Government incentive package spurs a serviced apartment operator to become a mid-range hotel, one of the first in West Kowloon Attractive tax breaks and a keen eye on a gap in the market has bucked the trend of hotel groups turning properties into serviced apartments in at least one part of downtown Kowloon. When the government signalled that hotels will have taxes on guest bookings lifted, the Dorsett Group felt it was high time that the Dorsett Olympic Hotel in Anchor Street, Tai Kok Tsui, started gearing up for tourists in addition to business travellers and operate as the Dorsett Kowloon Hotel (Hong Kong). 'We turned it into a full hotel in January this year after a full hotel licence was obtained, making us one of the first hotels in West Kowloon,' marketing manager Naresh Kirpalani says. 'The major difference is in service and catering. We have a whole different set of clientele now with tourists and expats. Now we can cater for a multinational market segment.' But Mr Kirpalani says the business still welcomes guests from its serviced apartment days with expat contract workers and families living abroad booking rooms whenever they return to Hong Kong. 'Making the change was hard going with the legal obligations which, for any business, can be tedious and drawn out. But we thought it was the right time to do it when [Hong Kong Chief Executive] Donald Tsang announced measures to help bring more tourists to Hong Kong. That was an incentive because the policy to encourage hotels will run until 2030.'