Moevenpick Hotels & Resorts has embarked on a journey to celebrate its 40th anniversary this year with the opening of the Moevenpick Hotel Enshi, China;
COO Andreas Mattmüller, chief operating officer for Moevenpick Hotels & Resorts, Middle East and Asia talks exclusive to 4Hoteliers.com.1. How is the recent development of Asia for MH&R?
Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts has embarked on a journey to celebrate its 40th anniversary this year with the opening of the Mövenpick Hotel Enshi.
The new 14-storey Hotel is the first international five-star hotel in Enshi, in central China's Hubei province. It is located close to the convention centre in the city's thriving business district, just a short drive from the train station, with fast connections to the strategic cities of Wuhan and Chongqing, and the newly built airport.
Blending Mövenpick's Swiss passion for hospitality excellence with a bold, contemporary design, Mövenpick Hotel Enshi offers 240 rooms, including 27 Suites and one Presidential Suite. In keeping with the company's philosophy of offering properties that reflect local culture, the hotel interiors are infused with Tujia and Miao ethnic art.
We are proud to become the first five-star hotel in the city of Enshi. By 2020, China is poised to become the world's most visited tourism destination and the largest outbound travel market, and we are excited to be growing our presence here. Establishing a new five-star hotel in Enshi is a significant step forward for showcasing the Mövenpick brand to a new generation of Chinese travellers.
The newest management contract signing is in Hua Hin, on the West Coast of the Gulf of Thailand, a leisure destination famous for its pristine beaches, golf courses, hill hiking, water sports and cultural attractions. The beach resort will complete our portfolio in Thailand as we currently have two hotels in Phuket: the Mövenpick Resort & Spa Karon Bach Phuket and the Mövenpick Resort Bangtao Beach Phuket.
The two new hotels are in line with the global strategy of Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts to open 100 hotels across Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia by 2015.
At present the company operates eight properties in Asia, including two hotels in Vietnam, one each in Singapore and The Philippines, another in India and two in Thailand –.and the recently opened Mövenpick Enshi.2. Which are the key markets in these areas? Why?
China is poised to become one of the world's most visited tourism destination, and we are excited to be growing our presence in China. As a late market entrant, our current focus in China is to operate hotels in unique locations with a sense of place, giving the brand high visibility amongst Chinese consumers.
The Mövenpick Hotel Enshi is marking an important milestone for our company. Chinese consumers regard Swiss products and services as refreshingly different and we are looking forward to leveraging our Swiss roots and culinary legacy to carve a unique niche in this fascinating country.
Several recently launched brand initiatives such as our Chinese logo and name Rui Xiang (ç‘žäº«), our Chinese website and our new Shanghai based sales and development office complementing our existing presence in HK, underlie our commitment to the region. We can see the benefit of this market presence already, with strong increases of Chinese travellers in our hotels across all regions, too.3. Plans for further expansion?
We currently have 19 projects in Asia. Within three years, the company will be operating eight hotels in Thailand with two in Chiang Mai and one each in Koh Samui, Bangkok and Pattaya in addition to the new signing, the 190-room Mövenpick Resort & Spa, Hua Hin.
By 2015, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts will have four properties open in China: our new hotel in Enshi in addition to a 380-room resort on Phoenix Island, Sanya; a 350-room property in Chifeng City, Inner Mongolia, and a 300-room hotel in Jiading, Shanghai.
In Sri Lanka we will open a 224-room city hotel in Colombo, next to Liberty Plaza in the heart of the city.
The Mövenpick Hotel at Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, will feature 280 rooms and will belocated along one of the longest beach of the world: a 124 km clear stretch. The country's capital Dhaka will be the new destination of a 275-room hotel opening in 2015.
More projects are planned for Dharamshala, India (101-room resort); Chendering, Malaysia (250-room resort); Jimbaran, Bali (270-room resort) and Quy Nhon, Vietnam (a resort with 180 rooms and 52 villas). 4. What is your opinion regarding the development of Asia as a new source market for tourism in comparison to the „old" markets Europe and US?
It is the No. 2 receiver in the world of foreign direct investment after the United States. It is also the second largest travel market in the world, with approximately 777 million domestic holiday takers in 2011, according to Euromonitor International (March 2012). Disposable income is increasing annually.
China shows also strong growth in outbound travel with currently over 39 million trips. This is estimated to exceed 62 million by 2015, which is one of the largest outbound travel markets globally. All those facts represent plenty of opportunities.
As awareness of and trust in brands continues to develop amongst the Chinese, there remains strong opportunity for the increased presence of niche operators like Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts.
These are exciting times for Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts in Asia and we look forward to building on our reputation for quality, reliability and care with a personal touch throughout the region. This is strictly an exclusive feature, reprints of this article in any shape or form without prior written approval from 4Hoteliers.com is not permitted.