Mon, Dec 16, 2013 - Page 14 News List

Hotel sector records growth rebound

OVER THE MOON:Industry insiders are predicting growth in the sector next year with hotels expected to be fully booked over the Lunar New Year holiday period

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Formosa International Hotels Corp (FIHC, 晶華國際酒店集團) chairman Steven Pan (潘思亮) gave a bullish outlook for the nation’s hotel sector next year, saying that its business has started a rebound after hitting bottom in the first half of this year.

“The US and Japanese economies have both recovered, with sentiment in Europe having passed its lowest point already,” Pan told reporters after attending a Christmas ceremony in the business area around the Formosa Regent Taipei (台北晶華酒店) on Saturday.

Following the global economic recovery, the world’s tourism sector will flourish next year, Pan said, adding that Taiwan’s hotel industry will also benefit from the effects of the global economic situation.

In terms of Formosa Regent Taipei, Pan said the company has seen sales start picking up from the second half of this year, with demand for rooms and the food and beverage areas both up significantly this quarter.

“We expect to see room occupancy rates of more than 85 percent this month, with the hotel fully booked during the week of Lunar New Year holidays,” Pan said.

Meanwhile, Regent Taipei has seen all of its restaurants nearly fully booked every weekend through to the Lunar New Year holiday, showing additional signs of the hotel industry’s rebound, Pan added.

Pan expressed satisfaction with FIHC’s sales performance this year, as the company’s sales still posted a growth despite a sluggish sentiment in the first half of this year and Regent Taipei’s two-month renovation plan in the second half.

FIHC posted NT$5.16 billion (US$173.8 million) in consolidated revenue in the first 11 months of the year, up 3.95 percent from a year ago, its stock exchange data showed.

SinoPac Securities Investment Service (永豐金投顧) said FIHC’s expansion plan next year may continue raising its sales scale to pass the NT$6 billion mark annually next year.

The company aims to launch trial operation of two hotels under its fair-price brand Just Sleep (捷絲旅) later this month in Greater Kaohsiung and Hualien. It is planning to follow that by opening another three hotels next year, the brokerage house said in its latest report.

FIHC also plans to launch service of the Silks Place (晶英酒店) in Tainan City, the third hotel under the brand, in the first quarter next year, which may generate a total of NT$200 million in annual sales for the company, the report said.

Other than the Regent Taipei, the company currently operates two hotels under the brand of Silks Place brand and three under the Just Sleep brand.

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