Accor said they signed an agreement with Panthers Group for a new five-star Pullman hotel at the Penrith Panthers precinct in Western Sydney. The upper upscale 153-room Pullman Sydney Penrith hotel, slated to open in the fourth quarter of 2023, forms part of Panthers Group’s landmark transformation of the Penrith Panthers precinct to create a new state-of-the-art business and entertainment destination. The hotel is adjoined to the new 1,250 square meter Western Sydney Conference Center which remains on track to open in Q4 2023. It will include a range of onsite facilities, including a restaurant and bar with private dining rooms, along with a ground-floor café. Pullman Sydney Penrith is located at the foot of the Blue Mountains. Accor also operates Mercure Penrith, which is located adjacent to the Penrith Panthers precinct.
InterContinental Khao Yai is a new resort in Thailand, located in Nakhon Ratchasima province in Khao Yai National Park. The property sits on 100 acres of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The latest Southeast Asian opening from IHG has transformed no less than 19 heritage train cars into luxury suites, part of a wider accommodation offering that totals 45 rooms and villas. The railcar suites are fitted out with original luggage racks, railways signage and bunkbeds in some. The train cars were mostly from a Bangkok train yard but also from all across Thailand. They offer a generous amount of living space as well as outdoor areas including a bath and large deck. Five of the suites also boast their own private swimming pools, while the Heritage Railcar, the biggest of them all, uses two full-size cars running together. The on-site restaurant is named Somying’s Kitchen, located in a space described as half American diner, half provincial railway station. Other amenities include a Back on Track spa, the Papillon cocktail bar and another French-style restaurant called Poirot Brasserie. Another train carriage has been designated the official Tea Carriage of the resort.
IHG, in cooperation with Bao Quan Investment & Construction Joint Stock Company, will open its first Crowne Plaza hotel in Vinh Yen City in the northern province of Vinh Phuc this November. Located in the capital of Vinh Phuc Province, Viny Yen City, the Crowne Plaza Vinh Yen City Centre is the first premium international hotel in the region, close to 19 industrial parks and four highly rated golf courses. The hotel is adjacent to several banks, local government agencies and Vinh Phuc Sports Hall, surrounded by supermarkets, shopping streets, restaurants and coffee shops. The hotel offers 170 rooms and suites with amenities accommodating both short stay and long stay guests, five pillar-less meeting rooms of up to 1,279 square meters, two restaurants and two bars, an executive lounge on the twenty-second floor and a spa and fitness center.
Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Finance said the pilot program which allows locals to gamble at Corona Resort & Casino on Phu Quoc Island must be extended in order to gauge its true effectiveness. It has been an absolute failure in its first three years, even before the pandemic. The Ministry of Finance has submitted a request to the Politburo to extend the program, citing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic as having largely rendered the trial ineffective. Billions and billions of dollars have been invested in the casino resort industry in Vietnam with nothing but major lossesfrom everyone to show for it. The request is for an extension to 2024 and the addition of two new casino resorts to the program. The two they want to add are in Da Nang City and Khanh Hoa Province.
In Malaysia, Widad Business Group, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Langkasuka Land, hosted a ground-breaking ceremony on October 23 to commence work on Langkasuka Village, phase 1 of the Widad Langkasuka project. The RM40 billion project is targeted to be completed by August 3, 2023. The integrated project will be developed across 2,000 acres and will include a retail and shopping development, hospital, residences, recreation, higher education institution and more. Langkasuka Village development will include Langkasuka Golf and Country Club with a 400,000 square foot clubhouse. LangVilla includes luxury villas surrounded by the golf course, an artistically designed mall for indoor and outdoor retail and entertainment experiences, a rainforest-themed hotel that touches the Andaman Sea, serviced apartments and luxury condominiums. Officials believe WBG will revolutionize tourism in the area while meeting global standards.
Goldman Sachs Asia said they do not expect Galaxy Entertainment’s Phase 3 expansion of Galaxy Macau casino resort to be ready until at least 2023. They held a recent investor call with the company. Galaxy said the Phase 3 launch hinges on more sustainable market recovery and they do not want to incur incremental costs before seeing sustainable visitation/gross gaming revenue recovery. Given the plunge in Macau casino stocks on the Hong Kong Exchange yesterday following the realization (that should have been expected) of President Xi’s third term and his decision to stick with his Zero-Covid policy, it does not look like many think things are going to change for Macau’s visitation, any time soon. Goldman Sachs believes that Macau’s visitor arrivals and daily casino gross gaming revenue could jump to more than 40,000 and MOP300 million upon the resumption of electronic visa IVS visas and package tours, expected in early November. The problem is every time a few people test positive for Covid, visitation from that whole region gets shut down. There is no way Covid outbreaks are going to stop as the more variants that pop up, the more transmissible they are including the one that is sweeping Singapore, Europe, and has now reached the United States.
Minor Hotels announced the appointment of William Costley as the new senior vice president for Asia as of September 2022. Costley is based in Bangkok and joins Minor Hotels from Hilton Hotels where he was based in Dubai as senior vice president operations, overseeing Hilton’s Arabian Peninsula and Turkey region. In his new role with Minor Hotels, Costley will oversee all MH brands, including Anantara, Avani, Oaks, Tivoli, NH Hoteles and NH Collections throughout Asia.
Radisson Hotel Group has ranked third in the number of signed rooms in EMEA in the first half of 2022. They signed and opened hotels in key leisure destinations such as Saidi in Morocco, Batumi in Georgia and in Phuket, Thailand. This brings the Group’s resort portfolio to more than 120 properties in operation and under development. Other brands such as Radisson RED expanded to cities including Oslo, Urumqi in China, Biratnagar in Nepal, and Beihai, also in China. New Radisson, Radisson Blu and Radisson Collection properties were signed and opened in Istanbul, Cluj and Perth. Their Radisson Individuals proved to be the strongest performing growth brand, signing the highest number of hotels and rooms across upscale brands in EMEA in the first half of 2022. RHG is one of the largest international hotel groups in India with more than 100 hotels in operation and under development. Radisson aims to double its portfolio by 2025. Later this year the group will launch its first property under the Radisson Individuals Retreat brand. In APAC they continue to fast-track expansion plans by opening new dedicated business units in Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta and Sydney.
Asian developer Hing Construction will bring a new five star hotel to Lusaka in Zambia. The resort will have around 150 rooms, spread over 12 floors and situated on a podium. Construction is expected to begin in August 2023 and will be fully financed through issuing medium-term institutional bonds. Hotel investment advisor Barrows is guiding the project using its African and Middle Eastern regional experience. The total project value is $110 million with Barrows expected to raise the funding within its institutional network of hedge funds and retirement funds. Both parties are focused on large scale hotel developments in West and Central Africa. Other Zambian hotel projects in the works include two Radisson Hotel Group sites – the 200-key Radisson Blu Mosi-oa-Tunya Livingstone Resort which will be ready before the end of this year, and the Park Inn by Radisson Lusaka Longacres, bringing 135 keys to the country’s capital this year as well.