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Japan Bets on Increased International Tourism Spending

Alan Woinski
October 6th, 2022 at 7:34 AM EDT

Skift Take

  • Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is pledging to increase inbound tourism spending to more than 5 trillion yen per year.
  • OYO has introduced an improved flagship patron-facing app – CO-OYO.
  • The Economic Times reported on the comeback of “big fat weddings” in India.

Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is pledging to increase inbound tourism spending to more than 5 trillion yen per year. The PM believes Japan can benefit from the yen’s recent fall to 24 year lows against the dollar. This is being said just as the country loosens up its border and Covid policies, including ending a cap on daily arrivals.

Tropicana Corp Berhad signed a hotel management agreement with Marriott International to build a 270 key five-star hotel at its mixed development in Langkawi, Tropicana Cenang. The Sheraton Langkawi Resort and Spa will have a gross development value of RM352 million. It is part of the 5.3 acre Tropicana Cenang development, which fronts Pantai Cenang and offers residential, hospitality and commercial components with a total GDV of RM1.4 billion. This will be Tropicana’s third hotel collaboration with Marriott, following the W Kuala Lumpur and Courtyard by Marriott Penang. The new hotel is expected to welcome guests by 2029 or 2030.

Oakwood Hotels & Apartments Saigon announced their official opening in Vietnam. The new property is situated next to the Saigon River and is the first international serviced apartment brand to open in Binh Than District, Ho Chi Minh City. The property offers a hybrid mix of 67 studios, one and two bedroom serviced apartments with expansive windows that look out to either the Saigon River or Landmark 81 skyscraper. The serviced apartments are considered the most spacious in Binh Thanh District, from the smallest Studio of up to 49 square meters to two-bedroom apartments with an area of up to 123 square meters. All studios and serviced apartments are comprehensively furnished with a full kitchen and added living space.

Lemon Tree Hotels Limited announced the opening of Keys Lite by Lemon Tree Hotels, Sreekanya, Visakhapatnam. This is the second property of the group in the city, strategically located near Gajuwaka in the Southwest of Vishakhapatnam. The hotel features 44 rooms and suites, a multi-cuisine coffee shop – Keys Café, and a venue for functions, business meetings, conferences and private events.

OYO has introduced an improved flagship patron-facing app – CO-OYO. The additional capabilities possible through the relaunched app enable patrons to design and run their own promotional programs such as Discover Sale, Flash Sales among others to attract new customers or existing ones. OYO believes with the coming peak travel season the ability to drive personalized promotions at a local level benefit independent hotels to increase occupancies and support revenue maximization. The app includes things like one click check in capabilities for bulk bookings, new revamped pricing section and more.

The Economic Times reported on the comeback of “big fat weddings” in India. The article referenced tremendous pent up demand following two years of Covid-induced lockdown and curbs leading to the resurgence of big, fat Indian wedding festivities. The Fairmont Hotel in Jaipur, for instance, is almost sold out from October end until February due to the influx of weddings, reporting on bookings from all over India. Rates are up 35% from pre-Covid days. Lemon Tree Hotels said they are expected the best wedding season for the sector in many years.

Star Entertainment Group continues to get the same response from every part of Australia where they have casino resorts. Officials say they are unsuitable to hold casino licenses following months of hearings detailing the sins of the company the past few years. The latest is in Queensland where the attorney general found the independent review made 12 recommendations and revealed major deficiencies and serious findings that negatively impact Star’s character, integrity and honesty. Like with Crown Resorts before them, there is little chance they will be closed down. Currently Star is in the process of finishing cleaning house of all executives that worked at the company the past few years. One of the 12 recommendations is for the appointment of a special manager to oversee and enhance the integrity of the casino activities. Star currently operates two Queensland properties – The Star Gold Coast and Treasury Brisbane. Its Brisbane license is supposed to transfer to the $3.6 billion Queen’s Wharf casino resort development in Brisbane’s CBD when it opens next year.

The Corona Resort & Casino is the only casino resort in Vietnam that has been allowed to have locals gamble. In the three years since the January 2019 launch, it has generated only US$5.9 million in revenue from local customers. The casino resort business in Vietnam has been a complete disaster with a minimum investment in the billions and not one of them operating profitably. The locals customer trial was supposed to be the savior.

The plans for the merger deal with SPAC 26 Capital Acquisition Corp and UE Resorts International, owner of the Okada Manila integrated resort in the Philippines, have been further delayed. The Special Purpose Acquisition Company, 26 Capital, had said just a couple of weeks ago that this was most likely going to be completed by the end of this year, but it is now delayed by about a year. Considering what has happened with their only asset, Okada Manila, with the battle for control and all the accusations, it was pretty much a given that completing the transaction before UE and founder Kazuo Okada reached some sort of settlement was a real risk.

Jumeirah Group announced the opening of a new resort in the Middle East – Jumeirah Gulf of Bahrain Resort & Spa. The resort includes 196 modern and spacious rooms and suites and the exclusive 11 bedroom Gulf Summer House, located directly at the beach. The resort includes various amenities including culinary offerings, the Talise Spa, indoor and outdoor pools, gym and tennis courts as well as Kids adventure amenities such as a cinema, special pool, play area, Teens Club, family pool with a slide and even a nap area.

Alan Woinski
October 6th, 2022 at 7:34 AM EDT

Companies: Accor, Fairmont, Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts, Lemon Tree Hotels, Marriott International, OYO Hotels, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, Tropicana Corp Berhad

Locations: Bahrain, India, Japan, Malaysia, Penang, Vietnam, Visakhapatnam

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