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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Spruce-up enhances Pangkor resort’s allure

PANGKOR Island Beach Resort will rejuvenate and spruce up the 26-year-old property to lure long-haul and long-staying guests.

It is even looking at the possibility of building villas that will then be sold as holiday homes. The resort, owned by IGB Corp Bhd, sits on a 40.5ha site of which less than half has been developed.

Recently appointed general manager Ermanno Cima Vivarelli, who termed the plan as a “360º development”, said the changes will be in infrastructure, services and activities at the hotel.

“We are looking at renovating and decorating the hotel where necessary,” he said.
He added that all its 230 employees, who have been working for an average of 15 years, consider their job at the resort as a lifetime project.

Cima Vivarelli would like to imbibe in them the meaning and responsibilities in hospitality, so that guests know that their money was well spent at the resort.

The food and beverage menu at the resort has been changed. “We have already redesigned the entire menu and wine list and at an affordable price. We are adding more fresh seafood and international selection,” he said.

It is also working on creating niche packages focusing on health and wellness.

Since coming on board, Cima Vivarelli, who also has vast experience in the entertainment and leisure industry, has introduced activities like fishing trips, snorkelling, island cruise, motorised and non-motorised sports like jungle bike trekking and archery.

It is also offering decicated services via tie-up with tour limousine buses to ferry guests from Kuala Lumpur to Lumut, to help improve arrivals into the island resort.

With all this in place, the resort is looking at garnering an a 10 per cent increase in average room rate in 2011 from RM220 in 2009. It hopes to up occupancy to 70 per cent next year from 65 per cent in 2009 and improve long stay to 10 days from five days now.

In the year ended December 31 2009, it registered RM22 million in revenue and this is set to hit RM27 million in 2011.

“We forecast to invest about RM5 million up to the first half of 2011 as part of our marketing and product enhancement budget,” Cima Vivarelli said.

While the profile of the hotel will be maintained as a four-star property, it hopes that services and facilities provided will be in the five-star league.

Foreign guests, Cima Vivarelli said, preferred the wooden structure exposed to natural weather look. “They like the aged look and this also blends better with the rest of the environment as opposed to a modern structure.”

The resort’s guest profile is currently split equally between foreigners and locals. Locals, who include those from the expatriate market, stay an average of two nights.

The hotel’s last refurbishment was six years ago, when IGB took over the hotel operation from Pan Pacific group.

The hotel now has a total of 250 rooms, eight land villas and four sea villas on stilts, 80 per cent of which are sea facing and only few metres away from a 1.2km long private beach.

In order promote its newly enhanced resort, the hotel has packages starting from RM398 per night for two persons which includes both breakfast and dinner for two and unlimited use of all non-motorised activities.

By Business Times

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