20 Minutes with | Lachlan Harris

Industry official, Lachlan Harris, has been appointed group director of commercial at La Vie Hotels and Resorts, the latest achievement in his illustrious career.

Harris said that joining an owner-centric management company like La Vie Hotels and Resorts will provide him with the opportunity to be part of an expanding and dynamic team focused on developing and executing a profitable business suite of strategies for the company’s owners and shareholders.

“With a growing portfolio of properties across the globe, I am super excited about leading the new-look commercial team, building out-of-the-box strategies and expanding La Vie’s brand reputation,” said Harris.

“Having the ability to work across multiple disciplines and an eclectic mix of portfolios, I am most excited about utilising my 30 years of hospitality skills to enhance our customer and client journey, delivering a unique experience, building loyalty and growing our distribution network while maximising profit for our owners.”

As group director of commercial, Harris is responsible for delivering top-line revenue for all La Vie Hotels and Resort properties. This includes product analysis, revenue, distribution, and forecasting strategies. Harris will also oversee client and customer engagement, multi-segment contracting, and digital marketing.

The biggest difference between his former position and his new role at La Vie is the array of products and services on offer for guests. From international big box city hotels to boutique luxury properties, and even regional hideaways, Harris said that La Vie has the ability to adjust its strategy and tailor value propositions to almost every consumer.

“We really have something for everyone, and our leadership culture is as exciting as I’ve ever experienced.”

Harris has worked in hospitality ever since the age of 15. When he was 19 years old, he qualified as a pastry chef and worked in the kitchens. He then moved into the hotel sector, starting as an overnight porter and working his way up through the ranks in almost every position in the front office before taking on an entry-level sales job in 2006.

A self-described concept thinker, Harris enjoys building a sense of common purpose and empowering others. He sees himself as a persuasive communicator with the ability to align employees to company goals and revenue targets.

Harris said that his professional experience of working in hotels and hospitality has provided him with the absolute best foundation in his understanding, insight into the industry, and adoration for hotels and creating memorable experiences.

According to Harris, there are still inconsistencies in the hotel industry’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I believe many areas of the industry are yet to settle into a visible trend, but those who identify these trends quickest and are able to align strategic vision will benefit greatly. A previous CEO said it best, and I will always remember his words “We don’t come out of this better, just different”.”

Harris said that the biggest challenge for the global industry over the next 12 to 24 months will be capturing international travel. He added that despite reports of increased traffic and visitation, many cities do not feel as if they are ‘back in the game’. He also mentioned the ability to build distribution and generate loyalty in what is a very diverse industry with many options for tourists and domestic travellers alike.

Although the job requires a vast amount of travelling, Harris will be based at La Vie Hotels and Resorts' head office in Sydney.