New Committee for NZHOC
Congratulations to the newly formed Committee and in particular Chair – Mr Stephen Goy. Most importantly a special thank you to Martyn Rix who had been at the helm of the Council for many years and helped guide NZHOC through many challenges. Martyn was also a member of the ATHOC Board for many years representing the New Zealand Council. Currently Mr Jonathon Mills and Mr Gary Fog are both involved with the ATHOC Board.
-NZHOC Chair, Stephen Goy, General Manager – Classic Holidays NZ
-Committee Member, Johnathan Mills, Managing Director – RCI – Asia Pacific
-Committee Member, Geoff Ward, Committee Member – The Bishop Selwyn
-NZHOC Deputy Chair, Graeme Smith, Vice Chair – Village Resort
-Committee Member, Chris Cochrane, Chairman – Fairway Lodge
-Committee Member, Gary Fog – Head of Group Marketing, Regional Manager DAE – Australia & New Zealand

Australia breaks tourism record as arrivals hit seven million

Minister for Trade and Investment, and the minister responsible for tourism Andrew Robb, welcomed figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showing international arrivals increased eight per cent to reach seven million arrivals for the first time in the year ending March 2015.

Growth was driven by strong increases in leisure visitors in the March quarter 2015, spurred by the ICC Cricket World Cup and the Chinese New Year. Significant contributors to growth this quarter included India (up 42 percent), China (up 19.3 per cent) and the United Kingdom (up 8.4 per cent).

Government initiatives supporting tourism growth during this period included the trialling of a joint visa for international visitors to Australia and New Zealand during the Cricket World Cup, and a recently concluded air services deal that doubled air capacity between Australia and China in time for Chinese New Year.

“This result confirms that tourism is one of Australia’s great strengths and is a major vote of confidence in a sector that can be Australia’s fastest growing this decade,” Mr Robb said.

“The Government continues to support the tourism industry including a renewed focus on visa reform, investment attraction and support for international marketing. Recent measures to support the tourism sector announced in the Northern Australia White Paper will ensure the industry can build on this momentum towards 2020,” Mr Robb said.

Key measures supporting tourism announced in the Northern Australia White Paper:
• Reforms to visitor visas from China and India – introduction of a 10-year validity visa for Chinese visitors and further roll out of e-lodgement for China and India; trialling a fast track visa service and a trial of Chinese language lodgement of visitor visa applications.
• Allowing backpackers to work for 12 (instead of six) months with a single northern employer.
• Expanding the Working Holiday Maker Visa Programme to allow participants to work for longer in high demand areas in northern Australia, with a small number allowed a second year on their visa if they work in northern tourism.
• $15.8 million to extend management advice and other business support services to businesses in the northern tourism industry under the Entrepreneurs Infrastructure Programme.

Wyndham Brand Launches into South East Asia

The Wyndham brand was launched into South East Asia this week with the official opening of Wyndham Sea Pearl Resort Phuket in one of Thailand’s top tourist destinations.

The world’s largest hotel company, based on number of hotels, is one of three hospitality business units of Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE: WYN) and has rebranded the property previously known as Sea Pearl Villas Resort Phuket.

The 213-room Wyndham Sea Pearl Resort Phuket is owned by local developer, Sea Pearl Business Company Ltd and Sea Pearl Beach Company Ltd, and will operate as a mixed-use property managed by Wyndham Hotel Group in partnership with CLUB WYNDHAM ASIA®.

The sleek, contemporary resort, which was constructed in 2011, is perfectly positioned a short distance to Patong Beach. Located on 16 acres of hillside, the property boasts 180-degree views of the Andaman Sea.

Onsite facilities include four restaurants and bars; a multipurpose hall for meetings and events, complete with catering; and a five-star day spa offering a range of lavish treatments. There is also a fitness centre boasting a 35-metre lap pool, fully-equipped gym, yoga room and kids’ club.

Resort services include a free scheduled shuttle to Patong Beach and Jungceylon shopping precinct; as well as concierge and limousine services.

Barry Robinson, President and Managing Director of Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific and Wyndham Hotel Group South East Asia and Pacific Rim said the rebranding of Wyndham Sea Pearl Resort Phuket marked an exciting milestone for the rapidly expanding company.

“The launch of our first Wyndham-branded property in Thailand is an important step in the growth of our Wyndham Hotel Group brands in South East Asia, with more than 40 existing properties in the region and many more in the pipeline,” Mr Robinson said.

“Wyndham Sea Pearl Resort Phuket is our flagship mixed-use property in the region and will offer our hotel guests and CLUB WYNDHAM ASIA® members luxurious accommodation options as well as state-of-the-art wedding and event facilities.

“We are confident that it will be popular with both domestic and international guests travelling for business or leisure,” Mr Robinson added.

Managing Director of Sea Pearl Group, Mr Sitikorn Soontornnont said, “We are thrilled to be partnering with the world’s largest hotel group with its introduction into Thailand. We are certain that the globally-recognised Wyndham brand will be a perfect fit for the sleek and sophisticated style Wyndham Sea Pearl Resort Phuket offers.”

Wyndham Sea Pearl Resort Phuket will be supported by staff based at the newly established Wyndham Hotel Group office in Singapore.

Travellers Vote with Clicks for Classic Holidays Resorts
Seven resort properties under management by Classic Holidays have been awarded TripAdvisor’s ‘Certificate of Excellence’ in 2015. Beachcomber International Resort, Beach House Seaside Resort, Cedar Lake Resort and Golden Shores Resort on the Gold Coast, Boambee Bay Resort at Coffs Harbour, Don Pancho Beach Resort at Bargara and Pacific Palms Resort on the NSW Mid North Coast all received the top honours from travellers’ reviews on the world’s largest travel site. Sandy Point Beach Resort on the Gold Coast received the ‘Travellers Choice Award’ in 2015, putting it in the top 1% of bargain hotels in the South Pacific on TripAdvisor.

“We’re extremely proud of our resorts for setting and exceeding a consistently high level of service and presentation for guests, giving them the best holiday experience imaginable,” said Classic Holidays Chief Operating Officer, Carole Smith.

“To receive this recognition directly from travellers’ reviews on TripAdvisor is the highest praise we can receive.” TripAdvisor’s ‘Certificate of Excellence’ is awarded to properties that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews (at least four out of five), and is now in its fifth year.

“It comes down to the extraordinary efforts of our resort teams and Classic Holidays staff delivering the standard of excellence that our Members and TripAdvisor travellers want to see,” said Ms Smith. The awards follow on from Classic Holidays being named the Best Management Company for four consecutive years in the global timeshare industry’s Perspective Magazine Awards, as well as Best Overall Company in 2015.

DAE Award of Excellence Winners Announced
Worldwide holiday exchange provider, DAE, has announced the winners of its inaugural DAE Award of Excellence, rewarding staff across its Australian and New Zealand resort network for outstanding customer service.

The winner of the final quarter of the DAE Award of Excellence was Susan Trew from Pacific Palms Resort on the NSW Mid North Coast, and the overall winners for the inaugural year were:
• First Prize ($2500 DAE Travel Vouchers) to Pauline Hepburn from Cedar Lake Resort in the Gold Coast Hinterland.
• Second Prize ($1500 DAE Travel Vouchers) to Kerry Meek from The Moorings Resort in Tomakin, NSW.
• Third Prize ($1000 DAE Travel Vouchers) to Gloria McAndew from Beachcomber International Resort in Coolangatta.
• Overall Resort Winner ($2000 cash prize to throw a staff party) to Cedar Lake Resort in the Gold Coast Hinterland.
DAE Australia and New Zealand Regional Manager, Gary Fog, said the Award of Excellence was part of DAE’s focus on providing the industry’s Best Customer Service and resort experiences.

“It’s about recognising and rewarding individuals and resorts that uphold the level of service our DAE members deserve and expect when they choose to holiday with us,” said Mr Fog.

“Importantly, resort guests have loved being able to give recognition of great service to resort staff who go above and beyond their call of duty to make someone’s holiday that much more enjoyable.

“The feedback from the first year of this concept has been overwhelmingly positive, and we are now looking to roll out the DAE Award of Excellence globally to all regions that DAE operates in,” said Mr Fog.

The latest Accor Vacation Club property to be included in the Resort Series | Coastal refurbishment program is the Coral Coast Resort Palm Cove, located in tropical North Queensland. The “Resort Series | Coastal” program was designed to take into consideration the environmental and climate conditions associated with the properties. This was achieved through the use of local inspired design elements and wall coverings in conjunction with the use of a rich sophisticated colour palette and finishes creating a modern yet practical design which is well represented in the finished product.