Wed, Dec 11, 2013 - Page 4 News List

Luxury hotel market expands

ROOM TO MANEUVERTourism Bureau figures show that more people are staying in the nation’s upmarket hotels even though the hotels’ room prices continue to rise

By Lin Chia-chi and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The nation’s economic slump and stagnant income levels do not appear to have affected the hospitality industry, as figures reflect a growing appetite for high-end hotels despite a general increase in prices.

According to data released by the Tourism Bureau, the average price for a hotel room rose by 1.68 percent to 7.53 percent during the first 10 months of the year.

From January to October, travelers to the Greater Taipei area spent an average of NT$4,343 per night on hotel rooms, up 6.97 percent from NT$4,060 last year.

The average daily rate for international tourist hotels in Taipei increased by 7.53 percent in the same period, from NT$4,358 to NT$4,686.

The highest increase in hotel prices was seen in Hualien County, where tourists pay NT$277 — or 12.03 percent — more per night than they did at this time last year.

Tourism Bureau Deputy Director-General Chang Hsi-tsung (張錫聰) said that as of October, 470 registered hotels across the nation, 111 of which were tourist-oriented hotels (including 71 international tourist hotels and 40 general tourist hotels) could provide a total of 26,081 rooms each night.

Hotels are classified as international tourist hotels, general tourist hotels or ordinary hotels based on their number of rooms, standard of equipment and quality of construction.

In spite of the price rises, most of the country’s well-known hotels are already fully booked for New Year’s Eve, a hotel proprietor said.

“High-end hotels generally target overseas customers and business travelers, as they usually have a higher budget for hotel rooms and fine dining… High prices have become an indicator of better quality these days,” the proprietor said.

Bureau data showed that about 40 percent of the high-end hotels in the Greater Taipei area are located in Taipei City’s Xinyi District (信義), but Beitou District’s (北投) Grand View Resort edged out Le Meridien Taipei in October to become the most expensive hotel in the area, with an average daily room rate of NT$9,468.

Le Meridien Taipei came in second with a daily rate of NT$9,369, followed by W Taipei with NT$9,362.

Nationwide, the highest-priced hotel is the Lalu Hotel in Nantou County, which offers travelers views of Sun Moon Lake and where rooms cost an average of NT$11,252 per night, data showed.

The statistics also indicated a general upward trend in luxury hotel prices.

To take advantage of the market situation, Taiwan-based art dealer My Humble House Group, which runs the Sheraton Taipei Hotel and the Le Meridien Taipei, is to officially launch its first own-brand hotel, the Humble House Hotel, in Taipei’s Xinyi District on Dec. 27.

The hotel has 235 guest rooms at an average price of NT$7,000 per night, which is less than other hotels of a similar standard in the district.

International hotel investment and management group Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is also expected to join the fiercely competitive industry next year.

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