As Hong Kong-based Shangri-La International Hotel Management reported a strong June, it also announced a new brand to target independently minded business and leisure travelers.
That's the hope with Hotel Jen, which will take over as the name of all of Shangri-La’s Traders Hotels. Shangri-La says the brand will launch quickly with 10 Hotel Jens opening in major cities in Asia Pacific by March 2015.
The Hotel Jen Orchardgateway Singapore will be the first new-build hotel carrying the Jen brand name. It launches on September 15 2014.
The first rebranded hotel will be the Traders Hotel Singapore, re-branding to Hotel Jen Singapore on September 25 2014.
Next up for the Hotel Jen launch will be Traders hotels in Hong Kong, Brisbane, Penang, Johor Bahru, Manila, Maldives, Beijing and Shenyang.
Shangri-La says that the Hotel Jen brand is "inspired by the virtual persona Jen, a professional hotelier who loves life, travel and the adventure of discovering new places."
Not surprisingly, the young, millennial traveler is the focus market.
"The Hotel Jen experience delivers what matters most to guests with a millennial mind set. They appreciate important things done well; demand quality, comfort and value, together with honest, authentic service; and want privacy and efficiency without unnecessary fuss or intrusion," said Greg Dogan, president and CEO of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts.
"The Traders brand has had a 30-year history of success in generating solid business, carving out a niche amidst a highly competitive industry and building a loyal base of customers. However, we are looking to the future and – based on extensive consumer research and insight into the way our target market lives and travels, including talking and listening to our customers—we are recognizing and responding to the global travel trends and particular needs of this new generation traveler. This will keep us relevant and competitive for the next 20 years to come."
Technology will play a large role. Free WiFi is promised everywhere—all the time—and mobile charging stations will be ubiquitous throughout the hotels.
Hotel Jen's restaurants will focus on local products, while free coffee/snack-box-to-go after breakfast and grab-and-go kiosks will be available.
"We are excited to be launching and engaging this new brand so rapidly. We definitely want to retain our existing customer base, who have been extremely loyal to us, but we also recognise that their needs have changed. Today's guests want more flexibility, as busy non-traditional work hours tend to blend the boundaries between business and leisure," said Lothar Nessmann, COO of the Hotel Jen brand.
"With the rebranding of Traders Hotels to Hotel Jen, we will broaden our range of guests and attract more travellers looking for distinctive experiences of local interest and character, as well as appeal to families and groups who want a more independent, yet friendly and personable stay experience."
For the first of 2014, Shangri-La's profit, before the inclusion of gains in investment properties, stood at US$35.8 million, compared to US$25.7 million a year ago. If those gains are included, the consolidated profit would be US$76.2 million, down from US$215.3 million previously.