Jakarta hotels confident over buoyant economy

11 Jun 2010

A strongly performing Indonesian economy is enticing more business travellers back to the country's capital Jakarta, hoteliers in the city say.

After more than a decade of political instability and economic crisis, Indonesia is tipped by some business analysts to be heading for GDP growth of around 7 percent in 2011.

The renovated Hotel Indonesia Kempinski is reporting consistently rising occupancy said Hanny Wahyuni, director of marketing communications.

"Aside from weekends, when we have the local market, the Hotel Indonesia Kempinski is essentially a business hotel. It's difficult to spot one particular source market, we have corporate travellers from Japan, Europe, US as well as most parts of Asia."

The Kempinski's European heritage is also being used to good effect she said.

"We're also seeing more business come from German businesses in the locality. The Germany embassy is close by and we've even seen this reflected in our food and beverage trade. Our bakery has seen orders from German-style breads and pastries and we've just opened the Paulaner Brauhaus, a German pub, that can seat over 300 people as well as provide a venue for events. It even has a small meeting room."

The hotel's dramatic makeover will be complete soon when the final phase of the renovation, the addition of new meeting space, is completed.

The Hotel Indonesia Kempinski is the second deluxe hotel in the city's Golden Triangle, commercial and diplomatic centre, to undergo a major refurbishment. Its neighbour, the Mandarin Oriental Jakarta, reopened last year with a top-to-bottom redesign.

Alexander Naoyan, managing director of the luxury boutique hotel The Dharmawangsa, said his 100-suite hotel was also benefiting from the improved economic situation.

"We're a relatively small property and also one of the most expensive in the city. We tend, therefore, to get the higher-end corporate traveller, the CEOs global chiefs and so on. The oil and gas sector is performing well but so are areas such as the automotive industry."

Aside from its guestrooms, there is also a block of 80 luxury serviced apartments within the grounds of The Dharmawangsa. Next year a second tower, with 89 residences will open.

Paul Rushton, cluster director of marketing at the Marrriott's four properties in Jakarta, The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta Pacific Place, JW Marriott Hotel Jakarta and The Mayflower - Jakarta, Marriott Executive Apartments, also confirmed that the serviced apartment sector was surging across the city.

As companies look to open or re-open local offices, overseas business people on medium and long-term assignments or temporary relocations often preferred the greater flexibility and privacy of serviced residences, while benefiting from greater facilities and security.
Confidence in the city's future is reflected in the decision to open a 180-room Raffles Jakarta in around 18 months' time. The new property will be located in Ciputra World Jakarta, a mixed use complex in the city's business district. The hotel will also feature a 2,500sqm ballroom and meeting spaces as well as a 1,100 sqm Raffles Amrita Spa

Indra Sukirno director of the Jakarta Convention and Exhibition Bureau said that the business events sector was also picking up. Recent domestic trade exhibitions had seen a surge in demand and greater interest from overseas exhibitors and buyers. The week-long Indonesia International Motor Show has been forced to relocate its venue to the Jakarta International Expo (JIExpo) grounds for its event this year as it had now outgrown the space available at the Balai Sidang Jakarta Convention Centre, where it has been held for almost a decade.

The Jakarta Fair, which opened on Thursday at the JIExpo, is targeting an average of 100,000 visitors per day, or a total of 3.2 million visitors and US$30 million in revenue until it closes in a month's time. Around 2,500 companies and government bodies are participating in the fair, which comprises 13 exhibition zones spread across 44 hectares.,,

Kenny Coyle

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