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Touraust : New Zealander Emerges As Aussie Force



Former Wellington College pupil Darryl Courtney-O'Connor's company Austzeal Pty Ltd has acquired 100 percent of the Touraust Corporation, Australia's sixth largest hotel operator.

Austzeal achieved the buy-out by purchasing the 50 percent stake of Touraust previously held by Development Capital of Australia Ltd.

Mr Courtney-O'Connor said "the purchase of Development Capital of Australia's interests had been conducted on a very satisfactory basis".

Mr Courtney-O'Connor formed his interest in the tourism and hospitality industry at a young age, washing out flagons for his father at his family's pub at Waitotara, near Wanganui.

As managing director of Touraust, Mr Courtney-O'Connor has diversified the company from pure hotel management into other operating businesses and has plans for growth in all facets of the business, including development into New Zealand.

Touraust manages the Country Comfort, Chifley and Australis chains, a total of 29 hotels. These hotels are currently operating at an aggregate occupancy level above 70 percent.

Mr Courtney-O'Connor said its position as a major independent force in the tourism industry was reinforced last year, following the merger of Australian Tourism Group.

Touraust Corporation also reports very strong trading results at its International College of Tourism and Hotel Management in Sydney, Australia's largest private tourism educator.


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