Quest begins process of international expansion

Quest begins process of international expansion
By admin

Quest Serviced Apartments has begun the process of spreading its brand into international markets, although it will employ caution in its approach because of difficulties encountered when it entered New Zealand.

Taking the serviced apartment brand into new markets will enable the 25-year old company to tap into significant opportunities in the sector offered by the increasingly global nature of corporations, according to executive chairman Paul Constantinou.

“”It’s not so much about going into a market, it’s about becoming a part of that market so that the community in that market becomes your customers in the rest of the world,” he told Travel Today.

However, he admitted that the company has been wary of rolling the brand out internationally before now because of the challenges it faced with its introduction to NZ.

“The only reason that we’ve been a bit hesitant is that we did New Zealand about 14 years ago and I thought that would be a piece of cake,” he said. “But we got it totally wrong – it took us 10 years to get it right.”

However, it has managed to turn things around across the Tasman and now has some 30 properties in destination, with local brand awareness also delivering a sales boost for its Australian properties.  

“We’ve learnt to understand their culture and their business and we actually got them to own the Quest brand,” he said. “Now they see Quest as theirs.”

While Constantinou is confident the company is now ready to take on the new challenge, he stressed the importance of “getting it right” with a proper strategy crucial.

“We’re not going to do it just because we want to put a Quest sign in Singapore. We need to find capital partners to work with in those countries so we can roll out the brand – it’s too expensive to do just one,” he said.

Quest has already turned down a number of opportunities across Asia for that reason, he revealed.

“You only get one chance and if you get it wrong, you get it horribly wrong.”

Meanwhile, the company is forging ahead with its strategy of expansion into areas of regional Australia where accommodation supplies do not meet the needs of a growing number of corporate travellers that are visiting for business.

In the 2013 financial year, Quest welcomed 14 new franchiseees with the company "heading to hit close to $320 million" for the year.

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