Hotels Near the Terminal, Some Even Attached
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia ? Before the year is over, China will eclipse the United States as the country with the largest number of residents traveling internationally, according to a new study by Oxford Economics commissioned by the travel technology company Amadeus. Similarly, Asia, the Middle East and South America are experiencing increases in the number of people flying long distances, according to the International Air Transport Association. Such robust growth is prompting a construction boom in hotels incorporated into new airports or airport expansions.
The hotels take one of two forms. The transit hotel caters to travelers just passing through, offering a quiet place to sleep, shower and relax before catching a connecting flight. It is considered a necessary part of any modern international hub airport. ?On-site, high-end airport hotels are important at global hubs like Seoul-Incheon for passengers who are traveling between two cities without a same-day connection,? said John Jackson, Korean Air?s vice president of sales and marketing for the Americas.
The other hotel type, the conference center hotel, features restaurants and bars and seeks to compete with in-town hotels for convention and meeting business from participants who may never leave the airport.
Simon Turner, president of global development for Starwood Hotels and Resorts, which recently opened the 349-room Le M?ridien in Terminal 3 at Cairo International Airport, said the airport hotel was an efficient way of having meetings in developing countries where traffic can be challenging. ?If you are pressed for time with a meeting with 100 people, the cost and time to move people from the airport to downtown is a factor,? he said.
Angela Gittens, director general of Airports Council International, an industry association, said developers of airport hotels were striving to ?put the hotel in the terminal complex so that the passenger doesn?t have to take the shuttle? and also to incorporate a higher class of hotel.
That?s certainly the case at the two visited recently: the Crowne Plaza in Singapore?s Changi Airport and the Sama-Sama Hotel in Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Both are resortlike retreats with spas and pools surrounded by lush gardens and enough meeting space for a good-size conference.
Airport hotels can become part of a symbiotic relationship between an airport and the airlines using it, as is the case in India. Several airlines that use Indira Gandhi International Airport offer passengers a discounted stay at the Eaton Smart transit hotel in the airport?s new Terminal 3.
The operations manager, Sharin Surendran, says this kind of airline booking provides about 7 percent of the hotel?s business, a share that is increasing. The benefit to the airlines is the ability to turn otherwise objectionably long layovers into opportunities for pleasant respites for passengers traveling through. Turkish Airlines does the same thing by including a free room at TAV Airport Hotel at Istanbul Ataturk Airport for passengers with layovers from seven to 10 hours.
Many of these airports and others still under construction in Doha, Qatar, and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates have the luxury of space. ?If you are a constrained airport, it?s a lot harder,? Ms. Gittens said.
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Source:? Christine Negroni (2014), Hotels Near the Terminal, Some Even Attached, The New York Times?http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/08/business/hotels-near-the-terminal-some-even-attached.html?_r=0 published May 07, 2014. Viewed May 12, 2014.