New Hotel Alert: Hop Inn HotelThursday, December 15, 2016
Thai hospitality chain expands overseas with opening of first hotel in the Philippines
Traveling with class used to be only for the privileged ones, but not until Thailand-based Hop Inn Hotel was officially launched in the Philippines through its pioneering outlet along Ermita, Manila that offers high quality accommodation for both the business and leisure markets on a tight budget.
On December 1, 2016, Hop Inn Ermita opened its door for local and foreign tourists to experience and enjoy first-hand what the Thai expertise and world-renowned Filipino hospitality are about. While it falls under the economy travel class, the hotel is designed to offer quality and convenient stays––thanks to the company's 35 years of vast experience in developing international five-star hotels, such as the Grand Hyatt and JW Marriott, among others.
According to The Erawan Group PLC President, Ms. Kamonwan Wipulakorn, this island nation serves as their first market abroad since they ventured into the economy category, in addition to the premium global hospitality names they have been building and operating over the last three decades.
“The country has high potential for tourism in the long term,” she said. “We believe that the Philippines will offer the fastest and highest economic growth in the Asean region and through our analysis and market research on the ground, we see very good opportunities to expand in the Philippines.”
Upon entry to this mid-rise property, visitors could already feel the warmth of this place with the vibrant colors of the lobby. This is complemented by the courteous and accommodating staff, who are well-trained and on-hand to assist them so as to make their stay well worth their money.
Hop Inn Ermita has 168 rooms––all spacious and well-appointed. Each is equipped with fundamental amenities to ensure a good night’s sleep after a tiring business or leisure trip, and in preparation for the next day's meetings or city exploration.
"We offer a very basic requirement. Our brand essence is for our rooms to be clean, convenient, comfortable, and safe," Wipulakorn cited. "We make sure that all of these are consistent to all our clients here and in our upcoming branches in the near future."
The leading hotel operator in Southeast Asia has allocated around 10 billion baht, or about P12 billion, for its five-year investment plan aimed at further growing its Hop Inn network in the region.
"Thirty percent of that will be for the Philippines," the Group's president said of their P3.6 billion capital expenditure to build around 20 three-star hotels nationwide by 2020. As the leading investor in the hospitality sector in Thailand, The Erawan Group currently operates 41 hotels there, with a total inventory of 6,000-rooms.
"Next year, it's going to be 50 hotels, including two in the Philippines," Wipulakorn bared, referring to the P200 million-worth Ermita property and the 190-room Makati branch, the latter now under construction in preparation for opening in September 2017.
Others in the pipeline include the ones building up in Aseana in Pasay City and Alabang in Muntinlupa––both scheduled for inaugural in the first quarter of 2018. The Group is also looking at Quezon City, Chinatown, and Cubao in Metro Manila, as well as Cebu and Davao in the Visayas and Mindanao regions as potential sites for its Hop Inn brand.
Beyond giving a boost to the national economy and local hospitality industry, The Erawan's expansion program is expected to create more direct and indirect employment opportunities for Filipinos.
“We have created jobs with our ongoing construction already. We will set up an operation team in the next few months and the plan is to hire local staff as many as possible as they would understand customers’ requirement and respond well to market,” Wipulakorn said.
Impressed by the positive turnout of the guests, following the official opening of the flagship Hop Inn outlet in Manila, the Group has already identified their captive market in the Philippines.
"In Thailand, 85 percent of our guests are international. But we have a very good domestic market as well. So about 15 percent would go to domestic. But I think over here will be more domestic, maybe 85 percent. So we expect more business travellers here more than leisure guests,” she pointed out.
Bullish on their first venture overseas, Wipulakorn revealed that they intend to double their target number of hotels in the next 10 years.
"We also look at maybe investments into the midscale or four-star category in the Philippines," she stressed. "I hope that we bring a good quality product for the Philippine market and that we get a good response. We also want to be part of the community here."