IO, Jakarta – That afternoon, the weather in Jakarta was sunny, Independent Observer promised to meet with Heni Juniarti, Director of Marketing Communications Horison Hotels Group at Brew and Co, Cilandak Town Square, South Jakarta. Approximately 30 minutes of waiting, Heni arrived. “Sorry, I’m late, just a meeting first,” she said, opening the conversation that afternoon.
Heni looks chic with a long-sleeved blouse and skinny jeans combined with pastel-colored high heels, she tells the story of more than two decades working in the world of hospitality. Heni, who completed her studies from the Bali School of Tourism, admitted that when they went to college, they were required to attend training in various hotels in Bali. That experience encourages them to build a career in the hospitality world.
After completing college, she was immediately accepted to work as a salesperson at the Kartika Plaza Hotel, Jalan MH Thamrin, Jakarta. “At that time in Jakarta, the best five-star hotels were only a few, one of them was Kartika Plaza, but now it’s closed. At that time, the hotel was competing with Mandarin Oriental, Hotel Indonesia. It was an honor to get in there,” she said.
Just one year at the Kartika Plaza Hotel, Heni then joined Travelodge, a hotel from Australia. Now it has been renamed the Discovery Hotel Ancol. Here, Heni serves as the Sales Executive. “I am more enthusiastic about working because this hotel is from an international brand. This enriches the experience. Moreover, the position also increased,” she explained.
Not stopping there, Heni’s career continues. This time it anchored at the Gran Melia Hotel, then Alila Hotel and several other hotels. Heni also had a career in a hotel in the city of Sapporo, Japan. “I spent 3 years working in a hotel there, but lived in Japan for 4 years,” she said. After traveling to various hotels, for the last 2 years, Heni joined the Horison Hotel. “I want to build a local brand,” she said smiling.
Horison Hotel Group has 50 branches throughout Indonesia, with 6000 rooms and 5000 employees. “So for me, this is a challenge and devotion to the local brand. In a way, my experience can contribute to Horison’s progress,” she explained.
Amid the competitive hotel business, Horison can still compete. Horison Hotel Group has 3 brands, namely Horison Ultima for 4 stars, then Horison for 3 stars and Horizon Express for two stars, @hom, Horison inn and Erbe. “The cheapest room for a 4 star, IDR 1 million, if a 2 star, IDR 350 thousand,” said Heni.
Horison can last for 16 years because of its superiority to have dozens of branches throughout Indonesia with an occupancy rate of 80%. Most Horison branches are in Papua with 6 hotels. “Two more branches will be opened next year in Papua,” she said.
Horison does not only open branches at the provincial level but also at the district level. “We have a Horison in Cilacap and Kudus,” she said. “We have a big local market,” she continued.
One of the advantages of the Horison Group Hotel is that it promotes local wisdom. For example in Yogyakarta, they tried to combine various western menus with Indonesian special spices. “We indeed uphold local wisdom, for example, we mix Spaghetti with kecombrang, or Japanese seaweed Cakwe,” she explained. In addition to always prioritizing local wisdom, all hotels always use the gong as well as a local welcome drink.
Another advantage that Horison Hotels Group is trying to offer is presenting the Horison Destination program. “So for each of our hotels throughout Indonesia, there are destination packages. For example 2 days 3 nights. Like in Gorontalo, besides staying at our hotel, there is also a tour to Pulau Cinta,” she said.
One of the Horison Hotels Group plans in 2020 will open 6 new hotel branches in several cities in Indonesia.
Ending the conversation with the Independent Observer, Heni said she believed that the hotel business would continue to grow in the future. Especially at this time, Indonesian tourism is developing rapidly. “As long as there are tourism destinations, the hotel business will not die,” she said.
In business, there are always competitors. However, according to Heni, we know the advantages and disadvantages of the competitors’ products. “There must be competitors so we can continue to innovate,” she concluded. (Dsy)