Hotel distribution and services provider SHR, which has established its foothold in America’s hospitality sector, has set its sights on expanding into Asia-Pacific with the launch of a new Singapore office in October last year.
The company currently holds a market share of “five to 10 per cent” in Asia-Pacific and aims to join the likes of Sabre to become a major player in the region's distribution scene, said Dave Chan, vice president, finance and corporate development, Asia-Pacific.
However, Chan admitted that it is an especially tall order to convince hotels in Asia to adopt a new system, attributing this to “culture” and resistance from “old-timers" in certain markets.
He told TTG Asia: “Japan and South Korea are very unique because they are so nationalistic. If you don’t speak their language or have local support, they won't sign up with you.”
Plans are already afoot to set up an office in Japan solely to take care of the market, hire more sales staff and expand in the region.
SHR offers hotels easy control of the back-end system as well as its own chain functionality feature, stressed Chan. “Hotel chains can control the rates, marketing (message) and policy from the corporate office and push this down to all their hotels,” he added.
“You don’t need one team in every hotel (to take care of this) – just one in the corporate office will do. It’s a way for hotels to cut costs and streamline operations.”
Chan indicated that the system still allows hotel chains “leeway to change certain things” at the property level to take into account market or regional specificities.
He said: “Take Millennium & Copthorne (one of SHR’s clients) for example. They have 120 hotels in four continents, and can send out different policies for Europe and Asia from their corporate offices in London and Singapore.”