SINGAPORE (August 15, 2008) – Australian and New Zealand hotel industry leaders have voted Keith Barr, regional chief operating officer of IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group), HM Magazine Hotelier of the Year at the 2008 HM Awards for Hotel and Accommodation Excellence, announced in Sydney last night.
Keith heads up the Australian, New Zealand and South Pacific operations of what is one of the world’s largest hotel management companies, with international brands including InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza Hotels & resorts, and Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of TTF (Tourism and Transport Forum) and is actively involved in a number of initiatives to further the collective interests of the hotel and broader tourism industries.
For the first time, the 2008 HM Hotelier of the Year was voted for exclusively by the senior executive of the top 20 hotel chains operating in Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific, making the accolade that much more significant.
“To have been voted by my peers for this award is very humbling, especially when you consider the experienced, professional, and exceptionally talented individuals at the head of the preeminent hotel management companies operating in this region today,” Keith said.
“At a time when more and more individual and institutional investors are recognizing the long-term attractions of hotel property assets throughout this part of the world, the ability to help shape the environment in which hoteliers will be operating in five, ten and twenty years from now is very exciting. That my colleagues in the industry have seen fit to bestow me with this award is a remarkable honor.”
Keith’s recognition as Hotelier of the Year capped a string of awards to other individuals and properties across the IHG regional portfolio, including:
MICE Property – InterContinental Perth Burswood, recognized for its industry-leading conference and event experience as part of the Burswood Entertainment Complex.
South Pacific Property – InterContinental Bora Bora Resort and Thalasso Spa, the chic overwater bungalow resort incorporating the Algotherm Day and Residential Spa and the award-winning Bubbles Bar.
Sales and Marketing – InterContinental Sydney’s Catherine Mangan, whose prodigious achievements include exceeding her most recent sales budgets by over AU$4 million.
Environmental Hotel – Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, recognized for its extraordinary focus on corporate responsibility incorporating a range of eco-management initiatives.