Prince Hotels is a big player in Japan’s MICE sector, with an approximate 35% share of the venue market. The brand is now setting its sights on Singapore and the rest of Southeast Asia, influenced by the region’s high growth potential.
An aspect of Prince’s expertise that they’re looking to import to Singapore is the brand’s ability to turn a room in a short span of time. “Sometimes we do 20-30 [Japanese] weddings a day, which requires us to turn the rooms quickly,” says Victor Katsutoshi Osumi, managing executive officer at Prince Hotels. “Technology is one thing, but our know-how also extends to the efficiency we operate within our limited size and number of rooms.”
Given Singapore’s status as a gateway city and the reliability of Changi Airport, Osumi predicts the brand will be in good hands. Meanwhile, hotel management company StayWell Holdings – recently acquired by Prince – has plans to assist the hotel giant in executing an asset-light approach in Southeast Asia.
Because Prince’s original model is based on property ownership, StayWell wants its client to move toward a more balanced portfolio.
“If you look at large successful hotel companies like Marriott, they generally own some assets and manage a bunch of others,” says Simon Wan, president of StayWell.
Wan adds that StayWell has also benefited from the acquisition by having access to Prince’s large MICE and rewards scheme database.
“We currently have 50,000 members in the StayWell Rewards Scheme. On the contrary, Prince and Seibu have over 900,000 loyalty card members. One thing that we’re targeting is to integrate our loyalty programme so members from both clubs will benefit,” Wan says.
“Generally, if we’re looking to expand our properties in Singapore, we’ll be calling on the expertise from our colleagues in Tokyo."