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July 21, 2020
In this issue
Return to pre-COVID occupancy levels unlikely before 2023
New GM for The Langham, Sydney
EventsAIR launches V2 of onAIR virtual platform
Come back plan: Hamilton Island
 
 
Return to pre-COVID occupancy levels unlikely before 2023
 
According to bookings tracked by industry analysts STR, occupancy rates until September are running below 20 per cent in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Darwin. STR does not expect a return to pre-COVID demand levels in most markets until 2023.
 
Despite the long road to recovery, STR does expect demand to increase by about 60 to 80 per cent of 2019 levels over the next six to 12 months.
 
Findings also showed that over June and July, destinations a short drive from Sydney, including the Hunter Valley, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Newcastle outperformed the Sydney market, with forward occupancy above 25 per cent.
New GM for The Langham, Sydney
 
Shane Jolly – a hotel industry veteran boasting more than two decades of experience – has been appointed general manager at The Langham, Sydney.
 
Mr Jolly was most recently hotel manager at Cordis, Auckland, where he played a key role overseeing the construction of a new tower at the hotel and extensive renovations to all existing rooms and F&B facilities – helping to make the hotel the largest in the city by room count. Prior to this, he worked with The Peninsula brand in Bangkok and Beijing.
 
On his appointment, Mr Jolly said: “Due to the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, my immediate focus is to ensure the safety of our colleagues and guests.
 
“I am proud to announce that, as soon as it was possible, we made certain that The Langham, Sydney is designated an official NSW Government COVIDSafe business.
 
“As travel restrictions gradually ease, I look forward to working with the team, building on the accolades The Langham has already achieved and work together to contribute to the next chapter of this hotel’s remarkable story.”
EventsAIR launches V2 of onAIR virtual platform
 
Launching OnAIR in May, the company behind the product, EventsAIR, has just launched version 2 of the popular product which has already seen more than 40,000 people use it.
 
Version 2 introduces more features to improve attendee engagement and avoid online fatigue. Additions include: Gamification where attendees can earn points based on online behaviors; full custom branding and white labelling to personalize the event brand; instant live polling that is controlled by the presenter (or moderator) in real time; an analytics dashboard to measure attendance, origin, and a range of statistic; a poster gallery that is an addition to ePoster, allowing for a large number of interactive presentations to be filtered and searched; discussion forums to encourage attendee interaction and to get the conversation started during sessions; and pre-scheduled meetings with attendees, sponsors or exhibitors throughout the event.
 
EventsAIR CEO, Trevor Gardiner, said the feedback from clients on how OnAIR has given them a real solution to run great interactive virtual events as opposed to webinar-style meetings has been encouraging.
 
“The roadmap for EventsAIR and OnAIR will continue to improve the ways of enhancing the attendee experience in all event environments, whether they be virtual, hybrid or live,” he said.
 
Visit w w w. eventsair. com to learn more.
Come back plan: Hamilton Island
 
Uncertainty surrounds the future of the business event and hospitality sector and when things may get back to some sense of normality.
 
Be that as it may, hoteliers and venue operators around the country are busy preparing for that time. In this ongoing series ‘come back plan’, we asked some what they’re doing.
 
First up is Hamilton Island. We spoke with director, business events sales Julie Ford to find out what the team has been up to behind the scenes during COVID and what they’ve got planned for the future. Click here to read her responses.
We welcome your news and input on our sector. Email brad@btp.net.au, helen@btp.net.au, jenny@btp.net.au, or digital1@btp.net.au.
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