Tue, May 16, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Miramar Taipei opts for small changes to attract customers instead of rate cuts

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Miramar Garden Taipei (美麗信花園酒店), the nation’s first build-operate-transfer hotel, aims to keep revenue steady this year from last year, amid an industry price war, company general manager Andy Huang (黃安迪) said yesterday.

The five-star facility at the corner of Jianguo N Rd and Civic Boulevard saw an average 82.31 percent occupancy rate in the first quarter, slightly lower than 84 percent last year, as the industry grows increasingly competitive due to a decline in business and leisure travelers, especially from China, Huang said.

The showing could improve for the rest of the year following a series of advertising campaigns and the end of the low season, Huang said.

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“Rather than jumping into the price war, we opted to make changes where we could to strengthen propositions and service quality,” Huang said.

Miramar Taipei, which celebrates its 11th anniversary next week, has been adjusting its public space and in March moved its Jiu Bar from the ground floor to the second floor near the outdoor swimming pool.

The change is intended to offer bar patrons a better view and create a more relaxing atmosphere, Huang said.

The hotel has also doubled its conference and banquet capacity to a maximum 120 guests to boost food and beverage sales, he said.

“However the economy evolves, people eat and get married,” Huang said.

Miramar Taipei is adding a to-go facility on the ground floor as part of a NT$40 million (US$1.33 million) renovation that started last year, Huang said.

Huang said he intends to leave daily room rates of NT$4,000 unchanged this year, despite pressures for downward adjustments.

The chance of a rate increase is slim, as hotels built to entertain Chinese tourists are cutting prices to attract customers, Huang said.

Price cuts are especially evident in hotels transformed from old apartment buildings in Taipei’s Ximending (西門町) area, he said.

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Business travelers make up 40 percent of Miramar Taipei clientele and the facility is seeking to increase that to 50 percent, Huang said.

The task is becoming increasingly difficult as trade shows in Taiwan lose importance internationally, while more customers make reservations through online travel agencies, he said.

Andy Huang is the son of Huang Chun-fu (黃春福), who and his brother Huang Chun-fa (黃春發) won the government’s contract to develop Miramar Taipei.

The Huang brothers won another build-operate-transfer bid from the Taitung County Government to construct a seaside hot-spring resort, which a court last year ruled against the project after about a decade of protests from environmental groups.

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