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The current spa at Datai Langkawi will be refurbished and will sit alongside a new Shangri-La resort and spa


people and all the natural resources you need, as well as the infrastructure. The government has already put in the hospi- tals, shopping centres, schools, universi- ties and some housing. So now it’s time for the fun stuff – the entertainment and the places to stay.”


Metzger thinks the government’s plans for the tourism industry will only benefi t Malaysia. He says that creating resorts for people to come and stay will create jobs, stimulate tourism overall and do good things for this developing country. Managing director Basri, is also keen to point out that Destination Resorts is dedicated to delivering a long-term tourism plan. “We are committed to developing in- tegrated destinations and introducing new, innovative attractions that offer a unique holiday experience for the whole family,” he says. “Our portfolio is diverse and will continue to grow as each project unfolds.” Metzger says the key to ensuring the success of each development and the


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brands within it, is maintaining the per- sonality and standard of each one. While Desaru Coast and Iskandar Malaysia are high-energy destinations aimed at fami- lies, Teluk Datai is about relaxation and privacy, and this is refl ected in the hotel brands in each location. Whereas the Sheraton Resort and the Plantation Hotel face directly out onto the entertainment offerings at Desaru Coast, in Teluk Datai, the private villas and resort hotels are nestled in the rainforest to offer guests refl ection and peacefulness. Metzger sees Destination Resorts’ ongoing role as ‘place managers’. By that, he means they’ll make sure that “no Sev- en Eleven stores will open in the resorts… it may look less attractive before and after you exit the resort, but while you’re inside it, it will be perfect.” He explains: “If you’re the landowner and you earn a percentage of rent from each hotel, retail area, restaurant, con- vention centre and golf course, you have


the motivation to keep the resort looking and working right because that’s what’s bringing the money in. If a developer starts farming things off to third parties and gives them a free reign to operate it how they want – which is common – you lose control over standards.” Metzger says, until they fi nd a manage- ment company that can take over Destina- tion Resorts’ role to the right standards, they will remain in charge.


Ever the optimist, Metzger talks about when (not if) Destination Resort’s devel- opments will be a success. He concludes: “Malaysia’s got such a lot going for it. It’s the right time, the right place and we’re the right company so this is an exciting time for tourism in the country.” ●


From Spa Business Issue 2 2012, p32


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