Sat, Jan 04, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Ambassador to set up budget hotel in Taipei

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Ambassador Hotel Ltd (國賓大飯店集團) yesterday announced plans to launch its second budget hotel in Taipei by the end of the year at the earliest in a bid to benefit from the nation’s fast-growing inbound tourism.

The move is in line with the company’s strategy to diversify to another brand that targets lower-budget travelers.

Ambassador Hotel operates three international tourist hotels in Taiwan and a budget hotel under the Amba (意舍) brand in Taipei’s Ximending (西門町) area.

In July last year, Ambassador Hotel chairman Emmet Hsu (許育瑞) said the company aims to launch eight Amba hotels within the next three years.

As part of the expansion, Ambassador planned to launch three new Amba hotels, with two in Taipei and one in Pingtung County (屏東).

The company announced on Thursday that it plans to launch a second Amba hotel on Taipei’s Zhongshan N Road by the end of the year, vice president Bill Chen (陳榮輝) said.

“We will start contruction of the 98-room hotel in March,” Chen told a group of reporters, adding that investments in the hotel could amount to between NT$270 million and NT$280 million (US$8.99 million and US$9.36 million).

The company may also start the decoration work for the another planned Amba hotel in Taipei — near Songshan Railway Station — by the end of this year, aiming to open a 180-room hotel next year, Chen said.

Chen said sales of the hotel brands targeting mid-end customers, which have their average room rate set between NT$3,000 and NT$3,500, may set a trend in the nation’s hotel sector, following the rise of free and independent travelers in China and other Asian countries.

Formosa International Hotels Corp (FIHC, 晶華國際酒店集團) public relations director Ellen Chang (張筠) expressed similar views.

FIHC is scheduled to launch official operation of its fourth and fifth budget hotel under the Just Sleep (捷絲旅) brand in Greater Kaohsiung (高雄) and Hualien City (花蓮) later this month.

“Location will be the key factor to decide whether a budget hotel brand will survive the severe competition in the future,” Chang said by telephone.

That concept may lead FIHC to be more careful when looking for appropriate spots for expanding the number of its Just Sleep hotels, Chang added.

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