Seoul has become the arena for competition among global business hotels. Not only domestic hotel chains but also foreign ones are scrambling to construct and open new business hotels to attract more customers who are on a business trip.
According to hotel industry sources on March 25, a considerable amount of new business hotels has opened and will be opened this year. In particular, global hotel brands are opening their second-brand business hotels, making the market more competitive than ever. Business hotels have stronger individuality and offer services at a more reasonable price than five-star hotels.
Marriott International will open its business hotel chains “Four Points by Sheraton Seoul Gangnam” in Garosu-gil of Sinsa-dong, Seoul, on March 30 and “RYSE, Autograph Collection” in Seogyo-dong, Seoul, in where Seogyo Hotel was located before on April 24.
Domestic hotel brands are also setting a counter fire. Hotel Lotte Co. opened its lifestyle brand hotel “L7 Gangnam” in Yeoksam-dong, Seoul, at the end of last year. It was the first business hotel launched by Lotte in Gangnam. Daelim Industrial Co. also opened its GLAD Hotel at Coex in Gangnam, Seoul, in December last year and will open another one in Gongdeok-dong of Mapo-gu, Seoul, at the end of this month.
Recently, a growing number of lodging companies is opening their new business hotels in Gangnam and Mapo because foreign tourists in South Korea have shown a shift in travel patterns. In the past, most tourists visited South Korea in a group for shopping, mainly in Myeong-dong, like Chinese tourists, known as “youkers.” However, a growing number of tourists visiting the country is individuals who enjoy free travelling these days like “sankers”. For domestic consumers, young people in their 20s and 30s who are seeking rational consumption prefer show a high level of preference in business hotels.
In addition, global hotel brands are focusing more on business hotels than five-star hotels. Marriott International, a global leading travel company that offers numerous hotel brands across the world, operates a total of 16 hotel brands in South Korea and six of them are business hotels, such as Four Points by Sheraton, Courtyard and Aloft. It will also open five more new business hotels in the country by the end of next year including Fairfield by Marriott.