04:38 (GMT +7) - Wednesday 26/06/2019

Property

Technology spreading in hospitality real estate

Released at: 15:53, 06/04/2019

Technology spreading in hospitality real estate

Photo: Hung Cao (VET)

Savills holds 7th "Meet the Experts" seminar to discuss changes in hospitality property and risks developers may face in 2019.

by Khanh Chi

Vietnam’s hospitality industry will continue to contribute greatly to the country’s rapid economic growth and create more jobs, Mr. Mauro Gasparotti, Director of Savills Hotels APAC, told the “Meet the Experts” seminar held by Savills Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City.

The market has witnessed an increase in hotel and resort rates throughout the country in 2018, with the performance of hotels in major cities being particularly strong.

“We are also finally seeing developers beginning to propose international mid-scale and focused service hotels as well as giving more importance to design and guest experience,” he said. “There are market threats coming our way, however, relating to the strong pipeline of new supply in coastal areas, the fast growth of alternative accommodation via Airbnb, as well as the overall expected slowdown in global travelers this year.”

This year’s seminar focused on the impact of technology on hospitality developments and saw the attendance of over 150 local developers and senior industry representatives.

Ms. Uyen Nguyen, Senior Manager at Savills Hotels, said resort destinations have seen slightly lower average occupancy due to new properties entering the market. A total of 75 new hotels and resorts in the four and five-star categories opened in six main coastal destinations, providing 15,900 rooms, or 24 per cent of existing supply. Another 45,600 rooms are expected to come online during 2019-2022, which will certainly pose a threat to large standardized resorts, she said.

“Well-positioned hotels or resorts with an ‘instagrammable’ design, quality F&B, and unique facilities and services are currently performing better, with higher rates and occupancies than the more standard products,” Mr. Gasparotti said. “These products are defined as experience hotels or resorts and will be less affected by the overall pipeline of new openings. We would love to see more of them as they usually, along with the guest experience, also increase the quality of the destination.”

Ms. Uyen added that strong competition may occur between large properties who target groups or budget travelers. Market occupancy for the next couple of years is expected to be affected by new supply in Da Nang, Cam Ranh, and Phu Quoc, in both the condotel and resort segments, and this may result in a slowdown in performance, with rates having to adapt to the new level of competition. That said, it is clear that in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, where new supply will be relatively limited and performance is expected to hold well, that there are numerous opportunities for new developments across all segments.

Mr. Bryan Chan, Director of Development, SE Asia & Korea, at the InterContinental Hotels Group explained how technology is applied to hotel developments both in the construction and operational stages. Guests can now use technology to facilitate their journey before, during and after staying at the hotel. Energy and waste reduction technologies such as the Building Management System (BMS) are expected to save costs by monitoring the ongoing performance of equipment in the building. Modular construction was also discussed during the event, as an innovative method for fast and efficient construction with consistent quality.

Robot butlers, mobile keys, mobile check-in / check-out and smart guestrooms are being applied more often in hotels to reduce operating costs and staff numbers. However, a “human touch” will remain a critical part of the guest experience.

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