Sydney Airport threatens court action over naming rights

Sydney Airport is trying to stop hotels using its name in their titles, claiming it is an infringement of their trademark.

The Sydney Airport Corporation has threatened legal action against hotels within the area employing the “Sydney Airport’’ label in any websites, adverts, social pages and other marketing material.

However, Carol Giuseppi, CEO of Tourism Accommodation Australia, said she was “very concerned” by the action that wasn’t in keeping with the spirit of working together to promote Sydney as a destination.

“It is common protocol worldwide for hotels to use a geographic locator with their core hotel brand,” she said. “This serves to both differentiate the brand from those with the same brand name but different locations, and to provide consumers with a well-known point of reference.

“Most of the hotels in the immediate precinct have for many years provided facilities and services that have been vital to the performance of the airport and its customers.

“We support Sydney Airport concerns with hotels positioned several kilometres from the airport using the brand, but this is not the majority of cases.

“It is not helpful either from a global business perspective or from a customer point of view to not have a recognised location identified in the hotel name.

“This happens in both Sydney City and Darling Harbour to name a couple of locators and in cities and airports around Australia.”

Numerous hotels close to the airport, including the Pullman Sydney Airport, the Adina Apartment Hotel Sydney Airport, The Holiday Inn Sydney Airport, The Travelodge Sydney Airport, the Hotel Ibis Sydney Airport and The Mercure Sydney International Airport, could be affected.

With the Mantra and Ibis Budget hotels near the domestic terminal owned by Sydney Airport Corporation, which also has plans to develop up to five hotels within the precinct, some are saying the move is about protecting its own interests.

“This is about addressing what is a genuine concern for both domestic and overseas visitors to Sydney, who are led to believe they will be staying closer to the airport, factor this into their travel plans and are quite surprised to find their accommodation is not located on the airport precinct,” a spokesperson told The Australian.