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Sheraton to exit Noosa

SHERATON is set to exit its management of Noosa's premium hotel on June 13 with the resort transferring to Accor's premium Sofitel brand.

It ends a 27-year association with Hastings St for Sheraton, which has consistently led the tourism sector in terms of rate and occupancy.

Tourism Noosa chair Steve McPharlin said Sheraton left with the enormous gratitude of the local industry for the role it had played in supporting promotion of the region and setting a quality benchmark for the key Hastings St precinct.

Mr McPharlin said the management group's 2013 refurbishment of the resort had helped pull a lot of other product in the town to new levels.

The resort's 100 to 140 staff, the equivalent of 80-90 full time employees, are expected to retain their jobs because they are still employed by the property's owner Arthur Laundy, who paid $110 million for it in late 2014.

Mr Laundy also owns the Novotel Manly Pacific Hotel which is also managed by AccorHotels.

It is understood Mr Laundy never engaged Sheraton as a full-time partner, the pair working on short-term contracts while a new management agreement was negotiated.

Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington this morning confirmed the impending change of management was behind Noosa Sheraton's withdrawal of sponsorship for this year's Noosa Wine and Food Festival.

He said the switch did not pose a risk to the region's premium brand.

Mr McPharlin agreed, saying Sofitel was also an internationally-recognised deluxe brand.

"Whatever happens it will be all good noise for Noosa which is positive for the region,'' he said.

Sheraton will continue to honour bookings and rates until the handover to Sofitel takes place but will not honour its Starwood points rewards past June 13.

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