Image Taiwan Hotel Group (印象台灣飯店集團), a young entrant to the local hospitality market, aims to turn historical buildings into themed hotel rooms in different parts of the nation to differentiate itself from its competitors and grow revenue.
The three-year-old company, which operates the Taipei City Hotel (台北城大飯店), is converting a post office in Taipei’s Nangang District (南港) into a hotel which could open for business later this year.
“The move is in line with our continued attempts to take advantage of a global trend of turning landmark buildings into themed hotels,” Image Taiwan chairman Mike Lin (林原廣) said.
While most local hoteliers are emulating their European and US peers, Image Taiwan is seeking to promote nostalgia for Taiwanese culture, Lin said.
That philosophy guides the operations of the 14-floor Taipei City Hotel in Datong District (大同), where the first to third floors are historically preserved, because the building was formerly the home of pineapple tycoon Ye Jin-tu (葉金塗).
Located on Chongqing N Road, the Ye Jintu Mansion (葉金塗古宅) was built between 1926 and 1929.
The four-star hotel had an occupancy rate of 75 percent and daily room rates of NT$3,200 in the first five months of the year, company data showed.
Image Taiwan expects to keep occupancy rates steady for the rest of the year, but is aiming to raise the average room rate to NT$4,000 per night.
The goal is achievable in light of its focus on Chinese free independent travelers, as well as tourists from Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore and elsewhere in Asia, the company said.
The Nangang hotel is to keep the exterior decorations of the post office in a bid to distinguish itself from other hotels, the company said.
Image Taiwan has also entered into a partnership with Taiwan Life Insurance Co (台灣人壽保險) to turn an old office building in Taipei’s Ximending (西門町) area into an upscale hotel, the company said.
It is also searching for suitable properties in Taichung and Tainan, the company said.
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