An estimated RM18 million has been invested by the Naza Hotels Management group on their rebranding exercise.
The group, which also operates two other hotels in Melaka and Penang, says it is looking towards 2010 with optimism.
"Right now we are running at a 50% occupancy rate at our 136-room three-star hotel here, which is just about the average for most of the major hotels in Johor Baru, but I believe things will change for the better come 2010.
"It's a very challenging market, especially in Johor Baru, but given what we have invested in, we are confident we can achieve a 70% occupancy rate next year," says Nur Nadia SM Nasimuddin, the director of Naza Hotel Management at the official launch of the hotel by the Johor Baru district officer, Yahya Mohd Salleh.
The Naza Hotel Management, which is part of the Naza Group of companies, is also planning to open a new hotel in Kuala Lumpur and to also co-manage the Crowne Plaza LA Harbor Hotel in California.
But it's the Malaysian hospitality market which provides the greatest challenge.
"We are anticipating some tough challenges ahead, especially in our niche market, where the expected growth in the tourism market is coupled with new hotels coming into business. More so in Johor Baru.
"There are talks that three more hotels are in the pipeline in Johor Baru, which will add to the competition," Nur Nadia adds.
But an aggressive marketing plan, which includes the availability of on-line booking and their presence at major trade and travel fairs next year, should help achieve company target, she said. -- Bernama
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