The US-based five-star Wyndham Hotels & Resorts chain is planning to open its first hotel in Australia and is scouring Sydney and Melbourne for central city locations.
Ben Ancher, a vice-president of Wyndham's parent company, Cendant Corp, said that the push into Australia was a significant move for Wyndham, away from its traditional stamping grounds in the US, the Caribbean and Mexico.
Cendant bought the Dallas-based Wyndham chain in October in a $US101 million ($135million) deal.
Mr Ancher said while it was still "early days", the plan to open new Wyndham properties in Australia was being actively pursued.
New Jersey-based Cendant is also the parent company of Ramada International, which is also expanding in Australia and the Pacific region and will open a new $70 million hotel this month at Pelican Waters, near Caloundra on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.
The company has recently opened new Ramada hotels in the Dandenongs, near Melbourne, at Ballina on the NSW north coast, and in Noumea, Osaka and Tokyo. It is also expanding in Lithuania and elsewhere in eastern Europe.
Cendant is one of the world's largest lodging companies, with 6441 hotels and 540,578 rooms on five continents.
Its brands include Wyndham, Super 8, Days Inn, Ramada, Travelodge, Howard Johnson, Knights Inn, Wingate Inn and AmeriHost Inn.
Although some of the biggest international hotel chains have been static or contracting in Australia in recent times, Mr Ancher said Cendant's current growth here was building on its early forays in the Asia-Pacific region more than a decade ago.
"We started in China and developed very well there, so then we moved over into Australia," he said. Cendant saw it as "very important" to be well represented in the Asia-Pacific.
Mr Ancher said Australians' friendly attitude was a bonus for the hotel and development industries here. "They are very enthusiastic and passionate," he said.
Mr Ancher lives in Brussels, but his job is London-based and he spends most of his time travelling, visiting Cendant's hotels.
Cendant made it a priority to find the right partners, he said, as it had with the Reed Group on the Sunshine Coast, which developed the new 114-room, four-star Ramada Pelican Waters, 100km north of Brisbane.
Mr Ancher said the biggest trend in the international hotel trade was growth in the number of travellers aged 50-plus.
"What I see in Australia is what I see worldwide," he said.
"Flights are getting cheaper, people are getting more free time, and there is more disposable income to travel and enjoy more short breaks and weekends."
Despite tightening security since 2001, borders were continuing to open, making tourist travel easier, he said.
The increase in internet bookings was another big change in the industry in recent years, and Cendant was focusing its efforts on upgrading its websites and internet accessibility.