The Jakarta Post
Hoteliers are innovating to win custom or face closure in a fiercely competitive market as more hotel rooms flood the market this year.
The pressure is particularly felt by every rookie in the hospitality industry.
'Innovation is crucial nowadays, especially among new players, because everyone in the hotel industry is trying to win the market,' Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) executive director Cyprianus Aoer told The Jakarta Post recently.
Cyprianus said customers are more demanding in terms of services and facilities and this forced hoteliers to provide them with a better service.
PHRI said 45,000 new hotel rooms, ranging from budget to upscale, are expected to be available in Indonesia throughout this year, up from 15,000 rooms entering the market last year.
There will be around 287,000 hotel rooms in total, nationwide, by the end of this year.
The number of foreign tourists increased by 10.54 percent to 8.04 million in 2012 from a year earlier, according to the Central Statistics Agency, while the government expects to attract 9 million foreign tourists this year.
Panorama Hospitality Management (PHM) ' a subsidiary of travel and tour company Panorama Group, set to launch its first budget hotel next Saturday ' under The BnB brand will synergize the Group's Jakarta'Bandung DayTrans shuttles and White Horse premium taxis with its hotel services.
'DayTrans will help our guests continue their leisure or business trip to Bandung while the White Horse taxis can take them around the capital city,' PHM corporate public relations manager Yulia Maria told the Post.
Yuli said the company would also provide complimentary shuttle services to a number of shopping centers in Jakarta, such as ITC Cempaka Mas, Mal Kelapa Gading and Mall Of Indonesia, three of which are located near the hotel in Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta.
Customers are able to book hotel rooms through the hotel's website and other websites owned by the Group; namely bookingpanorama.com and rajakamar.com, as well as through low-cost carrier Citilink Indonesia's official website.
The firm plans to run 25 hotels, including those under the 101 brand that would serve the middle-class category and a luxury hotel named Haven, by the end of 2015.
New hotel operator Tauzia Hotel Management spokeswoman Yani Sinulingga said innovation played an important role.
'We distinguish ourselves by using solar power to be more eco-friendly with stylish touches, such as shower pods at our POP! Hotels. Meanwhile, we provide an online doctor chat service and women's touches in our Harris Hotel establishment,' she said.
The online doctor chat service offers guests access to doctors who work with Tauzia through the hotel's website, while the 'women's touches' give female guests free treats such as a massage or reflexology voucher.
Parador Hotels and Resorts, also a new player, have self-check in booths and cell phone applications for their two-star accommodation Fame Hotel to meet the demand for quick service.
'Most of our customers who stay in Fame Hotel Serpong [Banten] fly with low-cost carriers and want service to be simple and quick,' vice president Ricky Theodores said, adding that the company plans to increase its portfolio to 25 ' budget to upscale ' hotels ranging over the next two years.