LoyaltyLobby reader sent me a link to a newspaper article about reflagging of Sheraton Karachi to Mövenpick hotel. You can access the entire article that appeared on the Express Tribune here.
I wouldn’t usually write reflagging of a Sheraton hotel, but there are few quite interesting tidbits in this instance.
If you are trying to search for hotels in Karachi using any of the OTA’s, there are only four hits of which two are internationally recognizable brands; Sheraton and Marriott.
Now, the owner of the Sheraton doesn’t see the benefit of paying expensive royalty fees for carrying the brand, when the room rates are down and most of the customers local. The international visitors are currently only 5% of the guests. The number of international guests is down to worsening security situation and lower FDI (foreign direct investment).
Western hotels are also seen a target for terrorists and bomb had gone off quite close to the Sheraton hotel in the past.
Operating a foreign affiliated hotel in Karachi must be a challenge from the customer and security perspective. Paying those high Starwood franchise and SPG participating fees must be annoying as well.
Pakistan has been on my list of countries to visit, as my long term goal is to visit them all, but haven’t made it there yet due to visa requirement.
I have been to some Marriott affiliated hotels in Indonesia that have been targets of successful terrorist attacks and are still operating.