Fri, Jan 12, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Lealea relaunches Kaohsiung hotel

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter, in Kaohsiung

Lealea Hotels and Resorts Co (力麗觀光), a major listed hotel chain in Taiwan, yesterday opened its 12th property, the Garden Education Culture Hotel (哲園學產文教會館), in Kaohsiung.

The new facility occupies the same site as an outlet that the firm shut in 2016, when the industry struggled after a decline in Chinese tourist numbers.

The opening is in line with the group’s goal to consolidate its presence nationwide, with the southern port city playing a critical role given its strategic and demographic significance, Lealea chairman Tsai Chung-i (蔡宗易) said.

The hotel has 116 guestrooms and is a reconstruct-operate-transfer (ROT) venture with the Ministry of Education.

“We believe in getting back up after a fall,” Tsai said.

The decision to rejoin the market in Kaohsiung also demonstrates the group’s commitment to the development and prosperity of southern Taiwan, he said.

Learning from its past, Lealea is marketing the Garden Education Culture Hotel as a budget hotel with star-grade amenities and services, in an attempt to woo younger travelers from at home and abroad, Tsai said.

Daily room rates are to average between NT$1,800 and NT$2,400 this month to help boost sales, and is in line with the cutthroat competition in Kaohsiung, he said.

The pricing strategy is in contrast with Westin Yilan Resort (宜蘭力麗威斯汀度假酒店), the group’s first and only property operated under an international brand, which is aimed at foreign travelers.

“The group aims to build a more diversified and balanced portfolio so it can become more resilient to industry headwinds,” Tsai said.

The 10-year ROT contract enables the ministry to give 4.9 percent of the facility’s revenue as scholarships and financial aid to disadvantaged students, he said, adding that the hotel is to sponsor educational courses and activities.

Balanced portfolio

‧ The new hotel is a joint venture with the Ministry of Education.

‧ The 116 guestrooms are price pointed for the budget-concious, younger traveler.

‧ The ministry is to use 4.9 percent of the hotel’s annual revenue for education scholarships.

‧ The hotel is to sponsor educational courses and host activities for disadvantaged youth.

‧ The hotel will also work with local non-profit organizations to host exhibitions, speeches and performances.

“To that end, it is to cooperate with local and international non-profit and artistic organizations, and host speeches, exhibitions, performances and other cultural activities so it can double as a cultural and educational hub,” hotel residential manager Jonathan Chen (陳子瓏) said.

The Garden Education Cultural Hotel is on Zhonghua 1st Rd near the Zuoying High Speed Rail Station, the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts and Rei Feng Night Market.

It features several types of guestrooms that can accommodate between two and three people, as well as small groups of up to eight people.

Lealea is to add another three properties in Yilan, Nantou and Taichung to its portfolio, raising its total room capacity from 933 to 1,700 in the next three years, Tsai said.

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