Bruce McKenzie at the 2011 HM Awards
Bruce McKenzie at the 2011 HM Awards

Australasia’s most talented, accomplished and driven hospitality industry leaders have voted IHG’s Bruce McKenzie Hotelier of the Year at the 2011 HM Awards, an honour he says he is ‘humbled’ by.

Voted for exclusively by the most senior executives of the top hotel companies operating in Australasia, the HM Hotelier of the Year Award recognises the contributions of an individual to the regional hospitality industry.

Bruce’s accolade led a host of awards for IHG, including InterContinental Sydney being named Best Hotel in Australia and Best Business Hotel in Australia, and InterContinental Bora Bora Resort and Thalasso Spa voted Best South Pacific Resort for the third consecutive year.

Chief operating officer for IHG’s Australasian operations since early 2009, Bruce McKenzie has led a period of significant and industry-leading achievements for the world’s largest hotel Company in the region.

He was personally involved in efforts to introduce the Australian hotel industry’s first Reconciliation Action Plan, the consolidation of IHG’s commitment to closing the gap in opportunities between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and other Australians.  Since its introduction in 2010, IHG has created a number of partnership, training, education, employment and career development initiatives toward ensuring at least 3% of IHG’s workforce is made up of Indigenous Australians by the end of 2013.

In that time, Bruce has also led a cultural shift within the organisation, marked by IHG being named among this year’s top dozen Australian employers in AON Hewitt’s international Best Employers program.

Since his return to Australia in 2009, Bruce has led a talented and creative regional team that demonstrated powerful resilience during the GFC and has since achieved premium-to-market performance across the Group’s collection of InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn hotels and resorts.  His current priorities include the introduction of IHG brands Holiday Inn Express and Hotel Indigo to Australasia.

“It’s incredible to receive this accolade, particularly considering the exceptional caliber of hotel company leaders who voted.  There is extraordinary talent and commitment at the top of this region’s hospitality organisations, and I’m humbled by their acknowledgement,” Bruce said.

Bruce brought more than 20 years of hospitality industry experience to IHG when he joined the Company as regional vice president of operations, Greater China in 2004.  He was named among China’s Top 10 Hoteliers by Hotel Modernization Magazine and the China Tourism Hotel Association in 2008, and received IHG’s Asia Pacific Multi Unit Leadership Award in 2007.

This year marks the second time an IHG executive has been named Australian Hotelier of the Year.  Bruce’s predecessor, Keith Barr, won the gong at the HM Awards in 2008.