IN RESPONSE to the tariff war that occurred in Bali, especially in the Ubud area, as well as the post-pandemic Meeting, Incentives, Convention & Exhibition (MICE) issue and the percentage of guests targeted at hotel properties, here are the reviews of Sven Remo, General Manager of SenS Hotel & Spa + Conference in a virtual interview with recently.

As a result of the hotel rate war that occurred in Bali, especially in Ubud Bali due to the unbalanced ratio of the number of rooms and the number of tourists, what tips did you do for SenS Hotels & Spa + Conference Ubud, Bali to move quickly in attracting tourists?
The tariff war is undeniable, due to the current supply of hotel rooms versus the number of guests who come to Ubud and Bali in general. However, we from the management and sales side did research to find out the needs of the current market. We then adjusted the market conditions to the conditions of our two hotel properties, then created promotional packages needed by the market while maintaining hotel quality standards and attractive prices, including value added benefits as additional benefits to attract clients’ interest.

In your opinion, do you need to make arrangements, especially in terms of the trade system? Currently in Bali there is over supply, mostly hotel rooms. If I’m not mistaken there are about 40% of the rooms are vacant throughout the year, what is your opinion about this?
In my opinion, the Balinese government should be more strictly in this regard, where there must be special rules now to limit the number of new hotels built in each district. In particular, oversupply has occurred in Badung, Denpasar and Gianyar districts.

The Balinese government must be more selective and for the next few years only issue new hotel permits to be built in other areas such as Tabanan, Buleleng, Jemrana, Klungkung, Bangli and Karangasem where these areas also have their own unique attractions (beautiful beaches and beautiful areas, beautiful mountains).

But the government must also give investors the initiative/support to develop in the area, such as repairing/adding road access to the area, for example the existence of toll roads or bypasses to speed up traveling time to these areas. Note: to get to Bangli by car, it takes 3 hours. Meanwhile, to the State area (in Jembrana) it takes +/-4 hours.

What do you think, with the tariff war at the hotelier, can it reduce the quality of service, including the products displayed for Bali tourism in the future? Is it also necessary to standardize hotel room rates?
The current tariff war in Bali will certainly reduce the quality provided to guests. Honestly, all companies will not want to lose money, but if the hotel is more concerned with providing the lowest price, then of course their operational costs will also be suppressed, which will greatly affect the quality obtained by guests. For example, the reduction of amenities in the room, hotel facilities, and others; which in the end will greatly disappoint the guests.

I think it is necessary to standardize the lowest price for all five-star hotels in Indonesia so that the image and quality of the hotel is maintained. For example, if there is a 5-star hotel that sells for under IDR1 million, it is necessary to ask what kind of quality guests will get?

In my opinion ideal Lowest price Hotel: 3 Stars: Room Only IDR550,000, Room with Breakfast IDR700,000, 4 Stars: Room Only IDR750,000, Room with Breakfast IDR950,000, 5 Stars: Room Only IDR1,100,000, Room with Breakfast IDR1,400,000. As for the highest price, I think the hotel can determine for themselves the facilities/quality/service that will be provided to guests.

How is the MICE market especially for your hotel? Can you say how much is the presentation target for this year compared to last year? Optimistic in what year the MICE market, especially in Ubud, will return to normal?
During the 2021-2022 pandemic, the MICE market demand is still there, but the number of participants is significantly reduced and with a budget that can be said to be almost 50% down from our previous standard price. During the 2020-2022 pandemic, the majority of our MICE business is from the government sector.

Bali is now at PPKM level 1 and we are very optimistic that the MICE business from the domestic and foreign markets will recover in mid-2023 and will be back to normal in 2024; provided there is no increase in the new PPKM rate. We also hope that in 2024, with the election, there should be more government activities/events at hotels.

Can you mention the average occupancy rate for your hotel?
At this time the Occupancy rate of our two hotels is still not stable and ranges from 1%-35% (fluctuating). We hope that the government will play an active role in opening up access and playing a more important role in visiting/increasing the number of flights from foreign airlines that come to Bali.

With more flights to Bali, the price of plane tickets will be more affordable for guests who want to vacation in Bali.

Can you mention the percentage of domestic and foreign tourists targeted for your two properties?
For now, we are targeting all the existing potential markets. This is slightly different from previous years where Ubud was more dominated by foreign markets.

So, in the current situation, we do not set a specific percentage for each targeted market. When conditions return to normal, of course we will retarget the percentage per each market.

Can you mention the reason why the German hotel chain, WorldHotels, partnered with the two hotel Seres Hotels and Resorts and the Sens Hotel Spa and Conference, both of which are located in Ubud?
Both of our hotels have a different concept from other properties in Ubud. Our hotel concept is Modern Hotels in Traditional Balinese Surrounding. Meanwhile, WorldHotels consists of a collection of the best independent hotels and resorts in the world. Every WorldHotels property (Including our two hotels) is as beautiful as its destination. This provides an unforgettable guest experience.

To date, WorldHotels has 250 Hotel/Resort properties in over 200 iconic destinations around the world where each collection has its own character and identity, and offers unrivaled experiences, the highest standards of service, and a deep sense of belonging.

The WorldHotels collection consists of: WorldHotels Luxury – Exceptional service, supremely superior accommodations and state-of-the-art facilities, WorldHotels Elite – Stylish properties with local flair with First Class service, WorldHotels Distinctive – Property Hotels in the most strategic neighborhoods, and offering a great stay experience different and affordable and WorldHotels Crafted – Hotel properties that crave creativity, experience and service to create an emotional connection for all staying guests. []