Yotel has kickstarted its ambitious expansion plans, with 14 properties in the global pipeline set to open within the next three years, a number of which will be located in Asia-Pacific.
“Our next two properties, which will open in 4Q2024, will be located in Bangkok and Tokyo. Each will have around 250 keys, and both will be our two new flagships, being the first in their respective countries,” Hubert Viriot, CEO of Yotel, told TTG Asia.
He added that both Thailand and Japan are “critical” markets, with plans for expansion in both countries. Japan will also be getting a new development office to “boost Yotel’s growth”.
Kuala Lumpur will get two new properties – a Yotel and a Yotelpad. The latter is a serviced apartment brand that targets the long-stay market.
“They will be in different locations. Yotelpad in Malaysia will also be the first in Asia-Pacific,” he added.
When asked why Singapore did not get first dibs on Yotelpad (Yotel Singapore opened in 2017, and YotelAir Changi Airport in 2019), Viriot laughed and said: “The opportunity came up in Malaysia, and it doesn’t mean we’re not interested in Singapore. We should have a third brand here soon.”
In fact, he highlighted that both Singapore properties are doing well, stating that 2023 was the “best year ever” both in terms of room rate and occupancy. For these two properties, 80 per cent of the guests are Asian.
Development opportunities in Australia and New Zealand also abound.
Viriot said: “We have another project in Perth coming up. We are actively looking for opportunities in Sydney as well. Given the price of real estate in most cities in Australia, our concept makes complete sense. We help hotel owners maximise their piece of real estate, while catering to current travel trends.
“We will also have our first project in New Zealand, though I can’t name which city or brand yet.”
Noticeably, the three largest countries in the region – China, India and Indonesia – will not be getting a Yotel yet, because “these countries are so large, they require a specific strategy”.
“We’ve got good headwind ahead of us, and Asia-Pacific holds massive potential. The brand is well-recognised, and the concept is accepted by a variety of customers. This is what we are expanding as rapidly as we can,” concluded Viriot.