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Asia Is Open but Recovery Is Slow

Alan Woinski
September 19th, 2022 at 7:46 AM EDT

Skift Take

  • The Wall Street Journal published an article on how Asia Pacific may have reopened to tourism, but the recovery is slow.
  • Oyo Hotels filed new financial documents with the Securities and Exchange Board of India.
  • Japan plans to resume visa-free air tickets in October and Taiwan plans to open its borders from mid-to-late October.

The Wall Street Journal published an article on how Asia Pacific may have reopened to tourism, but the recovery is slow. That seems to be what is spurring dropping even more restrictions in what seems to be a race to be the most open country. The article said experiences in nations from New Zealand to South Korea suggest it will take several years more for tourism businesses in the Asia Pacific region to enjoy 2019-like conditions. We have been saying it for some time but we will repeat it since the WSJ said it. The reason for the slow-going is simple. Without the Chinese traveler, every country is competing for a smaller pie. We don’t think this is so difficult to comprehend. Countries like Singapore seem to have adjusted, while we believe more China-tourism-dependent nations like Vietnam and South Korea may take a lot longer.

It’s not like the region is not going to do whatever it takes. Japan plans to resume visa-free air tickets in October, Taiwan plans to open its borders from mid-to-late October. It is not like Taiwan is not seeing a strong steady Omicron-wave of Covid infections but the government said more than 99% are showing no or only mild symptoms so they are relaxing rather than tightening restrictions. Taiwan began resuming visa-free entry for visitors from countries including the US and Canada. Hong Kong is expected to detail plans to end the hotel quarantine for inbound travelers, as soon as early this week. Oriental Daily said instead arrivals will be required to undergo self-monitoring for seven days. As for Singapore, room prices are reported to continue to soar as they welcome back investment conferences and Formula One.

Oyo Hotels filed new financial documents with the Securities and Exchange Board of India. The firm had filed an addendum to their Draft Red Herring Prospectus with SEBI with updated financial numbers for the first quarter of FY23. OYO had to shelve their IPO plans earlier this year as the travel industry took a hit due to Covid restrictions but that is all behind India now. OYO said they had their first EBITDA profit in the latest quarter and plans to file the second quarter financial numbers with SEBI by October. SEBI is expected to consider OYO’s IPO papers after they submit the second quarter statement with it. The expectation now is OYO will target launching their IPO by the fourth quarter of FY23 which would be early in calendar year 2023. Bloomberg said internally, OYO is working towards a January IPO.

Destination Group announced they acquired Mora Resort, a full service five star beachfront property that is currently under construction in Khao Lak, Phang Nga, Thailand. The resort is located approximately 50 minutes from Phuket International airport and situated on 400 meters of Bang Niang Beach. Destination Group intends to rebrand the property with an international operator. Upon completion, the resort will include 400+ rooms, 150 seat beach club, a signature Thai dining beach café, an all-day dining restaurant, 15 room spa, a kids club and a teens club, a surf school and meeting facilities. The property is expected to open in December 2023. Destination Group owns and operates resorts in Phuket, Hua Hin, Samui and now Khao Lak. They also own and operate restaurants.

The Clarks Hotels and Resorts recently announced the opening of The Albatross Golf Resort in Kandy, with the aim of promoting Sri Lanka to Indian travelers and taking advantage of the country’s growing business and leisure travel market. The brand is aggressively looking for expansion in the neighboring country by opening properties in different key locations in Sri Lanka. Clarks is present in all states of India and recently opened a property in Sri Lanka. They are promoting Sri Lanka and the Maldives as their new international destinations. By 2023, Clarks Hotels and Resorts expects to have about 150 properties within its chain.

Just three decades after entering the Australia/Pacific hotel market, Accor has added its four hundredth hotel with the launch of the heritage-listed The Porter House Hotel – MGallery in Sydney. Their first hotel was the Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour back in 1991, what became a catalyst for the redevelopment of Darling Harbour into Sydney’s premier tourism, entertainment and events precinct. The transformation of the Porter House building into a luxury hotel, part of Accor’s MGallery Hotel Collection, is set to boost Sydney’s CBD revival. The hotel was created out of a building commissioned in 1876 by Hugh Dixson. It started out as Dixson & Sons tobacco factory and warehouse and then became a retail shopfront. The luxury hotel offers 122 rooms and suites which occupy the first 10 floors of a 36-storey mixed-use tower. A residential component comprising 131 apartments, with private entry via Bathurst Street, sits above the new hotel while a multi-level food and bar destination has been created within the restored 1870’s heritage-listed building itself. Guests have access to all the hotel’s restaurant and leisure facilities – including a fitness center and heated pool – via the Porter House Hotel’s exclusive Digit Valet walking, talking iPad concierge. Accor’s Pacific expansion is expected to result in 11 new hotels and 1,569 rooms set to open in the next two years in Australia and New Zealand. That will include the debut of the 25hours brand in Australia, new airport hotels at Melbourne Airport and Auckland Airport, and another heritage restoration in Sydney – Hotel Morris which is being created out of the 1929-built former West End Hotel in Pitt Street.

CBRE has been appointed to manage the sale of a block of serviced apartments from the Quest Scarborough Beach hotel, 14 km north west of the Perth CBD. The sale involves 11 strata apartments, representing 14 of the hotel’s 52 keys. The block of strata rooms totals 773 square meters and comprises a mix of configurations from 36 square meter studios to 126 square meter one bedroom apartments. All are leased to Quest, Australia’s leading serviced apartment operator, until 2023.

IHG Hotels & Resorts announced its Holiday Inn brand’s first urban beachfront resort in Indonesia. The exclusive partnership with Agung Sedayu Group, one of Indonesia’s largest real estate developers, expands IHG’s brand portfolio to 36 opened and pipeline hotels in Indonesia. Opening in 2024, the new build Holiday Inn Resort PIK2 White Sand Beach will be the first white sand beach resort in Greater Jakarta. The resort will open 180 rooms, suites and lofts and will showcase Holiday Inn’s new generation of flexible spaces with contemporary design. It will include a restaurant, two bars, more than 2,600 square meters of meeting space, a gym and resort center, indoor and outdoor recreation areas and an outdoor pool. It will be the anchor hotel for the PIK2 development, a 1,000ha sustainably led development featuring commercial, residential and lifestyle concepts. IHG said they have eight opened Holiday Inn properties in Indonesia with a further three in the pipeline.

Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced the opening of Hyatt Place New Taipei City Xinzhuang, the first Hyatt Place hotel in Taiwan. The hotel includes 278 guestrooms, including 88 rooms with a Cozy Corner sofa-sleeper. The hotel includes 969 square meters of meeting space, a 24/7 fitness center and the traditional Hyatt Place design and amenities. The hotel is located close to the biggest shopping mall in New Taipei, Honhui Plaza Mall.

China’s Atour Lifestyle Holdings Ltd. filed for an IPO on Friday with plans to list on Nasdaq under the ticker ATAT. BofA Securities and Citigroup are leading a syndicate of six banks working on the deal. The proceeds will be used to expand the company’s hotel network in China, to develop new brands and products for its portfolio, to upgrade IT and to pursue strategic acquisitions, including M&A and joint ventures.

Alan Woinski
September 19th, 2022 at 7:46 AM EDT

Companies: Accor, Agung Sedayu Group, Atour Lifestyle Holdings, CBRE Hotels, Clarks Hotels & Resorts, Destination Group, Holiday Inn, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Hyatt Place, IHG Hotels & Resorts, MGallery Hotel Collection, OYO Hotels

Locations: India, Japan, Perth, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam

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