Hoteliers see sustained FIT and MICE growth.
L’hotel Nina et Convention Centre has topped Hong Kong Business’ inaugural largest hotels in Hong Kong for 2013 based on the number of rooms.
It boasts of 1,608 deluxe rooms with an average size of 36sqm.
The data was obtained from CBRE.
Next in rank is Regal Airport Hotel with 1,171 rooms. General manager John Alexander Girard said that for the first time, guests in 2012 were able to enjoy the convenience of airline check-in process through “Self check-in” kiosks located at the hotel concierge, available for nine airlines.
Girard said that the 15-year old hotel has completed the refurbishment of all its executive club rooms and Grand Ballroom in the past year.
Regal Riverside Hotel is the third largest in the city with 1,138 rooms, yet general manager Peter Chiu boasts that it has achieved a room occupancy in mid-90%, outperforming the citywideaverage 88.3%.
According to Chiu, Regal Riverside carried out facility upgrading projects for guest floors - guestroom renovation, carpet replacement and interior refurbishment in 2012. “For 2013, our hotel will go through interior renovation for three more guest floors. The hotel will continue offering more flexible room type choices, such as family and quadruple rooms.”
A major challenge for the hotel, Chiu said, is the fact that Shatin is located out of the city. The management thus, he said, welcomes opening of new hotel properties in Shatin which will help in changing the area’s landscape as far as hotel accommodation selection is concerned.
Panda Hotel, formerly known as Kowloon Panda Hotel came in fourth with 1,026 rooms and followed by the Excelsior Spa with 886.
Harbour Grand Hong Kong, billed as the only 5-star hotel in Hong Kong with all 828 guest rooms overlooking the spectacular Victoria Harbour, came in sixth.
According to general manager Benedict Chow, 2012 was a difficult year for hoteliers with the Euro crisis dampening travelling budgets of corporations in Europe and US. “The length of stay and spending from individual business travelers have significantly reduced, and there are less MICE groups coming to Asia. Focus will be shifted from long-haul markets to short-haul ones which are more promising.”
Together, the 25 largest hotels have a total of 19,890 rooms or 796 rooms on the average.
Regal Airport’s Girard is positive of the hotel industry in 2013, thanks to expected pickup in FIT and MICE arrivals. “March, April, September to November is the trade fair season in Hong Kong /China, it has long been a traditional sourcing period, when suppliers and buyers from around the world descend on the HKCEC and AsiaWorld-Expo, along with delegates to conferences, meetings and incentives will definitely benefit the hotel business in Lantau. Should the economic situation outlook continues, the FIT guests pick up in the next six months and may impact the room rate.”
Regal Riverside’s Chiu also sees 2013 to be a strong year with inbound traffic expected to increase. “The Kai Tak International Cruise Terminal scheduled to open its first berth this summer will surely benefit all the hotels in Hong Kong. However, slow economic recovery from United States, GDP slowdown in China, political tensions between China and negatively.”
Chiu cautions that that discussions over minimum wage revision and standard working hours guidelines would surely give rise to more challenge in Hong Kong hotel industry’s labor market.
Harbour Grand’s Chow is optimistic yet cautions. He notes that staffing will be another issue with the opening of several new hotels.
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