Fubon Hospitality Management Co (富邦旅館), an affiliate of Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控), is to launch its first hotel, Folio Daan Taipei, (富藝旅) next month on a site destined for urban renewal.
The venture is to represent both the conglomerate’s bid to expand into the hospitality industry and better utilization of an idle asset ahead of time-consuming redevelopment, the company said.
“Folio Daan Taipei aims to set an example for urban renewal projects by being useful while the company secures regulatory approval and starts construction on the redevelopment project,” said Fubon Hospitality chairman Alex Lee (李震華), who also heads Fubon Land Development Co (富邦建設).
The group is serious about the hotel business, as it believes the tourism industry might evolve into the next bright spot alongside the nation’s technology, biotechnology and financial services sectors, he said.
Top executives at Fubon Financial are confident that Taiwan would continue to thrive as a travel destination in the region given its numerous scenic spots, rich culture and convenient transportation, Lee said.
Positioned as a boutique hotel, Folio is mainly the result of renovation work on Taiwan Cooperative Bank’s (合庫) former employee dormitory. It has 57 guest rooms, a restaurant and a multifunction showroom on a 1,023 ping (3,381.8m2) plot of land near the MRT’s Daan Station.
Folio seeks to woo budget individual travelers by offering clean, comfortable, 5 ping to 7.5 ping rooms from NT$3,200 to NT$4,400 per night, Lee said.
All rooms were designed with a flair of the old Taipei apartment complex to set them apart from luxury and exotic counterparts and simplify renovations.
Folio is an effective example of integration and coordination within the group, as Fubon Life Insurance Co (富邦人壽) contributed the property and charity unit Fubon Art Foundation (富邦藝術基金) was in charge of organizing art and cultural events, the hotelier said.
The new hotel is just the beginning of a bigger ambition that might grow into an international hotel chain in the long run, Lee said.
Fubon Hospitality plans to open four larger-scale hotels in the next five years, he said, adding that the company is in talks with international hotel chains to run one in the city’s prime Xinyi District (信義).
“While other developers limit their role to a landlord, Fubon Land Development wants to be a serious hotelier,” Lee said.
The choice spells more challenges and will require more time to turn a profit, Lee said.
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