Home' micenet eMag : micenet AUSTRALIA February March 2015 Contents Welcome Ashley, can you
share some of the highlights
of 2014 for Starwood Hotels
& Resorts Asia Pacific
including new openings?
It was a huge year for Asia Pacific with 28 new openings across the
division. Daniella has updated me on the big year that Pacific Region
experienced with the opening of 4 hotels and 6 more under construction.
It’s extremely exciting to see this mature market increase its corporate
portfolio and expand the Starwood network with the opening of the Four
Points by Sheraton Brisbane and the Sheraton Melbourne Hotel. With
the opening of 2 new resorts in the region - the Sheraton Resort & Spa,
Tokoriki Island, Fiji and the Sheraton New Caledonia Deva Resort & Spa,
Starwood’s by far the largest hotel operator in the South Pacific. Another
significant highlight for Starwood in 2014 was the global launch of
SPG®Pro, SPG Business and SPG Preferences.
Tell us more about those programmes.
SPG®Pro is the first of its kind loyalty programme that will reward
customers from a single platform for the business they deliver to
Starwood. With SPG®Pro you can earn Starpoints® for the travel you
arrange for others, the meetings you plan professionally and from
eligible personal stays all within your one account membership.
SPG Business replaces Starwood Preferred Business and offers
special rates and new benefits. The more companies book, the more
they save and the better the benefits get.
SPG Preferences is a way in which we can know and deliver what our
guests want for each and every stay. SPG members can customise
each experience and that allows our associates to personalise each
stay. We want our guests to feel special and recognised every time.
What’s in the pipeline for Starwood for 2015?
We will continue to expand our footprint across the Pacific and Asia
Pacific. We will open 2 new hotels in Samoa in 2015 and we have
hotels under construction in Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne due to
open in 2017. In addition to the new openings, we have the exciting
redevelopment of the Four Points by Sheraton Sydney, Darling
Harbour, with the addition of 222 guest rooms and 4800 sq. metres of
convention space, set to open in mid-2016, making this the largest
convention hotel in Australia.
What destinations are hot right now for meetings business?
For the Australian market we continue to see significant demand for
the US/Hawaiian markets, which include San Francisco and New York.
Vietnam remains in the mix for most Asia quotations. Customers are
always looking for the next “big” thing and anything new is always
sought after so Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Samoa will see keen interest
when we start quoting.
How long is it since you have been based in Australia and what
have your recent roles been prior to returning to home?
Australia is home, I grew up in South Australia and worked in Sydney
for a number of years before my professional career took me on an
adventure into Asia. Initially I thought it would be just for a few years
but in October 2014, I celebrated 10 years away so to return home
now is very exciting. My first posting in Asia was in Singapore in a
regional role with Le Méridien then onto Kuala Lumpur, Singapore,
Taipei and finally Shanghai. I’ve worked in some remarkable hotels
including The St. Regis Singapore, the W Taipei in Taiwan and prior to
returning to Sydney I was based in the diverse metropolis of Shanghai
at Le Royal Méridien Shanghai overlooking the East China region.
I am very much looking forward to living the Australian way of life
again both on a professional and personal level and to rediscovering
Australia and the Pacific. With the growth of Starwood in the region, it
will be great to see our new destinations and meet our key clients and
customers. It will be exciting to be part of the expansion into Samoa
and to bring a new brand to Australia in 2017 with the Aloft Perth and
to bring back the W brand to Australia in Brisbane.
I am very excited about the move to Macao
and the new adventures and challenges that
I will be leading the Sales & Marketing
organisation for Starwood’s largest Sheraton
property globally and in addition we are opening the new St.
Regis Macao in August. I am delighted to introduce Ashley to
the Pacific Region and know that I will be leaving the region in
very capable hands, after 10 years in Asia I am very sure Ashley
will enjoy settling back into life in Sydney. My family and I look
forward to discovering the best of Asia and all that 2015 holds
and wish Ashley the best of luck in his new position.
Altitude Rooftop, Four Points
by Sheraton Brisbane
Swimming Pool, Sheraton New
Caledonia Deva Resort & Spa
Terrace Bar, Sheraton
Q&A with Starwood
Ashley Hansen, Regional Director, Sales & Marketing and
Starwood Sales Organisation, Pacific
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