Sat, Jun 15, 2019 - Page 12 News List

Wellspring by Silks bets on female customer base

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter, in JIAOSI, Yilan

Wellspring by Silks (晶泉丰旅) in Yilan County’s Jiaosi Township (礁溪) is reshaping its marketing strategy to focus on females and couples to boost competitiveness as it turns three years old next week.

The new approach is intended to help the boutique brand under the Formosa International Hotels Group (FIH, 晶華酒店集團) to carve out a niche in a town famous for hot springs.

Competition has sharpened over the years, due to improved transport and the entry of new players.

“Change is necessary to stay competitive nowadays,” Wellspring by Silks general manager Cindy Chen (陳惠芳) said.

The township has seen several new tourist hotels in recent years and more plan to join, encouraged by improved infrastructure. The Hsuehshan Tunnel (雪山隧道), Asia’s sixth-longest, cut travel times from Taipei by half to 50 minutes.

Rooms have soared 67 percent since the opening of the 13km tunnel 13 years ago, pushing average occupancy rates among tourist hotels down to 51 percent last year from a peak of 72 percent in 2014, government data showed. Smaller lodging facilities fared worse, with occupancy rates of 40 percent.

Six older facilities exited the market last year, succumbing to intensifying competition, Tourism Bureau statistics showed.

Wellspring by Silks sees a viable business in targeting female travelers who value lifestyle, in contrast with an emphasis on family tourists by well-established Hotel Royal Chiaohsi (礁溪老爺大酒店) and Evergreen Resort Hotel in Jiaosi (長榮鳳凰酒店), as well as Mu Jiaosi Hotel (礁溪寒沐) and Maison de Chine Jiaosi (兆品酒店礁溪), Chen said.

Mu and Maison de Chine pose a particular threat, as both are new and within walking distance of Wellspring by Silks, she said.

The new approach is intended to set the facility of 122 guest rooms apart from its rivals and boost occupancy rates from 60 percent last year to 70 percent this year, Chen said.

Room rates would remain at NT$6,000 per night, as gaining customers is the top priority, Chen said.

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