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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Pacific Regency looking for small boutique hotels

PACIFIC Regency Hotels & Resorts Sdn Bhd, the hospitality arm of Pan Global Bhd, is looking to expand its hospitality business, particularly into boutique hotels.

The group, which operates the Pacific Regency Hotel Suites on Jalan P. Ramlee, Kuala Lumpur, is keen to own and operate hotels on islands off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia.

"We set up Pacific Regency Hotels & Resorts earlier this year to manage new and upcoming projects. We are now looking for small boutique hotels on islands in the east coast to buy and manage," its general manager Kenny Teo said in an interview with Business Times.

Teo said that it was keen on taking over existing properties to grow the business faster.

"We are looking at properties with 50 to 60 rooms, which are exclusive," he said.

These properties would be able to offer an average room rate (ARR) of RM1,000 to RM1,500 per night.

Teo said that earliest possible date when this plan may materialise is in 2010.

Meanwhile, Teo has put in place strategies to help its existing 153-suite Pacific Regency ride through a possibly trying times in 2009.

Based on the current scenario, the hotel hopes to be able to increase its ARR by about 20 per cent in 2009. It expects to finish 2008 at an ARR of RM245 per night and an average occupancy of 85 per cent.

"We are not worried about our occupancy (in 2009). We have no reason why it will not fill up ... we are more concerned about the rates," he said, saying that competition would get stiffer in terms of rates if the impact of the worsening economy hits Malaysia further.

Up to 70 per cent of the hotel's business comes from the corporate market, mainly from France, Italy, Australia and the UK.

For next year, the hotel plans to tap into the Scandinavian countries, Spain and Portugal as well as the Asian market including Indonesia and Thailand.

Pacific Regency will also look at locking in more long-term guests. This group now makes up 30 per cent of its room inventory.

Pacific Regency is like a serviced apartment in its set-up of rooms and offers a fully-equipped kitchen. At the same time, it offers the services like in a hotel including laundry, food and beverage outlets and room services.

Teo said that creating awareness of the brand has been a challenge even though the hotel is a homegrown brand and 14 years old.

By Business Times (By Vasantha Ganesan)

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