Seibu to replace Prince with Westin in new Hawaii hotel strategy
Japanese hotel group seeks to turn a profit with help of popular brand
TOKYO -- Japanese railway and hotel group Seibu Holdings will partner with Westin Hotels & Resorts, counting on a popular overseas brand to help turn its money-losing Hawaii business around.
Seibu has recently signed a franchise agreement with Starwood, the U.S. group operating Westin hotels. Seibu's Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel will adopt the Westin brand and discontinue the Prince brand. Core Seibu group member Prince Hotels will continue to operate the hotel.
Seibu plans to invest about 5 billion yen ($45.7 million) to renovate the Hapuna Beach hotel, located on the island of Hawaii, in an effort to improve the occupancy rate to 70% from 60% now and raise the average daily rate to $300 from $230. The project is expected to wrap up in June 2018.
In the state of Hawaii, Seibu has two hotels sporting the Prince name. The Hapuna Beach hotel caters mostly to U.S. customers, while Prince Waikiki, located on the island of Oahu, is popular among Japanese tourists and has an occupancy rate of more than 90%.
Seibu targets an operating profit of 600 million yen from its Hawaii business for the year ending March 2019.