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China Covid Infections Hit 3-Month High

Alan Woinski
August 22nd, 2022 at 7:44 AM EDT

Skift Take

  • China reported 2,181 new Covid cases on Saturday, with infections surging to a three month high.
  • Real Commercial said Sydney hotel occupancies are beginning to slip but hoteliers are still charging higher room rates.
  • Tuan Sing Holdings is close to announcing plans to redevelop its 550 room Grand Hyatt Hotel in Melbourne’s Collins Street into a major mixed-use development.

China reported 2,181 new Covid cases on Saturday, with infections surging to a three month high. Tourist destinations are the ones getting hit now which makes sense since the current variant evades things like vaccines, past infection antibodies, and even fantasies like Zero-Covid. As we expected, China’s decision to strand everyone on the Southern Island of Hainan had the opposite effect, as they cannot get their outbreak under control with another 1,100 cases reported Saturday. If it is like the other places that have seen an outbreak, a good 20% will have to test positive before the peak is reached so it shouldn’t be long now. Tibet had 600 new cases on Saturday and Xinjiang reported more than 200 infections. Despite the obvious, that you can’t have Zero-Covid with these variants, the government continues locking down cities where a case pops up, the latest being the Taigu district of Jinzhong city in the northern province of Shanxi. That follows a tourist destination in Pingyao county and three districts in Nanchong, Sichuan province in southwest China. The only thing we can say is if you plan on leaving your home in China to vacation somewhere, pack extra clothes, pack extra medication and take an extended leave from work because you may be there for a while. It is not even safe to drive as last week hundreds of vehicles were stuck on a state highway in Tibet after a neighboring province refused to allow travelers from the region to enter, saying its quarantine system reached capacity. In Xiamen, southeastern Fujian, they are even testing fish plucked from the water because of fears of importing the virus. We could not make this stuff up if we tried.

Real Commercial said Sydney hotel occupancies are beginning to slip but hoteliers are still charging higher room rates. The average occupancy rate for Sydney hotels in June was 67.4% but dropped down to 65.8% in June. Now there are plenty of additional rooms being added to the market with hotel openings such as Kimpton Margot and the new ACE hotel. ADR in July was $239.96 with RevPAR at $157.80. The 2019 comp was $197.41/$154.71. Occupancy was -16.1% lower than July 2019. When anyone gets concerned about Asia Pacific occupancy rates, remember the hole in the market not having the Chinese customer. This article also suggested the domestic tourism market is starting to peter out. JLL Hotels said the softening of occupancy rates was due to increased Covid numbers and flu cases and the postponement of conferences and events.

The Rydges Palmerston Darwin has been listed for sale by prominent Territory businessman John ‘Foxy’ Robinson. The 4.5 star, 200 room hotel is being offered for sale by CBRE Hotels, who were appointed to manage an International Expressions of Interest campaign closing on September 22. The hotel has 135 rooms and 65 one and two bedroom apartments, six large event and conference spaces, a restaurant and bar, pool, gym and 251 car parks. The hotel is currently operated with the benefit of a franchise agreement to Rydges Hotels & Resorts however an incoming purchaser has the flexibility to exercise vacant possession at their discretion, opening up the opportunity to rebrand or own and operate the asset.

Tuan Sing Holdings is close to announcing plans to redevelop its 550 room Grand Hyatt Hotel in Melbourne’s Collins Street into a major mixed-use development. This is being triggered by the long-held management rights over the complex are drawing to a close. Grand Hyatt’s contract ended in December but the article on his said Hyatt will continue to operate the hotel for at least another year as Tuan Sing continues with its plans to demolish the existing hotel to create a mega office tower. Redevelopment will also include a smaller hotel and ground floor retail on the site. The 550 rooms taken out of circulation will be replaced easily by new hotel development in the area. Peter Thomas is about to reopen the luxury boutique Lyall Hotel on September 1 and Harry Triguboff’s Meriton Serviced Apartment building in Melbourne is way into construction and new W, Hilton, Hyatt Centric, Viba and Quincy hotels will fill the void. As for the change in the Grand Hyatt, Tuan Sing Holdings said they are in discussions with various international luxury brand operators, including Hyatt.

Hyatt’s Andaz brand will be entering Thailand with the Andaz Pattaya Jomtien Beach opening later this year. The 204 room property is being developed on the site of a former private estate situated a 10 minute drive from Pattaya’s more tourist-heavy hot spots. Elements from three of the estate’s original structures have been preserved and will be incorporated into the hotel. One of the buildings, a traditional Thai tea house, will serve as a venue for private ceremonies, monk blessings, and meditation sessions as well as host guests for afternoon tea. The other two repurposed buildings will be integrated into the expansive villa style accommodations, including the six-bedroom Heritage House and four-bedroom duplex Manor House.

Akaryn Hotel Group announced the opening of its third property under the Aleenta Resort brand of luxury boutique resorts, Aleenta Chiang Mai Resort & Spa will open in Q1 of 2023. The resort will offer 45 rooms, a swimming pool, bar and lounge area, restaurant, spa and wellness center and a menu of tailor-made health and wellness programs and retreats. Aleenta Chiang Mai will be geared towards the health-conscious traveler seeking the ultimate relaxation, holistic rebalancing and an authentic Thai hospitality experience.

Hilton announced the signing of an agreement with Tradewinds Corporation Berhad to expand the Hilton brand in Malaysia with the Hilton Burau Bay Resort Langkawi. The resort marks Tradewinds Corporation Berhad’s fourth property with Hilton, following Hilton Petaling Jaya, Hilton Kuching and the recently announced Waldorf Astoria Kuala Lumpur. The 251 room resort will be Hilton’s second property in Langkawi, scheduled to open in 2024, nestled in Burau Bay along Langkawi’s western coastline. The Nautilus Resort, Curio Collection by Hilton is expected to open in 2023. Hilton currently operates 13 properties across three brands in Malaysia. Hilton Burau Bay Resort Langkawi will feature an executive lounge and five dining concepts including an all-day dining restaurant, specialty restaurant and a pool bar.

Accor has signed a management agreement with PT Bintan Lagoon Resort, a subsidiary of PT Edika Agung Mandiri, to launch Movenpick Bintan Lagoon Resort. Set to open in 2023, the resort will become the first Movenpick property in Bintan, Indonesia, adding 413 rooms to the brand’s growing portfolio in the region. Movenpick Bintan Lagoon Resort will occupy a long stretch of private white sandy beach in the northern region of the island. The resort will include three lagoon swimming pools, unique restaurant concepts, a two story beach club, spacious event spaces, and a ferry terminal. Wellness will be an integral part of the resort experience, with a vast wellness and recreation center that will feature a gym, a spa and Kids Club. Accor currently operates 128 hotels under 15 brands in Indonesia with a robust development pipeline of 51 committed projects.

Pyeongtaek in South Korea is ready to welcome the InterContinental Hotels & Resorts brand. Scheduled to open in 2025, the 244 room InterContinental Pyeongtaek will be the first global hotel brand in the Gyeonggi Province city and form a key part of its future expansion plans and long-term ambitions. Original plans were for the voco brand from IHG to be there but the increasing demand for a luxury property with more extensive meeting space, restaurant and bars had them change to the InterContinental brand and amenities, the result of a partnership between IHG Hotels & Resorts and Seraphim Development. The new property will be the fourth InterContinental hotel in Korea and will include a wide range of restaurants and bars, and rooftop pool, while providing ample meeting space for functions and events.

JEN Manila by Shangri-La, formerly known as Traders Hotel, in Pasay City, is permanently closing its doors effective September 1. The announcement came after New Riviera Hotel Development Corporation, owner of the Pasay hotel building, decided to redevelop the property. The 308 room hotel will operate and honor reservations until August 31. 

Alan Woinski
August 22nd, 2022 at 7:44 AM EDT

Companies: Accor, Akaryn Hotel Group, Aleena Resorts & Spas, Andaz, CBRE Hotels, Grand Hyatt, Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, IHG Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental, Movenpick, Tradewinds Corporation Berhad, Tuan Sing Holdings

Locations: Chiang Mai, China, Jinzhong, Malaysia, Pattaya, Sichuan, South Korea, Sydney, Tibet, Xinjiang

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