We talk to Paul Woodgate from First National Trustee Company (Hong Kong) Limited (FNTC), the world’s leading provider of business solutions, legal structures and trustee services for resort developments.
Paula Woodgate is the Business Development Director Asia Pacific of First National Trustee Company (Hong Kong) Limited (FNTC) and a Director at VO Associates. FNTC provide essential tools that help make the vacation ownership industry more efficient, more attractive and more profitable.
VO Associates are Vacation Ownership and Timeshare/Fractional specialists and they offer the practical solutions to optimise returns and accelerate cash flow on hotel, resort and purpose-built inventory.
A senior executive in the Resort Hospitality Industry with over 30 years’ leadership experience in Shared Ownership and Fractional sectors, Paula provides independent advisory services in resort sales and marketing; feasibility; product definition and product development; member acquisition, engagement and retention; property acquisitions; business start-ups and business turnarounds; as well as team recruitment, training and development.
Her direct delivery experience to date has been predominantly in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the USA, and she has spent over 20 years of her career working in Global Hospitality/Resort Leisure Corporations such as Marriott, Interval International and Sunterra.
The THINC conference gave me the opportunity to meet those specialising in Bali and Indonesia in general and to understand the initiatives of the Indonesian government to stimulate growth in the tourism and associated industries. It also enabled me to explain what services my companies provide, and how they can assist with the successful fulfilment of resort and hotel developments, particularly in the vacation/fractional ownership space.
Where do you see the hotel industry in Indonesia, in general and specifically in Bali both now and in the next 5 years?
Indonesians are a naturally welcoming and hospitable people and the country offers a variety of high quality and diverse vacation experiences for tourists of all nationalities and budgets. The mid-sector is very strong right now and this will continue to grow particularly for Indonesian and Chinese visitors attracted by the variety of accommodation options and the growth of low cost carriers operating in the region. Bali still has considerable growth opportunities in both the mid and luxury sectors and I would encourage the government to expedite the development of the 2nd airport in the north to accommodate this growth.
International tourists will continue to enjoy the fabulous beaches and culinary experiences that Bali resorts offer and it’s encouraging to see developers and operators getting more and more creative with the overall vacation experience they deliver to their guests.
What global trends are you seeing in the industry that will have the greatest impact in how you do business?
I see the traditional vacation ownership model as being superseded by new innovations, which answer consumer demands for greater flexibility of usage, a shorter commitment, and wherever possible an investment element. This is good news for companies such as FNTC and VO Associates; both are well placed to drive these new innovations with bespoke solutions, tailored to meet the individual requirements of developers and operators.
Does FNTC have any plans to develop/operate/expand in Bali and in any of the government’s 10 New Bali’s initiative? If so where? If not, why not?
FNTC is keen to expand its operations in Bali. We are convinced that the industry would benefit long term from more use of trustees to protect the interest of consumers, especially when looking to market to international customers unfamiliar with local legislation.
We welcome the Government’s intention to re-create Bali’s success in 10 defined Indonesian locations but believe this initiative will take a decade or two to accomplish mainly due to current infrastructure constraints. We will follow developments closely with a view to supporting those companies that respond to the initiatives.
What are the three most important things for you in business?
It has to be practical solutions, integrity and professionalism.
Fundamental to both FNTC and VO Associates, is listening to our client’s needs and responding with bespoke solutions that accomplish their goals. Our clients do not want to overcomplicate their operations. Simple is usually best.
Integrity and professionalism speak for themselves. Throughout my career, I have tried to follow the highest standards and have been rewarded by trust and respect in my business dealings.
Where do you see your biggest competition coming from in the next five years?
We are the largest specialist shared ownership trustee in the world and manage assets in excess of USD$3 Billion. Truth is there are very few trust companies in the world that can offer our complete range of services, and even fewer operate in Southeast Asia.
Different jurisdictions, different local market needs, combined with cumbersome legislation at times, encourages trustee companies to focus more on local conditions. These competitors will of course, be able to service the national consumer, but we believe that the international consumer and developer will continue to favour international trustee companies with a transparent track record and worldwide resources.
I can foresee FNTC forming local partnerships, which combine the benefits of the local company with that of FNTC with its multinational reach.
What (if anything) would you change about THINC for next year’s conference?
This was my first time to attend the THINC conference. I enjoyed it enormously and came away with a very positive opinion on the growth and of the Indonesian tourism and hotel markets.
I liked the way the speakers shared information freely with the audience and the networking opportunities, particularly the Pub Crawl, were a lot of fun and we were spoilt by the fabulous food and wines served to us by the participating hotels.
Andy writes on a variety of topics related to property, real estate, the customer experience, mindset training and local/international trends for Seven Stones Indonesia. You can read some of his blogs here.