Sat, Aug 11, 2018 - Page 12 News List

International hotels to enter Taiwan market

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

More international hotel brands are to enter the local market this year, as they say there is room for growth, especially for high-end facilities targeting international business travelers and conference needs.

Cathay Hospitality Management Co (國泰商旅), an affiliate of Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控), has teamed up with Marriott International Inc to launch the Courtyard by Marriott Taipei Downtown (台北國泰萬怡酒店) next quarter.

“We maintain a positive view about the industry in the long run, despite the ongoing transition,” Cathay Hospitality Management marketing and communications official Kitty Ku (顧浩齡) told the Taipei Times by telephone.

The hotel is to be an example of urban renewal that allows partial floors of the mixed-use building to be turned into guestrooms, restaurants and banquet facilities, while the rest is to be set aside for office space, Ku said.

Cathay Hospitality, which runs five outlets in Taiwan under the Madison Taipei (台北慕軒) and Hotel Cozzi (和逸) brands, has invited Marriott International to manage a sixth property to take advantage of its vast global membership network, she said.

Courtyard Taipei Downtown is to feature 227 guestrooms on the 14th to 20th floors on Minsheng E Road, Sec 3. Its proximity to Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) is expected to make it a first choice among foreign business travelers, as well as for corporate meetings, conferences and other gatherings, Ku said.

The hotel is seeking to achieve an occupancy rate of 60 percent in its first year of operations, with daily room rates of NT$5,500 (US$179).

Cathay Hospitality is to open another property in Taoyuan in 2020 after halting expansion for the past two-and-a-half years, she said.

The company on Wednesday acquired decoration equipment from affiliated Cathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽) for NT$475.15 million, a deal that would give the hospitality arm more independence regarding remodeling decisions.

In New Taipei City, Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc is setting up a hotel with 398 rooms that is due to open by the end of October, with the US hotel chain upbeat about rejoining the local market after a 14-year hiatus.

Hilton Taipei Sinban is to be the first upscale facility run by an international hotel brand in the central business district of New Taipei City, a company communications official said.

Hilton Sinban is targeting international travelers who desire a change from existing establishments when they conduct business in Taipei, the official said, adding that room rates would be higher than at other hotels in New Taipei City.

Meanwhile, Huang Hsiang Construction Co (皇翔建設) has joined the trend of expanding into the hospitality industry and cutting dependence on property development to cope with a sluggish housing market.

Renaissance Taipei Shihlin Hotel (台北士林萬麗酒店), another brand under Marriott International, launched soft operations on Wednesday, company officials said.

The 104-guestroom facility is Huang Hsiang’s (皇翔建設) first foray into the hotel business after winning the superfice rights to a plot of land in Shihlin District (士林) from the Taipei City Government in 2012.

The property aims to attract both business and leisure travelers in light of its proximity to the Shilin Residence, the National Palace Museum and Shilin Night Market, the official said.

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