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Japan’s famed Prince Hotels sets big expansion target  

March 14, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Japan’s Prince Hotels has launched a global push which will see the group build and open numerous hotels over the next 10 years – conceivably up to 250 properties – with expansion likely to include Sydney, Melbourne and possibly other points in Australia.

Prince Hotels is part of the Seibu Group, which operates 81 businesses in Japan and beyond. Prince Hotels and Resorts runs nine brands in Japan, and overseas with its subsidiary StayWell Holdings Pty Ltd. In total, Prince Hotels and StayWell Holdings run a total of 74 hotels around the world.

During his current visit to Australia, Prince Hotels and Resorts director and executive managing officer, Ryuichiro Nishiyama, said Prince had launched a new five-star overseas brand, The Prince Akatoki, as part of its global expansion. The company is currently studying opportunities across Sydney and Melbourne, he confirmed.

Nishiyama pointed out that over the past decade, Japan has seen a 213% increase in Australian travellers, with over 550,000 people flying to Japan last year alone.

The Prince Park Tower, Tokyo

In line with that, he said Prince Hotels and Resorts had welcomed an unprecedented number of Australians to its 43 locations over the past 12 months, with over 23,000 people choosing to stay at Prince properties during their visits to Japan.

The leading hotel and leisure company saw a 23.5% increase in the number of Australian travellers staying with it between 2017 and 2018.

The Prince Hotels and Resorts portfolio caters for both business and leisure travellers and offers everything from premium rooms in the heart of buzzing Tokyo, through to breathtaking snow resorts in the alps.

Prince Hotels and Resorts director and executive managing officer, Ryuichiro Nishiyama

Nishiyama told media in Sydney he was thrilled to see more Australians recognising the quality product and service offering Prince Hotels and Resorts brings to the market.

“At Prince Hotels and Resorts, we pride ourselves on igniting excitement in our customers and providing them with much more than accommodation. We want to bring them an experience,” he said.

“The growth of Australians visiting our properties between 2017 and 2018 is a positive indication for us and we look forward to welcoming more Australian guests to our properties in 2019.”

From left: Ryuichiro Nishiyama, Prince Hotels and Resorts director and executive managing officer; Fiona Godfrey, StayWell Holdings; Yuka Hagiwara, Prince Hotels & Resorts; Simon Wan, StayWell Holdings

 

Prince Hotels and Resorts also operate leisure facilities throughout Japan, including ski resorts, golf courses, hot spring resorts, skating centres and Prince Ice World, Japan’s oldest ice show.

Nishiyama said the brand is set to reach its long-term goal of becoming a globally recognised brand in coming years.

“The Prince Hotels and Resorts brand continues to grow, with the recent opening of a series of large-scale properties in the Tokyo metropolitan area which are popular among business travellers,” he said.

Harbor Royal Suite, Prince Park Tower, Tokyo

“Looking to the future, we intend to consolidate our extensive network of city hotels, resort hotels, golf courses and ski resorts in order to provide facilities and services which meet the needs of our guests in a manner befitting one of Japan’s largest hotel leisure businesses.

“We will also keep striving to remain in step with society through environmentally-friendly sound management.”

In Japan, Prince operates four brands: The Prince, Grand Prince Hotel, Prince Hotel, and Prince Smart Inn. Together with StayWell Holdings, which became a subsidiary in 2017, Prince Hotels also has five brands outside Japan: The Prince Akatoki, Policy, Park Regis, Leisure Inn Plus, and Leisure Inn.

Under these nine brands, Prince Hotels operates a total of 74 hotels, comprising 43 properties in top Japanese cities and resort areas including Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Karuizawa, Hakone, Sapporo and Furano, and 31 overseas properties in Asia, the Middle East, Oceania, USA and Europe.

Prince Hotels and StayWell combined also have 27 sales locations in 13 areas around the world, from which to communicate the appeal of Prince Hotels to the world.

Prince Hotels’ Australian partner StayWell’s president and director, Simon Wan, mentioned the target figure of 250 hotels over the next decade.

Wan conceded that sites for a new-build hotel are scarce in Melbourne and Sydney, particularly the latter, but said there was still plenty of scope for new hotels in both cities.

Sydney and Melbourne were very competitive but no more so than Singapore, Tokyo and Hong Kong, he pointed out.

The group has already acquired The Arch Hotel in London, in a superb location by Marble Arch. It will be converted to The Prince Akatoki. The group is also building a new hotel in Guangzhou.

Written by Peter Needham

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