Travel, Tourism & Hospitality

BHMA looks to the ME tourist market

Bespoke Hospitality Management Asia (BHMA), a regional Asian Pacific hotel management company owned by Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG), is looking to expand its reach and draw more visitors to its unique hotels, with a special focus on the Middle East.

Speaking to Paul Wilson, executive vice president commercial, BHMA Hotels & Resorts, at the Arabian Travel Market show in Dubai last month, he said: "The GCC is definitely an important market for us as we are seeing an increase in visitor numbers from the region to destinations where our hotels are located. In fact, we are seeing a rise in the number of solo women travellers from the Middle East and they love our product as it is different and unique. Another sector that we are looking to develop is the Mice and incentive space, and we hope to draw business travellers to our hotels as well."

BHMA current operates 23 properties across Australia, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam, with a further 20 in the pipeline set to open in the next two years.

Brands under the BHMA portfolio include X2 (Cross To): Luxury by design – accessible five-star hotels and resorts; X2 Vibe: Mid-scale lifestyle hotels and resorts targeting millennials; and Away Resorts and Villas: Casual resorts and retreats.

"Our value offering is very different, people are wanting to move away from the big known brands, they want something quite trendy and unique. And what we offer in Asia is very different. We have a vegan-only resort in Chiangmai, the top Pet resort just outside of Bangkok (pet menus, pet beds, pet swimming pools), and Asia’s sixth best hotel in BYE Lofts by X2 in Patong Beach, rated higher than the Mandarin Oriental)," Wilson said.

"We are opening a five-star X2 in Pattaya and in Bali this month (May 2019) and an X2 Resort and Residence in Hoi An in Q4, plus two big signings happening in Vietnam - these are part of our 20 mentioned above," noted Wilson.

When asked about expansion plans outside of Asia, Wilson said: "Asia is the core of the business, but like anything, if a hotel makes, sense, that is what you go after."

The Maldives is a market we will be going after with a couple of projects in the pipeline, as well as Singapore and Japan," he said.

With regards to the GCC, Wilson noted that more efforts will have to be made to raise awareness of the BHMA portfolio in the Middle East before embarking on the expansion bandwagon in the region. - TradeArabia News Service