Asia’s low-cost hotel chains aim to give the world value for money

Asia’s low-cost hotel chains aim to give the world value for money

A new partnership struck between two of the leaders of the "low-cost" hotel movements -- Red Planet Hotels and Tune Hotels -- looks set to amp up the development of cheap hotel rooms across the region, while they look to spread their footprint into Europe and the Middle East at the same time.

"If you look at the Asia-Pacific tourism industry as a pyramid, demand for low cost hotels would be the bottom and supply would be the top segment," Red Planet Hotels CEO Tim Hansing told Relaxnews. "At the moment in Asia there is no one low-cost hotel brand you can find everywhere and that's what we will address through this partnership."

More rooms to cater for the rise of visits to Asia

Red Planet Hotels will have 10 hotels in the region up and running by the end of the year, offering 1,623 rooms, while a further 10 hotels for 3,191 rooms combined will be operating by the end of 2013.

Tune Hotels -- set up by Air Asia founder Tony Fernandez -- currently has 24 hotels (3,859 rooms) open across the world and has 38 more (with 10,106 rooms) in development in such diverse markets as Scotland, Saudi Arabia and Australia.

But Asia remains the main initial focus of the collaboration now and for good reason, too, with travel industry estimates putting the number of tourists in Asia this year to reach 250 billion this year -- and 450 million by 2020.

"The concept of low cost hotels is the same as low cost airlines -- you get what you pay for and if you want extra you pay extra," said Hansing.

Tune Hotel rooms are generally around 14 square meters in size and guests "pay as you go" for things such as TV and internet and air-conditioning.

For that you can have a double room at the chain's hotel in Pattaya, Thailand for around 400 baht (10 euros) a night.

Reaching out through social media

Hansing says the main market for low-cost hotels is the under-35s and to that end the companies have been quick to latch on to the rise of social media.

"On the Red Planet website we post regular updates on how our project are coming along, with photos, so people can see how we are developing," said Hansing. "We also have the Red Planet Club with photo-sharing options. These days it is all about engaging the guest with the hotel and their experiences."

MS