Cllix Apartments and Hotels – formerly known as Arise – is aiming to ‘reimagine hospitality’ with innovation, technology and customer service designed to appeal to the savvy, modern traveller.

Following its recent rebrand, Cllix – a division of the Queensland-based Song Properties – plans to expand its footprint and bring technology to the fore of the guest experience.

Song Properties and Cllix Apartments and Hotels CEO, Michael Song, spoke to HM about expansion plans and how he plans to use technology to combat the labour shortage.

Why do you think apartment hotels have become so popular in recent years?

Apartment hotels offer travellers more convenience. Corporate travellers can use apartments for meetings, families like to use the kitchen and laundry facilities for a longer stay. I think the size – compared with the size of hotel rooms – is a big advantage.

The corporate traveller is a big part of our business – it represents almost 60% of our bookings. Group travel is making a return – we’re definitely seeing a spike in demand. We are working hard to generate every possible opportunity in the corporate market.

Technology is a major aspect of the Cllix offering. Can you share an insight into the ways you’ll be using technology in your properties?

Technology is essential for the industry to combat the labour shortage; otherwise consumers will see the price of hotel rooms will keep going up and some rooms will be shut because there are not enough cleaners or not enough linen.

We are trying to introduce tech innovations throughout all our operations including keyless check-in, guest communications, in our internal management with stakeholders, and in managing the housekeeping team. We’re also looking to change the door locks into smart locks so guests can use their phones to check in. There are quite a few things that we are deploying at the moment.

How is the technology being received by guests so far?

It has been slow, but we are we are improving day by day. We are putting incentives in place to encourage people to use our technology – we are looking at a rewards program for people who use the keyless check-in, for example. It’s not 100% yet but we are moving in the direction we want to be.

Cllix properties are primarily based in Victoria and Queensland. Do you have plans to expand into other states?

We are looking to expand into New South Wales and Canberra at the moment. We want to get some properties in Sydney and eventually service all of the bigger cities – we are talking with a developer in Canberra at the moment.