By JAMES WILKINSON
Budget chain Tune Hotels has reaffirmed its development plans for Australian hotels, with company-owned properties set to open in Melbourne in 2013 and Sydney in 2014.
Speaking at last week’s (July 28) Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Hotel Industry Conference (ANZPHIC) in Sydney, Tune Hotels CEO Mark Lankester said the Australian projects would add to a network that currently includes 25 properties in five countries.
“Melbourne, in reality, will open this time next year (July 2013), while Sydney will follow in early 2014,” he said. “We are very excited [about these projects] indeed.”
Tune Hotels was born out of owner Air Asia’s low-cost model, however, according to Lankester, low-cost is the only cheap thing about the properties.
He said the service offering at Tune Hotels focuses on “5-star beds, powerful showers, central and convenient locations, a clean environment and 24-hour security”.
“We started in 2007 as an owner-operator and are now opening 1-2 hotels per month,” he said.
Lankester said while more than 50 per cent of the company’s hotels are now franchised, the Sydney and Melbourne projects would be owned by Tune Hotels.
“We had to start and prove the concept first ourselves,” he said.
And that’s one that seems to be working, with Lankester revealing Tune Hotels currently has 60 hotels under construction worldwide.
On the same panel was Air Asia X’s CEO Azran Osman-Rani, who said the company was seeing significant revenue from the Australian market – currently at 30 per cent – and more flights were on the radar.
“We fly to Sydney, Melbourne, the Gold Coast and Perth, and we are looking to ramp-up the frequencies there,” he said. “We’d also like to add one or two more cities.”
Tune Hotels, Air Asia X, ANZPHIC, Azran Osman-Rani, Mark Lankester
Heading to Australia: Tune Hotels