Schwartz Family Company Acquires Queensland’s Hilton Surfers Paradise for $70 Million From Ja Feng

Australia, Gold Coast, Queensland. January 10, 2019

Australia's largest private hotel investor, Dr Jerry Schwartz, has made his first foray into Queensland hotel property with the $70 million purchase of the five-star Hilton Surfers Paradise from the Chinese group, Ja Feng. The deal is expected to settle in May 2019.

The Hilton Surfers Paradise will be the Schwartz Family Company's 14th hotel in Australia. It will join 11 hotels in NSW - including Sydney's first international five-star hotel since 2000, the Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour - and one each in the ACT and Victoria.

The Hilton Surfers Paradise is one of the Gold Coast's newest luxury hotels, with Dr Schwartz's purchase including the 169-room hotel and management rights for 220 apartment-style residences. The accommodation is complemented by an impressive range of facilities including four restaurants and bars, a spa, extensive conference and function facilities, four pools, a large outdoor deck area and car parking.

“I believe there is enormous potential for growing the hotel's business,” said Dr Schwartz.

“I have great faith in the Gold Coast as Australia's premier family, couples and groups market because its beaches, natural attractions, theme parks, events, restaurants and nightlife provide a complete tourism package that is attractive to both the domestic and international travellers.

“The Gold Coast is ideally positioned to take advantage of the boom in international travel from Asia and the Pacific, and with Gold Coast and Brisbane international airports expanding their range of source markets, I thought it was the ideal time to enter the market.

“I have had plenty of opportunity to 'test' the market, having purchased an apartment on the Gold Coast two years ago and been a regular visitor with my family. I've been impressed by the development of tourism infrastructure in recent years, and the seamless staging of the events such as the Commonwealth Games.

“It's a tremendously vibrant destination that combines world-class beaches with a touch of Las Vegas pizzazz. It all adds up to making the Gold Coast Australia's 'entertainment and events capital'.”

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Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.