Minor Hotels CEO and parent company Minor International’s COO spoke candidly about his company’s market position in the hotel industry. We hear his thought on the future of Minor.
From Minor to major player
Minor Hotels, a hotel group under the umbrella of Minor International, is riding high in the hospitality industry right now. It is currently in the process of trying to buy up HNA’s shares in the Spanish company NH Hotel Group, which would mean that Minor Hotels would be propelled from 68th biggest hotel group in the world to the 19th, judged by room total across the two groups. If the tender is accepted, says that the two private companies would still be separate entities, continuing to base Minor in Thailand and NH in Spain, a shrewd move in enabling a greater geographical crossover of guests. At one point Hyatt was also bidding for the tender, but retracted their offer, which called “an embarrassment”, to put them out of the running.
Growth in diversity
Minor hotels has a number of strategies when it comes to fostering the growth of the company. While many groups are favouring franchise agreements and management contracts instead of building new hotels, Rajakarier says the doubling down on offloading or acquiring assets is not how Minor plays it, but rather that the group focuses on assessing the criteria of any given hotel or area and making a decision based on that. Rajakarier elaborates, saying, “In places where liquidity terms are higher, we want to own. In those where they aren’t, we don’t invest in assets. In those places we will only manage hotels. For us, it’s a balance between asset light and asset heavy.”
Another is to possess a diverse portfolio of services, and Minor has many strings to its bow. Its main areas of operation include 2,100 restaurants, 300 retail trading outlets, 160 hotels, and 60 spas located in over 40 different countries around the world. Rajakarier explains, “We have the hotels, we’re food, and what we call lifestyle and fashion. This whole business, of course, is very complementary to the hotel business. When you look at food and beverage, even our hotels produce about close to 35 to 40 percent in terms of food and beverage, and therefore we also operate the food chains as well. It’s complementary, as well.”
Asia Pacific in boom time for tourism
Being based in Thailand, Minor knows the Asia Pacific region well, and has seen the numbers of tourists explode in in the past. Now, they are acutely aware of the knock-on effects of the Chinese tourism boom, which naturally draws people further into the region and is only a good thing for the Asia Pacific hotel market. “I think today there’s a lot of regional travel from the Chinese, but at the same time, they are also now going further, as well. And this is where we can easily drive that traffic to Europe, because there are places where people, when they start to travel, they go to London, New York, and places like that. Also, they go to some of the top destinations in Asia, like Thailand, Bali and the Maldives,” said Rajakarier. Read more about his comments and Minor’s growth here.
Let’s take a look at a few other projects currently underway by Minor Hotel Group: