News from around the Asia Pacific region, Sept 3.
Wednesday, 3rd September 2014
Source : HVS
Hotel industry and travel news from around the Asia Pacific region; this week: Future of boutique hotels in Singapore vs rising costs,BKK expands airport,Korea's MICE Master Plan and more...

Loh Lik Peng Shares about the Future of Boutique Hotels in Singapore

Over the years, land and building costs in Singapore have increased beyond affordable for many boutique hotels. Hotel yields are compressed making it hard to justify the investment at a time when interest rates look to be rising and competition increasing. Boutique hotels have less economies of scale compared to large branded hotels, and such new business environment means cost pressures and competition will increase. Loh Lik Peng, CEO of Unlisted Collection highlights the importance of embracing change and looking at the traditional strengths in marketing and public relations, agility and flexibility in order for boutique hotels to progress. Boutique hotels also need to continue to be interesting and relevant.

New Terminal for International Airport in Bangkok

In coming years, Suvarnabhumi Airport is planned to expand its existing facility. Airport of Thailand (AoT) is working on a 24 billion baht (US$752.3 million) proposal for the new terminal and monorail system that will give Suvarnabhumi the ability to handle 20 million more passengers a year, to be submitted to the Thai cabinet by end-2014. The completion of the project is expected to be by 2018. The expansion was aimed at increasing the international airport's capacity from the existing 45 million annually to 60 million by 2017, especially with ASEAN economic integration expected to happen in 2015.

More Malaysians than Singaporeans Visiting Japan

Since visa exemption by Japan was introduced to Malaysians in last July, Malaysia is now Japan's second greatest source market following after Thailand. Malaysian arrivals climbed 62.5 per cent during January to July this year as compared to 2013. Susan Ong, deputy director Singapore Office, Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), said the NTO expects between 50 and 60 per cent year-on-year growth in the Malaysian market for the rest of 2014. JNTO is also encouraging travel consultants to sell incentives beyond Tokyo and Osaka, promoting new destinations to the Malaysian market such as Kobe, Okinawa and Sapporo.

Miramar's Mira Cube to open in 2015 in Hong Kong

The third boutique hotel of the Mirmar Group's collection is set to open in 1 January 2015. The 50-key Mira Cube is situated in the heart of Knutsford Terrace in Tsim Sha Tsui close to The Mira Hong Kong. Targeting at mainly well-travelled and tech-savvy individuals, Mira Cube's features and services are customised to what defines the 21st century urban lifestyle hotel experience. The group also owns The Mira Hong Kong and Mira Moon Hotel.

Kempinski Opens High Security Hotel in Naypyidaw

The 141 room hotel will be Kempinski Hotel's first in the Myanmar market this November. It aims to cater to international NGO and government delegates besides leisure travellers. Being located in the National Guest House Compound in Hotel Zone 1 in the Myanmar capital, the hotel places a high emphasis on security. The hotel invested US$1.2 million in firesafety and also provides bulletproof glass in its Royal Suite. The hotel is 50-50 owned by KBZ Group of Companies and Jewellery Luck Company, and is managed by Kempinski. This makes it the second international hotel chain in Naypyidaw after Pan Pacific Hotels Group, which launched Parkroyal Nay Pyi Taw.

Dongdaemun Design Plaza to Spur MICE Tourism in Seoul

As part of South Korea's MICE Master Plan since 2013, Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) commenced its operations in March in Seoul's fashion core. DDP's establishment has attracted fashion and design-related conferences and exhibitions to Dongdaemun, and also bolstered the hospitality sector. There is an expectation of MICE Chinese travellers to surge. South Korea being a popular attraction, had 4.3 million visitors from China travelled to Seoul last year. Seoul's tourism authority estimates Chinese arrivals will exceed five million in 2014 and 10 million in subsequent years.

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