Following a year of rapid growth, the Australian Argyle Hotel Group is expanding its position in the Asia-Pacific region with its first hotel in Nepal. The Kathmandu Argyle Hotel is slated to open in early 2019 and will be the Argyle Hotel Group’s 116th hotel under management.
AHG’s push in business hotels in Asia, particularly in Chinese second- and third-tier cities, has allowed the group to help growing communities by developing international hotels and venues to aid local business. “There’s a new hotel in the Argyle Hotel Group family every two weeks, and we’re anticipating accelerated growth next year as we continue to expand into more territories,” Kevin Zhang, CEO, Argyle Hotel Group, said in a statement.
Thirty hotels have been added to the Argyle Hotel Group roster in the last year as part of its first steps in expanding through new territories, like Fiji and Nepal, in the Asia Pacific region. Zhang explained, “International brands have largely overlooked the incredible potential of these growing regions, focusing on low-risk targets in large cities, but they do not factor in the enormous amount of business travel that happens in smaller cities.”
AHG exports hotel and resort management and asset management services throughout Asia-Pacific. The group manages seven brands: Argyle Grand Hotel, Argyle Resort, Argyle Hotel, Ausotel & Ausotel Smart, Argyle Suites, Argyle Boutique Hotel and Metro Hotels.
The hotel group’s addition to Nepal’s hotel supply follows a white paper issued by the Hotel Association Nepal in July 2017. It called on the Nepalese government to curb the booming hotel development in the country before the new hotels eat into the market.
HAN requested that the government evaluate the current supply and demand of hotel rooms and enhance hotel expansion criteria. “We should be careful that these new hotels create more demand for the additional supply of rooms rather than competing over prices and replacing good old hotels," the white paper states. "If these hotels go out of business, banks which have invested heavily in the sector will have problems, and it will eventually hurt the economy.”
Yogendra Shakya, HAN's president, also warned that excess capacity can cause prices and quality to plunge. "If new hotels suffer, it will ultimately affect banks and the financial sector. But if old hotels suffer, it will affect investors, not banks," Shakya told The Kathmandu Post. "There are many instances from the past of how reputed hotels went bankrupt on low demand."