Property developer Far East Organization is banking on local culture to grow its new hospitality brand.
Under its new concept, Village Hotels & Residences, it aims to provide guests with a taste of the local culture in the surrounding community.
And Far East is hoping to add 15 new overseas properties under the brand in the next five years, in markets such as China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam.
An experience that draws on the culture of the local community – that is what Far East aims to offer guests at its Village Hotels & Residences.
For example, guests at the Albert Court Village Hotel will be able to learn more about Little India through guided tours or dining options.
It is one of three hotels, along with four residences in Singapore, that have been selected by Far East to spearhead its new hospitality branding.
The other two hotels are Changi Village Hotel, and the Golden Landmark Hotel which will be renamed to Landmark Village Hotel.
The four residences comprise those in Central Square, Hougang, Robertson Quay, and West Coast Road.
Chan Iz-Lynn, assistant director (Hospitality Operations and Service Quality), Far East Organization, said: “We work very closely with the community around the precinct. One example we have, we have specially commissioned this local walking guide for our customers so they can actually move around the precinct on their own on foot, and we recommend them places to eat, to visit and to shop.”
The Village brand will be targeting the mid-range segment and is expected to have an equal mix of leisure and business guests.
Far East aims to have 15 new properties around the region in the next five years – tapping into the strong growth expected in the Asian hospitality market.
Raphael Saw, director, Hospitality Operations, Far East Organization, said: “We are positive that we are moving into a time whereby the demand is on the upward trend.
“There are a lot of demand generating activities, and demand generating attractions that are going to come on-stream, some of them we are very familiar – the integrated resorts, and the remaking of Orchard Road…So if we look forward from here, we are optimistic in terms of demand coming to Singapore. Thereby, it will reflect in a positive trend for occupancy.”
A recent study by Pacific Asia Travel Association forecasts that international arrivals will grow to nearly 77 million by 2011, compared to 62.2 million in 2007. For Northeast Asia, international arrivals are expected to hit almost 240 million by 2011.
Far East has already invested some S$12.5 million since 2005 on areas such as refurbishing its properties, and service training.
It plans to pump in about the same amount over the next three years as it continues to build the brand.
The brand will be officially launched on October 30. Going forward, Far East expects growth for its local properties to be driven by arrivals particularly from Malaysia, Indonesia, and China.
It said one of its fastest growing segments are visitors from Malaysia, and it expects that customer base to double by the end of 2010.
Source : Channel NewsAsia – 28 Oct 2009