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China Moves to Ease International Travel Requirements

Alan Woinski
October 26th, 2022 at 7:20 AM EDT

Skift Take

  • Chinese authorities signaled a move to ease international travel requirements,just a couple of days after President Xi reiterated his Zero-Covid policy.
  • Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Sun Hung Kai Properties announced plans for a new Four Seasons hotel in historic Suzhou, China.
  • Marriott International’s Ritz-Carlton brand announced the Ritz-Carlton, Melbourne will open its doors in the first quarter of 2023.

Chinese authorities signaled a move to ease international travel requirements, just a couple of days after President Xi reiterated his Zero-Covid policy. In a joint notice issued by regulators, the government asked authorities to make it more convenient for multi-national companies’ executives, technicians and their families to travel to China. The notice said all localities should make good use of the fast lanes for the personnel exchanges and further clarify the standards and procedures for foreign personnel to come to and leave China. The country’s strict Covid-19 controls have made it very difficult for multinational companies operating in the country to send new personnel to replace those leaving China since the start of the pandemic.

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Sun Hung Kai Properties announced plans for a new Four Seasons hotel in historic Suzhou, China, set to open in late 2023. Four Seasons Hotel Suzhou will comprise 9-hectares of a private island surrounded by the landmark Jinji Lake. Sun Hung Kai Properties said the Four Seasons Suzhou will be one of the most inspiring luxury hotels in Suzhou and the greater Yangtze River Delta region. This will be their first hotel development in Suzhou with Four Seasons managing the property. The hotel will have just over 200 rooms, suites and oversized private villas. There will be a tranquil spa, fully equipped gym, lakeside jogging track, indoor and outdoor pools, Kids for All Seasons facility and even a special venue for pet dogs. A premier Chinese restaurant with seven private dining rooms, all day dining restaurant, lobby lounge and lobby bar and an Executive Lounge overlooking the hotel’s private landscaped lagoon will cover the F&B options. The hotel will also have a grand ballroom, multi-function room and several meeting rooms. The hotel will include a penthouse honeymoon suite overlooking Jinji Lake, an outdoor wedding lawn and more.

Marriott International’s Ritz-Carlton brand announced the Ritz-Carlton, Melbourne will open its doors in the first quarter of 2023. The hotel is located on Lonsdale Street in the heart of the Australian metropolis. The Ritz Carlton’s lobby is located on level 80, above 257 hotel rooms and suites. The hotel presents luxury accommodations, dining experiences across both restaurant and bar, wellness spaces, an infinity pool, meeting and event facilities and services.

The doors have officially opened at Novotel Devonport, one of northern Tasmania’s most anticipated hotel launches of this year. The hotel has a waterfront location overlooking the Mersey River, just a stone’s throw from the Spirit of Tasmania terminal. The hotel offers 187 accommodation options including standard, superior, and deluxe guestrooms with a choice of city or river views, along with a selection of luxurious executive suites. The Lyons Architecture-designed hotel was conceptualized to act as an iconic horizontal land bridge, visually connecting the Mersey River to the city of Devonport. The hotel seemingly floats above its parkland setting as a striking elevated structure propped on sculptural columns. Coinciding with the hotel debut is the opening of the Mr. Good Guy restaurant and bar, set to become Devonport’s newest gourmet destination. The hotel also features 24-hour room service, 24-hour fitness center, a meeting room and direct access to the convention center.

The Westin Resort & Spa UbudBali has opened, located a short distance from Ubud Monkey Forest, Ubud Royal Palace, and Ubud Art Market. The 120-room hotel is the first Westin in the Ubud area. The 120 rooms include contemporary guestrooms, suites and villas, each equipped with the Heavenly Bed and Heavenly Bath. There are numerous dining options and the Lobby Bar. The Heavenly Spa by Westin, Westin Workout Fitness Studio, RunWestin and Westin Family Kids Club rounds out the Westin brand amenities that are standard in just about every one of their hotels. The property also offers meeting and special event options with two flexible meeting rooms, with the two connecting Chakra and Prana meeting rooms totaling 160 square meters.

Sabre Corporation announced a new alliance with MyStays Hotel Management. The agreement will enable the Tokyo-headquartered hotel chain to grow its global reach, including putting its offers in front of an increasing number of international and corporate guests. MyStays Hotel Management will now be able to share its inventory with travel agents globally across all major Global Distribution Systems through Sabre Hospitality’s SynXis platform. MyStays Hotel has more than 100 premises throughout Japan, from Hokkaido to Okinawa. They have opened more than 20 new hotels over the past two years. The chain specializes in full-service city hotels, resort hotels, community-based properties, hot springs and serviced residences for short and long-term stays.

Radisson Beach Resort Palm Jumeirah has opened, located along the contemporary beachfront promenade at The Palm’s West Beach on the shores of Palm Jumeirah. The property features 315 king and 74 twin rooms, with balconies showing off views over the Arabian Gulf, Dubai Marina skyline and harbor and the iconic Ain Dubai. This is one of the Group’s first resorts in the UAE. It will offer access to an exclusive hotel beach with sun loungers, sunbeds with umbrellas and F&B service. The property includes multiple swimming pools, including a podium swimming pool on the first floor, a rooftop swimming pool and spa on the thirteenth floor and a children’s pool with Kids Club.

The government-backed developer of massive regenerative tourism projects in Saudi Arabia is now called Red Sea Global. The Red Sea destination is on track to welcome visitors by early 2023. RSG’s mandate has expanded to oversee a dozen projects along the coast of Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea, with potential expansion into the kingdom in the future. The existing projects underway, including Amaala, are projected to contribute over 33 billion riyals to Saudi Arabia’s economy on completion.

Africa Highlights

IHG Hotels & Resorts has signed a management agreement with HOC Hospitality Investments for a new build Vignette hotel in Zimbabwe, marking the brand’s foray into the Middle East and Africa region. This is the tenth Vignette hotel and it was announced and coincided with the first anniversary of the brand. House of Chinhara – Vignette Collection, will open in January 2026 in the city of Victoria Falls and offer an urban resort hospitality option to over 250,000 annual tourist visitors. The town was recently designated as a financial services Special Economic Zone and the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange has been created, leading most to believe a boost in MICE demand will follow. The House of Chinhara will be made up of 99 keys with two F&B outlets, three bars/cafes, located in the city center just 20 kilometers from the airport. Guests will be able to make use of a health club and 800 square meters of spa and retail space. The hotel will also include four meeting rooms comprising 620 square meters. The hotel will complement the Six Senses Victoria Falls which is also being developed by HOC Hospitality Investments Ltd. and is also an IHG-branded property. This will be the brand’s first riverside game lodge resort in the Victoria Falls National Park buffer zone, a UNESCO Protected Area. That property will have 54 rooms and three food and beverage outlets, including an all-day dining, specialty dining and a signature dining & sundowner bar, as well as a spa and an integrated retails and concept store.

Alan Woinski
October 26th, 2022 at 7:20 AM EDT

Companies: Accor, Four Seasons, HOC Hospitality Investments, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International, MyStays Hotel Management, Novotel, Radisson, Radisson Hotel Group, Red Sea Global, Ritz-Carlton, Six Senses, Sun Hung Kai Properties, Vignette Collection, Westin Hotels & Resorts

Locations: Abu Dhabi, Australia, Bali, China, Melbourne, Saudi Arabia, Suzhou, Tasmania, Zimbabwe

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