Travel And Tour World: First of all, congratulations for your appointment as the General Manager of Capella Sydney. Tell us about this prestigious property Capella Sydney.
Marc von Arnim: Capella Sydney is a restoration of Sydney’s Education and Lands buildings, a heritage building that celebrates the Victorian Renaissance Revival architectural style. The two buildings, which are connected by a new underground pathway, willbe transformed into a space like no other, giving life back to these historic buildings. Careful and meticulous restoration will go into ensuring preservation of the Sandstone’s history.
Capella Sydney is poised to become a metropolitan destination built on the tales of the building’s past, designed with contemporary, timeless elegance for the next chapter in its story. As well as being a luxurious space for our hotel guests with distinctive culinary, retail and cultural experiences, the Lands and Education buildings also welcome visitors to immerse themselves in the unique collection of historic spaces.
Travel And Tour World: As, the hotel and tourism industry is reviving and all things are set to be in normal, what are the challenges you have seen for the growth in this industry?
Marc von Arnim: The biggest question will be what is normal? All our lives have transformed and changed over the last 2 years. Australia has been in isolation from the rest of the world for a long time and we are now only seeing the border reopen to the world. The industry on a whole has been affected by the closures and we have seen a great deal of pain and suffering among our colleagues. However, we are all a very resilient group and I think we are now starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, soon travelers will be returning to our shores. Australia has always been a destination that is high on people’s bucket list and I feel that we will see great demand for Australia. Capella Sydney will offer the most amazing curated stay; we will introduce travel experience to Sydney in a way that has not been done before.
Travel And Tour World: Before joining to Capella Sydneyyou were at Park Hyatt Sydney. Can you please tell us elaborately about the current condition of the hospitality industry in Australia?
Marc von Arnim: As Australia has had its border closed for such a long time there has been a great deal of pressure placed upon the entire industry. We have seen businesses close and some are just hanging on waiting for international borders to open. However, as I have said before we are a very resilient industry and Australia has a can-do attitude. Now that we have our border open, Australia is looking forward to welcoming everyone back to our shores to experience the amazing authentic hospitality we offer.
Travel And Tour World: Prior to returning home to Australia, you were the General Manager of ParkHyatt Busan in Korea and oversaw its opening. Before that you served for GeneralManager of Park Hyatt Goa in India. Tell us about how the COVID-19 is changing Asia-Pacific hospitality industry and the meetings and incentive travel industry as well.
Marc von Arnim: The entire Asia-Pacific region has suffered during the pandemic with restriction being placed across all areas. With borders opening up in numerous countries in the region we will start to see travel increasesthroughout this year. There is no better time to travel within Asia-Pacificwith all hotels and tourism operators ready and waiting to show the best on offer. Meetings and incentive travel has always been a great source of business for the entire region, I think now is as good a time as any to travel as most destinations have extensive measures in place to ensure safe travel for their clients. It is all about building confidence in the market and demonstrating that travel is safe and comfortable.
Travel And Tour World: What are the marketing strategies you have taken for the upliftment for the grand you are right now working with?
Marc von Arnim: Capella is a new brand to the local market and such we are now putting together a comprehensive plan on how we launch the brand and hotel in the Australian market. Internationally Capella is much more recognised so we will be using the lead up time to opening to create the buzz and anticipation about the property prior to opening.
Travel And Tour World: What is the target orientation (in terms of countries and guests) for Capella Sydney in global market?
Marc von Arnim: Capella Sydney will offer amazing amenities and facilities to cater for all travelers. We welcome all discerninginternational travelers from Asia, North America and Europe. The Capella brand is well-established in the luxury leisure market, and guests who seek highly personalized service and arts and cultural immersions will be of priority. Capella Sydney’s location will also appeal to the corporate travelers.
Travel And Tour World: Tell us about the meetings and event scenario of Capella Sydney. What type of events you have secured for 2023 season?
Marc von Arnim: Currently we are not taking reservations for our events space although there is a great deal of interest. The Education building is perfectly equipped and designed for all small meetings and private events, the interior play homage to the Art-Deco design with an abundance of natural light which will make the perfect space for all occasions.
The Lands building which is situated next door willhouse the majority of our larger events spaces. Catering for any type of events from intimate weddings to extensive corporate meetings. The facilities in Lands will embrace the amazing architecture of the building, with heritage features throughout the space and large heritage windows surrounding all rooms, the natural light and design will be a unique and amazing space for all events.
Travel And Tour World: What are you plans for sustainable and responsible approach of Capella Sydney and what are your plans for the promotion of cultural scene?
Marc von Arnim: Culture and bringing forward curated special events to life will be at the forefront of everything we do. Ensuring that our morning and afternoon rituals embrace the culture of Sydney and the history of the buildings. Our clients will experience the culture of Sydney in all areas of both buildings, we want all guests to experience these buildings and to see them brought back to life with a new purpose and experience. Sustainability is key to Capella as a brand, Capella Sydney will ensure that we can meet all environmental standards that are required.