AccorHotels has given away a new Peugeot 208 worth over AUD 30,000, dropped several hints about a new product it will launch in two weeks’ time, and discussed future trends, including Sydney’s desperate need for more hotel rooms.
At AccorHotels’ Showcase extravaganza at Sofitel Sydney Wentworth, Celeste Burk, Travel Manager from Corporate Traveller in North Sydney, claimed the keys to the bright red Peugeot 208.
In its 13th year, the AccorHotels annual showcase invites over 800 travel industry attendees to take part in the event business card draw, with five lucky finalists called on stage by Channel Seven celebrity emcees Melissa Doyle and Larry Emdur to select a key at random and try their luck to unlock the Peugeot.
Barrie Cassidy talks with Michael Issenberg and Simon McGrath
Fifth in line with key in hand, Celeste stepped towards the shiny red Peugeot and with one twist the car unlocked, lights flickered and horn sounded. Celeste’s face filled with disbelief and glee as it finally dawned on her that she would be driving the car out of Sofitel Sydney Wentworth’s Grand Ballroom.
The Peugeot was one of a series of accommodation and travel prizes drawn during the evening. Erin O’Shannessy from American Express Meeting and Events walked away with a trip to Hong Kong staying at The Pullman Park Lane and Novotel Nathan Road Kowloon hotels including business class flights by Qantas.
Show Case Car Winner
Over 100 AccorHotels’ sales and marketing executives atttended, as well as AccorHotels Asia Pacific Chairman and chief executive, Michael Issenberg, and AccorHotels chief operating officer Pacific, Simon McGrath. They were quizzed by host of ABC’s Insiders TV program Barrie Cassidy, offering insight into the group’s FRHI acquisition, new developments, products and key industry topics.
Against a stage backdrop depicting Accor’s many brands, Issenberg said that a hotel group couldn’t have too many brands and the same was true for hotel numbers.
“The more hotels we have the better we perform,” he said. Paris offered the most, with about 300 Accor properties. Sydney has about 30.
All agreed that Sydney is desperately in need of more hotel space. One guest related how some hotels quoted AUD 650 per room at short notice. McGrath said Sydney needs 3000 more rooms straightaway and 1500 rooms per year for several years thereafter.
Accor’s new product, to be unveiled on 27 September 2016, was referred to but no clues were given, only the date.
For the first time, the event showcased the group’s newest acquisition brands Fairmont, Raffles, Swissotel and One Fine Stay to industry clients and partners.
Music from one of Australia’s favourite house DJs Kate Monroe kept guests richly entertained throughout the evening, while Robert Oatley wines kept the vintages flowing.
Edited by Peter Needham