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Golden Week Covid Outbreaks Spur China Closures

Alan Woinski
October 27th, 2022 at 7:31 AM EDT

Skift Take

  • STR said China hotel RevPAR fell -35.8% for the week ending October 22 on a year over year basis.
  • It is doubtful the RevPAR comps in China will look much better in coming weeks as Covid outbreaks following Golden Week are spurring closures and lockdowns.
  • Best Western Hotels & Resorts signed a strategic partnership for two beach apartment buildings on Vietnam’s southeast coast.

STR said China hotel RevPAR fell -35.8% for the week ending October 22 on a year over year basis. When compared to the same week in 2019, RevPAR was down -51.8%. Absolute occupancy for the week was 46.8%. That compares with 65.6% for the comparable week in 2021.

It is doubtful the RevPAR comps in China will look much better in coming weeks as Covid outbreaks following Golden Week are spurring closures and lockdowns. Universal Beijing Resort announced its theme park, Citywalk and two hotels were temporarily closed in accordance with local anti-epidemic measures. The two hotels are The Universal Studios Grand Hotel and NUO Resort Hotel. Beijing once again has been hit with a Covid-19 flare up. Beijing reported 19 new locally transmitted cases and only locally new asymptomatic case on Tuesday. For all of China, they reported 338 cases nationwide. So far Shanghai Disneyland is remaining open as they said no transmitted cases were found to have visited the park. One new confirmed case of Covid-19 and 18 asymptomatic infections were reported in Shanghai on Tuesday. The two places with the most cases reported on Tuesday were Shanxi with 212 and Xinjiang with 138. Macau reported its first case since the last outbreak, prompting concerns the casinos would have to be closed again. Even with that case, the Macau Government Tourism Office said they were moving forward with the resumption of group tours in early November. They didn’t have much to say about when e-Visas would be granted again.

Best Western Hotels & Resorts signed a strategic partnership for two beach apartment buildings on Vietnam’s southeast coast. Best Western is hoping to accelerate their expansion in the Southeast Asian nation. The terms of the agreement Best Western signed with Hung Vuong Developer including that they will operate two Hometel beach apartment buildings – The Venice 5 & 6 – within the new coastal city of Venezia Beach. The project is nestled in a prime seafront setting on the Ho Tram-Binh Chau coastal route, a short drive from Ho Chi Minh City. The new residential project will be part of the upscale Best Western Premier brand and will feature 872 apartment-style units across two buildings, fully-equipped with home comforts, kitchens and dining facilities, plus modern amenities. The Venice 5 & 6 will offer sea-facing beds, balconies and panoramic vistas from all of its rooms and suites. Onsite facilities for guests will include a café and all-day dining restaurant, an infinity pool, a fitness center, yoga area and 3D golf simulator. A business center co-working space will cater to the growing “bleisure” market. Best Western currently operates three properties in Vietnam with at least six new hotels and resorts scheduled to launch nationwide by the end of 2023. The new openings will introduce more of Best Western’s 18 brands.

The Sandpiper Hotel, situated amidst the bustling Jalan Besar/Little India precinct in Singapore, will go on sale with a guide price of $35 million. The Sandpiper Hotel was built in 2005 and sits on a freehold land area of approximately 2,750 square feet with full commercial zoning and has rare hotel approval. The property consists of 29 hotel rooms, with a passenger lift to serve guests from the basement level to the third floor. Part of the ground floor space is currently leased out to an F&B operator as an al-fresco dining area, and a small kiosk is in the midst of being carved out to operate as a money exchange in the near term. The sale will be conducted through an Expression of Interest exercise by Savills Singapore as the exclusive marketing agent. Foreigners and companies are eligible to purchase the property and NO Additional Buyer Stamp Duty or Seller’s Stamp Duty will be imposed.

The Parkroyal Collection Pickering in Singapore has gaming fever as the hotel has opened its doors to Asia Pacific’s first AMD Gaming Suite. The collaboration effort has transformed the luxurious rooms into a glitzy, cozy space where visitors can live out their gaming dreams. Parkroyal Collection Pickering has teamed up with ecosystem partners such as ASUS, Microsoft, Secretlab and Monster Energy. The room is a fully-themed Urban Suite that comes with two ASUS gaming laptops connected to 27-inch monitors, a full range of accessories and two Xbox gaming consoles. The AMD Gaming Pack is a modular “add-on” experience that can equip regular room bookings of the Urban Deluxe Room with one ASUS gaming laptop, a 27 inch monitor, one Xbox console and a full range of accessories. Guests get complimentary gaming-themed welcome snack platter, a selection of Monster Energy drinks and more, with the specials only running until December 31.

The Fullerton Ocean Park Hotel Hong Kong, the first property of the Fullerton Hotels and Resorts in Hong Kong, is currently operating in a soft opening mode but continues to say the official opening will be later this year. This is also the first resort in Fullerton Hotels’ portfolio. All 425 guest rooms are ocean-facing. The first floor includes the reception area and two of the hotel’s dining concepts. The second floor includes two more F&B locations while the third floor is considered the “garden of re-creation.” The level features pools spanning the length of the Podium, The Pavilion, The Conservatory and The Courtyard. The resort also includes an outdoor terrace, creating an idyllic spot for relaxation among nature. The Fullerton Hotels and Resorts owns and operates four properties in Asia Pacific with three in the CBD prime locations of Singapore and Sydney.

Sri Lanka’s government is trying to curb the spread of casinos in the country. They increased annual taxes on the property from Rs. 200 million to Rs. 500 million. A new amendment to the Betting and Gaming Levy Tax Act No. 40 also calls for an increased entrance fee of $20 for any Sri Lankan entering casino premises with a higher registration fee also said to be planned.

Marriott International is set to double its presence in Saudi Arabia. Marriott has 37 hotels currently in the Kingdom with the plan to have another 37 in the next two to three years. Marriott believes Saudi Arabia’s plans to launch a new airline, along with the easing of visa processing formalities will elevate the Kingdom’s place in the global tourism sector.

Club Med is celebrating its seventy-second birthday as it expands to even more places around the globe. Carolyne Doyon, president and CEO of Club Med North America and the Caribbean, shared in Forbes where the brand is headed in a post-pandemic vacation world. In 2025, Club Med Utah will become the first new resort in the U.S. for the brand in more than 20 years and the first-ever Exclusive Collection mountain resort in North America. Club Med wants to make winter sports more accessible and cost-effective for American travelers. With the brand’s all-inclusive mountain vacation model, everything is take care of from lift passes, group ski or snowboard lessons, and guided hiking groups to all-day dining, childcare, and family activities, which are all included. The plan is to grow by adding 3-5 new resort openings or renovations per year, seeking destinations that are ideal for both families and upscale travelers. The Club Med Exclusive Collection portfolio has 19 of Club Med’s most luxurious 5-star accommodations, growing to 25 properties by 2025. Travelers can expect to see 10 new Club Med resorts and 13 renovations or extensions of existing resorts by 2024, including Club Med Pragelato-Sestriere in Italy and Club Med Gregolimano in Greece. This December, travelers have three new all-inclusive mountain resorts, Club Med Tignes and Club Med Val d’Isere in the French Alps and Club Med Kiroro in Japan. Next year, Club Med will open its third Japanese property in Hokkaido and a new resort on the Malaysian side of the island of Borneo. The Joyview brand is a hotel-style concept in China with resorts situated an hour outside major cities for guests to enjoy a weekend away. The concept includes more flexibility like daily rooms rates or an option for an all-inclusive package.

Alan Woinski
October 27th, 2022 at 7:31 AM EDT

Companies: Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Best Western Premier, Club Med, Marriott International, Pan Pacific Hotels Group, The Fullerton Hotels & Resorts

Locations: Beijing, China, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Vietnam

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