In 2011, Minor International through its subsidiary, Minor Hotel Group (MHG), marked its highly significant milestone when it acquired Oaks Hotels and Resorts (Oaks) in Australia. Since its initial acquisition of Oaks, MHG has further expanded through acquisitions of new properties including Oaks Oasis on the Queensland’s town of Caloundra near Sunshine Coast, Oaks Cypress Lakes Resort and its onsite Golf and Country Club in New South Wales’ Hunter Valley in 2013 and the new build of Oaks Grand Gladstone which opened in early 2014.
In 2015, MHG acquired the Elan Soho Suites in Darwin for AU$57.1 million, rebranding this as Oaks Elan Darwin. This 27 floor 4.5 star property is close to Darwin’s Waterfront precinct and comprises a mix of hotel rooms and one and two bedroom self-contained apartments, catering for both tourists and business travellers.
The opening of the Oaks Elan Darwin marked the company’s debut in the Northern Territory. Chief Executive Officer of MHG, Dillip Rajakarier, says part of the business expansion strategy both in Australia and abroad is focused on accumulating quality assets in regional locations alongside its portfolio of properties in both city and resort destinations. "Darwin has always been on our wish list and we are thrilled that MHG will now be represented in the Northern Territory".
According to MHG, Darwin is a unique destination with strong demand from the corporate and government sectors but also has major long-term growth opportunity in both the domestic and international tourism markets.
For Darwin, the Oaks Elan has boosted local jobs, with employment opportunities in the hospitality sector with an award-winning hotel brand that has 49 hotels across Australia and six hotels across New Zealand, Thailand and UAE. The Oaks brand, together with MHG’s Anantara, AVANI, Per Aquum, Tivoli, and Elewana brands, make up over 155 hotels and resorts worldwide that MHG owns or operates. MHG invests in the future of its local employees, providing a range of training programs to enable skills development and career progression within the company.
The addition of this newly built 4.5 star property adds to the range of accommodation facilities in Darwin. This complements Darwin’s development as a gateway to South East Asia and as a cruise destination help to grow Darwin’s visitor economy and encourage regional dispersal of leisure travellers.
Mr Rajakarier says MHG aims to boost the Oaks existing 55-hotel portfolio by 20 new properties over the next five years. The move follows a 38% increase in net profit for the division in 2015, as a result of efficient management and ongoing strength in the brand’s key hospitality markets. "We are actively seeking opportunities in Western Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory, with the aim of Oaks Hotels and Resorts having presence in every Australian state and territory", he says.