by Julito G. Rada
[ manilastandardtoday.com] December 2,2011
GLOBAL hotel chain Tune Hotels, part of the Tune Group of AirAsia founder Tony Fernandes of Malaysia, will expand in the Philippines with the construction of six hotels in 2012.
Mark Lankester, group chief executive, told Manila Standard at the sidelines of a press briefing in Makati Thursday that the expansion would cost $30 million to $60 million.
“This is because putting up a 180-room hotel in the Philippines, on the average, would have a cost ranging from $5 million to $10 million,” Lankester said.
He said the first hotel would open in Angeles City on Feb. 10, followed by Cebu City on Feb. 24, and Ermita, Manila on March 9. In the same year, Tune Hotels will expand to other key cities like Makati, Cagayan de Oro and Ortigas.
Lankester said the group would open another branch in Quezon City in 2013, bringing to seven the total Tune Hotels in the country.
“The Philippines is a priority market for Tune Hotels. With the rise of budget travel packages from airlines and increase in business travels, there is a high demand for no-fuss hotels that would provide affordable, safe, clean, convenient, and comfortable accommodation,” Lankester said.
He said Philippine expansion was timely because of the promising outlook of the country’s tourism industry.
Lankester said the group would hire dozens of employees for the expansion. He said the Ermita, Manila branch would have 160 rooms; Makati, 200; and Ortigas, 250. He said the hotel buildings would have an average of height of nine to 10 stories.
He said Tune Hotels would offer a P188 per night promo for its Ermita, Cebu and Angeles City branches to celebrate its arrival in the Philippines. Starting Dec. 6 to 16, 2011, guests can book rooms at Tune Hotels for only P188 per night.
Lankester said the staying period starts from each hotel’s respective opening date up to Nov. 30, 2012. The promo is offered exclusively online at www.tunehotels.com.
But he said regular rate at Tune Hotels would range from P600 to P700 per night.
Tune Hotels operates 10 hotels in Malaysia, two in Bali, Indonesia, and one in London. Apart from the Philippines, Tune Hotels has aggressive expansion plans in Thailand, Indonesia, the United Kingdom and Malaysia.
Tune Hotel Hat Yai in southern Thailand will open this month, followed by Liverpool Street in London in January 2012, Pattaya in Thailand in February 2012, Ipoh in Malaysia in March 2012 and Pasar Baru in Jakarta, Indonesia, also in March.
“More Tune Hotels are set for opening in Southeast Asia, the UK, India and Australia that will give our guests even more options for travel destinations,” he said.