Radisson Blu goes after leisure travel market-A A +A
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
ASIDE from tapping the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (Mice) market, the Sy-led Radisson Blu Hotel Cebu is positioning itself to become the preferred destination for the growing number of leisure travelers.
According to Ann Olalo, Radisson Blu Hotel Cebu director for sales and marketing, they have been seeing an increasing trend of leisure travelers staying in city hotels. She said the segment is growing on top of the hotel’s usual corporate and convention clients.
Olalo said on Friday the hotel is encouraged by growth of this market, comprising tourists who stay in city hotels first and learning about Cebu’s rich culture and heritage sites before going to nearby island provinces like Bohol or staying in resort hotels in Mactan Island.
She said in the past month, they have been getting a good number of Korean leisure travelers who come in groups and stay for two to three nights.
“This is just another market that we want to take advantage of because aside from coming in big groups they help promote the hotel as a leisure hotel despite its positioning as a corporate and convention hotel,” said Olalo.
Industry reports noted that the expansion of budget airlines and discounted hotel room rates spur more leisure travel in the country. Tour operators in Cebu, on the other hand, have bundled hotel and city tour packages for leisure travelers.
Radisson Blu is working with Korea’s top two travel firms to supply them with groups of leisure travelers. They have identified July to August, the summer period in their country, as the strong months. October to December are considered lean months for Korean tourists.
Olalo said the hotel is also looking for more markets to develop like Russia and Australia. She said tourists from these markets tend to stay long and spend a lot.
The domestic market accounts for 55 percent of Radisson’s business while the rest is shared by tourists from the United States, Korea and Japan.
She identified China as one of the hotel’s top sources of business travelers. She said, however, that the existing travel ban and the territorial dispute over Panatag shoal prevented them from attracting more Chinese guests.
“Hong Kong and China produce the volume of tourists but given the situation, the hotel industry needs to look for other markets. We are hoping this will change in the next few months,” she said.
Encouraged by Radisson Blu Hotel Cebu’s strong performance in the corporate and Mice markets, the SM Hotels and Convention Corp. decided to invest in the brand’s expansion in Southern Philippines.
A 204-room hotel called Park Inn by Radisson will be built in Lanang, Davao City. The hotel is within walking distance to SM’s new mall in Lanang and the SMX Convention Center.
According to Olalo, Park Inn is a medium-scale hotel under the Radisson brand. This is the second property of Radisson in the Philippines and the first Park Inn hotel in the South East Asian Region.
The hotel will be operational in February 2013, in time for the Mice Convention to be held in Davao City.
“This new hotel in Davao under the Radisson brand will be known for its “hip and funky” design. This hotel will provide rooms and facilities for the growing business and leisure markets in the Southern Philippines,” Olalo said.
The SM Hotels and Convention Corp. operates other hotels and convention centers like Taal Vista Hotel in Tagaytay City; Pico Sands Hotel in Nasugbu, Batangas; and the SMX Convention Center.
The 400-room Radisson Blu Hotel Cebu is currently logging an average of 60 percent occupancy.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 26, 2012.