The man behind Apple Hotel
Jerry Ho, Managing Director of Harvest Paradise Sdn Bhd, certainly knows a thing or two about budget hotels. Ho was a guest speaker at Budget & Economy Hotels Asia 2009, and was invited to return the following year as a speaker at Economy Hotels Asia 2010.
The definitive and groundbreaking annual event was organised for budget hotel brands, property developers, investors, hotel operators and franchises to share their thought leadership, evaluate development, expansion and investment opportunities amidst the current challenging economic climate.
At the Homegrown Brands Panel at Budget & Economy Hotels Asia 2009, some of the issues that were discussed included:
- Differentiating independent hotel businesses from established hospitality brands.
- Raising brand awareness and repositioning hotel properties for greater market recognition.
- Averting head-on competition in planning mid-term ambition.
- Understanding travellers' psyche and incentivising them towards homegrown chains.
Besides Ho, other distinguished speakers on the panel included Mohan Mulani, Chief Executive Officer of Harry's Holdings; Chender Baljee, Chairman & Managing Director of Royal Orchid Hotels Group; and Wiryanti Sukamdani, Chief Executive Officer of Sahid Group Hotels.
The following year, Ho was again invited as a speaker, this time for Economy Hotels Asia 2010, which was themed ‘Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan and the Philippines - Who stands out in Asia?’ Some of the issues that were raised included:
- Measuring the feasibility of growth and demand for economy & limited service hotels in these regions.
- Economy hotels outside of Asia’s emerging markets.
- Delving into key considerations before launching into new market segments.
- Highlighting challenges and development issues faced when expanding in Asia.
Besides Ho, other distinguished speakers on the panel included Peter Henley, President & CEO of ONYX Hospitality Group; Venessa Koo, Regional Director Development - Philippines, Singapore & Vietnam, Regional Director of Sofitel Development Asia Pacific, Accor; and Stephen Mansfield, Chief Executive Officer of New Perspective Y.K.
The future of budget hotels (and why you should be a part of it)
The aforementioned events are sending out one clear message, that is the number of tourist arrivals to Asia, as well as Malaysia, is expected to grow tremendously in the near future.
This trend, backed by data from the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), is being driven by many factors including a higher disposable income among Asians and the availability of affordable airfares.
The thriving budget airline industry in Malaysia, which is flying in a growing number of tourists from around the world, is another testament to this trend. With this comes a greater demand for accommodation for budget travellers.
In addition, various surveys have shown that hotel room rates in Malaysia are among the most competitive in the region. This is another pull factor for tourists. All these factors, on top of the government’s various efforts to boost the tourism industry, will ensure the influx of tourists for years to come.
So how can you benefit from this? You can do so by taking advantage of the many incentives offered by the government to encourage more entrepreneurs to take part in this lucrative industry. These incentives, in the form of various types of grants and loans, have created opportunities for entrepreneurs like you to own and operate your own designer hotel for budget travellers.
Interested to find out more? Contact us at 018 – MR APPLE (6727753) or fill up our online form and submit it to us.