31 August 2015
Best Western Australasia recently held its annual member convention at Best Western Premier Sunset Road Kuta in Bali.
Over 150 hotel members, suppliers and sponsors attended five days of industry presentations, networking events and a full day of leisure on day three. Activities included exploring Bali’s Kintamani Volcano and hot springs, cycling through Ubud, relaxing on a Lembongan Island cruise and 18 holes of golf at the Bali National Golf Club.
In attendance with the Best Western International (BWI) Board of Directors, BWI Chief Executive Officer David Kong praised Best Western Australasia as one of the most successful affiliates leading the brand worldwide.
“It is a tremendous achievement to see 76 of our members receive a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence this year,” he said. “I congratulate all of you, and give special mention to our six TripAdvisor Hall of Fame properties who were recognised in Australia and New Zealand.”
A high point of the convention was the first offsite dinner: a six course feast on the sands of Karma Beach Bali. Recently named ‘World’s 50 Best Beach Bars’ by CNN Travel, the menu included Mediterranean, Asian and Indonesian fare, with wild caught fish from the Indian Ocean, hot babi guling (suckling pork), Australian wine and mojitos before a dazzling fireworks display.
Presentation highlights on day two included Telstra’s Michael Ossipoff, Concept Amenities’ CEO Michael Matulick and comedian Marty Fields who topped off an enjoyable afternoon of networking during a four-course lunch at Mozaic Beachclub Restaurant.
On the final day, a Q&A forum with Expedia’s Ben Charlton and Best Western International’s Wes McKeage delved into the future of online travel agents and attracting direct channel bookings for hotels.
”Travel and tourism is back,” Resort Brokers’ National Sales Manager Trudy Crooks revealed during an industry panel moderated by the Accommodation Association of Australia’s Richard Munro. She highlighted CBD locations as the most attractive areas for property buyers and new development.
Australian motivational speaker and former Australian Executive Woman of the Year, Catherine DeVrye earned a standing ovation with her inspirational story on defying the odds, achieving work-life balance and business success.
On the final evening, twelve recipients of Best Western’s Awards for Excellence were announced during a stunning five-course gala dinner at The Trans Luxury Hotel. A silent auction raised over $10,600 for Best Western’s latest charity sponsorship of an Indigenous Warlpiri community in Central Australia. The two-year project was announced in partnership with World Vision Australia on the night.
The Best Western Australasia Convention ran from 15 – 19 August.