Home Inns to focus on mid-range brand and business travel platform
Home Inns will expand its Homeinn Plus hotels by 80 to 100 properties this year, as well as launch its Qiake-in guest platform.
ChinaTravelNews – Home Inns will expand its collection of Homeinn Plus hotels to include 80 to 100 properties this year, as well as launch its Qiake-in guest platform to aggregate business travel and social interaction data.
Home Inns’s CEO David Sun said the overlooked potential of the mid-range business hotel market presents an opportunity much like the situation for the development of budget hotel market years ago, and the group is taking advantage of this to develop the new Homeinn Plus brand.
Mr. Sun said the refurbishment cost for Homeinns Plus hotels, at RMB85,000 to RMB90,000 per room, is lower than those of its Yitel brand at RMB120,000 to RMB125,000, which is double that of its standard Home Inns brand.
About 30 to 40 of the hotels to be launched under the Homeinn Plus brand this year are existing high-quality properties remodeled to fit into the brand category, and the other properties will be new builds.
Commenting on the competition in this market, Mr. Sun said: “There’s plenty of room in the mid-range hotel market as it is still in the initial stages of development, so all market players have a chance to test the waters and set up their own niche brand. I believe everyon's market positions will become clearer in three to five years.”
“Besides development of mid-range hotels, we also hope to leverage a platform to make a multi-channel hotel ecosystem. Home Inns has more than 3,000 hotels across China with turnover of 100 million stays per year. We have a significant critical mass for social interaction that can be leveraged to develop other businesses. For example we are trying out partnerships with supermarkets to sell local specialties, and we have had a monthly turnover of RMB10 million for selling beddings in our hotels. We will also introduce experiential products, event-related mechandise and local specialties for sale in our hotel platforms,” Mr. Sun said.
Home Inns is also focusing on the launch of its business travel and social interaction data collection platform Qiake-in. The platform will serve as a link for offline aspects of the business, including hotels’ physical spaces and business activities, and the online business travel sector. Mr. Sun said Home Inns preferential platform and Qiake-in platform are attempts to convert the online traffic volume of loyalty members into commercial benefits.
Huamei Hotel Consulting CIO and economist Huanyuan Zhao thinks that leveraging site traffic will be another channel for Home Inn to develop new profit avenues at a time when the profit margins for traditional accommodation industry are thinning.(Translation by David)