Experienced Kiwi hotelier Karl Luxon has been recruited by Scenic Hotel Group in New Zealand as its new Chief Operating Officer, tasked with spearheading new business models and turning traditional operations upside-down.
The appointment sees Luxon return to his hometown of Christchurch after nearly three decades away. In this time, he rose through the ranks at Millennium Hotels and Resorts in New Zealand, leaving in late 2020 from his role as VP Operations for the brand’s parent company, MCK New Zealand.
In his new role so far, Luxon has worked to ‘knowledge share’ and identify synergies between hospitality and other sectors including Agriculture and Education to learn new ways to drive revenue and measure hotel performance.
Initiatives rolled out so far include short, sharp marketing plans designed to “seize the opportunity” over the coming week. Luxon has also set himself the task of exploring other non-hotel revenue opportunities for the group.
Speaking on his new role, Luxon said he was lured by the prospect of working with an iconic Kiwi company that displays strength and loyalty to both the industry and to its people.
“While we have adapted to a new way of operating our businesses, there can be no illusions about the continuing fragility of the international markets that New Zealand relies so heavily upon,” he said.
“The recent pause on the Australian travel bubble has delivered a stark reminder of New Zealand’s ongoing vulnerability and uncertainty around international travel and tourism.”
Scenic Hotel Group is celebrating its 40th birthday in 2021, with Luxon set on helping the family business to enter the next phase of its evolution with a carefully evaluated and executed plan following a year that decimated global tourism.
Scenic Hotel Group Executive Chairwoman, Lani Hagaman, said Karl’s experience, core values and motivation to drive the hospitality industry into a new era were key considerations involved in inviting him to join the organisation.