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Monday, June 8, 2009

Royale Chulan on track to hit occupancy target

The Royale Chulan Kuala Lumpur is on track to achieve 60 per cent occupancy at an average room rate of RM350 a night by December 2009.

The five-star property is expecting double-digit revenue growth or more than RM10 million in sales, general manager Leo Kuscher told Business Times in Kuala Lumpur recently.

The Royale Chulan, wholly-owned by the Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT), was built for over RM200 million in two years.

Located on Jalan Conlay, it features a 300-room hotel with nine food outlets, 15 meeting rooms and a 1,000 capacity ballroom and 102 serviced apartments.
Kuscher said he is anticipating to recover the investments in five years depending on market conditions.

Since its soft opening in April, it has achieved 30 per cent occupancy.

Kuscher said he is targeting 45 per cent occupancy by end July.

"We have forward bookings for international conferences in July. According to our plan, we are already doing what we want to achieve. We are expecting a certain percentage of business from rival hotels riding on our legacy," Kuscher said.

The Royale Chulan is expecting 60 per cent of its income from the local market and 40 per cent from the Middle East, Europe and Asia Pacific.

The property will focus on three segments - corporate, leisure, and meeting, incentive, convention and exhibition.

Kuscher said it will spend 5 per cent of its revenue on marketing and promotions to be visible globally.

He is aiming to turn The Royale Chulan into a "must visit attraction" and an icon in Kuala Lumpur.

The property has elements of Malaysia's unique architecture with Terengganu influences.

Handcrafted wooden design elements are discretely located throughout the hotel. Carved wooden features were incorporated to enable circulation of the air and to keep the interiors of buildings cool. These carved pieces of timber also enable filtered light into the buildings. A dominant feature of the property is its glassed-in courtyard conservatory.

"There are challenges to run the hotel and serviced apartments in this slow economy. But a challenge is always nice especially when you are working for an excellent hotel. We have to market it to the world and sell it accordingly," Kuscher said.

The Royale Chulan, which will employ 450 people by December, is operated by Boustead Hotels & Resorts Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Boustead Holdings Bhd, which is majority owned by LTAT.

Boustead Hotels and Resorts has a collection of four-star properties such as The Royale Bintang Kuala Lumpur, The Royale Bintang The Curve, The Royale Bintang Resort and Spa Seremban, The Royale Bintang Penang (opening this year) and The Royale Bintang Surian The Curve (opening in 2010).

By Business Times (by Sharen Kaur)

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