Interview with Andrew Langdon, Senior Vice President Asia for Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts
Mövenpick is a well established brand these days in Southeast Asia, although the portfolio of the Swiss-managed company remains relatively small compared to other hotel brands in the region. “We manage for now 8 properties iN Southeast Asia and China but it will dramatically change. We will double our portfolio within 18 months and we are on target to grow our portfolio in Asia to 30 units by 2020”, said Andrew Langdon, Senior Vice President Asia for the Swiss hospitality group.
In Thailand alone, which is Mövenpick largest market in Indonesia, the group operates currently four properties representing 1,000 rooms. By the middle of next year, this number will have jumped to 10 hotels, adding another 800 rooms to Mövenpick portfolio. “This year, we are likely to open first the Mövenpick Suriwongse Hotel Chiang Mai, followed by the Mövenpick Resort Khao Yai. The superb property, which is close to completion, used to be the Nusa My Ozone Khao Yai. And then we are proud to confirm that we take over the Asara Resort hotel in Hua Hin that we will rebrand into the Mövenpick Asara Resort. The hotel undergoes some renovation and is due to reopen in 3rd quarter of this year”, told Andrew Langdon.
In less than 18 months, Mövenpick will then have doubled its porfolio in Thailand. “The rise in new hotels’ supply over the last five years turns the hospitality market in the Kingdom more challenging and competitive with a need to anchor properties to an international brand. And as we are a very flexible managing company, we can be well positioned to seize opportunities”, added Mövenpick Senior Vice President.
In Thailand, the company is looking at more opportunities. “We will open in 2018 a property in Samui with 86 pool villas. We also see a potential for more hotels or hotel residences in Bangkok. And we also investigate to find properties in Krabi, Phang Nga as well as Sriricha”, stressed Mr. Langdon.
Thailand is not Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts unique focus in ASEAN. The group considers Vietnam as another priority market. “We already have one open property in Hanoi and we look now to expand for another 3 hotels with the opening by the end of this year of a 500-room resort in Cam Ranh/Nha Trang in Central Vietnam, followed next year by a 667-room property on Phu Quoc Island. We also plan the opneing of a hotel in Quy Nhon and look seriously at projects in Phan Thiet, Danang, Quan Binh while currently negotiating for a city hotel in Ho Chi Minh City”, unveiled Andrew Langdon.
Another focus in ASEAN is Malaysia with 3 hotels being now developed with a flagship property at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. The 333-room hotel will also integrate a Convention Centre for 2,000 delegates; two other hotels are developed along Peninsular Malaysia East Coast in Chendering and in Kota Bharu, the regional capital of Kelantan. All these properties will open between 2018 and early 2020 according to Mr. Langdon.
In the Philippines, Mövenpick is already present in Mactan-Cebu with a 245-room resort as well as in Boracay, a brand new 312-room property offering the second largest swimming pool in Asia, only topped by the swimming pool of the January-opened Jimbaran Mövenpick Resort & Spa in Bali!
“Indonesia is of course another focus of our expansion as the destination with its thousand of islands offers incredible opportunities for tourism product. We look at another property in Bali and currently focus on Jakarta while looking at the market evolution in Lombok, Bintan and Surabaya”, said Andrew Langdon.
While Mövenpick Senior Vice President Asia insists that the group strategy will first look at expanding in markets where Mövenpick is already present, the Swiss hospitality group indicates to currently negotiate for a hotel in Phnom Penh and to look at an opportunity in Singapore. “It is important to have a presence in Singapore like in Hong Kong, told Mr. Langdon. “However, Myanmar is more difficult to enter now as the market suffers from oversupply in Yangon while Laos remains a too small market for now”, he indicated.
Mövenpick predicts a good year for the entire region and especially to Thailand as Chinese, Russian and MICE visitors are back. “We certainly are on our way to achieve our 30-property target”, declared a confident Andrew Langdon.