Two international hotel chains are planning to open 15 hotels in Indonesia this year following increased demand from local business and leisure travelers.
Swiss-Belhotel International alone would open eight 3- or 4-star hotels across the archipelago, according to regional public relations and promotions manager Harshanty Kaloko.
“We have recently opened the very first 4-star Swiss-Belhotel in one of the easternmost cities in Indonesia — Merauke, Papua — that is strategically located in the heart of the city, just 10 minutes from Mopah Airport,” she told The Jakarta Post over the telephone.
The company opened another hotel in January: The 3-star Swiss-Belinn Balikpapan in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, on Jan. 12, Harshanty said.
The company would open three more Swiss-Belinn hotels before the end of the year in Pekanbaru, Riau; Makassar, South Sulawesi; and Pangkalan Bun, Central Sulawesi, Harshanty added.
Swiss-Belhotel hotels would be opened in Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan; in the rainforest of Kuta, Bali; and at Harbor Bay in Batam, Riau Islands.
“Tourism and business travel are only just beginning to flourish. At least 35 additional properties will come into operation by 2014, ranging from 2-, 3- to 4-star classifications,” Harshanty said.
Swiss-Belhotel International has developed a new brand for its 2-star hotels, identified as the Zest Hotel chain, and has already started construction on two Zest Hotels in Ambon, Maluku and Legian, Bali, she said.
The company also reported interest in similar development in other cities, such as Batam; Jakarta; Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi; Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara; Makassar; Manado, North Sulawesi; Medan, North Sumatra; Semarang and Surakarta, Central Java; and Yogyakarta.
The group currently operates 26 hotels in 21 cities across the nation and claims an average occupancy rate of 75 percent.
According to the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), 7.65 million foreign tourists visited Indonesia in 2011, up 9 percent from 2010.
Of those foreign tourists, the government collected US$8.6 billion in foreign exchange, the BPS said, up 13 percent from 2010.
According to the latest figures, the aggregate occupancy rate of starred hotels in 20 selected provinces stood at 56 percent in December 2011, up 2.6 percent from the previous month and up 2 percent from the same period in 2010.
Contacted separately, Gerard Guillouet, Accor Hotel’s vice president for Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, said that the chain would open seven new hotels, ranging from budget to luxury boutique hotels, this year.
Gerard said that Accor planned to open a budget-class All Seasons/Ibis Style hotel with 183 rooms in Benoa, Bali; a 3-star Ibis hotel with 150 rooms in Kuta; and a mammoth 604 room, 3-star Ibis in Bandung, West Java.
In addition, Accor would open four more hotels in Jakarta and Kuta, he said.
The capital city would get a 4-star hotel Novotel in Gajah Mada, Central Jakarta; a 4-star Grand Mercure in Harmoni, Central Jakarta; and a 3-star-plus Mercure in Simatupang, South Jakarta; while building The Kuta Beach Heritage boutique hotel with 149 rooms in Bali, according to Accor.
“We have built a hotel network of 46 hotels in 18 cities and its still growing. This makes Accor the largest hotel operator in Indonesia,” he told the Post in an email.
Accor officially opened the 5-star Pullman Jakarta Indonesia, formerly Hotel Nikko Jakarta, in Central Jakarta, on Jan. 19.