W Hotels looking to open another outlet in S'pore

The W Hotel brand may open another outlet in central Singapore, in addition to one in Sentosa Cove.

W Hotels Worldwide global brand leader Anthony Ingham told a briefing yesterday: "We are looking at different sites, but we are fussy... It's a case of waiting for the right piece of land, the right time, and the right partner."

W Hotels, one of Starwood Hotels & Resorts' fastest growing brands, expects to have about 75 hotels worldwide by 2020, up from about 46 now.

The pipeline is evenly spread with 10 operating in the Asia-Pacific, with another 13 announced and under construction and about five more that have not yet been announced.

The brand and its growth is unlikely to be affected by Marriott International's acquisition of Starwood, as there appears to be no intention to consolidate the 30 brands under both companies, Mr Ingham said. Marriott's lifestyle Edition brand may be seen to compete in the same space as W Hotel but that is a slightly different consumer proposition.

"A W is a much more irreverent, light-hearted destination hotel which is design driven. An Edition is a slightly more sophisticated, subdued, trendy lifestyle hotel," said Mr Ingham.

"They compete for the same customer but our joint customer one day wants a W experience and another time, an Edition (one)."

But it appears that consolidation of hotel companies will continue due to the nature of global distribution and global brands, where scale becomes increasingly important, he added.

In such a landscape, "the single biggest threat for brands is that consumers are moving much faster than most brands. The speed of change will make dinosaurs of anyone who can't keep up".

This article was first published on May 20, 2016.
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