Anticipating a tourism arrival slump right after the 2019 Rugby World Cup and 2020 Summer Olympics, Japanese company Okura Nikko Hotel Management is stepping up sales and marketing efforts in the key South-east Asian markets of Malaysia and Singapore to stimulate stronger corporate demand and interest in properties located away from the big Japanese cities.
The company held roadshows last week in Malaysia and Singapore, which drew in more corporate buyers from Asia-Pacific headquarters of multinational companies than in previous years, shared Keith Yeak, director of sales with Okura Nikko Hotel Management.
â€śWe are also encouraging more corporate bookers and planners to consider our properties away from the big Japanese cities. We are working with local tourism authorities to come up with ways to create corporate demand,â€ť Yeak told TTGmice in an interview.
â€śIt is easier to push leisure traffic to smaller Japanese destinations like Nara and Seto Inland Sea but for corporate meetings and incentives, accessibility matters. We have to be persistent in knocking on corporate doors and in emphasising the appeal of these destinations for incentives and pre/post-meeting programmes,â€ť he added.
Yeak explained that doing so could help alleviate congestion in the big cities when the two major sporting events come to town, as well as â€śbuild up corporate interest in more destinations across Japan to keep business coming after the travel peakâ€ť.
Alongside these efforts, Okura Nikko Hotel Management is also gearing up for several openings in Asia between late this year and 2021. Two hotels that will come online first are Hotel Nikko Bangkok, scheduled for this November, and Hotel Okura Manila, slated to open either end of this year or early next year.
Hotel Nikko Bangkok will sit in Thonglor and offer 301 guestrooms and suites, as well as some meeting rooms. Hotel Okura Manila, a 191-key property, will be part of Resorts World Manila, located a short distance from Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Other upcoming openings in Asia include The Okura Prestige Saigon, Hotel Nikko Hai Phong, another Okura in Manila, and The Okura Prestige Taichung.
Chizu Nakashiro, director of sales, international sales office, said: â€śThe destinations selected for Okura openings are frequented by Japanese business travellers, and the company hopes to have hotels there to cater to these people.â€ť
Future network growth will centre on Asian business hubs, Nakashiro added, as the company is determined to grow its corporate business segment.