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Monday, September 28, 2009

Traders Hotel to retain lead position among competitors

Three years since its opening, Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur has emerged tops not only among four-star hotels in the city, but also among a handful of five-star properties.

And it is making sure it holds the top seat this year and the next, says its newly-appointed general manager Richard Cooke.

The hotel, owned by KLCC (Holdings) Sdn Bhd and operated by the Shangri-la Group, is only expecting a marginal decline in both average occupancy and average room rate (ARR) this year compared with 2008.

"We are number one in our competitive set. We expect to retain this position this year," he told Business Times in an interview.
"In the January to August 2009 compared to the corresponding period of 2008, we only experienced a slight decline (in occupancy and ARR)," Cooke said.

The 571-room hotel is positioned for business travellers, as such it was hit by the global economic slowdown. However, its leisure segment has improved and has helped to cushion the decline in the business market.

Business guests, which made up 85 per cent in 2007, now make up about 70-odd per cent. The remaining are leisure travellers.

The hotel enjoyed a bumper year in 2008 and Cooke expects that Traders will bounce back in the second half of 2010 and post similar results as in 2008.

Room rates next year are expected to inch up by 2 per cent to 4 per cent.

Based on a search on accommodation specialist's website, Traders' room rate for November 25 2009, (based on a search on September 10 2009) is RM449, which is far higher than the rates at some five-star properties.

Next year, Cooke has planned changes for the hotel to rejuvenate it so as to retain its lead among its competitors including improving on its service standards.

"We want to create functionality and memories for our guests," he said, adding that the hotel caters predominantly to the Malaysian market, followed by the Middle East, the UK and Singapore. Forty per cent of its guests are repeat guests.

This hotel has one of the leanest number of employee to room ratio of 0.8 and Cooke hopes to maintain it at this level and improve their efficiency at the same time.

By Business Times (by Vasantha Ganesan)

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