Japan remains strong for YTL

By admin

Japan’s natural disasters in early 2011 had surprisingly little impact on bookings for Malaysia-based YTL Hotels’ Niseko Village properties, president James McBride has revealed.

McBride reported an ‚Äúexcellent” summer for the resort as a higher number of Japanese opted to holiday locally rather than head overseas in the aftermath of the earthquake and subsequent Fukushima crisis.

Meanwhile, Australian numbers, although not at pre-disaster levels, were still strong.

‚ÄúWinter is a little bit down, but not as much as I thought it would be,” he said.

Its Phuket property The Surin was also popular with the Australian market, he told Travel Today. But the other properties in YTL’s portfolio were less successful, he admitted, with the Australian proportion of guests in single digits, even in perennial Aussie favourite Bali. Despite the high number of flights connecting the destination with Australia, YTL found that 40% of its guests at Spa Village in Bali were from Europe.

‚ÄúThat doesn‚Äôt really make sense,” he said. ‚ÄúAustralia is a market that we need to focus on a lot more. At least 20% of our overall business should be coming from Australia.”

The hotel group, which has around 20 properties in Asia and Europe, will open a new Borneo property, Gaya Island Resort, in July and McBride has high hopes that it will resonate with the Australian market. Another property, The Majestic in Kuala Lumpur, will open towards the end of the year.

Meanwhile, McBride also revealed that the group was interested in acquiring an Australian property although there were no immediate plans.

‚ÄúWe would love to find an appropriate asset in Australia,” he said, but stressed that it was not looking at anything specific at the moment.

Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

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