AOCAP Conference

Pan Pacific Singapore 18-19 March 2015

Microsoft Outlook - Memo Style

Posted in 2014 Enews - 12/14, Around the World, Misc | Leave a comment

Do you need help choosing your holiday destination?

  • December 08 2014
  • Finding No. 5967
  • Topic: Press Release
  • Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), October 2003–September 2004 (n=17,389) and October 2013–September 2014 (n=10,442).

Deciding on a holiday destination isn’t as easy as it sounds. Budget, climate, preferred holiday activities, local language and attractions, amount of annual leave accrued… there are countless factors to consider, especially if you’re thinking of heading overseas. No wonder more than half of Australian holiday-makers sought help in choosing where to go on their last trip.

In the 12 months to September 2014, 12.7 million Australians took at least one holiday. Of those, 7.4 million had help choosing the destination of their last trip.

However, our preferred holiday information sources are evolving. Back in 2004, 13.3% of Aussie travellers used the internet to help choose their last destination, behind friends/relatives (20.5%) and previous personal experience of the destination (18.1%). Now the internet — spanning websites, social media, blogs and e-newsletters — is the most popular information source, used by 26.2% of Australian travellers to choose their last holiday destination.

Most popular information sources for choosing a holiday destination: 2004 vs 2014

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), October 2003–September 2004 (n=17,389) and October 2013–September 2014 (n=12,713).

Deciding on distant lands

A considerably higher proportion of people who went overseas for their last holiday (75.2%) got help choosing their destination than those who travelled within Australia (55.0%).

This is consistent across most information channels: overseas holiday-makers are more likely than domestic travellers to consult the internet, guide books, travel brochures, airlines and travel agents when deciding where to go. Travel agents, in particular, are popular, helping 35.3% of people who went overseas for their last trip choose their destination — almost on a par with the internet (38.1%).

Meanwhile, people who holidayed within Australia on their last trip were not only less likely to use the internet (23.8%) to decide on a destination, but dramatically less likely to consult a travel agent (4.5%).

Angela Smith, Group Account Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Back in August, Roy Morgan Research found that travel agents were a very popular booking source among overseas holiday-makers, remaining competitive and relevant in the face of increasingly diverse digital booking options. These latest findings show that the same is true when it comes to deciding on overseas holiday destinations.

“The very nature of their profession requires travel agents to be experts in holiday destinations around the world, with insights and in-depth knowledge that allows them to give advice based on each traveller’s specific needs and circumstances. Even the best website can’t compete with that kind of personal service.

“Overall, however, the internet is now the most popular information source for Aussie travellers seeking help in choosing their destination. Not only is it convenient and easily accessible, it offers myriad online resources about every kind of holiday destination.

“Of course, travel agents and the web are just two of the information sources available to people trying to decide where to take a holiday. Understanding which type of traveller is likely to seek help from which source is one way tour operators, airlines and destination marketers can ensure that their messaging reaches their target audience.”

For comments or more information please contact: Vaishali Nagaratnam Office: (+61) (03) 9224 5309 Vaishali.Nagaratnam@roymorgan.comChart

Posted in 2014 Enews - 12/14, Around the World | Leave a comment

Robb committed to increasing Chinese tourist market

Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb has announced new measures aimed at ensuring Australia is best placed to capture the rapidly increasing Chinese tourist market.

Mr Robb said the release today of a revised ‘Code of Business Standards and Ethics’ for Inbound Tour Operators (ITOs), will ensure Australia maintains its Approved Destination Status (ADS) with the Chinese Government.

“With Chinese tourists now our top-spending international visitors, it’s important we continue providing the kinds of experiences they demand,” Mr Robb said.

“The release of the new Code will help ensure Australia remains an attractive and popular destination for the group-tour market from China,” he said.

Australia’s ADS is a bilateral arrangement with the Chinese Government.  Under the scheme, China has granted approval for its nationals to visit Australia in tour-groups.  ITOs operating in this market must first be approved, and must also abide by a Code set out under the scheme.

The new Code released today has been simplified to make it easier for tour operators to understand their requirements, and now also includes a demerit points system aimed at encouraging compliance with the Code.  The Code has also been extended to cover tour guides, ensuring their qualifications match the needs of the market.

“In 2013-14, there were 761,400 Chinese visitors to Australia, with a total tourism spend of $5.3 billion,” Mr Robb said.

“Of these, 167,500 people or 22 per cent held an ADS visa, so it’s vitally important we create a simple yet comprehensive framework, to help ensure tourism operators in Australia build on this success, and continue to attract Chinese tourists to our shores under the ADS scheme.”

Tourism Research Australia (TRA) expects inbound arrivals from China to more than double by 2022-23 to 1.49 million.

“Maintaining quality, while reducing red tape is vital to achieving our Tourism 2020 target of doubling overnight visitor expenditure to between $115 billion and $140 billion, which will help grow the industry and create jobs across the nation,” Mr Robb said.

Austrade updated the Code in response to changing market conditions, including growth in arrivals and growth in the number of tour operators.  Austrade consulted with industry and government stakeholders, including China’s National Tourism Administration, during the drafting process.

A series of training forums will be held, as well as the publication of information packs in English and Chinese to communicate the changes.

More information on the Code can be found at:


Posted in 2014 Enews - 12/14, Around the World | Leave a comment

Wyndham Surfers Paradise Receives Highly Esteemed RCI Gold Crown Award

Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific Surfers Paradise has received the prestigious RCI Gold Crown and Hospitality Award for 2014, the highest of three RCI award designations.

RCI is the leading global provider of innovative vacation exchange products, providing more than 3.7 million members with unmatched flexibility, choice and control through benefits such as RCI Weeks and RCI Points exchange programs.

The coveted RCI Gold Crown Resort award is presented annually to less than 10 per cent of RCI affiliated properties worldwide and is determined on guest feedback.

To be eligible for the award, an RCI affiliated property must meet or exceed specific standards in the areas of housekeeping, unit maintenance, hospitality, check-in and check-out procedures, as well as resort facilities, amenities and services.

Selection for the award is based on the completion of RCI comment cards by guests who stay at the property over a 12-month period.

“The whole team is thrilled to receive this accolade,” said Assistant Manager, Debbie Meffan, “It speaks for the excellent service provided by all team members and it is an honour to be globally recognised for our hard work.”

“We are committed to providing the best possible experience for all of our guests and Vacation Owners in the WorldMark South Pacific Club by Wyndham and it is a great compliment to know that we are achieving our goals,” said Ms Meffan.

To celebrate its win, the hotel is offering a 20 per cent direct booking discount for travel in February (subject to availability). Guests will receive the discount when they call the hotel directly and quote “RCI Gold Crown Award”.  For more information or to make a booking, call the hotel on (07)55796500.

Located in the heart of the Gold Coast’s tourist capital, Wyndham Surfers Paradise is one of the most popular resorts in the Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific portfolio.

The hotel boasts a pool, spa, sauna, recreation deck and barbeque area, a restaurant and café on the ground floor, and great views of the ocean, hinterland or river.

Wyndham Surfers Paradise Exterior

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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from ATHOC


Laura and Nicole would like to wish every-one a very Merry Christmas and safe and Happy New Year.

The ATHOC office will closed from Monday 22 December 2014 and reopen on Monday 5 January 2015.

We look forward to working closely with every-one in 2015!

Posted in 2014 Enews - 12/14, Australian Timeshare Industry, News | Leave a comment

Fair work commission review

PrintThe current Fair Work Commission 4 yearly review of modern awards presents an opportunity to seek penalty rate relief and is a key consideration for a number of service industry modern awards.

In April 2014, the AHA, in conjunction with ACCI held a meeting of parties interested in penalty rate strategy discussions. The purpose of the discussion group was to share thoughts as to the best coordinated approach to seeking some penalty rate relief. The ultimate sharing of some research and having one united service industry voice in relation to penalty rates was discussed as beneficial as we each go forward and it is anticipated that this approach will lead to some joint industry outcomes.

The national group has now commissioned Deloitte Access Economics to undertake extensive research that will  provide the industry evidence on the issue of penalty rates. Through QTIC, ATHOC has partnered with these Associations to support a positive outcome.

Posted in 2014 Enews - 12/14, Australian Timeshare Industry, Business, News | Leave a comment

Alternative Ownership Conference Asia Pacific (AOCAP)

1114-8Alternative Ownership Conference Asia Pacific (AOCAP)

Hosted by BHN, Horwath HTL, and Stiles Capital Events

18-19 March 2015
Pan Pacific Singapore

AOCAP has quickly become Asia Pacific’s premier conference serving the alternative/vacation ownership sector of the lodging industry. It is the region’s most important conference focused on mixed-use resorts and recreational real estate and annually delivers an abundance of knowledge, insight, and understanding of the alternative ownership sector of the lodging industry throughout Asia Pacific.

Program and registration information is available at

Posted in 2014 Enews - 12/14, Around the World, Events | Leave a comment

Major revamp for Mercure Gold Coast

1214-6Prestige golf resort the Mercure Gold Coast Resort, is set for a major renaissance following the completion of a dramatic multimillion dollar hotel upgrade this month.

The extensive redesign and upgrade is the first major renovation at the property since it opened its doors almost 17 years ago.

The hotel’s general manager, Jamie O’Donnell, who has meticulously overseen the rejuvenation project, says the enhancements reinforce Mercure Gold Coast Resort’s strong position in driving a new generation of sports tourism and business for the region, beyond the beach and hinterland.

The dramatic transformation of the Mercure Gold Coast Resort was completed in consultation with one of the country’s leading hotel refurbishment interior design teams In Design International, led by designer Penny del Castillo. The redesign extends to major central facilities and guest rooms, and soft furnishings and AV in the conference space.

Renovations in rooms and suites include all furnishings and fittings, and for a contemporary and relaxed resort vibe, boast a modern colour palette with hints of en trend orange in trimmed scatter cushions and designer, deck-chair style fabrics adorning bedheads. The use of natural timber with local Queensland-style horizontal groove and slim line furnishings adds a laid-back yet sophisticated appeal for guests.

In an Australian hotel first, oversized extra-large “Deltalight Metronome” pendant lights – a massive 2100mm x 1400mm in diameter – have been installed and take pride of place in the double story entrance lobby.

Other additions include a private dining room overlooking the pool, and new walls and banquette seating in the restaurant to make way for a broader variety of dining and catering options – a departure from the previous open plan style restaurant, and created in response to demand from conference groups and local guests looking for more intimate options.

Opened as the Radisson Gold Coast Resort in December 1997 and rebranded by the Australia’s largest hotel operator, Accor, in November 2012, the Mercure Gold Coast Resort is ideally situated between the Gold Coast’s legendary beaches and the rainforest retreats of Springbrook and Mt Tamborine.

Posted in 2014 Enews - 12/14, Accor Vacation Club, Australian Timeshare Industry, Homegrown | Leave a comment

RCI celebrates the addition of more than 25 properties to affiliate network in third quarter of 2014

rci-logoRCI announced today that it added more than 25 new affiliated properties to its global network in the third quarter of 2014. These additions join the nearly 4,500 affiliated resorts already a part of the RCI® network.

“We continually strive to add high-quality vacation options to our network, and this quarter was no exception,” said Gordon Gurnik, president of RCI. “Each of these new properties offers its own diverse and captivating vacation experience, and we are proud to bring our members these additional flexibility options and high-quality choices.”

RCI expanded its offerings in Mexico with the addition of the Grand Class property, a new building that is part of Grand Velas resort in the Riviera Maya. These upscale suites provide the utmost in luxurious hospitality, with stunning ocean views, private plunge pools on each suite’s terrace, spacious lounge areas with plasma televisions, and bathrooms with lavish rain showers.

In the European region, two new Akropol properties in Turkey were added to the RCI network, including the Akropol Resort and Spa, which is scheduled to open next year. The strikingly beautiful property offers modern rooms with private balconies that allow guests to fully enjoy the mountain and sea views. The spa for which the resort is known offers treatments ranging from the typical to the unusual, each promising its own route to relaxation.

In addition, The Registry Collection® program, the world’s largest luxury exchange program, added a new property in Barbados through an affiliation with Saint Peter’s Bay. Members can stay in the resort’s beautifully appointed three-bedroom homes and penthouses, which are strategically laid out to maximize sea views. The property offers access to the stunning beach, as well as a lagoon-style swimming pool, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and personal concierge services.

For more information, visit or

Posted in 2014 Enews - 12/14, Around the World, RCI News | Leave a comment

Fringe Benefits Tax – Don’t get caught out this silly season

chlogoComing into the festive season, many people are planning the all-important Christmas party, and while it is the time for celebration, it pays to be aware of the possible tax implications of lavish celebrations.

Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) applies where an employer provides a benefit to an employee other than their regular salary or wage.

At first instance a Christmas party could be considered such a benefit, depending on the circumstances of the party. However, the Christmas party could be exempt from FBT if its value is less than $300 per employee.

Due Diligence before decking the halls…

We’ve put together a few different scenarios to help you understand FBT implications for Christmas parties and should you have specific questions regarding your circumstances please contact your local Crowe Horwath advisor.

Christmas party held on the business premises

Your business decides to have a party on its premises on a working day before Christmas and you provide food, beer and wine.

The implications would be as follows:


Christmas party held off the business premises

You decide to hold your Christmas function at a restaurant on a working day before Christmas and provide meals, drinks and entertainment.

The implications would be as follows:


Christmas gifts

The following table briefly summarises the general FBT (and other tax) consequences for an employer providing Christmas gifts, based on the ATO’s guidelines.


Determining the best approach in which entertainment may be treated for FBT purposes can be complex. Contact your local Crowe Horwath advisor to discuss possible tax implications.

Posted in 2014 Enews - 12/14, Business, Consumer Tips & Advice, Crowe Horwath | Leave a comment