Hotel industry's prospects bright, say Park Hotel and RB Capital

Park Hotel Group chief Allen Law and RB Capital boss Kishin RK expect growth for the hospitality industry around the region. Both companies are looking to expand to tap rising demand.
Park Hotel Group chief Allen Law and RB Capital boss Kishin RK expect growth for the hospitality industry around the region. Both companies are looking to expand to tap rising demand.PHOTO: COURTESY OF MEDIATROPY

The outlook for the hotel industry is bright, with rates for upscale rooms going higher amid healthy occupancy, according to the Park Hotel Group.

The company, which is opening a new hotel at the Farrer Square mixed development in Farrer Park on May 15, expects to raise room rates by nearly 5 per cent on average this year.

"We already registered a 1-3 per cent increase in rates during the first quarter... As long as all the hotels in Singapore are trading at a high occupancy rate, the room rate will have to go up," noted chief executive Allen Law.

Average occupancy rates for the upscale hotel segment rose to 91.3 per cent in February from 86.2 per cent in January, according to tourism board figures.

Mr Law told The Straits Times last week that the growth was due to an increase in tourist arrivals, which was up 7.7 per cent last year compared with 2015 - a momentum that has carried over to this year.

The company was appointed by RB Capital, the developer and owner of Farrer Square, to manage the 300-room Park Hotel Farrer Park.

It is the Park Hotel Group's sixth hotel here, following the recent opening of a mid-scale establishment under the Destination brand in Beach Road.

Rates vary across the company's three brands: $220 a night for Park Hotel, $280 to $300 for Grand Park Hotel and $180 for Destination.

Mr Law expects Park Hotel Farrer Park to cater not just to travellers but also to medical tourists seeking treatment at the nearby Farrer Park Hospital or medical suites in Farrer Square.

RB Capital said all 42 medical suites had been committed and will open in the next three months. Malaysian medical group HSC Healthcare will run a facility across three floors or 18 units at Farrer Square, it added.

Mr Law said there is opportunity for the Park Hotel Group to expand the Destination brand further here, but "the main focus is to seek growth outside Singapore".

"The Asia-Pacific is a bright spot for the hotel industry," he said.

Singapore accounted for about 30 per cent of the company's revenue last year, with the remainder coming from markets including Hong Kong, China and Japan.

The company is due to open a Grand Park Hotel in the Maldives next month and a Park Hotel in Seoul later this year.

RB Capital is on the expansion trail as well. The company told The Straits Times that it is looking to acquire or develop hospitality assets in new markets.

"We plan to grow our hospitality business in places such as London and Australia and selectively in Malaysia," said chief executive Kishin RK.

RB Capital owns two other hotel properties here: Holiday Inn Express at Clarke Quay and the upcoming 226-room InterContinental Hotel in Robertson Quay.

The company said the Robertson Quay project, which also has 100,000 sq ft of retail space, will be opened in the third quarter.

Wong Siew Ying

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 08, 2017, with the headline 'Hotel industry's prospects bright, say Park Hotel and RB Capital'. Print Edition | Subscribe