Hunger for affordable beds grows in Asia


Berrivin: Demand for affordable hotels with international
standards has been growing due to shift in travellers’ mindsets

ESTABLISHED hotel groups are rolling out new hospitality brands that come with fewer trimmings and lower prices, a paradigm shift that Asian hoteliers attributes to growing demand for affordable quality accommodation options with the inexorable rise of the millennials.

Olivier Berrivin, Best Western’s managing director, international operations Asia, said: “The demand for affordable hotels delivering international standards has been growing steadily over the years. Modern travellers’ lifestyle and behavior drive this demand, as they look for a hassle-free place to stay with a clear focus on value for money.”

The emergence of “urban boutique” and “cost conscious” hotel concepts are a clear reflection of gaps in the midscale market, which “until recently was filled with generic products with no clear identity or spirit and sometimes inconsistently executed”, he opined.

Best Western has recently introduced two new boutique midscale brands, Vib and GLo, with four Vib properties currently under construction in Asia. According to Berrivin, such limited-service concepts appeal to owners for their cost-effective construction and operation business models.

Likewise, Onyx Hospitality Group’s president & CEO Peter Henley also sees strong interest for select-service hotels among investors and travellers in key leisure and business destinations in Asia.

The group entered into the select-service hotel segment in 2013 with the launch of Ozo brand, which is currently available in Hong Kong, Koh Samui, Colombo and Kandy, with Hoi An, Penang, Johor Bahru and Xiamen in the development pipeline.

Said Henley: “We are seeing strong interest among leisure and business travellers, as well as from group business. Demand for a select-service hotel offering like Ozo will be strong in fast-growing second-tier destinations like Hoi An and Johor Bahru, key gateway cities in the Middle East, as well as in the Maldives.”

Also making inroads into South-east Asia’s affordable hospitality landscape is Vanguard Hotels, which has announced the development of its MetroBlue and Vivid brands in the Philippines and Malaysia.

Earlier this year, Hilton Worldwide unveiled Tru by Hilton as a new mid-priced hotel brand with rates in the US$90-US$100 price range to target travellers with a “millennial mindset”.

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