1 April 2001
Versatile Hospitality Bases Attuned To Business ( Hotel & Business Centre )(HKTDC Hong Kong Trade Services, Vol 01,2001)
Vol 1, 2001
HOTELS & BUSINESS CENTRES
|Leading companies, large and small alike, frequently conduct business functions in Hong Kong hotels. Shown are meeting facilities at the Harbour Plaza Hong Kong.|
DESPITE high Hong Kong living costs, an investment in planning and research can contribute to holding accommodation and business-facility expenses within most budgets.
Eighty-one member hotels in the Hong Kong Hotels Assn offer 35,566 rooms. Officially, Hong Kong hotels are not star-rated. In a unique arrangement, their rates determine qualifications: High Tariff A, High Tariff B, Medium, Guesthouse or Hostel. Most offer special deals with substantial discounts and value-added incentives.
"We cooperate with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) in offering special rates to trade-fair visitors. Depending on the time, discounts range from 30-50%," says Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel assistant director of corporate sales Lucetta Chan.
Located near the Star Ferry terminal in Kowloon, the Marco Polo Hongkong attracts business travellers seeking an accessible location in a famous shopping district.
Another hotel attracting trade-fair visitors is the Harbour Plaza Hong Kong in Hung Hom, offering spectacular harbour views within a five-minute ride to Mass Transit Railway (MTR) and Airport Express stations.
"We usually offer promotional packages for business people if approached by organizations like the TDC," says senior public relations officer Cherry Ma.
|The Renaissance Harbour View Hotel adjacent to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre is adept at meeting the needs of international business travellers.|
"Our rates are attractive, and we have a lot of regular business clients, especially from the Chinese mainland, Europe and Japan. Mainlanders account for about 35% of our clientele," says director of sales Edith Leung.
Most Hong Kong hotels supply high-calibre business facilities and services, including on executive or club floors. These may involve 24-hour business centres, in-room faxes, round-the-clock butler service, full meeting facilities and a library.
Business people in Hong Kong for longer periods and SMEs wanting hassle-free instant offices may turn to non-hotel business centres. Dozens fulfil numerous needs. Space is available for a few hours or on a longer term basis to anyone wishing to leave the actual running of offices to others.
"Our clients are mostly foreign companies without headquarters in Hong Kong. Most rent our space for half a year," says manager Aileen Wong from Plaza Business Centre in Central Plaza, one of Hong Kong's tallest buildings.
Naturally, most such centres are in prime business districts. The Business Executive Centre in Central is a medium-sized example with basic rental packages that include furniture, telephone, fax and receptionist services.
A basic business-address service, including fax and phone, typically costs HK$2,500 per month. Office space frequently ranges from HK$4,000 per month to HK$15,000 in more prestigious areas.
BUSINESS centres on the Chinese mainland are concentrated in major cities to serve overseas travellers often unfamiliar with business practices there.
"Instead of wasting days or weeks sorting out office space, our clients can walk into Regus business centres to have an instant office, slide into a work station, get data cabling or gain access to video conferencing," says Regus Business Centre Ltd's marketing manager for the Asia-Pacific region, Helen O'Neil.
"Business travellers can fly in on Friday evening and out on Monday morning, having done all their business at our centre."
Regus, a leading business-centre provider, has two locations in Beijing and one in Shanghai. Its Beijing Lufthansa Centre is in the Chinese capital's business and diplomatic district while its Beijing Pacific Century Place has a prominent address in the new Chaoyang business and finance district.
Convenient locations are assets for regular business travellers. "Obviously, we are happy about the Beijing Olympics," adds O'Neil. Mainland accession to the World Trade Organization also bodes well.
Two years ago, Plaza Business Centre Beijing opened in Chaoyang district. "The occupancy rate is almost 100%, and we have a waiting list, so we will open another centre in Beijing later this year," says Aileen Wong, manager of the Plaza Business Centre in Hong Kong.
"Our business centres give peace of mind to clients who may be new to the mainland and not know how to handle red tape and other complications.
"We also offer a start-up service whereby we help companies begin by securing business registration and fulfilling other requirements."
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