Ambassador Hotel Ltd (國賓大飯店集團), one of Taiwan’s listed hotels, launched its first budget hotel in Taipei yesterday, aiming to reach its break-even point within seven years by eyeing independent travelers from Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and Malaysia.
The hotel — Amba Taipei Ximending (台北西門町意舍) — will begin its one-month trial operations on Saturday, with formal operations scheduled to begin on Feb. 23.
“Located in Ximending, a place full of rich cultural and tourism resources, we hope the hotel can attract tourists between the ages of 30 and 45,” Amba president Teresa Huang (黃絢霞) told a media briefing.
The increasing number of independent travelers to Taiwan and the success of Just Sleep (捷絲旅), a budget hotel launched by Formosa International Hotels Corp (FIHC, 晶華國際酒店集團) in 2009, gave Ambassador Hotel the inspiration to launch a new budget-conscious brand.
In 2010, Ambassador Hotel signed a contract with Eslite Corp (誠品) to rent one of Eslite’s properties in Ximending in downtown Taipei to build its first budget hotel.
Ambassador Hotel and China Prosperity Development Corp (中欣開發), a subsidiary of China Steel Corp (中鋼), invested a total of NT$350 million (US$11.67 million) for Amba Taipei Ximending, with Ambassador Hotel holding a 60 percent stake and China Prosperity holding the remaining 40 percent share.
Huang said the occupancy rate for the hotel’s rooms would reach 70 to 80 percent in the first year based on a conservative estimate, while most of the hotels located in Ximending have an 80 to 90 percent occupancy rate.
“With an average occupancy rate of 75 percent and an average room price of NT$3,200, the hotel aims at reaching break-even point, which means to earn back the total investment amount, in seven years,” Huang said.
Even though the tourism sector is poised to benefit from closer relations with China after President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) won a second term in office on Saturday, Huang said Chinese tourists would not be Amba’s primary target, as most travelers from China still travel in tour groups.
Huang said she expected tourists from Hong Kong and Macau would make up about 40 percent of the hotel’s customers in the initial stage, followed by 20 to 30 percent from Singapore and Malaysia.
Ambassador Hotel said it would keep looking for appropriate locations to build more hotels under the Amba brand.
The second Amba Taipei hotel is expected to open in 2014. The location would be near Songshan Railway Station, involving potential investors such as Ambassador Hotel and Ruentex Group (潤泰集團), the Amba president said.
soft landing: The US’ rate-setting FOMC finds itself in a difficult situation as it seeks to address inflation through interest rate hikes while avoiding a recession The US Federal Reserve is widely expected to hold interest rates steady on Wednesday after a summer of mixed economic data, while leaving the door open to another hike if needed. The Fed has raised interest rates 11 times over the past 18 months, lifting its key lending rate to a level not seen for 22 years as it tackles inflation still stubbornly above its long-term target of 2 percent. Analysts and traders broadly expect the US central bank to hold rates steady on Wednesday in order to give policymakers more time to assess the health of the world’s largest economy. “We think
AI TREND: TSMC has been rapidly expanding capacity to meet a spike in demand for advanced packaging services, but still expects supplies to be tight for 18 months Arizona is in talks with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) about advanced chip packaging, state Governor Katie Hobbs said yesterday, which is crucial for the manufacturing of artificial intelligence (AI) chips. TSMC, which is building a US$40 billion chip factory in the US state, has not announced plans to build facilities for advanced chip packaging in the US. Advanced packaging processes stitch multiple chips together into a single device, lowering the added cost of more powerful computing. “Part of our efforts at building the semiconductor ecosystem is focusing on advanced packaging, so we have several things in the works around that
At a sprawling South Korean arms factory on Friday, a high-tech production line of robots and super-skilled workers were rapidly churning out weapons that could, eventually, play a role in Ukraine. Since the Russian invasion last year, the Hanwha Aerospace factory in the southern city of Changwon has expanded production capacity three times, workers told reporters, as South Korea ramps up arms exports while traditional behemoths like the US struggle with production shortages. Longstanding domestic policy bars Seoul from selling weapons into active conflicts, but even so it signed deals worth US$17.3 billion last year, including a US$12.7 billion agreement with NATO
Tailwinds: Blockbuster earnings at Nvidia Corp have sparked hopes of a tech sector boom; Taiwanese chipmakers are hopeful benefits will come to them too The worst could be over for the New Taiwan dollar as China’s economic recovery and a rebound in the chip industry will support the beleaguered currency, analysts said. The NT dollar is on course to weaken for a sixth month, the longest stretch since 2006, after foreign funds turned sour on its technology sector and risk sentiment deteriorated on slower growth in China. The tide seems to be turning now on nascent signs of stabilization in China’s economy — its biggest trading partner — following policy boosts. The yuan emerged as the best-performing Asian currency last week, followed by the Japanese yen