Quest upbeat about the year ahead after strong growth

Nick Suriano

Quest Serviced Apartments (Quest) has achieved revenue growth of more than 10 per cent for the 2009/10 financial year, signalling a positive year ahead for the group and serviced apartment segment.

Quest also grew its average room rate by 1.2 per cent compared with the 2009/10 financial year.

Nick Suriano, General Manager Quest Serviced Apartments says Quest has emerged strongly from what has been a difficult year for hotels, and is well positioned to continue to grow amid a rebounding corporate travel market.

“Over the past year, the leisure market was volatile due to economic difficulties in Europe and the US and a strong Australian dollar, with leisure travellers opting for overseas destinations ahead of domestic travel,” he says.

“Business travellers have continued to travel though, and our clients have been loyal with our average occupancy rates remaining buoyant, at around 80 per cent,” says Mr Suriano.

Mr Suriano attributes this to a two-pronged strategy.

“Our growth, year on year, is the result of a continued focus and commitment to the business traveller, and our proven strategy of choosing property locations where business and industry is expected boom,” he says.

“For example, in October we will open a new property in Palmerston, NT, an area booming thanks to the mining and defence sectors and experiencing significant growth in infrastructure projects.

“Our in-depth analysis and research into the area signalled extremely high potential for growth and therefore a heightened demand for high quality accommodation for business travellers.

“We have also recently opened a property in Campbelltown, NSW to accommodate the growing number of people travelling to the area for business.

“In May 2010, we opened a property in Scarborough, WA, and in just three months, the property hit occupancy rates of 100 per cent, proving demand for business travel is prevalent,” says Mr Suriano.

Quest now has more than 125 serviced apartments located where people do business, in central business districts, suburban and regional areas with close proximity to head offices, business centres and key industrial areas.

The Quest group continues to pursue a strong growth agenda, opening four new serviced apartment properties so far this year, another opening by the end of the year and seven set to open in 2011.

Quest’s corporate clients have also recognised the value in Quest not subscribing to dynamic pricing.

“Quest is committed to maintaining this position, even if we miss out on the benefits of inflated prices at peak times,’ says Mr Suriano.

“It’s important that we continue to look after our corporate clients, with consistent pricing year round.

“Their travel requirements are the same regardless of whether it’s school holidays or during an event, and we don’t believe they should pay more during this time,” he says.

What is on Quest’s agenda for the next 12 months, as the corporate travel market rebounds?

“For the year ahead, we are focused on successfully opening our new serviced apartment properties in suburban and regional locations across Australia and exceeding the needs of business travellers in terms of value and location,” says Mr Suriano.

Source = Quest Serviced Apartments
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