Raffles International Limited and Hotel Okura Co Ltd have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a strategic alliance. Under this strategic alliance, both parties will discuss and explore business opportunities in areas including hotel development, acquisition of hotel management contracts; joint marketing and promotion activities; and joint procurement, including e-procurement.
The signing of this MOU enables both Raffles International and Hotel Okura Co. Ltd to explore and develop reciprocal and joint activities that harness each other’s strengths in their respective stronghold markets. The geographical distribution of both companies’ hotel portfolios is complementary. Raffles International has a global footprint of luxury and deluxe hotels spread throughout 33 destinations across the Americas, Asia, Australia, Europe and Middle East Mediterranean while Hotel Okura Co. Ltd, with 23 hotels, has a strong domestic network in Japan and in select international primary destinations.
Mr. Richard Helfer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Raffles International Limited said, “There is great potential for creating tremendous synergy between both companies. The prospects of working with each other are exciting as we now have more avenues and in-roads available for us to achieve our common goals of growing our networks, expanding our portfolios, and increasing brand equity.”
Representing Hotel Okura Co. Ltd, President and Chief Executive Officer Mikio Matsui added, “From a long-term perspective, progress in strategic alliances will consist of creating new value-added for hotel users of both brands. This alliance makes it possible to build a global network and greater convenience and loyalty benefits for each other`s customers. I expect that both companies will in future gain unique assets from active exchange of our managerial knowledge and operational technologies.”
Raffles Holdings’ Deputy Chairman and CapitaLand’s President and CEO, Mr Liew Mun Leong, said, “Raffles International’s proposed strategic alliance will expand CapitaLand’s presence in Japan which includes commercial and residential developments. We are honoured to work with an established partner like Hotel Okura Co Limited. This will further CapitaLand’s strategy to grow our offering of branded products and services globally and enlarge our scale of operations in key markets like Japan.”
Under the alliance, both companies are exploring several joint marketing activities. Both hope to leverage upon each other’s marketing infrastructure to significantly widen its sales distribution and marketing channels including voice and electronic reservations. Another activity that both organizations are exploring to galvanize this partnership is in the area of tapping each other’s database resources. Raffles International currently maintains a membership base of its international frequent loyal guests, with members primarily from Asia, Europe and the Americas. Hotel Okura Co Ltd’s membership base comprises international as well as domestic frequent travellers, with a majority residing in Japan. By taking advantage of their combined databases of frequent guests, both hotel companies can effectively widen their reach in direct marketing, promotions and partnership programmes. In addition to the above, other areas for marketing being developed include, joint sales events and participation in travel trade shows, group lead referrals and hyper links between and features in each other’s websites.
In the area of procurement, Raffles International operates hospitalitybex, a business-to-business electronic marketplace for the hospitality and service industry. hospitalitybex offers a solution that streamlines the entire procurement process thereby enabling hospitality and service organizations to eliminate inefficiencies and reduce costs across the entire supply chain and is currently being implemented worldwide in Raffles International Hotels. It enables product and service sourcing, negotiation, selection, ordering, fulfillment and reporting.
If pursuant to the MOU, and with possible opportunities to work together, Raffles International and Hotel Okura Co Ltd will benefit from the aggregation of their purchasing volumes, allowing them to manage their procurement and supply chain operations effectively and efficiently and drive cost savings.
About Hotel Okura
Hotel Okura Co., Ltd. was established in 1958. The company owns and operates Okura Hotels & Resorts, to which belong 23 renowned hotels, 16 in Japan and seven overseas.
Hotel Okura Tokyo, the flagship hotel of Okura Hotels & Resorts, was named the number-one hotel in the world by Euromoney in 1985, ranked second in the world by Institutional Investor in 1981 and is today considered the number-one hotel in Japan and a leading hotel of the world. Okura Hotels & Resorts also includes the Okura Garden Hotel Shanghai, Hotel Okura Amsterdam, The Shilla Seoul, Halekulani in Hawaii and many others that are the number one in their region and leading hotels of the world.
About Raffles International
Raffles International Limited, formed in 1989, is a name well respected in the industry for its standards of quality, award-winning concepts and innovative approach towards hotel management.
Raffles International’s hotels and resorts are marketed under a two-tiered brand structure. The “Raffles brand” hotels distinguish themselves by the highest standards of products and services available in major cities on an international level. The “Swiss™tel” and “Merchant Court” hotels offer quality accommodation and the full range of modern facilities and amenities expected by today’s discerning traveller, with an emphasis on quality and comfort. Many hotels in the Raffles International portfolio have been voted top hotels in the world.
These include the legendary Raffles Hotel Singapore, Raffles Brown’s Hotel London, Raffles Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Hamburg, Raffles L’Ermitage Beverly Hills and Le Montreux Palace. Raffles International also operates Amrita Spa, the largest spa network in Asia and the SPAcademy, Singapore’s premier spa education and skills training institute. The Raffles International Training Centres in Singapore and Phnom Penh offers training programmes for the hospitality and service industry.
About Raffles Holdings and CapitaLand
Raffles International Limited is the hotel management subsidiary of Raffles Holdings Limited. Raffles Holdings Limited’s portfolio comprises hotels and resorts in 33 destinations across the six continents of Asia, Europe, North America, South America, Australia and Africa. Raffles Holdings is a subsidiary of CapitaLand Limited. Both companies are listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange.
CapitaLand is one of the fastest growing listed property companies in Asia. CapitaLand’s diversified big interests cover commercial and industrial buildings, residential, serviced residences, hotels and hospitality, property funds, real estate financials and property services. Headquartered in Singapore, the multinational company has property, hospitality and property related products and services spanning more than 50 cities.