Tokyu Hotels on expansion blitz, craves stronger global brand presence

Masato talks Japan expansion

Japanese hotel company, Tokyu Hotels, is on an expansion drive in the lead up to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, with three properties scheduled to open in 2018 and one each in 2019 and 2020.

Sharing details with TTG Asia in an interview, Masato Iizuka, executive vice president of Tokyu Hotels, said next year’s openings will all be in Tokyo.

The 638-key Tokyo Bay Tokyu Hotel will sit close to Tokyo Disney Resort, granting families and large groups easy access to the popular theme park, while the tentatively-named Kawasaki Tonomachi Tokyu REI Hotel will open on the opposite shore of Tokyo International Airport (in Haneda), in King Skyfront where life science research and development facilities are clustered.

Masato shares details on Japan expansion

Commenting on Kawasaki Tonomachi Tokyu REI Hotel, Iizuka said: “(It will be) a lifestyle hotel that meets the demands of researchers and engineers from all around the world.”

The third upcoming property is Shibuya Stream Excel Hotel Tokyu, within a mixed-use development which houses offices, a hall and a shopping complex.

In 2019, Tokyu Hotels will debut its Excel Hotel Tokyu brand in Osaka, with a property located within Nanba Betsuin temple, “making it a unique hotel where one can experience Japanese culture”, said Iizuka.

Rounding off immediate expansion plans is a Tokyu REI branded hotel in Yokohama in 2020.

“We will continue to grow our property portfolio in Japan. Popular travel routes to and from Tokyo, Mount Fuji, Osaka and Kyoto are (places) where we are aggressively trying (to establish a physical presence in),” he said.

Although the Tokyu Hotels brand name is well established across Japan, Iizuka is determined to take its reputation farther in the world and he intends to make it happen through its ongoing partnership with Preferred Hotels & Resorts (PHR).

Currently, Tokyu Hotels has four hotels that are fully branded with PHR – The Capitol Hotel Tokyu (LVX Collection), Kyoto Tokyu Hotel, Nagoya Tokyu Hotel and Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel (Lifestyle Collection) – and 15 hotels that are represented by PHR as Travel Partners.

“Tokyu Hotels has developed a high level of brand awareness in Japan. However, we would also like to increase our brand’s reputation in the international marketplace. We believe that our partnership with PHR will help us achieve this goal as they have a large global outreach with more than 30 sales offices worldwide, and a suite of other support services that we can leverage on to enhance our international marketing efforts,” he opined.

But Iizuka’s quest for a stronger brand presence in the marketplace is not only to fight against global brands.

He explained: “Local hotel brands are very strong competitors in our current market (too). And don’t forget there’s also the rise of private accommodations acting as another fierce competitor in the industry.”

Together with PHR, Iizuka’s team has plans to conduct “numerous seminars and receptions in the various markets where PHR offices are located”.

Last Thursday Iizuka led a team of senior management personnel from Tokyu Hotels as well as representatives from 10 Japanese hotels to a roadshow in Singapore, co-hosted by PHR, to meet with travel agents, major incentive planners and corporate bookers based in the city-state.

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