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Hankyu, Hanshin to integrate hotel operations after merger.

OSAKA, Sept. 20 Kyodo

Hankyu Holdings Inc. and Hanshin Electric Railway Co., due to be integrated as Hankyu Hanshin Holdings Inc. on Oct. 1, will merge their hotel operations in their first step to combine the two companies' businesses, sources close to the matter said Wednesday.

The aim is to reduce costs through joint procurement of food and other goods and better attract customers by, for example, combining the entertainment packages offered by hotels of the two railway service groups.

Hankyu currently arranges services for guests wishing to see performances by the popular Takarazuka musical troupe and Hanshin caters to customers staying over to watch games played by the Hanshin Tigers professional baseball team.

Hankyu Dai-ichi Hotel Group, which currently has 42 outlets across the country, will combine with Hanshin's two hotels -- Hotel Hanshin in Osaka and Rokko Oriental Hotel in Kobe.

The new hotel group, to be called Hankyu Hanshin Dai-ichi Hotel Group, will retain the existing hotel brands and the companies operating the outlets will remain in operation, according to the sources.

The combined sales of the two hotel groups stood at 79 billion yen in the year ended this March.

Hanshin's Ritz-Carlton Osaka is unlikely to join the new group because it is run jointly with the U.S. hotel firm, the sources added.
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Publication:Japan Transportation Scan
Date:Sep 25, 2006
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