Martin Ferguson appointed chair of Tourism Accommodation Australia

150701-04Former Federal Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson has been appointed the new chair of Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA).

TAA is a voice of the accommodation industry and represents major hotel groups and over 1,000 hotels, motels, resorts and serviced apartments and is a division of the Australian Hotels Association, a federally registered organisation of employers representing hotels since 1836.

Mr Ferguson’s appointment comes at a significant time for the industry as it concentrates resources to provide greater advocacy for an industry that is about to undergo its most significant expansionary phase in almost two decades

Mr Ferguson was President of the ACTU for six years before entering Parliament in 1996, where he held the Shadow Ministry responsibility for tourism from 2004-2007, and was then Minister for Tourism in the Rudd and Gillard Governments from 2007-13.

“TAA has strong representation and advocacy nationwide through its branches in each state and territory and I am looking forward to ensuring the industry has a strong voice in Canberra.”

As Federal Tourism Minister, Mr Ferguson was responsible for announcing the Tourism 2020 plan and it played a major role in elevating the tourism and hospitality to the forefront of priority industries for Australia’s future growth.

Over 75 hotels are currently in the development pipeline, with the figure likely to grow to over 100 hotels scheduled for building by the end of 2020, and the boom in hotel development is providing momentum for Australia’s tourism and events sector.

Mr Ferguson said, “Australia now has a very competitive currency, major new tourism infrastructure underway, and is one of the fastest growing industries for employment, especially in regional areas that are currently being affected by the mining slowdown.

“The industry needs to advocate long-term and sustainable policies that encourage both development of the industry and creation of new employment opportunities.”

“The tourism and hospitality industry is now generating $94 billion in spending and contributing over $34 billion to Australia’s GDP, directly employing over 500,000 people and earning nearly 10% of our total export earnings, making it Australia’s largest service export industry”, said Mr. Ferguson

“The accommodation industry needs to progress its strategic initiatives, such as the concentration on growing Asian business, investment in tourism infrastructure and the move to build industry resilience, productivity and quality.”

Posted in 2015 Enews - 07/15, Australian Timeshare Industry | Leave a comment

Wyndham Hotel Group and Corinthian Development Company Sign Multi-Unit Wingate Development Deal

wyndham-logo2$250 million plan to develop more than 15 new-construction Wingate by Wyndham® properties in key markets throughout the U.S. and Canada over the next two years

At the 37th Annual NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference in New York City today, Wyndham Hotel Group, the world’s largest hotel company, announced it has entered into an agreement with Corinthian Development Company to develop more than 15 new-construction Wingate by Wyndham® properties in key markets throughout the U.S. and Canada over the next two years.

Corinthian, along with a strong capital partner with significant experience in hospitality real estate development, plans to deploy up to $250 million of total capital to develop the multiple properties under the Hotel Group’s midscale Wingate by Wyndham brand. The franchised hotels will be managed by Dallas, Texas-based Aimbridge Hospitality, the second largest independent hotel investment and management firm in the U.S. which currently operates more than 30 Wyndham Hotel Group properties under a number of the company’s hotel brands.

“This agreement presents a significant opportunity to leverage the improving new-construction development environment and increase our Wingate by Wyndham portfolio by more than 10 percent,” said Bob Loewen, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Wyndham Hotel Group. “Wingate by Wyndham has always been a consistent, well-performing brand and we’re confident that our partners’ expertise, combined with their dedication, will help drive continued growth and success.”

Corinthian’s plan will target development of Wingate by Wyndham hotels in top markets including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Toronto and Vancouver, among others. The initial sites planned for development are located in Denver, Seattle and Nashville.

“Demand for hotel rooms is at historic highs, and there has been limited new supply since the economic crisis of 2008, making now an ideal time to expand the Wingate by Wyndham franchise,” said James Wolford, chief executive officer of Corinthian Development Company. “We couldn’t be more pleased to partner with Wyndham Hotel Group and Aimbridge Hospitality, two of the premier operators in the hospitality industry.”

“We are honored to expand our portfolio of Wyndham Hotel Group properties by managing these new Wingate by Wyndham properties,” said Dave Johnson, president and chief executive officer of Aimbridge Hospitality. “Additionally, we are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Corinthian Development Company and continuing our relationship with Wyndham Hotel Group. We look forward to a successful and rewarding partnership with this seasoned group of industry experts.”

The Wingate by Wyndham portfolio consists of 153 properties in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, with 20 properties representing more than 1,900 rooms currently in the development pipeline. In 2014, the brand introduced a refreshed new-construction prototype concept designed to reduce development costs and capture greater efficiencies for hotel owners while also evolving the guest experience to better meet travelers’ needs.

Posted in 2015 Enews - 07/15, Australian Timeshare Industry, Wyndham News | Leave a comment

Travellers vote with Clicks for Classic Holidays Resorts

150701-03Seven 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.

Posted in 2015 Enews - 07/15, Classic Holidays News | Leave a comment

Team Classic gears up to smash rally target for charity

150701-02Team Classic’s Big Dog and Mozzie are looking to smash their $20,000 fundraising target before they hit the dirt in the 2015 Great Endeavour Rally from July 17 – 25 raising funds for national charity, Endeavour Foundation.

Classic Holidays CEO, Ramy Filo (aka “Big Dog”) and Resort Operations’ Morrison Duncan (aka “Mozzie”) are counting down with just over two weeks to go before they strap themselves in for the 8-day adventure rally across outback Queensland from Redcliffe to Rockhampton.

“The countdown is on!” said Mr Filo. “Team Classic have raised more than half our fundraising target, with over $13,500 already donated through the fantastic support of our sponsors, service providers, timeshare industry peers and the local community.

“We are looking to exceed our original $20,000 target and we think people will really dig deep and help get us over the line in the next few weeks, with all money raised going to support individuals with disabilities through Endeavour Foundation.”

More than 300 people with a disability will directly benefit from the Great Endeavour Rally fundraising, with projects including upgrades and renovations to Learning & Lifestyle services, a new wheelchair accessible vehicle, an edible community garden, assistive technologies to increase communication, and equipment to enhance participation in sports and music activities.

“Mozzie is busy preparing the Team Classic car – a 2000 Subaru WRX that has seen better days – with our sponsor logos, including our Platinum Sponsors, worldwide exchange provider, DAE, and several Gold Sponsors who we have welcomed in recent weeks.

“We’d love to cover the entire car with sponsor logos to show the support of the timeshare industry, service providers and local businesses who want to get behind this very worthy cause.”

Donations to ‘TEAM CLASSIC CAR 63’ can be made at

Sponsorship opportunities for donation of products or services preparing the car, the drivers, or for raffle and auction items are also being sought

The Great Endeavour Rally has raised more than $8.5 million over 28 years, with all monies raised by Endeavour Foundation supporting people with a disability through accommodation, education, training, vocational and lifestyle opportunities. Further information about the event can be found at

Posted in 2015 Enews - 07/15, Australian Timeshare Industry, Classic Holidays News | Leave a comment

Pollution Liability Insurance


Many business owners are unaware their standard business package insurance will not cover pollution remediation. It’s likely that contractors and other professionals working on major infrastructure and construction projects will have appropriate cover, but the cover is not just for heavy industry. Businesses with high risk include dry cleaners and hair salons due to chemicals they store and use. Service stations are vulnerable because of the potential leakage from underground storage tanks and pipes corroding over time.

Recently there was a $300,000 clean-up claim from a contractor that had serviced pipes at a petrol station. An explosion at a sewerage plant, some kilometres away, was traced back to the service station, and it was discovered that pollutants had flowed into the water table.

Pollution incidents are not confined to heavy industrial sites, they can also be caused by small businesses or individuals such as contractors or subcontractors – for example, due to a failure to install proper sediment controls while undertaking earthworks.

Independent contractors need to protect themselves against any claims of damage caused by the work they do or have done. One type of cover that may be suitable is pollution liability insurance. This cover protects an entity against liability from damage caused by hazardous waste materials. The reality is that environmental clean-up projects can cost millions of dollars.

It’s too late to buy cover if you cause an incident and you should be aware that pollution liability is not covered under a general liability policy. Some policies may provide coverage only for sudden and accidental events, but exclude gradual pollution events and the cover may specifically exclude clean-up costs.

Mould, Legionella, noise and odour are also considered pollutions and may be covered by an environmental insurance policy.

If you think you may have a risk of hazardous waste exposure in your business operations, it is a good idea to consult with your insurance broker about the need for pollution liability insurance.

Posted in 2015 Enews - 07/15, Austcover, Business | Leave a comment

The Sebel Pinnacle Valley Resort gets refurbishment

150701-01Five-star elegance has arrived in the Victorian High Country in the form of the newly refurbished The Sebel Pinnacle Valley Resort.

The property recently underwent an extensive refurbishment campaign and the results are stunning. Not only did all 42 apartments and chalets undergo a complete makeover but the common areas including, restaurant, lobby and conference areas also saw an amazing transformation.

The revamped suites and chalets offer a new standard for alpine luxury. The one-bedroom suites or two bedroom chalets all have separate lounge, dining and kitchen facilities. A mix of warm timber floors and sumptuous carpets cover the floors, while soft furnishings in silver, grey and red add an elegant warmth to the well-appointed space.

Posted in 2015 Enews - 07/15, Accor Vacation Club, Homegrown | Leave a comment

Wyndham Torquay Welcomes Growing Wellness Trend

WVRAP HeroTORQUAY, VIC – Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific Torquay has renewed its partnership with popular wellness gurus OnTrack Retreats to cater to the growing number of fitness-focused travellers in the South Pacific.

OnTrack Retreats is Australia’s number-one weight loss, fitness and lifestyle change retreat, offering individually-catered exercise sessions, nutritious meal plans and education workshops, as well as practical cooking lessons and post-program support.

To celebrate the partnership, OnTrack Retreats is offering discounts to those who sign up for more than four weeks, with savings of up to $500 per week off all retreat packages.

Also on offer is an extra $500 bonus pack and the opportunity for members to bring a friend free-of-charge if they book a retreat over the June – September period.

People who are brave enough to sign up for the challenge and are dedicated to transforming themselves will spend the duration of the retreat at Wyndham Resort Torquay.

Overlooking the stunning Zeally Bay at the gateway to the Great Ocean Road, the beachfront resort is the perfect destination to start a fitness retreat, especially for those who like to combine travel with wellbeing.

Wyndham Resort Torquay boasts a number of recreational and wellness facilities, including a fully-equipped gym and exercise room, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, hot tub and tennis court, and an onsite Endota Day Spa.

The resort also provides guests with full kitchen facilities in all three accommodation types – studio, one and two-bedroom apartments – while the onsite restaurant Latitude-38 provides a great choice of healthy options for health conscious guests.

The Global Wellness Institute stated in their 2014 industry report that the wellness industry is one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing markets; worth $3.4 trillion – 3.4 times more than the worldwide pharmaceutical industry.

Wellness tourism is projected to grow by more than nine per cent per annum until 2017, nearly 50% faster than overall global tourism and with its array of accommodation options and facilities, Wyndham is perfectly positioned to capitalise on the tourism industry’s niche market.

“We are well aware that travellers are eager to have healthy lifestyles while on holiday, so we have proactively tailored the facilities across our Asia Pacific resort portfolio to help them achieve this,” said Barry Robinson, President and Managing Director Wyndham Hotel Group South East Asia and Pacific Rim.

For more information or to book a healthy holiday, visit or

Posted in 2015 Enews - 07/15, Wyndham News | Leave a comment

ARDA – Do Timeshares Lead to More Frequent, Happier Vacations?

ardaWASHINGTON, DC — A recent survey of more than 1,000 vacationers conducted for the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) by research group Leger shows that an impressive one-third of timeshare owners took four or more vacations in the last three years, compared to only 18 percent of non-owners. And vacationers that have taken more than four vacations in the past three years are more likely to be traveling with family and friends.

“When the cover story in Time Magazine asks ‘Who Killed the Summer Vacation,’ our answer has to be ‘it sure wasn’t the timeshare owner’,” said Howard Nusbaum, president and CEO of the American Resort Development Association (ARDA). “Not only do timeshare owners vacation more, they also experience a happier, more relaxing vacation time, usually spent with their loved ones—which we all know is tough to come by with today’s hectic lifestyles.”

Happiness in a vacation can be measured through seven distinct vacation lifecycle phases, from planning the vacation to the first day all the way to the afterglow that the vacation leaves when it’s over. In each of the seven phases, timeshare owners expressed higher satisfaction than those who do not own a timeshare.

Nusbaum continues, “The ease of planning, spacious accommodations, and the ability to choose resorts all over the world all lead to a better overall vacation experience for timeshare owners.”

When it comes to making plans for a future vacation, respondents were asked which aspect of vacation would be the most critical for them. Forty-five percent of timeshare owners cite “relaxation” as the most important. The timeshare owners’ relaxation comes from the ease of planning their vacation, knowing that it is pre-paid as well as the wide variety of destinations and the roomy accommodations.

For more information and to learn why timeshare vacations make for better vacations, visit

Posted in 2015 Enews - 07/15, Around the World | Leave a comment

Interval International serves as platinum sponsor of Amdetur

ii-logoInterval International is a leading sponsor of the 29th Mexican Resort Development Association (AMDETUR) conference. Opening today in Mexico City, the annual event brings together the country’s top tourism and real estate decision makers. This year’s convention is themed “Reinventing the Tourism and Vacation Ownership Industries,” with insights into new marketing and product strategies.

“Interval is a longtime supporter of AMDETUR and its efforts to encourage tourism investment in Mexico,” said Marcos Agostini, Interval’s senior vice president of resort sales and business development for Latin America. “With offices in Mexico City, Cancun and Los Cabos, Interval has continually expanded its presence since entering the market in 1987. We are grateful to all our clients, who have done so much to grow the industry in this important region.”

In addition to its executives participating on several panels, Interval is hosting AMDETUR’s conference luncheon featuring speaker Alejandro Watson, a sales and marketing professional with more than 30 years in the hotel industry.  His presentation, “Travelers 3.0 and the New Empowered Consumer,” will focus on how organizations can tailor their products and services to a new generation of vacationers.

To further reinforce its commitment to the region, Interval has created a special Latin America track for its upcoming 17th Annual Shared Ownership Investment Conference (SOIC) that will take place September 30 – October 2 at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. The half-day session will be conducted in Spanish (with English translations) and feature a variety of topics of interest to existing shared ownership developers and potential entrants. In addition, findings from Interval’s latest member research will be released at the conference. Executives interested in attending the Latin America track will need to pre-register at as space is limited.

AMDETUR is headquartered in Mexico City and represents the leading developers and investors in shared ownership. Founded in 1987, the association currently has more than 200 corporate members, representing all segments of the industry.

Posted in 2015 Enews - 07/15, Around the World, Interval International | Leave a comment

Wyndham Brand Launches into South East Asia

Wyndham Sea Pearl Resort - PhuketPHUKET, THAILAND  – 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.

For more information visit



Posted in 2015 Enews - 07/15, Around the World, Wyndham News | Leave a comment