Jienem, a Korean accommodation service startup, has registered huge profits as traveling becomes the new normal in a post-Covid era. According to the hospitality company, sales in the first half of 2022 increased by more than 352 percent compared to January to June last year.
It represents a 1,390 percent increase in sales in the first half of 2021 when COVID-19 affected the entire lodging industry. It is essential to pay attention because the barometer indicates an evident normalization trend in the travel and lodging market this year.
Moreover, in the first half of this year, the startup achieved an operating profit ratio of 30 percent, turning a profit for the first time since its inception, indicating a positive sign. According to this trend, this year’s sales target of 10 billion won is expected to be met easily.
Jienem, established in 2014, is one of Korea’s largest B2B accommodation distributors. It is a brand and content franchise platform for hotels, offering customers dependable services and staycation packages. Jienem has partnered with over 1,700 mid-sized accommodations across Korea for its service.
The startup has been innovating the ecosystem of accommodation providers, such as reservation systems, e-commerce, operation consulting, and facility development. Rather than hotels and motels, it offers travelers a variety of unique accommodation options across Korea, such as guesthouses, B&Bs, and glamping.
“Jienem is continuing to innovate as a total value chain company that encompasses the online and offline ecosystem in the lodging industry,” said CEO Lee Joon-ho. “We will make 2022 a year of full-fledged business expansion based on the expertise accumulated in the industry over many years,” he added.
Jienem’s brainchild ‘The Leap’ and Y-Collection catalyzed profits
Jienem is a total hospitality company in the existing small and medium-sized accommodation brokerage reservation business. It has snowballed since it succeeded in pivoting in 2021, despite the hospitality business’s slowdown in 2020.
It is determined that Jienem’s high-end hotel brand, The Leap, operated directly, and Y Collection, a brand specializing in living accommodations, contributed significantly to its turnaround.
The Leap opened its first store in Myeong-dong in 2021, with all rooms featuring a jacuzzi and spa facilities. It is an Instagramable hotel among MZ generations, a Korea-specific term coined after combining two generations – Millennials and Generation Z.
Despite COVID-19, The Leap’s cumulative room occupancy rate was 95 percent. It opened its second store in Sadang, Seoul, in July, thanks to the success of its first store in Myeong-dong. The Sadang branch has two to seven floors, with cafes and bars on the second floor providing F&B services and accommodations on the third to seventh floors.
YCollection, a lifestyle accommodation brand launched at Busan Haeundae Landmark LCT Residence Hotel, also contributed to sales growth with a cumulative room utilization rate of more than 90 percent.
YCollection has quickly gained attention as a high-end hotel due to its unique butler service, which is unheard of in the hospitality industry. It serves as a premium recreational facility for business and leisure travelers and has received positive corporate market feedback.