Friday, October 29, 2010

Business potential in hotel industry

NEW hotels in Indonesia are mushrooming, especially in Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Semarang, Yogyakarta, Bali and other big cities. Hotels, from five-star to non-star and boutique hotels, can easily be found along the main streets of these cities.

Transportation Ministry decree No. 241/H/70 defines a hotel as a commercial entity that provides services in the form of accommodation, food and other facilities, meeting the requirements of comfort. The form, the arrangement, the interior, the decor, the equipment and the facilities of the

hotel building, and the accommodation, sanitation, hygiene, aesthetics as well as security and safety generally provide comfort. The rooms provide privacy on top of comfort.

The categorization of hotels based on star ratings is officiated in certificates issued by the Director General of Tourism once every three years. They are classified in five groups, marked with stars. The highest has five stars while lowest has one. Non-star hotels are referred to as melati (jasmine) hotels.

It can’t be denied that hotel accommodation is inseparable from tourism. Hotels are the main tourism superstructures, meaning that their survival depends on the number of incoming tourists. If we view tourism as a building, the hotel sector is the pillar.

According to Stephen Tan, CEO Singapore Exhibition Services, food and hospitality industries in Asia can enjoy sustainable growth each year. He made the statement in relation to the Food and Hotel Asia 2010 in Singapore recently. “There is wide business opportunity since developing countries in Asia enhance their international business activities. On the other hand, the development of budget airlines contributes to the increase in travel and accommodation demands,” he said.

Clearly, the hotel industry has grown very well, with many giant companies entering this luring business. Big names in the hotel industry have entered Asia, including Indonesia. Among them are Holiday Inn, Sheraton, Four Seasons, Kempinski, InterContinental, Hilton International, Ritz-Carlton, Mandarin Oriental and Ramada Inn. Local brands also aggressively work to build their own empire, from Mulia and Sultan to the Sahid Group, and many others. Both local and chain hotels offer facilities and benefits of their own.

Mandarin Oriental Jakarta, for example, offers 272 rooms, including 56 luxury rooms and six suites, which are not just spacious but also luxurious. All rooms have oriental and Indonesian touches. Each room is equipped with a computer and iPod connectivity, a minibar, a DVD player and surround sound stereo system. The rooms also have a marble bathroom with a rain shower and a separate bathtub.

The hotel is an old player in Indonesia. It has been in operation since 1978, but following a 20-month renovation, Mandarin Oriental Jakarta has emerged just like a new, grand, luxury, lavish and modern hotel, in line with its category as a five-star diamond hotel. “We hope the new facilities and interior offered by Mandarin Oriental, Jakarta will become an attraction for hotel guests. We will become the main choice for business meetings or at which to enjoy special culinary. What’s more, this hotel can become an icon that makes all of us, especially Jakartans, proud,” Mandarin Oriental Jakarta general manager Andrew Abram said.

Grandkemang Hotel Jakarta is another example. Even though it is not located in the central business district, it is situated in an elite area in South Jakarta, i.e. Kemang. Its modern hi-tech (retro) design offers friendliness to guests with full individual service.

Initially, the hotel built on April 24, 1974 was called Ginza Inn. Along with the development of Kemang, a residential area with many hospitality businesses such as cafes, restaurants and bars, this hotel developed rapidly and eventually changed its name to Grandkemang. It used to have 100 rooms, but after several renovations, Grandkemang now has 203 comfortable rooms for both travelers and long staying guests. All rooms are decorated in stylish simplicity with modern Indonesian artwork and furnished with fine fabrics.

“Color your world” is the concept of the brand, showing the dedication of the management team to provide personalized service while offering warm hospitality and comfort to guests. “We provide a memorable experience as unique as every guest is. A stay at Grandkemang is an affirmation of self expression, where individuality is embraced and appreciated,” says the hotel’s website.

An established area is certainly not complete without a hotel. That’s why Sentra Kelapa Gading, located in the heart of business activities in Kelapa Gading, a shopping and entertainment destination in North Jakarta, opened Harris Hotel in May.

The four-star hotel is the manifestation of cooperation between PT Summarecon Agung and Tauzia Hotel Management as the manager of the Harris Hotel network in Indonesia. It applies a concept of simplicity, uniqueness and friendliness in all of its hotels, which are also located in South Jakarta, Bali, Batam, Surakarta, Yogyakarta and other big cities.

Obviously the hotel business in Indonesia is becoming more attractive for businesspeople, especially those engaged in property or hospitality. The chairman of the Jakarta International Hotels Association, Poul E. Bitsch, believes that the hotel business will develop even more in the future, along with an increasing number of wealthy people who travel. “More and more people are traveling to other parts of the world. Therefore there is always a need for hotels,” he said. (Burhanuddin Abe)

The Jakarta Post, October 29, 2010

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