The major programs, such as Qantas Frequent Flyer, allow you to accumulate and redeem points when flying with a broad range of alliance partners. 

5. Negotiate prices across your travel suppliers every 24 months. Many businesses have a ‘set and forget’ approach to their travel policies. This year, Corporate Traveller has seen several policies that have not been updated since 2019. If you’re looking to reduce your business’s travel budget in FY24, it’s worth negotiating prices and scope of services with providers – such as hotels and car hire companies – set out in your policy. It may be worthwhile switching to providers that offer better value. Whichever way your business travel has changed over the past few years, you should have a travel policy to match it.

6. Use the ‘five-block rule’ to cut costs for city bookings. To save on hotels and restaurants in cities, avoid booking within five blocks of the CBD. When looking for an alternative, choose areas with good public transport and easy access back into the CBD. For instance, Corporate Traveller often recommends the Greenwood Plaza district of North Sydney as a convenient lower-cost location for business travellers, due to its plentiful and reliable public transport options, amenities, and proximity and easy access to the CBD.

7. Bundle your trips. Since the pandemic, many of Corporate Traveller’s own customers have changed the frequency and length of their trips. While same-day trips were hugely popular in 2019, weekly trips are taking over, as businesses bundle several meetings in a single two- or three-day trip – and occasionally a leisure trip tacked onto the end. 

8. Flexibility trumps loyalty for cutting costs. Sticking to the same hotel group or airline because you’re on a loyalty program can give you unique perks and deals but may not equate to cheaper travel over the year. Regularly compare prices with other travel providers to ensure you have the best value. Alternatively, set a cost cap for travel and allow your employees to pick their own hotels and flights. This gives travellers ownership over their business trips and better employee satisfaction, while ensuring costs meet an agreed rate. 

9. Join value-add programs and sign up to travel newsletters. It’s worth selectively signing up to hotel and airline e-newsletters to keep on top of sales and discount codes exclusive to subscribers. For example, Qantas recently announced its Companion Sale – discounted rates on pairs of travel bookings – in its newsletter. Businesses can pass these offers to their travel management provider, such as Corporate Traveller, to book the special price on their behalf. A good travel management provider should also offer deals for its customers. Corporate Traveller’s SmartStay program, for instance, offers exclusive hotel deals, with add-ons including free breakfast, late checkout, and upgrades where available. 

www.corporatetraveller.com.au

 

References:

[1] Global business travel market size 2028 | Statista

[2] How to find the best deal on your next flight (blog.google)

 

ends

Top travel perks for credit cardholders in 2023: Corporate Traveller analysis

THE RESURGENT demand for domestic and international travel has also seen a fervour in the accumulation of rewards points, according to business travel agency Corporate Traveller.

According to Corporate Traveller global managing director, Tom Walley, even as the cost of living and doing business continue to increase, there are “a plethora of exciting travel perks linked to rewards credit cards” already motivating business travellers to take advantage.

Mr Walley said staff at Corporate Traveller – Flight Centre Travel Group’s flagship travel management division for SMEs – had amassed a database of these loyalty offerings and were passing them on to business travellers who were using them to travel better and save money. 

“The domestic and international travel perks offered by rewards credit cards can save businesses and their travellers hundreds of dollars each year, while allowing them to get a little luxury into their trips without the cost,” Mr Walley said. 

“These perks include free flights and airport lounge access, restaurant credit and hotel rooms, travel insurance, and even concierge services.

“However, travellers should determine the offers that will be of most value to them – and crunch the numbers to work out whether these offers still provide value against sometimes higher interest rates or high annual fees.”

Corporate Traveller’s research has revealed eight perks for credit card holders looking to maximise their travel and destination experiences:

  1. Complimentary return flights.With airfares likely to remain high in 2023 before capacity returns to pre-COVID levels, some frequent flyers might be attracted to cards with offerings such as up to $450 in travel credit with major airlines or complimentary flights each year. However, cardholders should be aware of any higher-than-average costs associated with those cards. The American Express Velocity Platinum credit card includes one free return domestic flight with Virgin Australia every year and 21.99 percent interest[1] compared with the average credit card interest rate of 19.94 percent.[2] The American Express Platinum charge card offers $450 in yearly travel credit to spend on eligible flights, hotels, or car hire, [3] and comes with a $1,450 annual fee.
  2. Uncapped points. Many rewards cards put a cap on the points that cardholders can earn each month or year. Businesses with multiple travellers or high-spending directors, once they crunch the numbers and understand how many points they could accumulate, might consider switching to a rewards card offering uncapped points. An example is the NAB Rewards Business Signature Credit Card.[4]Rather than linking to a frequent flyer program, however, this card earns NAB Rewards, which can be redeemed for flights online.
  3. Dining credit.Another rewards perk is credit with overseas and domestic restaurant partners, which might appeal to travellers with a tight personal budget while travelling. The American Express Platinum charge card, for instance, offers up to $400 in restaurant credit at participating restaurants in Australia and overseas, but does come with an eye-watering $1,450 annual fee. [5]
  4. Earning points on taxes.Some credit cards offer points for tax payments – albeit at a lower awards rate. Businesses should weigh up the redemption value of those rewards with the credit card surcharge for tax office payments. For instance, the American Express Business Explorer card reduces its usual two points for every dollar spent offering to one point with the ATO and against a 1.45 percent surcharge for tax office payments.[6]
  5. Access to airport lounges.Airport lounges offer opportunities to relax or work productively while in transit, and many rewards credit cards offer access to lounges across Australia and internationally. For instance, the HSBC Star Alliance Credit Card allows members to earn points across 26 airline rewards programs, providing access to more than 1,000 airport lounges worldwide.[7] However, cardholders earn one Star Alliance point per $1 spent up to $3,000 per statement period, and just 0.5 points for every $1 spent thereafter. The Qantas Premier Titanium card offers new cardholders two complimentary Qantas First Class lounge passes at selected airports in Sydney, LA, and Melbourne annually[8] – but cardholders need to consider the $1,200 annual fee. The American Express Velocity Platinum cardholders receive two Virgin Australia lounge passes at selected domestic airports each year [9] – but it comes with a 21.99 percent interest rate and does not allow balance transfers.
  6. Travel insurance.Some rewards credit cards allow cardholders to save on travel insurance by offering a level of complimentary insurance. However, keep in mind there are limitations to a card’s insurance policy, and businesses should determine whether they require more comprehensive cover to ensure employees and business belongings are fully protected. For instance, ANZ Rewards Platinum[10] credit cardholders can access unlimited overseas emergency medical. It caps other cover at $50 for meals and $250 for accommodation in the event of travel delays; $4,000 for lost, stolen or damaged computers, cameras, and video cameras; and up to $1,000 for any other item. However, cover for rental vehicle damage is capped at $5,000. 
  7. Complimentary accommodation.High-earning travellers who frequent a preferred hotel or want to tack a personal trip onto a business trip might find value in complimentary accommodation. The Citi Prestige Credit Card[11] allows cardholders to get a fourth night free at a participating hotel, limited to four stays a year, keeping in mind there is a $700 annual fee from the second year and cardholders need to have a minimum $150,000 annual income.  
  8. No-fee frequent flyer membership.Some rewards credit cards waive rewards membership fees. The HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card, for instance, waives the $99.50 Qantas Frequent Flyer membership fee; however, cardholders are limited to earning 0.5 Qantas Points for every $1 spent after spending $1,000 in a statement period.[12]

 corporatetraveller.com.au

 

REFERENCES


[1]
 American Express Velocity Platinum Card, americanexpress.com/au/credit-cards/velocity-platinum-card/

[2] Compare the Market, comparethemarket.com.au/blog/press-release/with-credit-card-interest-rates-not-budging-australians-take-matters-into-their-own-hands/

[3] American Express Platinum , americanexpress.com/au/credit-cards/the-platinum-card/ 

[4] NAB Rewards Business Signature Card, nab.com.au/business/business-credit-cards/nab-rewards-business-signature-card 

[5] American Express Platinum, americanexpress.com/au/credit-cards/the-platinum-card/ 

[6] American Express Business Explorer, americanexpress.com/au/business/business-credit-cards/business-explorer-card/ 

[7] HSBC Star Alliance Credit Card. hsbc.com.au/credit-cards/products/star-alliance/

[8] Qantas Money, qantasmoney.com/credit-cards/premier-titanium  

[9] American Express Velocity Platinum,  americanexpress.com/au/credit-cards/velocity-platinum-card/

[10] ANZ Rewards Platinum, anz.com.au/personal/credit-cards/rewards/platinum/ 

[11] Citi Prestige, citibank.com.au/credit-cards/citi-prestige 

[12] HSBC Platinum Qantas, hsbc.com.au/credit-cards/products/platinum-qantas/ 

ends

Illuminating how business travel can help navigate global challenges

HSBC chief economist Paul Bloxham reveals key insights from his upcoming keynote talk at Flight Centre Corporate’s #Illuminate2022 conference

 

EVEN IN SPITE OF current global challenges of high inflation, supply chain disruptions and the conflict in Ukraine, one of Australia’s leading economists is forecasting that increased travel will be a silver lining for both the Australian and New Zealand economies.

HSBC chief economist Paul Bloxham, whose area covers Australia, New Zealand and global commodities markets, has revealed insights from his upcoming keynote presentation at Flight Centre Corporate’s highly anticipated annual Illuminate conference on October 20, which returns as an in-person event for the first time since 2019. 

Mr Bloxham said travel would be a key factor shielding Australia from a hard landing potentially wrought by the slowdown of the global economy.

“Travel is going to be a bright spot in the current challenged world,” Mr Bloxham said. “Households spent less during the pandemic and the country’s unemployment rate has been at its lowest since the mid-1970s.

“As such, Australians have saved over $250 billion and are ready to deploy those funds,” Mr Bloxham said. 

“Now that the world is reopening, there is a strong appetite for travel among the population and we expect to see a continued increase in travel activity, particularly domestically. Australians are also starting to travel abroad again in large numbers.

“Corporate travel is reviving faster than leisure, with businesses returning to face-to-face contact, particularly at conferences and other events.”

Hosted by Flight Centre Travel Group’s corporate brands FCM, Corporate Traveller, Flight Centre Business Travel, Stage and Screen, and FCM Meetings and Events, Illuminate can make claim to being ‘Australia’s premier annual business travel event that is free to attend’. This year, it will be held in person at The Venue in Sydney’s Alexandria and livestreamed nationally.

At the event Mr Bloxham will also share his deeper and more detailed outlook on the global economy and how Australia and New Zealand are faring against the rest of the world, amid the numerous challenges that have emerged this year. He said many of these challenges which had not been experienced since the 1970s.

“Globally, inflation rates are well above those we’ve seen in decades,” he said. “While inflation is running at around eight percent in US and nine percent in the Europe, its growth in Australia has fortunately been slower.

“We forecast Australia will avoid a recession, unlike some other countries,” Mr Bloxham said.

“Supply constraints are also a deep global issue, because of the impact of the pandemic, the Ukraine war, labour shortages and a shortage of shipping containers. Policymakers – central banks and treasurers – will need to tighten up policy settings to try and slow demand down.

Mr Bloxham said the interest rate increases introduced in Australia, and the subsequent decline in house prices, will help discourage households from spending to ease inflation.

“I anticipate consumer spending in Australia will slow from six percent to close to two percent next year,” he said. “Consumers will also redirect more of their spending to services, including travel and hospitality.

“While this will be a challenge for Asian economies because they are big producers of manufactured goods, Australia – which has a strong service-based economy – will be in better shape. Bringing international tourists back also ought to be a key focus for policymakers and will benefit the economy.

“Closing our borders was a successful strategy in managing the pandemic,” Mr Bloxham said. “However, it did do damage and it will take some time for international travellers to return.

“I expect a travel bounceback between New Zealand and Australia first – something we’re already seeing.”

Mr Bloxham also believes the Australian dollar will weaken further – predicting a fall to USD$0.63 by mid-2023 – which will encourage travellers to Australian shores.

“This will be attractive to international travellers, who may see us as a cheaper option for them, which will be helpful to the economy,” he said. “While it will be slower bringing international leisure travellers back over corporates, their return presents a great opportunity for local businesses.

“Ultimately, Australia’s economy is doing well. Spending is strong, the unemployment rate remains low and the labour market is strong.

“While we are operating beyond our capacity, and it is crucial we slow things down – travel is one thing we expect that people will choose to spend on,” Mr Bloxham said.

Mr Bloxham will present his insights at the Illuminate conference on October 20 at The Venue, Alexandria.

Also presenting key insights for Australian businesses at the event are Virgin Australia CEO and managing director Jayne Hrdlicka, Rex Airlines deputy chairman John Sharp, and Brisbane Airport CEO Gert-Jan de Graaff.

The complimentary event returns in a hybrid format this year and is expected to attract leaders, travel bookers and travel decision-makers from businesses of all sizes. Illuminate also offers guests opportunities for networking and strategising, along with entertainment and prizes for attendees.

www.illuminatefctg.com.au

ends

Hotels are in for radical change to navigate post-pandemic world

By Leon Gettler, Talking Business

THE HOTEL industry will have to change dramatically to cope with post-pandemic labour shortages. 

Chris Adams, the CEO and founder of the Ellis Adams Group and his international luxury hospitality consulting firm EAG, which is currently opening 100 hotels during Q3 and Q4 of this year, believes the industry must urgently to offer better career paths and conditions for staff.

Mr Adams has the experience to back that assessment up, for his companies are partnering with Marriott International to transform locations for The Ritz-Carlton, St Regis, Westin and Renaissance brands, among others, all over the world.

He said hotels had tried different solutions the labour shortage issue. Some had thrown more money to get people to come back to the industry, while some had looked at bigger perks and better benefits. 

“I think the thing that is holding true for those who are finding success is the ones that are finding ways to cultivate a true foundation of looking after those that they bring on,” Mr Adams told Talking Business.  

“Yeah, everyone wants more money, I think that’s the easy answer. But those individuals who come back to our restaurants, hotels and what-not and when they believe we truly care about them and we’re looking at their future beyond getting us through this shift, and where are we helping you get through this three, five and 10 year career – and we truly care about you – those are the ones that are finding success and getting people to come back to their hotels and restaurants.”

CHANGES SINCE COVID

Mr Adams said the mindset of people working in the hotel industry had changed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the hospitality industry, people work long hours at all hours of the day, during times when others are catching up with the family or relaxing doing the things they enjoy. COVID-19 changed their mindsets, he said, which meant hotel managers needed to meet them “where they are at” to make the workplace more comfortable for them.

“It’s cultivating an environment where we care about their livelihood and their future and they are not just there filling a cog for us, to get us through the day, a shift or month,” Mr Adams said.

He said the design of hotels, including the centuries old lobby layout, would have to change. These changes were already happening, he said, but the pandemic speeded it up.

“We’re seeing hospitality take a bigger role in hospitality where we have always lagged. Now you’re seeing it come to the forefront faster,” he said.

Designs will also change. He said there was a lot of dead space in the design of hotel lobbies where the check in process takes place.

TECHNOLOGY WILL IMPROVE THE REAL EXPERIENCE

Mr Adams said technology would make that space more functional and completely change the check-in experience.

With apps, hotels would know in advance when the guest is arriving. The hotel could have a lobby ambassador to greet the guest, but that would “be a far as it goes”.

“We don’t need you to come stand at a desk and spend 15 minutes staring at a computer,” Mr Adams said. “You can walk straight to your room. The app technology will revolutionise the check-in experience.”

This will be seen in the new hotels to start with, but he forecasted that it would be retrofitted to established hotels as owners started to see the return on investment (ROI) on those changes.

Mr Adams said hotels would start being treated like entertainment venues that are focused on the local community – with the restaurant, coffee shop and dry cleaners – which just happen to have fantastic rooms above.

www.ellisadamsinc.com

www.leongettler.com

Hear the complete interview and catch up with other topical business news on Leon Gettler’s Talking Business podcast, released every Friday at www.acast.com/talkingbusiness.

https://play.acast.com/s/talkingbusiness/talking-business28interview-with-chris-adams-from-ellis-adam

ends

.

Tourism businesses still await critical government support

 WITH JUST a week until the Federal Election, Australia’s export tourism industry remains concerned with the lack of political focus on key government supports which will help the industry’s restart.

“We are nearing the end of the election campaign and some of the key issues facing tourism businesses are yet to be addressed,” ATEC managing director Peter Shelley said. 

“Prior to COVID, tourism exports were a $45 billion industry which drove economic prosperity and jobs, which are particularly crucial to rural and regional areas of Australia. 

“The industry remains particularly concerned about the challenges and roadblocks which are proving to be a hindrance to the industry’s restart and which will only get worse over time if left unaddressed, including our severe workforce shortages which is an issue that has been largely ignored by both parties. 

“Whichever party wins next week, we need the next Federal Government to really get behind our industry and provide a solid set of actions which will be focused on removing barriers to success and turbo charging industry recovery.” 

ATEC’s #itstimefortourism: Recover, Rebuild, Regrow paper calls for key supports, investments and policy considerations which the industry needs to be addressed as the industry begins to rebuild. 

Restart strong – increasing funding for Tourism Australia, extra funding and better targeting of the EMDG program, visa innovation and subsidies for businesses to attend trade events.

Workforce Resilience – extend the WHM fee waiver, invest in tour guide training, the development of an employment and skills online platform and more flexible student visas to allow longer working hours.. 

Capability – programs to support training and capability building, indigenous product development and building regional capacity. 

Distribution and Innovation – innovations for payment processes, promoting leading edge business practices, itinerary development and sustainability. 

“The export tourism industry supply chain is long and complicated and each cog in the wheel needs to work efficiently in order for our visitors to have a great holiday experience and we therefore need to ensure that while we are driving demand, our businesses have the capability to deliver great service when they get here," Mr Shelley said.

“As we continue to increase our inbound visitor numbers month on month, supporting business capacity, rebuilding and re-skilling our tourism workforce will be crucial to Australia's future tourism success.

“After two very long years of border closures It’s time for tourism.” 

www.atec.net.au

 

ends

 

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