Sudima Hotels set a new accessibility standard

2 May 2016

Les Morgan, Sudima Hotel Group's Director of OperationsSudima Christchurch Airport Hotel was officially re-opened by Prime Minister John Key this month after a massive two-year renovation and rebuilding project. On the same day Be. Accessible presented the Sudima Christchurch Airport with a Be. Welcome Gold Rating.

Congratulations Sudima - What an amazing achievement, and a reflection of the incredible dedication and commitment of the Sudima Hotel Group to setting a benchmark in accessibility for the industry.

We asked Les Morgan, Sudima Hotel Group's director of operations, a few questions about their accessibility journey. Read his answers below:

How did the Sudima Hotel Group’s accessibility journey begin?

Sudesh Jhunjhnuwala, CEO, and I attended a conference where Minnie Baragwanath spoke. We were so inspired by her story and wanted Sudima Hotels & Resorts to be a part of Be. Accessible and ensure all our guests have the best possible experience when staying at our hotels.
What are the drivers behind the vision and commitment of the Sudima Hotel Group to accessibility?

We can see the commercial benefit in providing and supporting products and services, to address the needs of guests and potential guests who face challenges related to their own needs within major Hotel environments. 
How do you actively engage the Sudima Hotel Group staff in this vision?

From day one, during the Induction to the Hotel and wider Company, the Be Accessible values are integrated with our own. Additionally, through out the year they are reiterated at briefings and Hotel updates carried out by the Executive Team. We constantly emphasise that this is an evolving commitment. At the latest Executive meeting one of the Be. Accessible team popped in and gave us an introduction to Sign Language, it was a fantastic opportunity for the team to learn something new.

What have been the reactions of the staff and how has it influenced organisational culture?

The Sudima Hotels & Resorts team have fully embraced the program. They benefit by learning new skills and an appreciation of a group of guests whom they may otherwise have taken for granted. It is also a easy reference to the type of values and part we wish to play within the community.
How was it working with Be. Accessible?

It has been so much fun working with the Be. Accessible team. They are always so positive and up beat, this make it easy for us to strive for those higher levels of achievement.
Why would you recommend other businesses embark on an accessible journey?

Throughout the journey it has become apparent that we all benefit in some way. The product or service you offer may need to be enhanced but its nothing compared to the awareness the whole organisation will gain. 

What do you see as the social and economic benefits of a 100% accessible NZ?

By working with Be. Accessible we are able to offer access and enjoyment for all guests. If you don’t have any barriers, success soon follows.