Business Franchise Australia


Choice Hotels Asia-Pacific welcomes First Light Mooloolaba to the Ascend Hotel Collection™

Returning franchisees bring a milestone for Ascend Hotel Collection in the soft brand’s 15th anniversary year.

Leading hotel group Choice Hotels Asia-Pac is thrilled to launch their 15th Ascend Hotel Collection™ property in Australia-New Zealand with First Light Mooloolaba on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast joining the group this August.

Recognised as the hotel industry’s first and largest soft brand*, Choice Hotels’ Ascend Hotel Collection is celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2023. Designed for travellers seeking unique experiences in exceptional surroundings — and powered by the award-winning loyalty program Choice Privileges™ — the upscale Ascend Hotel Collection is a membership of more than 320 independent hotels open or in development with unique properties and signature styles in 15 countries.

Featuring 67 well-appointed, self-contained, one-to-three-bedroom apartments, First Light Mooloolaba showcases resort-style living, including a pool and gym making it a great fit for leisure, corporate and group travel. As one of the newest buildings in the area, the hotel has a modern feel to compliment the stunning views of the Mooloolaba coast.

Often called the ‘Jewel of the Sunshine Coast’, Mooloolaba offers the perfect base to explore the best of the region including Sea Life Sunshine Coast at The Wharf Mooloolaba, Australia Zoo, and the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. From First Light Mooloolaba you can take a stroll to explore the Mooloolaba Esplanade or short drive to the new Maroochydore CBD or Alexandra Headlands surf beach.

Choice Hotels Asia-Pac CEO Trent Fraser says the signing of First Light Mooloolaba is further evidence of the Ascend Hotel Collection’s continued brand strength in Australia.

“We’re delighted that First Light Mooloolaba is becoming the 15th Ascend Hotel Collection property in ANZ in the same year the brand is the celebrating 15 years in market,” Mr Fraser says. “This all-apartment hotel, with its home-away-from-home luxuries, is the perfect example of what makes properties in the Collection so special.”

“We’re also heartened to welcome First Light Mooloolaba’s franchisees, Chris and Olivia Taylor, back to the Choice Hotels Asia-Pac family, having previously operated one of our very first Ascends in this market.”

While some of the faces from the Choice Hotels Asia-Pac team the Taylors met were familiar, this time they feel the offering is much more robust than previously experienced giving more support for franchisees to grow their business.

“There has been so much growth within Choice. Now we are joining as the 15th Ascend in ANZ, we are excited to see where we can take our business,” Olivia says.

“Access to extensive global sales in both business and leisure markets, plus the comprehensive revenue management services really is what attracted us to revisit a relationship with Choice,” Chris added.

Choice Hotels Asia-Pacific has an expert team of local revenue managers who work with franchisees to strategically set and monitor rates for participating hotels within the group. Their automated revenue management service, ChoiceMAX, provides instant access to current and historical market data supporting franchisees to set the best rates for today and into the future.

First Light Mooloolaba is Choice Hotels Asia-Pac’s second addition to the Ascend Hotel Collection this quarter following the launch of ‘hotel around TAKAYAMA’ to the group in July. Located in the historic Takayama City in the Japanese Alps, ‘hotel around TAKAYAMA’ is the first Ascend Hotel Collection hotel in Asia joining the Choice Hotels Japan’s portfolio of over 70 Comfort branded properties across major cities in Japan.


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