[THE INVESTOR] Mid-priced hotels are on the rise in downtown Seoul, especially in Dongdaemun area and Myeong-dong, to meet the demand of rising foreign tourists opting for budget options, industry officials said.
Accor-Ambassador Korea recently opened Ibis Ambassador Dongdaemun in the popular shopping district, offering 242 rooms. This is the second hotel in the area by the Korean unit of the French hotel, after Ibis Budget Ambassador Seoul Dongdaemun.
Lotte City Hotel Myeongdong located in the bustling shopping area of Myeong-dong in Seoul
“Many single tourists have increased recently, so it’s difficult to satisfy customers only with the Ibis Budget Hotel,” an official of the hotel told local media.
Besides Ibis hotels, there are KY-Heritage Hotel Dongdaemun and Hotel the Designers Dongdaemun already, expecting more competition to heat up the area.
Many new budget hotels have emerged in Myeong-dong, the tourist hotspot that was mostly filled with luxury, four-to-five-star hotels. According to industry officials, more than 2,000 new rooms have been added in the bustling shopping area that is close to many traditional districts such as Insa-dong and Gwanghwamun.
Hotel Lotte, the Korean retail giant Lotte Group’s hotel unit, opened two new business hotels in Myeong-dong in January, Lotte City Hotel Myeongdong and the operator’s first boutique hotel L7 Hotel Myeongdong.
Marriott International opened its budget line Courtyard hotel in the area as well in May, while Starwood Hotel and Resort will join the trend and open its business hotel Aloft next February.
While industry officials welcome the wider options offered to travelers, they also raise concern that the fierce competition could lead to a price war.
By Ahn Sung-mi (firstname.lastname@example.org