Hotel investors can rest easy with improved satisfaction ratings

Hotel investors can rest easy with improved satisfaction ratings
Hotel investors can rest easy with improved satisfaction ratings

Commercial property investors may be encouraged to put more of their money into Australia’s top-end hotel brands in 2012, following a Roy Morgan survey that found nine out of 10 customers who stay in a luxury hotel walk out satisfied.

The top-rated hotel brands continue to be the Sheraton and Crowne Plaza, which both achieved a 91% customer satisfaction rating for the 12 months to October 2011, according to the Roy Morgan Research Hotel Customer Satisfaction Survey.

Both hotels improved their customer satisfaction rating from 84% and 87% respectively for the previous 12-month period.

Third position at 89% is shared by five hotels — Westin, Intercontinental, Hilton, Mantra and Marriott.

The greatest improvement in satisfaction was recorded for Golden Chain; at 88% it is up nine percentage points compared to the previous year.

Jane Ianniello, international director of tourism, travel and leisure at Roy Morgan Research, says customer satisfaction for most premium hotels has increased over the past 12 months. “By contrast, satisfaction for most mid-range and basic hotels and motels has remained steady and sometimes declined.”

This year offshore investors have snapped up a number of Australian CBD hotel offerings.

In August including Singapore-based  private investment firm Nadathur Fareast bought buying Tourast Corporations’ Constellation Hotels business, which includes management of over 60 hotels in Australia and New Zealand.

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US-based LaSalle Investment Management snapped up the 380-room Novotel Melbourne on Collins Street in the CBD for $204 million in early May just a week after US hospitality property group Host Hotels & Resorts spent about $137 million for a 75% stake in the 396-room Hilton Melbourne South Wharf Hotel.

In February, Singapore investor Michael Kum added the one-year-old 275-room Travelodge in Melbourne’s Docklands to his hotel portfolio in February for a reported $54 million, and in January the prestigious 10-year-old 296-room Hilton Melbourne Airport Hotel was sold to Pan Pacific Hotels Group for $108.9 million. It was last sold in 2004 for $40 million.

NAB’s September quarter commercial property survey rated hotels as the top performing sector, despite its All Hotels Property Index (a measure of investor and market participant confidence in the sector) easing to +23 in September from+27 in the June quarter.

“Our own research indicates that CBD hotels are still out-performing non-CBD hotels, with stronger conditions in this market supported by a strong corporate and conference market and solid demand from Asian leisure travellers. 

“In contrast, conditions in the non-CBD hotels sector remain tougher because of the impact on domestic tourism from the high Australian dollar and relatively weak consumer confidence,” says NAB.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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