The Blue Swan Daily brings you a round up of the latest key hotel news from across the South Pacific.
- Tourism Industry Aotearoa: Auckland Council targets Airbnb and ‘falls dismally short’;
- Mitchelton Hotel & Spa joins AccorHotels’ growing MGallery by Sofitel;
- Mantra Hotels, Art Series brings back its hugely popular World’s Latest Checkout promotion;
- InterContinental Hotels & Resorts launches Artificial Intelligence rooms in Greater China.
Tourism Industry Aotearoa: Auckland Council targets Airbnb and ‘falls dismally short’
Tourism Industry Aotearoa stated (10-Jul-2018) the decision by Auckland Council to charge extra rates on Airbnb and other online accommodation providers who provide more than 28 nights accommodation a year “falls dismally short of the mark and fails to reduce unfairness for traditional accommodation providers”. According to TIA:
- The Auckland Council move was intended to address the unfairness of the targeted accommodation rate introduced in 2017, which is only paid by some properties providing commercial accommodation;
- Only 9% of the 12,357 properties available on Airbnb in Auckland will be required to pay the targeted rate and it is concerned that the council lacks the ability to implement its own rating policy;
- The association agrees with Auckland Council that operators providing more than 135 nights should be rated fully at the business rate and the full targeted accommodation rate applied to them. For those providing between 29 and 135 accommodation nights a year, TIA stated it believes a 35% business rate is more appropriate than Auckland Council’s 25% rate;
- TIA recognises that peer-to-peer accommodation offers additional choice to consumers and that it fills an important need, especially over peak periods. The association has called for “appropriate management of this sector”, with requirements that provide for fairness, quality and provision of a safe and compelling visitor experience.
Mitchelton Hotel & Spa joins AccorHotels’ growing MGallery by Sofitel
AccorHotels announced The Mitchelton Hotel & Spa, an AUD16 million hotel on the banks of the Goulburn Valley in Victoria has joined its boutique MGallery by Sofitel network. Located within the surrounds of Mitchelton Winery Estate, the 58-room hotel boasts a 4-treatment room day spa, sprawling restaurant, a 20m lap pool and extensive banquet and meeting facilities. AccorHotels Pacific Chief Operating Officer Simon McGrath, said the group was thrilled to be adding to its boutique hotel collection. “The Mitchelton Hotel & Spa is a beautiful property on spectacular grounds and we are thrilled to be welcoming the hotel into our network; it will be the 10th MGallery by Sofitel hotel in Australia. There is a lot to see in the Goulburn Valley region and with the addition of such a quality hotel it will no doubt help attract more visitors to the region, boost local tourism and support the domestic travel market. The Ryan family has done a wonderful job of transforming the property into a thriving food, wine and hospitality destination. The hotel will be a special addition to our network and we look forward to welcoming guests.”
Mantra Hotels, Art Series brings back its hugely popular World’s Latest Checkout promotion
A world-first when offered in 2012, the initiative all depends on how full the hotel is for the night ahead or when the next guest checks in. The promotion allows guests to call reception between 8am and 10am to request changing their check out time to 1pm, 3pm, early evening, or even the next day. If no one is booked into the room, guests can make the most of their getaway and continue to enjoy the art inspired surroundings for longer. And it doesn’t stop there, they can keep trying their luck each morning until the next guest checks in. Mantra Group’s Executive Director of Sales, Marketing, Revenue and Distribution Luke Moran said: “The World’s Latest Checkout will run at all seven Art Series Hotels for the next three months. We are thrilled once again to be delivering this innovative and unique concept to market.”
InterContinental Hotels & Resorts launches Artificial Intelligence rooms in Greater China
IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) announced it had collaborated with Baidu to introduce the next generation of intelligent hospitality. Smart Rooms, which are powered by artificial intelligence, are expected to improve and redefine customer hotel experience in China’s hospitality industry. Guests staying at InterContinental Beijing Sanlitun and InterContinental Guangzhou Exhibition Centre will be amongst the first to enjoy the customised AI solution. Unlike traditional guest rooms, the newly launched AI Smart Room will fully embrace voice control technology to deliver a more natural human-computer interactive experience. For instance, guests will be able to freely switch settings between work and leisure modes, and enjoy a more convenient and seamless room service experience. This solution will also further fine-tune the current backstage management system, including customising information and resetting devices, making hotel management a simpler task.