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More Covid Restrictions Fall Across Asia

Alan Woinski
September 26th, 2022 at 11:36 AM EDT

Skift Take

  • Covid restrictions continue to fall like dominoes. Hong Kong came through with their plan to end their hotel quarantine policy, putting it into effect before October Golden Week, beginning today.
  • Macau’s hotel occupancy rate fell to just 33.3% in August, down -1.1 percentage points year over year.
  • DBS said Singapore’s hospitality industry is on track for a “spectacular” second half of 2022.

Covid restrictions continue to fall like dominoesHong Kong came through with their plan to end their hotel quarantine policy, putting it into effect before October Golden Week, beginning today. Arrivals will no longer need to isolate themselves in a hotel, instead being on the honor system with a three-day self-monitoring period. There will be no more preflight PCR tests needed, just a rapid one. Under pressure from everywhere else, Macau’s chief executive finally threw the casinos a bone, saying Macau will reinstate both package tours to Macau and, more importantly, eVisas under the Individual Visit Scheme. They will not save Golden Week, saying it will go into effect in November. The first phase will reopen for four provinces and one city in Guangdong, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Fujian. Japan confirmed they would lift Covid restrictions, relaxing border control measures to be on par with the US as of October 11. If they are copying the US Covid restrictions, just say there won’t be any. Japan will also resume visa-free travel and individual travel.

Macau’s hotel occupancy rate fell to just 33.3% in August, down -1.1 percentage points year over year. July’s occupancy rate was 38.1%. The 5 star hotel occupancy rate was 32% in August, 4 star was 39.7% and 3 star hotels were 32.6%. Average room rate overall was down -10.6% year on year to MOP751.50. For the first eight months of 2022, Macau’s average hotel occupancy rate was down -13.9 percentage points to 37.9%, including a 15.7 percentage point drop for 5 star hotels to 34.2%. Average room rate for the period was down 18.6% to MOP720.

DBS said Singapore’s hospitality industry is on track for a “spectacular” second half of 2022. They referenced the robust lineup of events leading to room rates moving quickly to pre-pandemic levels and the average length of stay nearly doubling from 2019.

Bloomberg said SoftBank Group cut the valuation of Indian hotel-booking platform Oyo by more than 20%. SoftBank owns 45% of OYO and they cut their estimated value for OYO to $2.7 billion in the June quarter from $3.4 billion. Back in 2019, OYO had been valued at $10 billion. This is also lower than the $3.23 billion valuation OYO used to raise primary and secondary equity and debt funding. OYO did not seem to take this very well, calling the valuation markdown speculation and “patently incorrect.” OYO said there is no rational basis for a markdown. OYO’s recent filings with SEBI suggested they were looking for a $12 billion valuation in their IPO which would get them $1.16 billion raised in the IPO. You can do the math on what SoftBank’s valuation would do to their money-raising plans. Even a very positive Heard on the Street column from the Wall Street Journal on OYO suggested they will probably need toreign in the total size of the IPO given the reality of a tough market environment and the lackluster performance of many recent Indian listings.

Stamford Land Corporation confirmed the sale of its upscale hotel in Sydney’s central business district to JDH Capital for A$210.5 million. Stamford said it entered into a valid, binding agreement for the sale and purchase of Sir Stamford at Circular Quay. This comes a month after they announced the grant of a put option by JDH Capital and its entry into an option agreement with the purchaser. The 105-room hotel overlooks Sydney Harbour and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Stamford had been planning to invest S$68-73 million to redevelop the property beginning in October 2023.

The first Mondrian Hotel will open in Singapore in 2023. Ennismore said they would launch Mondrian in Singapore’s Duxton Hill neighborhood. Accor is the majority shareholder of Ennismore. The Mondrian Singapore Duxton will be located a stone’s throw from the central business district. It will have 302 guestrooms and shophouse suites with a rooftop pool and avant-garde restaurants and bars within the grounds.

Indonesian hospitality brand, Padma Hotels, will announce the soft opening of their first hotel in Central Java, Padma Hotel Semarang. Located in the heart of the city, it is the fifth property of Padma hotels after Padma Resort Legian, Padma Hotel Bandung, Padma Resort, Ubud and Resinda Hotel Karawang. The five-star hotel will have 224 rooms and suites strategically located on the Sultan Agung street. The hotel has the biggest ballroom in central Java, heated main pool, kid’s pool, modern fitness center with a steam and sauna, a beauty salon and The Club Lounge for those who reserve a private, sophisticated room.

Continent Worldwide Hotels unveiled the recent signing of a master franchise and development agreement with Ritz International Co. Limited to introduce and develop the company’s six distinctive brands in Vietnam. Continent’s first hotel opened in Hanoi with the Ancyra Hotels and Inns brand. That same hotel owner converted his Da Nang property to Ancyra brand earlier this year. Continent expects to have more than 20 hotels opened by 2025 in South East Asia, Middle East and Africa.

ICP has proposed to acquire a stake in two hotel properties located in Sapporo and Nagoya, Japan via a 6.5 billion yen (S$64 million) transaction. The group will take a 5% stake in a joint venture company that acquires the properties. JV partner Topco, a subsidiary of a US-based global asset management firm, will own the remaining 95%. A subsidiary of the JV company entered into a conditional purchase and sale agreement to acquire the trust beneficiary interest of the properties. ICP will incur a total cost of 334.4 million yen for the proposed acquisition, based on the agreed proportion, to be funded by internal resources and bank borrowings. The two hotels currently operate under the 2ND by hotel androoms brand. They will be operated by the newly appointed Travelodge. This will expand Travelodge’s portfolio of hotels in Japan and complement ICP’s two other existing Travelodge hotels in Japan. The Sapporo hotel is situated in Susukino, the primary entertainment and nightlife district in Hokkaido. The hotel has 14 floors with 212 rooms. The Nagoya hotel has 13 floors with 211 rooms, located in downtown Nagoya.

AppleOne Group announced its entry into Bohol with the development of a six-hectare low-density resort on Panglao Island in the Philippines. AppleOne Properties made the announcement following the soft launch of its five-star development Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort. The company is finalizing the masterplan of the Bohol Resort. Aside from Bohol, Palawan is the next location for the AppleOne expansion. AppleOne is also the new owner of Club Serena Resort in Moalboal Cebu and the developer and operator of Diamond Suites.

CapitaLand Investment Limited’s wholly owned lodging business unit, The Ascott Limited, unveiled the refresh of its Citadines brand with 80 properties under development across 56 cities. Ascott acquired the Citadines chain in Europe in 2004. It has since tripled its portfolio with 104 properties in operation, including its Citadines Raffles Place Singapore flagship property. There will be a café check-inexperience, already in place at Citadines Raffles Place Singapore where the reception incorporates the vibes of a café as you step into the lobby. Rooms and property spaces can be transformed under their new convertible features while Citadines associates, called ‘Citazens’ will undergo barista training and double up as baristas in addition to providing guests with other services. This has successfully been rolled out at Citadines Sudirman Jakarta.

Jumeirah Group has appointed its COO, Thomas Meier, as interim CEO, following the departure of Jose Silva. Silva had been CEO of the company for five years. Prior to joining Jumeirah last year, Meier had been SVP of operations in Asia for Minor Group for five years.

Alan Woinski
September 26th, 2022 at 11:36 AM EDT

Companies: Ennismore, Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts, Marriott International, Mondrian, OYO Hotels, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, Stanford Land Corporation, Travelodge Hotels Asia

Locations: Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Macau, Nagoya, Philippines, Sapporo, Singapore, Sydney

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