Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts is undertaking a major expansion in Asia, with plans to more than triple its regional portfolio from nine to 30 properties by 2020.
Speaking to Travel Daily at ITB Asia on Wednesday, Holger Jakobs, Mövenpick’s vice president of sales & marketing for Asia, revealed that Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia would account for a large part of this growth, with multiple new hotels either signed or under negotiation in these countries.
“There is a lot of focus on our region,” said Jakobs. “We just signed a triple deal in Thailand, which will take us to seven hotels in the country. These will be quite quick turnarounds.”
Indeed, the triple Thai deal, which was reported in Travel Daily Asia last week, will see the launch of the Mövenpick Residences Ekkamai in Bangkok before the end of 2016, and Mövenpick Resort Khao Yai, in a mountainous region northeast of Bangkok, in January 2017. Mövenpick Resort Mai Khao Phuket has also been signed and is expected to launch in the fourth quarter of next year, following a major renovation that will increase the property’s room count.
The launch of the serviced residence in Bangkok also forms part of the Mövenpick expansion strategy, as Jakobs explained.
“We have city hotels, we have resorts, but we also have branded serviced residences which we already do in the Middle East. In fact the Pattaya hotel we opened earlier this year also has branded residences. If the opportunities come up we’d be more than happy to incorporate [serviced residences] as part of our negotiations.”
Vietnam will also see a series of new Mövenpick hotels in the coming years. Mövenpick Cam Ranh will open close to Nha Trang in Q4 2017, and Jakobs told Travel Daily that his company is “talking with the same developer [about a hotel] in Danang”. Meanwhile, a large-scale Mövenpick resort is currently rising on the island of Phu Quoc and another property is in the pipeline for Quy Nhon, north of Nha Trang.
Jakobs also revealed that the company is “looking very closely” at potential new locations in Ho Chi Minh City, following the earlier rebranding of Mövenpick Saigon. “Vietnam is definitely a hot area for us,” he added.
Another country set to welcome multiple Mövenpick hotels is Malaysia, with Jakobs confirming plans to launch a 300-room conference hotel close to Kuala Lumpur International Airport next autumn, and a beach resort in Kuala Terengganu the following spring. A third Malaysian property – a city hotel in Kota Bharu – is also in the pipeline.
The opening of the Mövenpick Resort & Spa Jimbaran Bali early next year will mark the Swiss hotel group’s debut in Indonesia, and Jakobs revealed that Mövenpick is also talking to an owner who has properties in Jakarta and Surabaya.
“We’re saying, ‘let’s open [Jakarta] and see what else is on the cards’. We’re definitely interested to expand this further,” he said.
In the Philippines, aside from a new resort in Boracay, the Swiss hotel group is “looking a lot at Manila”, and construction is also ongoing in China, at a place called Chifeng in Inner Mongolia.
In Bangladesh, the company recently signed a property in Khulna, the country’s third largest city, and Jakobs added that Mövenpick is “following up with another development in the north… which will hopefully open the door to Dhaka and Chittagong”.
Finally, Mövenpick will make its Sri Lankan debut in Colombo next year, and the company is also “in the final stages” of securing its first property in the Maldives.
“As you can see, we’re more than halfway there (towards the target of 30 hotels by 2020) and this year hasn’t even finished yet. We’re very confident that we’ll hit the ball out of the park. The future looks very bright for Mövenpick in Asia, and globally,” he concluded.