Chailease Group (中租集團), which includes Chailease Holding Co (中租控股) and Grand Pacific Investment & Development Holding Co (中實控股), aims to slow down its expansion into the hospitality business after occupancy took a hit from the sharp decline in Chinese visitors last year and is unlikely to recover amid growing competition.
“It is not wise to expand when the field is growing increasingly crowded and inbound traveler numbers are stagnating or declining,” Grand Pacific chairman John Huang (黃炳彰) told a public event in Taipei.
The cautious approach contrasted with previous plans to add one or two outlets each year to its seven lodging and restaurant facilities in Taiwan and two more properties in the US and China.
Occupancy rates last year fell by an average of 10 percent at different locations while room rates weakened modestly, Huang said.
The situation might not improve in the near term due to price-cutting competition to win customers and more players are preparing to join the market, he added.
The decline is particularly evident in Grand Pacific’s Park City Hotel chain (成旅晶贊) in New Taipei City’s Tamsui District (淡水) and in Hualien County, as they depend heavily on group tourists from China.
Huang raised doubts over the government’s claim that the overall number of tourists increased mildly last year, saying the observation ran counter to tens of hotels being put up for sale across the nation.
The trend presents a tough challenge for expansion plans conceived a few years earlier and preparatory works are about to be completed, such as new hotels in Taipei’s Wanhua District (萬華) and New Taipei City’s Banciao District (板橋) by Caesar Park Hotels and Resorts (凱撒飯店), he said.
Instead, Grand Pacific plans to launch a presale residential project in Taipei’s Shipai (石牌) in the third quarter, Huang said.
The urban renewal project will feature small apartments with one or two bedrooms priced at NT$700,000 (US$23,075) per ping (3.3m2), he said.
The project, which took the company four years to remove obstacles to construction, is likely to be the firm’s first and last urban renewal attempt, as it prefers to stay away from time-consuming ventures, Huang said.
Meanwhile, Chailease Holding, the nation’s top leasing service provider, plans to expand and deepen its presence in ASEAN markets, including Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, Myanmar and Philippines, Chailease Group chairman Andre Koo (辜仲立) said.
The 40-year-old Chailease Holding plans a comeback in Indonesia later this year, Koo said, adding that the company plans to add 500 staffers to help carry out the expansion overseas.
NO VIRUS BLUES: A SEMI Taiwan official said that the virus does not slow down the global semiconductor industry’s investment in manufacturing equipment The production value of the nation’s semiconductor industry is expected to grow 16.7 percent this year from last year, outpacing the global industry’s 3.3 percent growth, industry association SEMI said yesterday. That would help Taiwan safeguard its second spot in the global semiconductor market with a production value of more than NT$3 trillion (US$102.73 billion), SEMI Taiwan president Terry Tsao (曹世綸) told a media briefing in Taipei for the Semicon Taiwan trade show beginning today. The global semiconductor industry’s production value is expected to increase to US$426 billion this year, SEMI said. In terms of semiconductor equipment investment, equipment billings from Taiwanese firms
Intel Corp has received licenses from US authorities to continue supplying certain products to Huawei Technologies Co (華為), a company spokesman said yesterday. Washington has been pushing governments around to world to squeeze out Huawei, saying that the telecom giant would hand data to Beijing for espionage. From Monday last week, new curbs have barred US companies from supplying or servicing Huawei. This week, the state-backed China Securities Journal reported that Intel had received permission to supply Huawei. China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯國際), which uses US-origin equipment to make chips for Huawei and other companies, last week confirmed that it had sought
Taipei Times: When do you think the hospitality industry can return to how it was before the COVID-19 pandemic? How does Formosa International Hotels Group (FIH, 晶華酒店集團) fare this quarter and beyond? FIH chairman Steve Pan (潘思亮): The virus outbreak will have a serious impact on business travel, driven mainly by meetings, incentive travel, conferences and exhibitions over the past three decades. For the past six months, many businesspeople have grown used to exchanging information on the Internet, where more people can participate. The trend might sustain for three to five years until people are vaccinated and it is safe to
DIGITAL COMMERCE: In 2016, only 2 percent of orders were delivered in Taiwan, but that has risen to 10 percent, Foodpanda Taiwan Co operations director Nick Yu said Online food delivery platforms have seen explosive growth in Taiwan this year, helped by business opportunities related to the COVID-19 pandemic, company executives said at a digital commerce conference in Taipei yesterday. When the threat of COVID-19 kept people from going out to eat, more people experimented with ordering food deliveries online, Foodpanda Taiwan Co Ltd (富胖達) operations director Nick Yu (余岳勳) said. Foodpanda started operations in Taiwan in 2012. “We experienced 5,000 percent growth in the past 24 months,” Yu said. “That’s more than the previous six years combined.” In 2016, only 2 percent of food orders were delivered in Taiwan, but that