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Asia-Pacific

Trip.com Says China Summer Bookings 20% Higher Than 2019

Alan Woinski
September 22nd, 2022 at 11:42 AM EDT

Skift Take

  • STR reported China hotel RevPAR the week ended September 17 fell -11.5% year over year. When compared with the same week in 2019, China hotel RevPAR was down -40.1%
  • Despite STR reporting week after week for the past several months that China hotel RevPAR has plunged again, Trip.com said hotel reservations in China surpassed pre-pandemic levels since late June.
  • Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced the opening of Hyatt Place Bharuch. This is the second Hyatt Place hotel in Gujarat and the sixth Hyatt Place hotel in in India.

STR reported China hotel RevPAR the week ended September 17 fell -11.5% year over year. When compared with the same week in 2019, China hotel RevPAR was down -40.1%. Absolute occupancy for the week was 49.7% in China, down from 57.1% in the same week in the previous year.

Despite STR reporting week after week for the past several months that China hotel RevPAR has plunged again, Trip.com said hotel reservations in China surpassed pre-pandemic levels since late June. Trip.com said during their earnings call that total domestic hotel bookings were around 20% higher than 2019 level in July and they continue to grow over the 2019 level in August, achieving hyper growth versus 2021. Considering RevPAR and absolute occupancy have been down for months year over year and against pre-pandemic comps, it seems like the people who are traveling may be booking on Trip.com and nowhere else. Trip.com said same city hotel reservations grew by 30% last quarter versus the 2019 levels. Trip.com reported overall revenue in the second quarter was down -32% from the same period a year ago.

Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced the opening of Hyatt Place Bharuch. This is the second Hyatt Place hotel in Gujarat and the sixth Hyatt Place hotel in in India. The 148 room hotel was developed by Hotel Harimangla Private Limited and feature the Hyatt Place brand’s design, casual atmosphere and amenities. The hotel is located closed to the city’s core business district. The location offers quick access to several historic sites.

Hyatt Hotels announced a Hyatt affiliate and Kiraku Inc. entered into a strategic joint venture that will launch a collection of modern-style hot spring ryokans in Japan targeting global travelers under the new hospitality brand ATONA. Hyatt and Kiraku will each own 50% of the joint venture and will leverage the expertise and strengths of both Hyatt and Kiraku to develop the new offering. Centered around the onsen (hot spring), the ryokans built by the joint venture will feature a modernized style that will serve as the base of each guest’s journey in Japan. ATONA is a combination of two old Japanese words that means “me and you.” Development plans are under way to unveil the collection of ATONA-branded ryokans beginning in 2025. The joint venture is expected to expand ryokans under the ATONA brand in regional areas of Japan. The ATONA brand will be managed independently by hospitality experts who have a deep understanding of both Japanese culture and international hotel standards.

The Quality Hotel Lighthouse has been listed for sale following the recent opening of the Busselton-Margaret River Airport, connecting Western Australia’s SouthWest to the East Coast. The 4-star hotel occupies a one hectare site on the highest point in Bunbury, Western Australia’s second-largest city. The hotel has 71 guest suites and conference and function facilities which can accommodate up to 425 guests in any one event. Other amenities include an indoor swimming pool, sauna and spa, guest laundry and the locally recognized Basalt Restaurant and Bar. CBRE has been appointed to market the hotel with expressions of interest closing October 26, 2022. The property recently underwent extensive refurbishments to 65 of the 71 guest rooms, reception, function facilities, restaurant and the bar.

Rosewood Hotels and Resorts announced the reopening of Rosewood Bangkok in Thailand and Rosewood Luang Prabang in Laos as well as key updates for Rosewood Phuket in Thailand and Rosewood Phnom Penh in Cambodia. Rosewood has robust plans to grow their presence in the region, having already announced nine future openings. Rosewood Bangkok reopened their doors on September 20, unveiling 17 new guestrooms, wellness studios, signature suites and “houses” that represent first of their kind superlatives in the capital. The new houses feature expansive high-rise outdoor terraces with private plunge pools, state of the art wellness facilities and uninterrupted views of the metropolitan skyline and nearby parks. The hotel’s largest accommodations are the luxury residence-style houses: Nara House, Thara House and the Bannakarn House. The 208 square meter Thara House is on the twenty-third floor. Both Nara and Thara Houses can be combined with a Premier Suite to expand the spacious accommodations into two bedroom residences. Bannakarn House is on the hotel’s top floor featuring a lounge area, alabaster cocktail bar, 10 seat dining table, full chef’s kitchen and more. Residents there have their own VIP elevator. There are also two exclusive Sense Studios offering a wellness retreat experience. The Rosewood Luang Prabang is expected to reopen on October 1. This is the brand’s first property featuring luxury tented accommodations, hidden in the lush green jungle that surrounds the historic royal settlement of the ancient Laotian capital. The resort offers 23 accommodations including four deluxe rooms, four specialty suites, three riverside villas, six pool villas and six luxury tents which include their own private dining areas and wrap around decks. Rosewood Phuket will debut an array of new programming on October 1, touching on wellness, food and beverage and sustainability. Rosewood Phnom Penh will be bringing several new food and beverage initiatives to life this Fall. They recently unveiled their Rosewood Bar Series in collaboration with The World’s 50 Best Bars.

Accor, in partnership with Shanghai Xinguang Technology Development Group, announced the development of Sofitel Shanghai South, a 293 key luxury urban resort, set to open in 2025. Sofitel Shanghai South will be a landmark among the new development of Zhuanghang Town in the Fengxian District. The new hotel will feature the brand’s signature modern French style, deftly blended with rich Shanghainese traditional culture. The low-rise hotel is amid an expansive resort setting, surrounded with the wild luxury of Zhuanghang’s conservation forest. A rooftop urban farm concept will integrate the natural woodlands with the hotel’s own produce garden, while featuring a rooftop bar, restaurant and event space for special moments in the sunshine or under the stars. The hotel will include sunlit atrium corridors, panoramic guestroom windows, and an infinity pool. The guest rooms will offer private balconies with two ballrooms of 1,500 square meter and 700 square meters. The hotel will feature signature restaurants and bars, a lobby lounge, an executive lounge, fitness center, spa and pool.

Accor is expanding its footprint in Saudi Arabia’s capital with the signing of a 170 key serviced apartment property, the very first Novotel Living to operate in Riyadh. The newly built property is set to open in 2026. The group continues to expand its partnership with Al Raya Estate Group with whom Accor will open the Swissotel Living Jeddah shortly. Novotel Living Riyadh will be located on King Fahd Road and will feature a mix of studios, one bedroom apartments and two bedroom apartments, a main restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating, a Clubhouse and a Grab & Go Concept, meeting spaces, fitness center and a swimming pool. Accor currently operates 40 properties in Saudi Arabia totaling 15,173 rooms with 33 more properties with 7,549 rooms in the pipeline.

IHG Hotels & Resorts said they signed a management agreement with Saudi Investment Group and Marketing Co., a wholly owned unit of Ghazzawi Group, for its second Hotel Indigo in Jeddah. Hotel Indigo Jeddah is expected to open in Q1 2028 and will comprise of 267 hotel rooms and 173 serviced apartments. The hotel will be developed as part of the Sigmac mixed use development which will include hotel, residential, offices, retail and entertainment facilities.

Shangri-La Group announced the retirement of Group CEO Lim Beng Chee after almost six years of leadership. He will step down from the Group CEO position on December 31 and remain a member of the board of directors of Shangri-La Group as well as at China World Trade Centre. Shangri-La Group Chairman Hui Kuok will work with the executive team to drive key decisions and ensure business continuity while the company identifies a new Group CEO.

Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee said the city wants to relax Covid ruleslike mandatory hotel quarantine that have made travel difficult for nearly three years. This is being said as the number of new Covid infections in Hong Kong have fallen to about 6,000 a day. Bloomberg and others reported that Lee’s plan appears to have been blessed by leaders in mainland China with the deputy director of China’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office saying China supports Hong Kong’s efforts to have close, extensive contact with the rest of the world and sees no problem with adjusting the rules. Why won’t they allow that in Macau then? Despite all this positive talk about China blessing the plan, the Hong Kong government said it would maintain the current social distancing measures from September 22 to October 5.

Over in Macau, the number of visitors there fell by -19% year on year in August to 331,397. The glass half full people said that figure was more than 3,000% higher than July 2022. The glass half empty people said this is not even worth discussing when you compare these numbers to 2019. The number of overnight visitors in August 2022 increased by 17.5% year on year to 177,640 while same day visitors declined by -40.4% to 153,757. For the first eight months of 2022, the number of visitor arrivals to Macau fell by -25.8% year on year to 3.8 million. Overnight visitors fell by -44.2% to 1.5 million and day trippers were down by -6.5% to 2.3 million.

Six companies with a total investment of around $457 million will sign land lease agreements with the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority today. Five of the firms were allocated plots at the Sabrang Tourism Park and one at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar. Ifad Autos, one of the firms, will get a plots at the Sabrang Tourism Park and will spend $16.20 million to build a 3-star hotel and resort. The 10-story hotel will have 370 rooms and there will be leisure spots, recreational venues, a convention center and tourist transportations. Three firms of Dipta Group will also get plots at Sabrang and will build cottages, resorts, hotels and motels at an investment of $38.21 million. East West Travels and Tours Ltd will also build a hotel at Sabrang on one acre of land.

The central city of Da Nang in Vietnam is seeking to develop tourism products that are tailored to suit the taste of vacationers from India and the Middle East, which are defined as important markets for the city’s tourism in the future. Da Nang has been focusing on promotion and communication activities to resume international flights and markets since the government fully reopened domestic and international tourism on March 15. India is expected to be an important market during the post-pandemic recovery period. Some believe India’s positive open-door policy and the great travel demand of its people can help Vietnam make up for the number of visitors from the traditional north-east Asian markets which have not yet fully re-opened. Like we have been saying for the past couple of years, without Chinese travelers, there are too many markets competing for a much smaller pool of visitors. Da Nang is giving it a good try to make up for that with Indian and Middle Eastern visitors.

Avana Retreat announced the debut of 36 villas atop a terrace of rice fields in Mai Chau. This is a new 15 hectare resort in Vietnam’s Mai Chai province, a 3.5 hour drive from Hanoi. The 36 villa property was opened quietly during the pandemic and features spacious, indigenous design, a spa built on a stream and one of the most majestic dining opportunities to be found in Southeast Asia. The resort’s 36 villas range in size from 98 square meters to 229 square meters. Some of the villas have balconies as large as 35 square meters. One of the villas is perched on top of a terrace of rise fields. Three of them include private pools and the most exclusive villa features an 89 square meter private heated pool that climbs in tiers like a visual echo of the rice terraces. The roofs of the bungalows are thatched like local stilt houses and the walls are made of earth as is common with Hmong homes. The property features four heated infinity pools, a Cloud Pool Bar, Orchid Spa, all day restaurant and more.

ITC Hotels said they signed five boutique properties in India under the new brand, Storii by ITC Hotels. Leisure destinations Goa, Dharamshala, Solan, Sirmour and Kufri are the frontliner destinations for Storii with Storii Goa and Storii Dharmashala already opening doors to its guests. With recent openings at Goa and Dharamshala, ITC Hotels has its fifth property in Goa and 12thhotel in Himachal Pradesh. With the addition of three more boutique properties in Sirmour, Solan and Kufri under the new Storii by ITC Hotels, the brand will further strengthen its footprint in Himachal Pradesh.

Suba Group of Hotels announced the opening of Quality Inn Bhagsu Heritage in McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The newly built hotel was inspired by local Tibetan architecture with a heritage look and feel to it. The property is nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, close to the main square of McLeodGanj and Namgyal Monastery. The hotel has 32 well appointed spacious rooms, a multi-cuisine restaurant, a specialty rooftop restaurant that serves Tibetan and Chinese delicacies, and venues for hosting weddings, events, exhibitions, yoga and conferences . The hotel is one of the Choice Hotels Asia Pacific brands, managed by the Suba Group of Hotels.

Indian Hotels Company announced the signing of its second hotel in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh under the SeleQtions brand. The hotel is franchised in management with Sohum Hotels & Resorts. The operational hotel will be rebranded under the IHCL SeleQtions brand. The SeleQtions hotel is spread over three acres, nestled within Kangra Valley. The hotel has an all-day dining restaurant, bar, lounge and alfresco specialty restaurant. Other facilities include a swimming pool and an open gym. With the addition of this hotel, IHCL will have three hotels across its brands in Himachal Pradesh including two under development.

Marriott International said they would expand their portfolio in the GCC region with more than 20 new properties by the end of 2023 to meet ongoing demand. The hospitality assets will add more than 5,000 rooms to the region’s hotel supply stock over the next 15 months and will open in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait and Oman. Saudi Arabia will see at least six luxury properties by the end of next year. 10 additions in Qatar are expected over the next 15 months, six of which will be unveiled ahead of the FIFA World Cup. In Dubai, Marriott’s portfolio will cross a milestone of 50 properties this year with the opening of new assets in Palm Jumeirah, Green Community and Production City. Marriott will also add one property each in Kuwait and Oman by the end of 2023. The hotel chain’s Middle East portfolio includes more than 150 properties with over 40,000 rooms across 21 brands in 11 countries and territories. The occupancy rate across the GCC is expected to rise from 57% in 2022 to 62% in 2026 while ADR and RevPAR are forecast to also increase, according to investment banking firm Alpen Capital.

Alan Woinski
September 22nd, 2022 at 11:42 AM EDT

Companies: Accor, Al Raya Estate Group, Atona, Choice Hotels International, Hotel Indigo, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Hyatt Place, IHG Hotels & Resorts, ITC Hotels, Kiraku Inc., Marriott International, Novotel, Saudi Investment Group and Marketing Co., Sofitel, Storii, Swissotel, The Indian Hotels Company Ltd

Locations: Australia, Bangkok, Bangladesh, China, Da Nang, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Hong Kong, Japan, Jeddah, Kuwait, Macau, Oman, Phuket, Qatar, Riyadh, Shanghai, Vietnam

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