STR reported China hotel RevPAR for the week ended 11/5 was up 4.4% year over year. When compared to a similar week in 2019, RevPAR was down -44.7% which tells a better story of what is going on there. Year over year, absolute occupancy for this past week was 49.6% while the comp week in 2021 absolute occupancy was 45.6%.
China’s Covid cases continue to surge with 8,824 new domestic cases reported on Wednesday. The state-run Xinhua news agency said authorities need to take a more targeted approach to tackling Covid outbreaks and rectify any extra “layers” of measures. Thousands of government officials have been punished for perceived failings in the nearly three years of the pandemic. The state run agency praised the implementation of measures in some major cities such as Zhengzhou in the central province of Henan. They can say what they want but any province that has been able to contain Covid has just been lucky. Beijing is fighting a losing battle here as these new variants are too contagious to contain. That being said Xinhua is blaming officials for doing things like not locking down whole communities, only surrounding areas where infections were found. As to what the next step will be if the outbreak does not run its course, we all know it will be full lockdowns again, especially in places around Guangzhou which reported another day of at least 2,000 cases.
Ratings agency Icra said they expect premium hotel inventory in India to increase 3.5% to 4% in the current fiscal year with an addition of around 15,500 rooms amid a recovery in demand. Icra cited a demand recovery that has been better than expected in the last few months, aided by domestic leisure travel, pent-up demand from MICE, including weddings, and gradual recovery in business travel and foreign tourist arrivals. Even with a pickup in new supply announcements and construction activity in projects that was stalled post-Covid, Icra believes the hotel supply pipeline will grow only at a 5 year CAGR of 3.5%-4%, adding 15,500 rooms to the pan-India premium inventory of 94,800 rooms across 12 key cities in India. The report suggests pan-India premium hotel occupancy is expected to be 68-70 percent while the average room rate is projected to hover around Rs 5,600-5,800 this fiscal year. Occupancy was averaging 62-64 percent through October 2022. The bulk of the upcoming inventory in the premium sector is concentrated in select markets with Mumbai and Bangalore accounting for the bulk of it but there are also sizeable supply announcements in tier-II leisure and religious destinations. Icra also said rebranding has been prevalent and that a significant part of the pipeline is expected to be through management contracts and operating leases.
Marriott International already has the largest number of branded hotel rooms in India at about 26,000 but they have drawn up ambitious growth plans for the country. Taj has the most hotels but Marriott has the highest room count, according to Hotelivate. Marriott has 67 hotels in the pipeline and said they are in talks about signing up several more. They currently have 134 hotels and said they will hit the 200 hotel mark in India by 2025. In the past 22 months they have signed 24 hotels and are opening 14-20 hotels there every year.
Six Senses will open its first Australian property at Burnham Beeches, the heritage mansion and 22 hectare estate that was designed by architect Harry Norris in 1933 for the Nicholas “Aspro” family. The mansion is located 40 kilometers from Melbourne in the fern glades and forested hills of the Dandenong Ranges. The property will initially have 43 guest accommodations and hospitality venues, including a welcome lounge and terrace, a restaurant with outdoor seating, a library bar, and a rooftop retreat encased by garden planters. The variety of guest rooms with individual layouts, spread over the mansion’s three wings, will include a separate two-bedroom cottage with interconnecting one-bedroom suites within the site’s Hilltop Retreat. The master plan will incorporate a premium and unique glamping offer to bring the total accommodation to 82. The Six Senses Spa will be on the lower ground level of the mansion. The master plan also includes plans for a Village Square, serving as the beating heart of the site, giving hotel guests access to an additional collection of venues. Six Senses Burnham Beeches is slated to open in mid-2025.
ONYX Hospitality Group and S P Setia Bhd have teamed up on a new property in Kuala Lumpur, holding a soft launch. Located in Setia KL Eco City along Jalan Bangsar, Amari Kuala Lumpur is a 252-room hotel, offering four dining experiences and facilities such as an infinity pool overlooking the city skyline and a fitness center featuring equipment for a good workout. Four meeting and events spaces are available on the second floor. The hotel is directly connected to the Abdullah Hukum LRT/KTM station. The Amari Spice in Penang and Amari Kuala Lumpur are jointly owned by ONYX and SP Setia Bhd. ONYX manages the properties.
Songtsam, an award-winning luxury boutique hotel collection and destination marketing company located in the Tibet and Yunnan Provinces of China announced the construction of Songtsam’s first zero-carbon hotel, the Songtsam Linka Retreat Lake Basong Tso located in Tibet. The 120 room Retreat is expected to open in July, 2023 and will be Songtsam’s sixteenth and largest property. Songtsam Linka Retreat Lake Basong Tso is situated near Lake Bason Tso in Gongbujiangda County, Nyingchi.
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts announced plans to expand its presence in the Middle East alongside Saudi-based investment firm Midad Real Estate. Together they will introduce Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Jeddah at the Corniche, a new build coastal retreat scheduled to open in 2024. The project will be located within the Corniche district. The Four Seasons will include 269 guest rooms and suites, 21 serviced apartments for short and long term stays, and 64 private residences including two penthouses. The serviced apartments will be available in two and three bedroom configurations starting at 116 square meters. Homeowners there will have exclusive access to a private resident’s lounge, outdoor terrace, fitness center and valet service. The hotel’s amenities include multiple restaurants with terraces for open-air dining, an outdoor shisha lounge, cigar lounge as well as meeting and event space totaling 4,000 square meters. Men and women will have their own pools, fitness centers and spas.
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group announced it will manage a luxury hotel in Kuwait, projected to open in 2028. The hotel will be located in the heart of the financial district of Kuwait City. Mandarin Oriental, Kuwait will be located in an 80 story tower. In addition to the hotel, the tower will comprise a podium with a variety of international retail and entertainment centers, as well as premium office space. It will also be the headquarters of Bukhamseen Group Holding, which is developing the overall project. The hotel will feature 159 guestrooms, including 33 suites and 10 serviced apartments, with views of downtown Kuwait City. It will offer a wide range of food and beverage outlets, extensive meeting and banqueting spaces, a Spa at Mandarin Oriental, fitness center and both indoor and outdoor swimming pools.
Centara Hotels & Resorts has promoted Jurairat Mongkolwongsiri to the position of vice president of sales. Jurairat has been with Centara for 20 years. She will now lead the Sales division while also overseeing the Revenue Management and Distribution functions.