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VH Targets More Hotels to Manage

Value Hospitality Targets More Hotels To Manage
Friday, June 25, 2004

By Sharifah Arfah

HOTEL management consultant Value Hospitality Group hopes to increase the number of hotels under its flagship to 20 in three to five years from six currently. General manager Dennis Tan said the company hopes to help turn around more hotels locally and in other countries in the region.

"We hope to tap more customers from the Asean region, especially Singapore, as well as China and Taiwan,” he said.

"The number of hotels that we aim for is a realistic goal, considering that the hotel and tourism industry is still feeling the heat of the September 11 incident,” he said.

Last September was the first month in 2001 when tourist arrivals in Malaysia failed to breach the one million mark, registering only 927,206 visitors. In October, tourist arrivals fell to 596,202, the lowest in 28 months.

As a hotel management consultant, Value Hospitality aims to increase a hotel's productivity and returns through an assessment of the hotel's operations. “In hotel management and consultancy, we have so far managed a reduction of 40 per cent in the cost of utilities and upkeep of all the hotels,” he told Business Times in an interview, adding that all the hotels under its management are reporting profits despite the competitive environment.

The hotels recorded an average occupancy of 68 per cent for the whole year, with a composite stay of 1.6 to 1.7 days per person.

Tan said the emphasis on service is an important point, giving customers a high level of hospitality with affordable room rates.

Apart from that, marketing efforts are targeted at a good mix of leisure and business travellers. "Many resorts and five-star hotels were badly hit due to their dependence on the leisure market. Therefore, we feel that an equal mix of leisure and business travellers will not affect our occupancy rates,” he said.

About 25 per cent of customers are from tour groups. One of the hotels, the Beverly of Kota Kinabalu, reported an annual loss of RM600,000 before the Value Hospitality Group took over the management in 2000. Within a year, the hotel made a profit of RM1.6 million.

Currently, the group manages three categories of hotels with a combined staff strength of 500. They are the four-star Beverly Hotels, three-star Prescott Hotels and two-star Homestead Inns.

The properties managed by the Value Hospitality Group include the Beverly Hotel in Bintulu and Kota Kinabalu; Prescott Hotel in Klang, Bongawan and Bukit Mertajam; and the Prescott Inn and Value Inn in Kuala Lumpur.

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