Horwath HTL is pleased to announce the appointment of two senior hotel industry executives to its consulting team, Wim Ruepert, formerly Area General Manager responsible for the Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) portfolio in New Zealand and General Manager of the Crowne Plaza Auckland hotel, has joined Horwath HTL as a senior consultant. Wim specialises in providing hotel asset management services. As well as his hotel general management experience, Wim has held senior hotel and regional finance leadership roles for IHG in Japan, Australia and China and was group financial controller for 20 resorts in the Caribbean.
Mr Ruepert says he can assist clients in maximizing the performance of their hotel. “There is a risk that, with the current strong market conditions, under performance of hotels can easily be masked. Pro-active asset management can give owners comfort that their hotel asset is achieving its full value potential.”
John Farrell is also joining Horwath HTL as a senior consultant, specialising in providing hotel sales and marketing, revenue management, yield management and strategic consulting advice. John who last year won the New Zealand Hotel Industry Achievement Award, has headed the AccorHotels sales and marketing team in New Zealand & South Pacific for the past 10 years. John was previously CEO of Travelodge Australia for six years in which role he was responsible for all aspects of Travelodge’s expansion and operations in Australia.
Mr Farrell says that one of the biggest challenges facing the hotel industry internationally is the increasing cost of sale associated with bookings made via third party websites. “Responding to this challenge is a priority for many hotel managers and owners but this requires a more detailed understanding of the distribution system and how to maximise direct bookings than many people in the industry have – especially independently owned and operated hotels. We can help with that.”
Stephen Hamilton, Director of Horwath HTL, says that he is thrilled with the vast skills and hotel industry knowledge which Wim Ruepert and John Farrell bring to the firm. “Achieving acceptable rates of return on investment in the New Zealand hotel industry has been a challenge for many years. The depth of knowledge that Wim and John have can add significant value to hotel owners.”
Stephen jointly established the specialist tourism and leisure consulting practice, Horwath HTL (formerly Horwath Asia Pacific Limited) in 2002. With thirty years consulting experience in the New Zealand tourism industry, Stephen has also undertaken engagements in Australia, Fiji and the Cook Islands.
Stephen’s enthusiasm and in-depth knowledge of the New Zealand tourism industry adds value for clients, by providing a well-balanced and sound approach to their specific needs and assisting clients to progress their business with quality information for decisions and strategies.
Stephen assists lenders, investors, funding sponsors, and purchasers/developers in both the public and private sectors, with the ability to quickly ascertain what financial and market analysis or research will be of most benefit.
Stephen’s service lines include market demand analysis, financial feasibility analysis, market research, economic impact analysis and strategy development.