Home' micenet eMag : micnet June 2017 Contents T
here’s a very good reason why this
page is called Jill@Large, apart
from the fact that I’m a bit of a
social butterfly. When I’m out and
about I look, learn and gather information,
meet people and get inspired by the changes
going on and by the life happening around me.
Since micenet moved to North Sydney -
which I have no qualms about because it is
closer to home, meaning I can actually walk
to work - my real inspiration comes when I
attend events in the city. That’s when the
inspiration really kicks in and I become
moved and enthused.
There are so many new and exciting new-
builds and projects like the light-rail and the
ever evolving Barangaroo development.
Getting from Wynyard to Barangaroo is now
a six minute walk, via the new Wynyard Walk
with exit points to Carrington and Kent
streets. Shiny bright escalators and lighting,
movement and arresting audio-visual displays
line the way.
The new tunnel also links with the Sussex
Street Bridge and the Napoleon Bridge,
providing a quick and safe route to Sydney’s
newest commercial district as well as
A look across York Street and Wynyard
Park and you’ll see the Menzies Hotel
draped in widow weeds as demolition is
underway – a hotel that has created a great
many special memories over the decades of
its existence. The billion-dollar plan to
reconfigure Wynyard Station and build an
office tower above it means Sydney has lost
this 500-room hotel and created a hotel
room shortage in the CBD.
The new development’s design includes an
upgrade to Wynyard Station’s George Street
entrance, and a new connection to a $120m
grand transit hall and public concourse
flanked by high-end retail, including flagship
stores with triple-height ceilings expected to
attract some of the most high-profile retailers
from around the world.
Construction will begin in early 2017, with
completion scheduled for the first half of
2020. By then Sydney’s George Street light
rail will be complete, as will Barangaroo and
respective leasing programs.
It was a lively session at the MEA
Leadership Breakfast at the Hyatt Regency
Darling Harbour, during the recent MEA
JILL @ LARGE
JILL@LARGE | JILL VARLEY
conference. It took the form of a Q&A with Tourism and Transport Forum CEO Margy Osmond,
Tourism Australia’s John O’Sullivan and television supremo, Ray Martin. The questions: what
skills are we missing in the tourism industry, the 457 Visitor Visa, and could tourism turbo
charge the Australian economy if it is given enough government support, were hotly debated.
Great input into these issues from all three was proffered but while not resolved, it did open the
them up to further discussion and action.
I must say I was impressed by Margy Osmond who I hadn’t heard speak before. She was all
over every topic and refreshingly, her knowledge and rhetoric was clear, concise and peppered
with wry wit and throw-away lines. Just the thing to keep an audience engaged.
The hotel/motel/camping park star ratings is a fraught one, with differing spins on what
constitutes a two to five star rating. It’s one that often differs widely between the hospitality
industry and motoring clubs such as NRMA, RACV, RACQ, RAA, RACT and AANT.
The rating system has become even more farcical since some new-build, high-end hotels
and resorts, in a show of one-upmanship claim their particular property as being six and even
seven stars! Sanity is about to reign, since motoring groups announced the wind-up of Star
Ratings Australia earlier this year with the Australian Tourism Industry Council taking control of
the rating system from July 1. Australian Motoring Services ceo Michael Reed, cited the online
era and the rise of self-rated programs for the scheme’s demise. Federal minister for trade,
tourism and investment, Steven Ciobo, commended ATIC (the non-profit organisation
representing the state tourism industry associations) for “continuing Star Ratings in the best
interests of the tourism industry”.
Meantime until the next issue, I’m off to CINZ MEETINGS 2017 in Auckland, Mauritius and
Nairobi with Radisson Blu and Dragonfly and then Las Vegas. It should be a ripper of a June! m
Barangaroo - a vision
for the future.
Jill and Pan Pacific Hotels &
Resorts’ Tim Birley at the MEA 2017
Gala dinner at the ICC Sydney.
One Carrington Place.
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