Hospitality industry opens portal

An industry portal for the hospitality sector to be launched early next year aims to get a slice of the industry's $1.3 billion per annum spent on operating supplies and services. will target Australia's 32,000-plus hotels, motels, restaurants, clubs and pubs.

Stage one of the site will be launched during Q1 next year, and will offer an online recruitment marketplace, industry knowledge base, online purchasing, and tailored procurement and asset management for larger or multisite hospitality businesses.

Keith Paulin, managing director for, said: "Our early discussions with several leading hotel chains have generated high levels of interest due to the potential cost savings through aggregated purchasing and streamlined processes.

"We've already secured contracts for the supply of more than 2700 products from leading distributors of glassware, china, electrical goods, consumables and more, with further contracts still being negotiated."

The Australian-based Internet company has been working for nearly 12 months on the site, which is now in the beta stage. Commercial pilots are currently being implemented with the Federal International and Radisson International hotel groups in Australia.

The company plans to take the concept to Asia, Europe and North America if the venture succeeds here.

The raising of a further $3 million in venture capital would, the company said, see the addition of financial products and services, online auction services, Internet service providers (ISPs) and Web design and hosting, communications and liquor supplies services to the site in the future.

"We're partnering with industry leaders like St George Bank, Dell Computer, Stuff Auctions, Deloittes, Cairncross Martin hospitality project management consultants, and NexDay fulfilment and logistics services to expand our capabilities and enable us to offer best-of-breed services in each category," Paulin said.

One per cent of every transaction conducted through the portal will be invested back into the hospitality industry through scholarships, excellence awards, industry research and charitable contributions.

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