Thu, Aug 22, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Regent Hotels joins forces with China UnionPay Co

ON TARGET:Formosa has its sights on the Chinese consumer market, following in the steps of Four Seasons Hotels and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Formosa International Hotels Corp (FIHC, 晶華國際酒店集團), which owns the Regent Hotels & Resorts brand, has signed a global strategic alliance agreement with China UnionPay Co (中國銀聯), eyeing strong momentum in the Chinese consumer market.

Regent is the third global luxury hotel brand forming a strategic alliance with China UnionPay, the only credit card network in China, following Four Seasons Hotels Inc and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.

HIGH-END CUSTOMERS

“With the rapid growth of China’s consumer market, the collaboration will help the Regent brand create new and high-end customer bases in China,” FIHC chief executive officer Amy Hsueh (薛雅萍) said in a statement.

The seven Regent Hotels in operation by FIHC, including Formosa Regent Taipei (台北晶華酒店), will join forces with China UnionPay, which has issued 3.6 billion cards to date, which are accepted in over 140 countries.

SPECIAL BENEFITS

All members of UnionPay Platinum and Diamond cards, issued both in China and overseas, will be able to enjoy special benefits such as discounts, room upgrades and other service treatments under the cooperation between the two companies.

CREDIT CARD BUSINESS

China UnionPay has been targeting credit card business over the past few years, with UnionPay International (UPI) — its wholly owned subsidiary eyeing international business — helping its parent group seek cooperation opportunities from international strategic partners.

According to UPI’s internal statistics, more than 70 percent of Taiwanese shops have been accepting the use of UnionPay cards, with more than half of Chinese tourist expenditure in Taiwan last year paid by UnionPay cards.

BETTER PROFIT

In related news, FIHC posted NT$565.26 million (US$18.78 million), or NT$5.85 per share, in net profit for the first half, slightly improving from a net profit of NT$560.33 million, or NT$5.8 per share, a year earlier, the company said in its filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

However, SinoPac Securities Investment Service (永豐投顧) said FIHC may see its sales this month down more than 10 percent from the NT$439.42 million recorded last month, as the July-to-September quarter is the traditional weak period for Taiwan’s urban international tourist hotels because of low demand from business tourists.

Under slowing room demand, the hotel operator aims to raise its sales from the food and beverage sector to maintain its revenue performance.

STEAK PROMOTION

Robin’s Grill, a steakhouse located within Formosa Regent Taipei, yesterday announced a collaboration with the US Meat Export Federation to provide a promotion of the US rib-eye steak cuisine, which will last to the end of the month.

Meanwhile, FIHC launched a week-long online culinary promotion on Monday to sell meal coupons from the operator’s various restaurants to drive up demand.

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