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International Press Releases

Choice Hotels Asia-Pacific welcomes First Light Mooloolaba to the Ascend Hotel Collection™
Image Credit: First Light Mooloolaba

Returning franchisees bring a milestone for Ascend Hotel Collection in the soft brand’s 15th anniversary year.

Leading hotel group Choice Hotels Asia-Pac is thrilled to launch their 15th Ascend Hotel Collection™ property in Australia-New Zealand with First Light Mooloolaba on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast joining the group this August.

Recognised as the hotel industry’s first and largest soft brand*, Choice Hotels’ Ascend Hotel Collection is celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2023. Designed for travellers seeking unique experiences in exceptional surroundings — and powered by the award-winning loyalty program Choice Privileges™ — the upscale Ascend Hotel Collection is a membership of more than 320 independent hotels open or in development with unique properties and signature styles in 15 countries.

Featuring 67 well-appointed, self-contained, one-to-three-bedroom apartments, First Light Mooloolaba showcases resort-style living, including a pool and gym making it a great fit for leisure, corporate and group travel. As one of the newest buildings in the area, the hotel has a modern feel to compliment the stunning views of the Mooloolaba coast.

Often called the ‘Jewel of the Sunshine Coast’, Mooloolaba offers the perfect base to explore the best of the region including Sea Life Sunshine Coast at The Wharf Mooloolaba, Australia Zoo, and the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. From First Light Mooloolaba you can take a stroll to explore the Mooloolaba Esplanade or short drive to the new Maroochydore CBD or Alexandra Headlands surf beach.

Choice Hotels Asia-Pac CEO Trent Fraser says the signing of First Light Mooloolaba is further evidence of the Ascend Hotel Collection’s continued brand strength in Australia.

“We’re delighted that First Light Mooloolaba is becoming the 15th Ascend Hotel Collection property in ANZ in the same year the brand is the celebrating 15 years in market,” Mr Fraser says.  “This all-apartment hotel, with its home-away-from-home luxuries, is the perfect example of what makes properties in the Collection so special.”

"We’re also heartened to welcome First Light Mooloolaba’s franchisees, Chris and Olivia Taylor, back to the Choice Hotels Asia-Pac family, having previously operated one of our very first Ascends in this market.”

While some of the faces from the Choice Hotels Asia-Pac team the Taylors met were familiar, this time they feel the offering is much more robust than previously experienced giving more support for franchisees to grow their business. 

“There has been so much growth within Choice. Now we are joining as the 15th Ascend in ANZ, we are excited to see where we can take our business,” Olivia says.

 “Access to extensive global sales in both business and leisure markets, plus the comprehensive revenue management services really is what attracted us to revisit a relationship with Choice," Chris added.  

Choice Hotels Asia-Pacific has an expert team of local revenue managers who work with franchisees to strategically set and monitor rates for participating hotels within the group. Their automated revenue management service, ChoiceMAX, provides instant access to current and historical market data supporting franchisees to set the best rates for today and into the future.

First Light Mooloolaba is Choice Hotels Asia-Pac’s second addition to the Ascend Hotel Collection this quarter following the launch of ‘hotel around TAKAYAMA’ to the group in July. Located in the historic Takayama City in the Japanese Alps, ‘hotel around TAKAYAMA’ is the first Ascend Hotel Collection hotel in Asia joining the Choice Hotels Japan’s portfolio of over 70 Comfort branded properties across major cities in Japan.

For more information on First Light Mooloolaba, Ascend Hotel Collection visit:

For more information on Choice Hotels Asia-Pac visit:

*What is a “soft brand”?

A soft brand enables an independent hotel to maintain a unique identity and style, while leveraging the benefits of a well-known hotel group, including access to a group’s reputation, marketing campaigns, sales services, distribution prowess, support, training, and behind-the-scenes operational systems.

For more information contact:

Maddison Moloney, PR & Communications Manager

+61 455 530 855


About Choice Hotels Asia-Pac

Choice Hotels Asia-Pac has more than 300 hotels across the Asia Pacific region, totalling in excess of 11,000 rooms and making it the region’s largest hotel franchise group. Brands underneath the Choice Hotels banner include the Ascend Hotel Collection, Clarion, Quality, Comfort and Econo Lodge. Choice Hotels Asia-Pac is a 100 percent owned subsidiary of Choice Hotels International, a publicly listed (NYSE: CHH) company in the United States with nearly 7,400 hotels and 625,000 rooms in 45 countries and territories.


Ascend Hotel Collection: Let the Destination Reach You.   

The Ascend Hotel Collection is a global portfolio of independent resort, historic and boutique hotels. Recognized as the hotel industry's first "soft brand" concept, there are more than 320 Ascend Hotel Collection properties open worldwide, including in Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Japan, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Ecuador, Mexico and throughout the Caribbean. Membership with the Ascend Hotel Collection enables distinctive, independent properties to gain a global presence while maintaining their local charm. For more information, visit

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The Radisson brands, including Park Plaza, Country Inn & Suites, and Park Inn by Radisson, are owned in the Americas regions by Choice Hotels.
Outside of the Americas, the brands are owned by Radisson Hotel Group, an unaffiliated company headquartered in Belgium.