Cosmos staying upbeat as hotel sector flourishes

MULTI-BRAND PLANS::With the scheduled opening of new budget hotels and higher-end offerings, the group says it hopes to ride the wave of a thriving sector

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Feb 09, 2013 - Page 13

Cosmos Hotel & Resorts Group (天成飯店集團), which operates three hotels in the north of the nation, aims to implement a multi-brand strategy to accelerate its expansion over the next three years, a group official said earlier this week.

The hotel group is scheduled to launch its first budget hotel in Taipei in June, with a new brand called Bee House (蜂巢). It also plans to invest NT$3 billion (US$100.84 million) opening a luxury resort in Hualien County’s Ruisui Township (瑞穗) in 2015.

“The hotel sector will continue to flourish over the next five to 10 years, backed up by an increase in international tourist numbers,” group chief executive officer Mike Chang (張東豪) told a media briefing on Monday.

The new budget hotel will have an average room rate of NT$2,500 and Cosmos is scheduled to open three or four similar hotels in Taipei under the Bee House brand over the next three years, Chang said.

Chang said he was confident in the budget hotel brand’s profitability, because the demand for hotel rooms in Taipei is likely to outstrip supply over the next few years.

The company is also considering introducing a global brand for its planned luxury resort in Hualien, as the hotel is set to focus more on attracting foreign visitors rather than local ones, he said.

The resort will have about 250 rooms, 20 villas, and a hot-spring theme park, with room rates expected to be similar to those of The Lalu (涵碧樓), an upscale hotel on the shores of Sun Moon Lake (日月潭 ) in central Taiwan.

Cosmos operates the Cosmos Hotel Taipei (天成大飯店), Taipei Garden Hotel (台北花園大酒店) and Yaward Resort Taoyuan (悅華大酒店). It also runs a golf club in Taoyuan and manages the banquet business at the Taipei International Convention Center.

Besides its expansion plans, the group is also considering listing on the local bourse, either under the name of Cosmos Hotel Group or the Taipei Garden Hotel, Chang said.

However, he did not specify a schedule.

Taipei Garden Hotel, a build-operate-transfer project opened in 2009, saw its revenue increase 7 percent to NT$497.03 million last year from 2011, with net income also posting similar growth.

Taipei Garden Hotel general manager Tina Lin (林靜如) said the company still aims to achieve a 7 percent growth in sales and net profit this year.

However, with the room occupancy rate standing at more than 90 percent last year, the company will focus on strengthening quality of service to achieve its growth target by seeking to increase average customer expenditure, she said.