November 25, 2021 | By Joyce DiMascio

With borders between Australian states reopening, some international flight corridors opening for visitors and the return of international students, things are looking positive for Hyatt in Australia and in the wider region.

Hyatt’s Regional Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Pacific and Indonesia, Kate Atkinson spoke to micenet about what’s on the horizon for Hyatt.

The company has consulted widely ahead of the implementation of its “Together by Hyatt” business events product which has been piloted at 10 hotels around the world including the Hyatt Regency Sydney and the Grand Hyatt Melbourne, the two biggest properties for business events in Australia.

Hyatt’s Regional Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Pacific and Indonesia, Kate Atkinson says the “Together by Hyatt” concept is more than about how to run hybrid events.

She says there are four key pillars to it, including care and cleanliness, wellbeing, both through the meetings as well as through the food and beverage offering, providing a “Community of Experts” who can advise on how to design hybrid events and having the technology to ensure that meetings can be ably supported and delivered.

Three hundred meeting planners from around the world shared their insights to help identify what the next phase of meetings and events will look like.

The result of that work will be introduced to meeting planners at a special launch in Melbourne, Bangkok, Singapore, Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul in early December.

There are 1,000 Hyatt hotels across the globe, including nine in Australia with another two opening in the next two months.

Atkinson’s responsibilities include 25 hotels in the region as well as the Global Sales Office and contact centres.

What is happening with Hyatt in Australia? 

Our entire industry had faced an unprecedented level of disruption in the past 20 months. Disruption breeds innovation. We are grateful that our team has remained steadfast in our purpose of advancing care to our guests, customers, colleagues and owners, and shown great resilience.

The entire Hyatt team’s agility and creativity in helping navigate these challenges times is remarkable. As we come out of lockdowns and into recovery, we are starting to build up again the operation to support travel and events. A focus on safety and hygiene, innovation through technology and wellbeing, not only for our colleagues but also our guests.

We have also continued our strategy of meaningful growth in Australia with the opening of two hotels in the last 18 months and two opening within the next two months – Park Hyatt Auckland, Hyatt Regency Brisbane and the soon-to-be-opened Hyatt Centric Melbourne and Hyatt Place Caribbean Park.

What renovations are on the horizon?

Rooms renovations have taken place both at Hyatt Regency Sydney, Hyatt Hotel Canberra and Park Hyatt Sydney over the past few months.

Building on the success of Park Hyatt Melbourne and Grand Hyatt Melbourne, the debut of Hyatt Centric Melbourne will bring a new lifestyle experience for visitors and hotel guests while showcasing the city’s heritage and urban landscape.

What new products or offers are available for business events?

Hyatt is known for our memorable and exceptional MICE experiences and we are taking an agile approach and adapting offerings and experiences to meet the changing needs and preferences. Our new hybrid meeting offers seamless technology for small to large-scale global meetings.

We have launched ‘Together by Hyatt’, a new suite of event solutions designed to empower meeting planners to navigate the new normal. This is now available at ten hotels in Asia Pacific to help businesses prepare for the resumption of events in support of business recovery.

Rooted in Hyatt’s purpose to care for people so they can be their best, ‘Together by Hyatt’ prioritises four pillars that are essential to all events: Care + Safety; Care + Technology; Care + Community of Experts; and Care + Wellbeing. Hyatt Regency Sydney and Grand Hyatt Melbourne are a part of the ‘Together By Hyatt’ rollout.

What is the events pipeline looking like?

From 2022 events are really starting to be our strongest segment in terms of recovery. Small to medium size meetings are starting to book from about February onwards with the larger conferences from about May.

A significant portion of this is business that has rebooked from the last two years, however we are seeing a lot of new business. International business events is mainly booked from Q4 onwards. Pharmaceutical, banking, real estate, consulting seem to be industries taking the lead.

Who is rebooking events? Corporates, incentives, associations?

Corporates and associations. Incentives are, but on a much smaller scale.

Are clients asking for different things?

Experiences in the destination – unique opportunities to rediscover the location. Sustainable initiatives and components of wellbeing.

There is no longer excessive spending on events – but meaningful meetings are becoming the norm, especially with so many impacted financially over the past 20 months.

Stay tuned for part two of this interview tomorrow.