Area General manager of Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) in Russia Mr. Tako Kim Plate who paricipated in opening of new 3 star facility Holiday Inn Khovrino in Moscow shared with our readers with his precious expert opinion about the hotel market.
EV: We would like to know your attitude regarding 3 star hotel market of Russia and Moscow especially, because you’re very big group with great experience worldwide and in Russia and know a lot about it.
Tako Kim Plate: I think it’s really important to understand the market. Of course, you have flagship hotels like Intercontinental where everyone wants to look at. Because they’re 5 star hotel. But reality is that such hotels represent just a very small part of the market. This market has borders especially because more and more people are able to travel now. Not only for business, but also for leasure. I think it is very important to have good sensible and affordable hotels.
For most of the people it is quite difficult to buy four star or five-star. And they always feel that there are things they don’t need. Like extra space. So, three star market is always ideal for those people. The alternity are the very small hotels that popup all cities, because they are provided the same thing. There is limited service, but catering up-to-date. I think we still can combine limited service model with strengths of a brand, some recognizable features making sure that everithing is on the good level.
So, limited service is not five star. But everything you expect is there. All we can expect from it is nice complimentary breakfast we serve. Because everyone wants to eat, but you don’t want to pay for other things. We can be smarter in targeting. If you do that, you’ll have an opportunity in three star market.
The more people travel in the world, the more three star market will develop. Also business travellers, it is like that, because to overpay for a lot of products just because they want to show something to competitors is not sensible for the show, for the bottom-line. A lot of places will see that.
If you look at me – I travel a lot, I think I’ve already did fifty flights this year. And I just need a comfortable bad, a small place where I can work with labtop and nice smile of receptionist. I don’t need to pay for enormous hotel.
Also you see on the hotel market some boutique hotels. This is more personal thing and this is three star market.
We – IHG – are focused on the future. We see that the city has a volume of big five-star hotels. As for secondary cities, it seems they have smaller hotels of international chains. For those cities four-five star hotels are out of price range, because they don’t have a volume of travellers. Three star can still be very popular there.
EV: Intercontinental seems to be always five star service, in our experience. Because we participate in a number of important events there organized for the biggest clients. What are the main things that allow IHG to service on the highest level and how to understand is the service is 5 star?
Tako Kim Plate: I think that in the past we were not always very clear about IHG. Now we’re called IHG, we have thirteen brands and Intercontinental is one of them. It is on the top for the events, with five-star lux for state government and official business. All the other brands are still at different position. They can fit for local needs and regional governments. That’s up to us as hoteliers to have all in our client portfolio. We can do conference in every level, we provide every kind of this.
How to understand is it luxury of not? If you look at material hotel used you’ll understand is it luxury of not. Everything should be done well. Very simple meeting rooms must provide catering to the needs of guests of this segment. Look at catering too.