Thu, Aug 09, 2018 - Page 12 News List

The Place in Taichung eyeing business travelers

ROOM FOR GROWTH:The hotel seeks to differentiate itself from its competitors with its gallery-like design, artworks made by local artists and affordable rates

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter, in Taichung

Hotel Royal Group (老爺大酒店集團) has launched its third outlet under The Place brand in Taichung to cater to foreign business travelers.

While the overall number of inbound travelers has stagnated, there is still room for growth in Taichung, which has replaced Kaohsiung as the nation’s second-largest municipality and is to host Taichung World Flora Exposition starting in November, the hotel chain said.

The Place Taichung (台中大毅老爺行旅) is a management venture on behalf of Taichung-based builder Da Yi Construction and Development Co (大毅建設), which aimed to transform an idle state-owned plot into commercial space.

“The hotel seeks to set itself apart from rivals, such as Landis Taichung (台中亞緻大飯店), with its gallery-like design, artworks and competitive room rates,” group chief executive Winston Shen (沈方正) told reporters in Taichung on Tuesday.

The Place Taichung is across from National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts on the Calligraphy Greenway (草悟道) and is close to Shen Ji New Village, National Taichung Theater and other popular attractions, the company said.

The hotel has 170 guestrooms and has invited local artists to display their works to help tell stories about the city in keeping with the home-museum theme, Shen said.

The Place Taichung expects an occupancy rate of 65 percent this year, with average daily room rates of NT$3,600, and expects to become profitable next year, Shen said.

The target is achievable, but there are challenge as more operators enter the market and more-established hotels undergo renovation to stay competitive, Shen added.

Middle-priced hotel brand Fairfield by Marriott (萬楓酒店) is to start operations next quarter. Taipei-based developer CMP Group (勤美集團) has inked a deal to bring InterContinental Hotels & Resorts to Taichung and the Leefang Group (李方酒店管理集團) has teamed up with Marriott International Inc to launch Le Meridien near Taichung main train station.

The Evergreen Laurel Hotel Taichung (長榮桂冠酒店) and Howard Prince Hotel Taichung (台中福華大飯店) are redecorating guestrooms and banquet facilities to retain guests and attract new ones.

Hotel Royal Group is to open another The Place hotel in Taipei’s Nangang District (南港) in March next year, but would not expand any further due to concerns over a supply glut and a lack of stimulus measures, Shen said.

An increase in the number of tourists from Southeast Asia is not enough to offset revenue losses caused by a sharp decline in Chinese tourists, he said.

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