Travelodge Honmachi Osaka,
a joint project between ASEAN and Japan – The reason of speedy opening
Travelodge Honmachi Osaka which opened at the end of September 2022 is a mid-scale hotel located in Honmachi, Chuo-Ku, Osaka, Japan. Plenitude Berhad (hereinafter Plenitude), a public listed company in Malaysia with core interest in property development, property investment and hospitality, purchased and renovated the hotel. The hotel is now operated by Travelodge Hotels (Asia) Pte. Ltd.
This project is the first project for Plenitude in Japan. Despite of the complication of the project which involved 3 countries namely Singapore, Malaysia and Japan, the Hotel was able to start operations in just 7 months from its basic plan.
The reason it was accomplished within such a short time is the collaboration of Plus PM Co., Ltd. in Japan and Plus PM Consultant Sdn. Bhd. based in Malaysia. Today, we would like to introduce why Plenitude wanted to start the hotel business soon, how we overcame the differences of business practices between ASEAN and Japan, and the role of Plus PM when non-Japanese companies starts business in Japan.
7 months renovation to seize business opportunities
Project Department Senior Manager
Phuvan Selva Vela
“Japan is a fascinating country, and it remains as one of the top key destinations for travellers globally.” said Mr. Phuvan Selva Vela, the Project Department Senior Manager of Plenitude. Covid-19 has caused the closing of international borders for the past 2 years and it had affected tourism severely all over the world. In February 2022, while Japan was imposing stricter measures compared to other countries, this project had started. The project is to renovate a mid-scale hotel and open a new hotel as Travelodge Honmachi Osaka.
“We kept abreast of the Covid-19 situation and measures imposed in Japan and saw the gradual shifting to the new normal (living with coronavirus). We had no doubt that many tourists would come back when Japan lifts its measures and thought we should not miss the opportunity to start the hotel operation. In fact, right after the hotel's opening, the Japanese government relaxed some measures.” (Phuvan)
Plus PM Co., Ltd.(Plus PM Consultant)
Travelodge Honmachi Osaka is located in a strategic location convenient for sightseeing, great accessibility to public transportation, provides spacious rooms and bathrooms as well as comfortable stay and quality service.
Teamwork of Plus PM supporting to run business in Japan
Plus PM Co., Ltd.
In this project, we appointed project managers in both Japan and Malaysia. Plus PM Consultant Sdn. Bhd. conducted briefing on what Plenitude wish to accomplish, and the Global Division of Plus PM Co., Ltd. coordinated with the contractor.
“The goal was to open the new hotel before tourists return to Japan. We must seize the business opportunity and not delay the opening. As this was our first business venture in Japan, we were concerned about the know-how of promoting construction projects in Japan and how to communicate with Japanese contractors. For better cultural understanding and smoother communication among the contractors and other companies, we decided to use the service of CM. There were 2 candidate companies for CM and when we asked some of the Japanese contractors and hotel operators for advice, they suggested us Plus PM.” (Phuvan)
In the project, in fact, it is more challenging to manage or establish agreements from companies concerned than in the construction itself.
“For example, we had difficulty in negotiating with some of the tenants which had been in the hotel before the renovation. Our new hotel requires a brand-new look both inside and outside the hotel. We asked the tenants to renovate their exterior to match the brand image, but it didn't go as smoothly as we expected. During that time, Plus PM supported us by negotiating and proposing options to them. Thanks to the efforts, we managed to achieve the exterior that both Travelodge and the tenants wished.” (Phuvan)
Opened 3 months earlier and keep 80-90% occupancy rate since opening!
According to the original schedule, the opening of the hotel would have been in December 2022. However, to seize the business opportunity post-covid, we made the schedule 3 months shorter by various methods. Even though it was a multi-national and complicated project, we succeeded in completing the project and opening of the new hotel within 7 months. We asked Phuvan how it was achieved.
“The key was teamwork between Plus PM and Plenitude. Although we have cultural differences as well as language barrier, we were able to open our minds and cooperated well with each other. That enabled us to open the hotel within such a short time. We are satisfied and happy with the service of Plus PM.” (Phuvan)
The hotel has opened at the end of September 2022, and as of the beginning of November, the occupancy rate of the hotel already reached 80 to 90%, which showed a very good start.
The world is shifting to the new normal post Covid-19, and the foreign tourists are increasing in Japan. With this movement, it is more likely that the more companies will consider having construction projects in Japan. Plus PM Co., Ltd. and Plus PM Consultant Sdn. Bhd. will fully support the companies which like to enter Japanese market.
From the project managers
Support for entering Japanese business
This project is the first project in Japan for the client and is the first inbound project for the contractors and us.
I felt nervous at first because I have never been in charge of such project. However, thanks to Plus PM Consultant Sdn Bhd based in Malaysia, we could grasp what the client needed, and provide our utmost service.
The reason we achieved the success in the project despite of many challenges we have never encountered before was the strong relationship and cooperation among the team. The bond was built by numbers of discussions we had until everyone was satisfied. The client also well-cooperated and was willing to spend time with us.
I believe Travelodge Honmachi Osaka is very convenient and suitable for any purposes and can provide the best service to every customer.
It was an honor to support a foreign client for a smooth work in Japan even though it was quite difficult for the client to come to Japan under the Covid situation and the client had a very limited time to check the actual site.
As a fair third party, Plus PM discussed with the contractor and investigated the site on behalf of the client. I believe that helped make up the gaps which we could not make up online. Since we have members who had experiences overseas, communication went smoothly as well.
I assume that we are getting more projects from overseas from now on. This project was a good first step to show our international management so that clients can rely on.
|Operator||Travelodge Hotels (Asia) Pte. Ltd.|
|Locations||Chuo-Ku, Osaka City, Osaka|
|No. of Storey||14 storeys, 138 rooms|
|CM(PM)||Plus PM Co., Ltd.|
|Design supervision||LUCKLAND CO., LTD.|
|Contractor||LUCKLAND CO., LTD.|
|Construction period||February 2022 – September 2022|