As a major commercial gateway to Malaysia, the Klang Valley is enjoying tremendous economic growth.
“Housing Malaysia’s main international gateways – KLIA and Port Klang, one of the world’s busiest container ports and Kuala Lumpur’s main cruise hub – the dynamic Klang Valley is at the very heart of Malaysia’s national economy,” says Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Southeast Asia and Pacific Rim president and managing director Ooi Joon Aun.
This makes it the perfect place for global hotel brands like Wyndham to set up shop.
Wyndham is the world’s largest hotel franchising company with approximately 9,200 hotels across more than 80 countries.
The brand is set to launch its landmark hotel, Wyndham Acmar Klang, soon.
Located just 30 minutes from Kuala Lumpur and close to three major highways, the property will be the first international upscale hotel in Klang.
The hotel is expected to appeal to business travellers, meeting planners and leisure guests, as well as be a focal point for conferences and events, providing companies with the facilities they need for important events.
This is Wyndham Hotels & Resorts’ fifth hotel in Malaysia. The others include Days Hotel & Suites in Kuala Lumpur, Ramada Plaza in Melaka and Ramada by Wyndham Meridin in Johor Baru. There are also 10 more properties in the pipeline. The hotel chain owns 21 globally established brands, and plans to open hotels under these new brands in Malaysia, such as TRYP by Wyndham, Wyndham and Dolce by Wyndham.
Ooi believes that the hospitality industry has evolved significantly in the past two decades. With the advancement of technology, where the world is now increasingly connected. From the introduction of new hotel brands and concepts to digital platforms that offer alternative and unique accommodation options, hoteliers are seeing more competition from traditional and non-traditional players. The priorities of the 21st century traveller are also evolving and there needs to be a seamless customer journey experience, especially on mobile platforms.
“The challenge is to ensure our brands and hotels continue to add value to our guest experiences in a digitised market, while still maintaining that personal touch,” he says.
Ooi is optimistic about the future of the travel and hospitality industry because of the growing group of people who are able to travel more than ever before, coupled with the increasingly affordable cost of air travel.
He is also confident that the industry will continue to grow in the next five years, given Malaysia’s close proximity to China, the largest source of outbound travellers.
“Tourism in South-East Asia is booming with the region supporting close to 10% year-on-year growth in international tourist arrivals. In Malaysia alone, tourist arrivals and receipts have increased by almost 20% and 70% respectively just within the last decade. The first five months of the year also saw Malaysia’s tourism industry recording a positive growth of 4.8% with Asean countries maintaining the lead as the biggest contributor of international tourist arrivals,” he notes.
The country is also fast establishing itself as a gateway to Asia’s emerging markets.
“Malaysia was recently ranked in the Top 10 in Asia for human development and innovation, and globally, it is recognised as a top prospective destination for multinational corporations, and the Top Five most cost-competitive cities,” he says.