The Place Taipei (南港老爺行旅), the newest property of the Hotel Royal Group (老爺大酒店集團), yesterday said that it is looking forward to an improvement in the second half of the year, despite an expected plunge in Chinese tourist numbers.
Occupancy rates have averaged 40 percent on daily room rates of NT$4,000 since the grand opening in March, director of operations Roni Hung (洪郁甄) said.
That is significantly behind its target of 70 percent for the first year, but the commencement of several trade shows in the following months should lift occupancy rates, Hung said.
Located in Nangang Software Park (南港軟體園區) within walking distance of the Nangang Exhibition Center and the Nangang MRT Station, the facility of 179 guestrooms will have little difficulty finding guests as the area grows into the city’s east gateway in a few years’ time, she said.
The Hotel Royal Group, which operates 10 other facilities under the brands Hotel Royal and Royal Inn in Taiwan and four additional properties abroad, is positive about the long-term development in Nangang, she added.
International property consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle Inc (JLL) forecast a massive corporate relocation to Nangang District (南港), where more than 150,000 ping (495,800m2) of new office space would become available between next year and 2024.
The relocation is inevitable, as upscale office buildings in Xinyi (信義) and Neihu (內湖) districts are almost fully occupied and there is little land available for new construction projects, JLL said.
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je’s (柯文哲) East Gateway Initiative — featuring a biotechnology park in Nangang with technical support from Academia Sinica — would lend support to the hotel chain’s rosy outlook, Hung said.
Beijing’s recent ban on individual tourist visits to Taiwan would not affect The Place given its focus on business travelers, she said.
Domestic guests are its largest source of customers, followed by European and American businesspeople, she said.
The facility recently updated the menu at its restaurant Soft Kitchen and is considering adding banquet space to shore up food and beverage sales, communications official Martin Wei (韋孝昀) said, adding that food and beverages generate 30 percent of overall revenue.
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