Five questions for … Sushil Gordon of Port Moresby’s Airways Hotel

Managing a top class hotel in Papua New Guinea presents both unique challenges and rewards. We caught up with Sushil Gordon, General Manager of Port Moresby’s celebrated Airways Hotel.

Airways' Sushil Gordon

Airways’ Sushil Gordon

Business Advantage PNG (BAPNG): Anecdotally, there has been a downturn in business activity during 2013. What has Airways’ experience been this year?

Sushil Gordon (SG): Similar to the market trend, we have experienced a little downturn in business. However, we expect to close the year pretty much on par with 2012, as forecast.

BAPNG: What plans do you have to expand or improve the hotel over the next 12 months?

SG: There are no plans to expand. However, we will be renovating our legendary Vue restaurant and bar, giving it a big facelift to last for the next 10-to-15 years. Plans include an open kitchen with lots of action for the guests to see and interact with. Fresh international buffet food almost made to order. We will be upgrading the Fountain Wing Rooms and our Bacchus Wing rooms will undergo a soft refurbishment.

We are always thinking about how to upgrade the facilities to give better value to our guests. Our owners are very focused on this aspect.

BAPNG: Airways tends to be the place where VIPs stay when they come to PNG. What famous faces have walked into your lobby in the past year?

SG: We have had many VIPs and world leaders stay with us in 2013. But it is our belief that everyone is a VIP when they stay at Airways.

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BAPNG: Airways has won many international awards. What kinds of experience do you want guests at Airways to have? How would you like them to remember their stay?

SG: We like to focus on getting the basics right, by asking the questions: why does a guest stay at Airways? what are their needs while they are with us? Friendly staff, clean and classy, great food and business facilities. Even a spa! I like to think that our guests remember their stay as a memorable one.

BAPNG: Airways has recently revitalised its brand. What are the key changes you’ve made in how you market the hotel?

SG: We have been progressively rolling out a ‘refresh’ of our  brand this year, with an upgraded logo, newly designed press advertisements, collateral and airport signage. The goal is to highlight the hotel’s unique aesthetic and high quality facilities. This refresh will continue into the new year.

Of course, having a great property to promote makes it a lot easier.