Opportunity in crisis

From embracing technology to investing for the long-term, Santika is sowing the seeds of recovery.

Even as the pandemic rages on, Santika Indonesia Hotels and Resorts (SIHR) continues to seize new growth opportunities, positioning itself to capitalise on an eventual upturn.

With an eye on long-term potential, this year, the hotel chain signed two new hotel management contracts, and is on the prowl for more, according to Sudarsana, its corporate general manager of business development and marketing communications.

Amaris Hotel Tasikmalay

He reasoned: “It takes two to three years to develop a hotel so the idea is to build the hotels during this (lull) period and have them ready when business returns.”

The hotel group also plans to open two out of six hotels targeted this year, with Hotel Santika Bukittinggi in West Sumatra welcoming guests on October 18, followed by Amaris Hotel Tasikmalaya in West Java on November 11.

Sudarsana let on that hotel occupancy in the city of Bukittinggi is still above 50 per cent, while its existing Hotel Santika Tasikmalaya is faring well, allowing room for growth.

Sudarsana added that the company, which now manages 113 hotels, is on track to operating 150 hotels by 2024.

As more consumers turn to digital platforms to meet their needs amid the pandemic, SIHR has shift its focus online in a bid to grow direct booking sales from corporate and FIT travellers.

“We have done two online travel fairs during this pandemic where MyValue (the hotel’s loyalty programme) members can buy room vouchers which are valid up to May 2021. The response has been positive,” he said, adding that the programme targeted the domestic market to generate cash flow for the group’s properties.

In 2019, SIHR launched MySantika, an online booking app available for its MyValue members.

“We want to focus and make it our new unique selling point (USP), in addition to the Indonesian hospitality service and our authentic local cuisine which have been our USP over the years,” he said.

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