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Japan Tourism Numbers Are Finally Going Up

Alan Woinski
November 22nd, 2022 at 7:43 AM EST

Skift Take

  • The number of foreign visitors to Japan rose to nearly 500,000 in October, the first month it fully reopened to overseas visitors after more than two years of being closed due to Covid restrictions.
  • Visitor arrivals to Macau in October totaled 580,333, up just 4% from September despite October being a month with a Golden Week.
  • Radisson Hotel Group is planning to grow its portfolio in India from 140 hotels to 200 in FY24.

The number of foreign visitors to Japan rose to nearly 500,000 in October, the first month it fully reopened to overseas visitors after more than two years of being closed due to Covid restrictions. The 498,600 foreign visitors in October was more than double September’s 206,500. That number was still down -80% on 2019. In 2019 a record 31.8 million foreign visitors went to Japan. This year, the first 10 months has seen 1.52 million visitors. In 2019 about a third of all the visitors were Chinese, something that will not even play a part in foreign visitation anytime soon. Japan is reopening its ports to cruise ships from March 2023, with some 166 ships slated to visit next year.

With the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday in the United States, the next Daily Lodging Report – Asia Pacific will be Monday, November 28.

Visitor arrivals to Macau in October totaled 580,333, up just 4% from September despite October being a month with a Golden Week. The comps were easy as October Golden Week 2021 only brought in 8,200 tourists. In 2019 there were 140,000 tourists per day coming in for Golden Week. October 2022 has 202,166 coming in from Mainland China on the Individual Visit Scheme. Neighboring Guangdong province, now in the process of being locked down with 1/3 of the daily Mainland China cases being reported there, was the source of 337,924 visitors to Macau in October.

Radisson Hotel Group is planning to grow its portfolio in India from 140 hotels to 200 in FY24. The company expects to close FY23 at 15% occupancy rate above pre-Covid levels. RHG has added 150 hotels in operation and development across 60+ locations. They sign around 12-14 hotels every year so they are aiming for 200 by FY24. RHG said the most opportunities for them in India will be defined through Radisson Red while Park Inn will lead the mid-market group story. RHG recently launched the new midscale Park Inn & Suites by Radisson in India. RHG expects nearly 50% of business conversions in the future to be driven by these markets and has materialized this vision by opening hotels under multiple brands in locations like Katra, Surat, Nashik, Bhopal, and Jammu. RHG said they will finish this year with revenue at about 15% to 20% of pre-Covid levels with many markets showing average room rates that are 30-40 percent higher.

Savills Hotels said they believe foreign companies are focused on expanding in Vietnam. They are expecting about 160 branded resorts in tourist destinations this year, twice as many as in 2019. Many analysts believe that with tourist numbers rising, Vietnam’s hotel and resort market will become attractive to many investors in the region. Data from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism shows the number of domestic tourists in the first 10 months of this year reached 91.8 millionsurpassing the figure in 2019. The number of international visitors was 2.3 million in the first 10 months. That is up 18.8 times from 2021 but still way down from 2019. IHG Hotels & Resorts said they plan on opening 22 more hotels in Vietnam over the next 3-5 years. IHG has 15 hotels within five brands currently under its management nationwide.

Hap Seng Consolidated Berhad celebrated the grand opening of Hyatt Centric Kota Kinabalu with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Hyatt Centric Kota Kinabalu marks the debut of Hyatt’s lifestyle brand in Malaysia and Southeast Asia, joining five other Hyatt-branded hotels in Malaysia. Construction started in May 2019 with the hotel opening its doors on October 20, 2022. This is Hap Seng’s inaugural hotel but they have three more Hyatt properties slated to open in the next few years in Malaysia. The 22-story Hyatt Centric is located in the heart of the city’s lively dining and entertainment district and features 222 guestrooms with balconies. The hotel is crowned with an infinity pool, duplex restaurant and bar on the rooftop, seven meeting spaces and more.

Hyatt Hotels announced the official opening of EPISODE Hsinchu, the first hotel within the JdV by Hyatt portfolio in Taiwan and the debut of the Hotel EPISODE brand. Hsinchu is about an hour’s drive from Tapei and 40 minutes from Taoyuan International Airport, along Taiwan’s northwestern coast. The pet-friendly hotel features 140 rooms and suites. The hotel offers premium Loft Suites. Westwood is Hsinchu’s newest culinary destination, located int the hotel. The hotel’s communal space is called Social.

Philippines DoubleDragon Corp expects to generate over $137 million in sales from its first overseas project, the Hotel 101 in Niseko, Hokkaido, in Japan, marking the beginning of an aggressive international strategy. Hotel 101 Niseko will have 518 rooms, with them sold to investors and end-users through preselling activities.

Indonesia put up the right to invest in the development of the Widi Reserve, a 100-island archipelago located northeast of Bali. The auction is being done through Sotheby’s. Indonesian law does not permit private ownership of islands so potential investors will take part in the project by buying part of company, Leadership Islands Indonesia, which has development rights on the archipelago. 10,000 hectares of uninhabited, pristine land will be available for potential eco-conscious and gentle build-outs with at least 50 luxury resorts planned to be developed over the next few years. The auction will take place December 8-14.

Suba Group of Hotels, one of India’s fastest-growing hotel chains in India, expanded its footprint in the city of lakes by opening a Comfort Inn in Udaipur, Rajasthan. The Comfort Inn is a business hotel located near Pratap Circle in Pratap Nagar, a prime area in the city. This is the 100th hotel by the group in India and 63rdChoice Hotel in India. Comfort Inn Udaipur has 35 rooms, a multi-cuisine fine dining restaurant, rooftop bar, restaurant and a banquet hall. Suba manages the hotel.

Singapore’s Kreate Design Pte Ltd. is planning to invest $1 billion within the next three years to convert Colombo Lotus Tower, in Sri Lanka’s capital, into an entertainment hub, including a casino. The total investment encompasses a casino, conference, and international shopping centers, water sports and other entertainment options. This would be the largest investment in Sri Lanka since the beginning of the pandemic. Sri Lanka’s State Minister of Tourism believes this would enable Colombo Lotus Tower to be a hub for developing trade, investment and tourism activities between Singapore and Sri Lanka.

Alan Woinski
November 22nd, 2022 at 7:43 AM EST

Companies: Hyatt Centric, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, JdV by Hyatt, Kreate Design Pte Ltd., Park Inn by Radisson, Radisson Hotel Group, Radisson Red, Savills

Locations: Bhopal, Colombo, India, Indonesia, Jammu, Japan, Katra, Macau, Malaysia, Nashik, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Surat, Taiwan, Vietnam

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