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Saturday, February 25, 2017

4 Reasons Why Tassie Is Australia's Top Tourism Destination

It seems folk just can't get enough of Tassie. Not that long ago it was hard to find a good coffee across Bass Strait. Now we've got a premier walk that takes you along the world's edge. We're turning heads at national awards. Millennials are chattering Tassie escapes, racing to get here first. There's even a touch of rush-hour traffic in our capital. And by the way, there's some mighty fine coffee here.

Last night, on the national stage, Tasmania humbly accepted gold across five categories at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards. Not only that, Tasmania collected seven silver, two bronze and The Old Woolstore Apartment Hotel was inducted into the Hall of Fame. What's more, Tassie picked up the most awards out of every state. Such is Tasmania's allure that Roy Morgan Research has just delivered hard evidence. Hobart now outranks Perth and Brisbane as a capital city holiday destination Australians want to visit. Come Monday, Tasmania is quietly hoping that the film Lion will bring home an Oscar.  

Tourism Tasmania's CEO John Fitzgerald said "Tasmania has had another fantastic year for tourism and our popularity shows no signs of letting up as a record number of Australian and overseas visitors discover the people, the produce, the places, the stories and the experiences that make Tasmania such an exciting travel destination”

“I am really excited that we could back up our last two award-winning years with another outstanding performance at this year's Australian Tourism Awards. It reconfirms the quality of Tasmania's tourism and hospitality businesses and the amazing holiday experiences they provide for our visitors - the kind of experiences that our visitors keep returning for and talk about with their friends and family members long afterwards,” he said.

Here's a look at why Tasmania tops the list of great Australian tourism experiences. But don't take our word for it, you be the judge.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Sydney's newest hotel brand – Veriu Hotels & Suites

Veriu Broadway to open in April 2017

Sydney is set to welcome a new hotel brand – Veriu Hotels & Suites – with the opening of a 64-room serviced apartment hotel, Veriu Broadway, in April 2017.  The hotel is part of a pipeline of five hotels set to open under the Veriu brand by the end of 2018.

Veriu Broadway is an $18 million conversion of a former warehouse space offering self-contained studios, each over 40 square metres, and one and two bedroom split level apartments.  Ideally located close to the International Convention Centre, the hotel will provide 24-hour reception with staff trained as local area guides plus on-site food & beverage in keeping with the precinct's contemporary cafĂ© and bar offerings.

Veriu Hotels is a fresh new bespoke hotel brand on the Sydney landscape created by property and hospitality specialists Alex Thorpe and Rhys Williams.  Having successfully developed a long stay accommodation business, Furnished Property, in 2002, Thorpe and Williams have now moved into the hotel space to create a portfolio of hotels with a diverse mix of heritage and new developments, all located in Sydney's thriving city fringe locations.

"We have been providing long stay style self-contained accommodation for 16 years under Furnished Property, where we developed a passion for sharing 'local'. We created Veriu because we saw no reason why a hotel brand can't provide that authentic local experience backed up by traditional hotel services, excellent customer service and attention to detail in rooms," says Veriu Director, Rhys Williams.

Veriu Broadway will be the marquee hotel for the brand following its first foray into the market with the successful opening of Veriu Camperdown – a new build all-suite hotel which opened in March 2016.

"Camperdown was our first test and it was amazing to bring the brand to life in such a vibrant area. You only need to look at places like Deus Cafe and Camperdown Commons to see what local business can deliver and we want accommodation to be a part of this," says Williams.

The current network is complemented by a pipeline of hotel developments to take place under the Veriu brand by the end of 2018, including:

Veriu Randwick (35 rooms) opening April 2017

Veriu Central (110 rooms) opening early 2018

Veriu Green Square (142 rooms) opening late 2018

Veriu specialises in operating sites with 20-120 rooms in CBD and city fringe areas with capacity to go larger if the location is right.

"Having some flagship CBD sites supported by a number of smaller satellite local properties in the city fringe is central to our strategy.  We make it happen in areas and buildings where the global brands may be less interested," says Veriu Director, Alex Thorpe.

To date the Veriu model has focused on Lease agreements but both Thorpe and Williams believe one of their strengths is their ability to adapt to all types of development models including potential for franchise or managed hotel agreements in the future.  The group is also open to placing its own equity in development joint ventures with selected capital partners operated by Veriu.  One such partner is ASX listed property funds manager Folkstone Group, which will launch a fund in March to raise $22.5 million of third-party capital to finance the 142-room Green Square hotel development in conjunction with Veriu, slated for a 2018 opening.

In celebration of individuality, Veriu have created a bespoke collection of hotels and suites, each with its own distinct personality and style. All different – and yet all the same in their commitment to providing true and genuine service, a superb location and at the end of the day, a great night's sleep.

"We have seen Sydney emerge as a city of villages and we want to share the uniqueness of Sydney's diversity through the Veriu brand in areas like Camperdown, Broadway, Green Square and Surry Hills. These villages really excite us for the leisure market but equally corporates want these bespoke experiences."

With an authentic local experiences paramount to the Veriu ethos, guests will also receive complimentary drinks and snacks from local area operators and local artists are also engaged to incorporate designs based on the genuine character of the building and neighbourhood.

"Beyond this, we want our guests to move freely through our properties so we have developed a unique concept called "Veriu Connect".  This allows any Veriu guest to drop into one of our other locations, flash a room card and have a complimentary locally sourced drink and ask the concierge about the best places to explore.  You could cover the best of Sydney just by visiting the Veriu network of properties," says Williams.

Guests will be able to discover their surroundings with use of the hotel's complimentary 'explorer bicycles' – a service that will be offered in all future Veriu hotels.  Other complimentary offerings common to all Veriu properties include a welcome drink, WiFi and in-room tunes via Smart TV technology.

The Expeditionist

The Expeditionist
Venturing to the world's special places