Mantra Group recently gathered over 200 senior team members at Mantra on Salt Beach for their 2013 company conference and with the help of tourism dignitaries and inspiring keynote speakers, CEO Bob East set out to ‘expand the vision’ as the Group embarks on an international growth platform.
“The company has reached a tipping point in its life cycle and we need to expand on our achievements and avoid complacency,” East said.
“We’ve built a solid network of over 110 hotels in Australia and New Zealand and over $7 billion in assets; attained the status of Australia’s largest resort operator; achieved great success for our brand profile by enlisting Pat Rafter as our Ambassador and achieved a profit of $62.5 million last financial year.
“Our sights are now set on growing our network overseas having successfully opened our first property in Bali this year, and at home where our network is established, it’s about increasing the properties under management and implementing fresh new ways to enhance the customer experience both for domestic and overseas visitors.
Tourism industry thought leaders were in attendance including Tourism Australia CEO Andrew McEvoy who presented an overview of the Tourism 2020 strategy and hotel industry involvement; and Chairman Tourism and Transport Forum Bruce Baird who provided a colourful review of the lessons learnt from the successful Sydney 2000 Olympic bid.
An inspiring presentation from The Gruen Transfer’s Todd Sampson, who was instrumental in the inaugural Earth Hour campaign, focused on the dual elements of creativity and fear in corporate life and received a standing ovation from the 200-strong audience; while former Wallaby turned sports journalist and author, Peter FitzSimons regaled the crowd with stories from his diverse career.
FitzSimons then joined Mantra Ambassador Pat Rafter and special guest swimmer Brooke Hanson on a sporting panel to discuss leadership excellence in business and sport.
The conference culminated in the Mantra Group 2013 Hotel Awards acknowledging the outstanding achievements of its Australian and New Zealand General Managers and regional teams who embody the company vision of ‘becoming favourite by Knowing What Matters’.
Alistair Munro of Mantra Lorne in Victoria took out the General Manager of the Year award. Alistair was appointed 18 months ago to the popular conference resort with the task of managing the property’s seasonal challenges. Financial success, team enthusiasm and strong relationships forged with regional partners were the keys to success for Alistair who has been with Mantra Group for over five years.
Mantra Circle on Cavill General Manager, Katie Scholes, lead the female charge taking out Property of the Year for the Mantra brand and was amongst 3 female nominees in the category. Katie is one of 11 female GMs across the Group’s Queensland network and part of a growing network of women to emerge from Mantra Group’s management and executive ranks.
“We have a strong female presence across our group but there is room to improve. With the depth of talent we have at managerial level and across departments we will see more women in our executive team in coming years,” East said.
The CEO also took the opportunity to present a cheque for AUD$85,000 to Leisa Bourne from Australian Red Cross. The donation was a result of 12 months fundraising by Mantra Group’s Australian hotel teams. The amount exceeded expectations by $10,000 and is the contribution for the first year of a three year agreement.
“Red Cross celebrates 100 years of service next year and our goal is to raise $100,000 for the Good Start Breakfast program and various community causes,” East said.
MANTRA GROUP 2013 HOTEL AWARDS
Excellence in Guest Service
Operations, Peppers Parehua, Martinborough
Service Star of the Year
Alana Friend, Mantra Chatswood
Shared Services Award
Regional Sales VIC/TAS
Food & Beverage Outlet of the Year
Sq Restaurant and Lounge Bar , Mantra Hindmarsh Square
CSR Region of the Year
Gold Coast region
Profit Growth Award
Mantra on the Esplanade
BreakFree Property of the Year
BreakFree Aanuka Beach
Mantra Property of the Year
Mantra Circle on Cavill
Peppers Property of the Year
Peppers Beach Club & Spa, Palm Cove
Region of the Year
Mantra Group General Manager of the Year