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Covid Cases Triple in Macau

Alan Woinski
December 14th, 2022 at 7:37 AM EST

Skift Take

Daily Covid cases have nearly tripled in Macau since removing the Covid-zero strategy, reports continue to be published about China’s Covid surge so it is about time Hong Kong makes sure they can stay a step ahead of the rest.  The “amber code” restrictions for arrivals to Hong Kong was removed as of today, abolishing the 0+3 isolation measure for arrivals. This was put in place in October, already less stringent than the Mainland and Macau.  Under the new measure, the health code of all arrivals will be shown as blue provided they don’t test positive for Covid-19 on arrival, meaning no restrictions to entry to establishments in Hong Kong. Also shelved was the requirement to scan QR codes to enter certain establishments, although proof of vaccinations remain.  Hong Kong remains ahead of Macau and mainland China in relaxing Covid rules. Chief Executive John Lee cited data showing only 3.8% of incoming travelers were found to have the virus upon arrival and only 1.6% were found to be infected later. The rest are maintaining their 5+3 quarantine system for all arrivals from Hong Kong, Taiwan and foreign countries, at least for now. There are expected to be further relaxation of rules at the national level before the Lunar New Year holiday beginning on January 22 of next year, most expecting a 0+3 system for arrivals.

Century Properties Group Inc. has invested over P600 million to develop the 152 room Novotel Suites Manila, its first hospitality venture, which will have its soft opening on December 15. The investment is about P4 million per room which includes the structure, interior and other facilities. The hotel is houses at the sixth and final tower of Acqua Private Residences, located at the boundary between the Makati and Mandaluyong and cities where everything is a few minutes away. Food and beverage concepts consist of a lounge, all day dining restaurant, a café and pastry shop with the hotel tapping King Golden Dragon as their F&B partner. The pastry shop will launch in January on the hotel’s ground floor. There is a fitness center on the twenty-first floor, a swimming pool on the sixth floor, and meeting rooms for business travelers.

La Vie Hotels & Resorts announced the opening of Clarion Hotel Phuket, in the pulsing heart of Patong in Thailand.  Located just meters from the beach, the 90 room hotel is designed for the modern-day, new-age traveler, young couples, singles and those wanting to get right into the entertainment and vibrant nightlife Patong Beach has to offer. The property has refreshed modern rooms, swimming pool and the Khubani Rooftop Bar and Restaurant which the promoters are predicting will be Patong’s hottest day to night party venue. The property also has an alfresco rooftop terrace, Palm Spa, Irish Pub Finnegan’s Wake as well as the Sultan’s Grill & Restaurant serving up Turkish and Indian inspired cuisine.  The opening of Clarion Phuket is the second hotel La Vie Hotels & Resorts has signed with the hotel owner, Amardepp Singh.

Suba Group of Hotels is expanding its portfolio of premium and mid-range smart hotels, opening Click Hotel LH Seven in Morbi, Gujarat in India.  The hotel is owned by Mrs. Lalita H Tiwari. Click Hotel LH Seven is a three-star upscale hotel in the heart of Morbi, located on the National Highway (Makansar) near all the major top ceramic production houses. The hotel features 48 smart concept rooms divided into three categories: executive, premium and suites. Morbi is known as the ceramic and tile production hub of India and is also famous for clock manufacturing.

Sterling Holiday Resorts, one of India’s leading leisure hospitality brands, announced the launch of Arunai Anantha Tiruvannamalai, in Tamil Nadu, located 3.5 hours from Chennai.  The resort hotel is owned by Mr. S. Ravindren, the managing director of Gemspark Hotels. The resort features 30 rooms with select rooms offering views of the sacred Arunachala Hill.  The 3.5 acre resort is filled with greenery and includes an open-air theater and landscaped lawns for weddings and private and corporate events. Annam is the restaurant and includes local specialties of the region.  This is Sterling Holiday Resorts’ eighth resort in Tamilnadu.

memorandum of understanding was signed by the state of Uttar Pradesh and Lulu Group, considered the world’s largest retailer and hypermarket chain. Lulu Group agreed to build six malls and a hotel in the Indian state. According to the MoU, Lulu will invest a total of Rs4,500 crore to build shopping malls and hypermarkets in Noida, Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Ayodhya, Kanpur, and Prayagraj. A five star hotel will be part of the Sector 108, Noida, shopping mall project.

PT Plaza Indonesia Realty Tbk, a hotel and retail management company, projects the completion of the renovation of the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia will be in 2023. They expect the occupancy rate to recover from the current 40% to the level it was at prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. Aside from the hotel, until now, the occupancy rate of Plaza Indonesia Shopping Center is at 90%. Even the occupancy rate of office spaces in several buildings remains stable at 78%-80%.  The capital expenditure for the hotel room renovation originates from a syndicate loan. 

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan is not sure whether it will be able to reach a final decision by the end of the year and rule on whether Osaka and Nagasaki prefectures may host an integrated casino resort. Given the track record and history of Japan’s push to get casinos, we would say it is a 99.9% certainty that the country will not reach a final decision by year end, possibly not even in 1Q2023.  While we don’t believe anyone should be thinking there will be IRs built and open before 2030, the concern of the two potential host prefectures is they will not be able to make their ‘target openings’ if it is not approved this year. We have 99.9% certainty they would not have met their target date even if it was approved because the Japan casino experiment, so far, has been a total disaster. The decision has been delayed multiple times already, the same way the approval of the Diet was delayed multiple times.

Personnel Moves

David Tsai is now CEO of Crown Perth, tasked with leading Crown Perth’s remediation action plan and to work with the newly appointed Independent Monitor to implement the recommendations of the Perth Casino Royal Commission. Crown is the furthest along of all the Australian casino companies that are being punished for their past misdeeds with Star Entertainment getting the worst of it. Tsai spent over 15 years with MGM Resorts International before taking on the position with Crown.

Zhang Li, co-founder, co-chairman and president of R&F Properties was accused of bribery in the United States. R&F said he was accused of bribery for entertaining a public officer and offering hotel accommodations in San Francisco in the US.  Zhang was arrested by London police on November 30th after he was accused by U.S. authorities. Zhang asked the judge to grant him bail before he fought a legal battle against extradition to the US. R&F said a London court granted bail in connection with a pending case against Z&L Properties. On one hand R&F said they will take legal action, calling this a false accusation. On the other hand they said R&F has not affiliation with Z&L Properties as it is owned by Zhang and others and will not provide any bond for bail.  R&F also said the standard comment that this will not have any adverse effect on the company’s operations.

Alan Woinski
December 14th, 2022 at 7:37 AM EST

Companies: Accor, Choice Hotels International, Clarion, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Novotel, Sterling Holiday Resorts, Suba Hotels

Locations: Gujarat, India, Jakarta, Japan, Macau, Manila, Perth, Phuket, Uttar Pradesh

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