Hotel Zouk on the cards as Genting unveils big plans

Hotel Zouk on the cards as Genting unveils big plans

Kuala Lumpur - WHEN Genting Hong Kong (GHK) set its sights on Zouk Singapore, it saw in the iconic club not just a compelling fit with its business segments but also a brand that it could internationalise and grow with its resources.

"When we looked at Zouk, it was all synergistic because when you look at Genting Hong Kong, it's all entertainment products and experiences as well," executive director and chief information officer Lim Keong Hui said.

In a recent interview, he revealed some of the plans in place to leverage the Zouk brand that could see GHK emerge as a leading leisure and entertainment player in the coming years. The group bought Zouk late last year.

These include hotels and an expansion of the popular ZoukOut festival from its "home base" in Singapore to other areas in the region, especially North Asia.

After the recent ZoukOut in Borocay in the Philippines, the festival could be making its way to Tokyo in the summer, he said, although that has not been confirmed.

The group is also planning to bring Zouk together with its core cruise business, with millennials expected to drive growth.

Take Beatship, acquired before Zouk, and now rebranded as Beatship by Zouk. "It's basically a party-on-the-ship concept, a Lan Kwai Fong-at-sea or Clarke Quay- at-sea," explained the 31-year-old, who is the eldest son of Genting group chairman Lim Kok Thay.

The activity filled 3-day/2-night cruise sails between Guangzhou's Nansha port and Hong Kong.

"It will probably take a couple more events before it gets rolling as it's a very new concept in China," he said. Given its huge potential - especially for GHK's core cruise business - China is obviously a priority market.

The Hong Kong-listed cruise operator, which has a secondary listing on the Singapore Exchange (SGX), is eagerly awaiting the delivery of its luxury new Dream Cruise ships. When the Dream Cruises are launched, the company plans to roll out Zouk beach club and Zouk club as well.

Mr Lim highlights the importance of social media. "People post pictures on Facebook and Instagram as they want to relive the moment, and Zouk is very important because it plays a lot into that kind of experience. You go to Zouk because you want to have a good time, to meet new friends."

This experience could be extended to other hospitality segments, he indicated, "such as a hotel either under the Zouk name or an extension".

"That's the vision, anyway."

This article was first published on June 4, 2016.
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