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China Pushes Back at Outbound Tourism Restrictions

Alan Woinski
January 5th, 2023 at 7:31 AM EST

Skift Take

  • China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman told the media that many foreign nations had responded warmly to the country’s newly relaxed Covid-19 regulations.
  • The Macau government said that, as of this Sunday, they will officially end all quarantine requirements for all nationalities entering Macau.
  • Vietnam said its tourism sector raked in about US$408.3 million in revenue during the three-day 2023 New Year holiday.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman told the media that many foreign nations had responded warmly to the country’s newly relaxed Covid-19 regulations. Some countries were also said to have reacted to Beijing’s decision to ease its own health policies with ‘disproportionate’ and ‘unacceptable’ restrictions. The Chinese government threatened to retaliate after the United States and other nations reinforced their coronavirus-related entry procedures for visitors arriving from China. The spokeswoman said they do not believe the entry restriction measures some countries have taken against China are science-based. They said this as numerous media reports suggested China is greatly underreporting the number of Covid cases and severity, particularly the number of deaths. China did not say how they will retaliate but previously accused Western nations of attempting to ‘sabotage China’s three years of Covid-19 control efforts and attack the country’s system’.

The Macau government said that, as of this Sunday, they will officially end all quarantine requirements for all nationalities entering Macau. There will be no more nucleic acid test requirements for mainland China entries and all nationalities entering Macau will not need to quarantine. All health management measures will also be abolished. Foreigners will still be required to take a NAT test shortly before arrival. The director of the Macau Health Bureau officially said in the past few weeks, 60% to 70% of Macau’s population has already been infected so their scientific studies suggest they will not be re-infected within the next three to six months.

Vietnam said its tourism sector raked in about US$408.3 million in revenue during the three-day 2023 New Year holiday. The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism said from December 31, 2022 to January 2, 2023, the sector recorded about 3 million domestic travelers. Most of the visitors came from the Republic of Korea, Russia, Germany and Spain. Vietnam has also started welcoming back tourists from India, the Middle East, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and others. Quang Nam province attracted 89,000 foreign arrivals, Hanoi had 38,000 and Ho Chi Minh City attracted 35,000.

Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas announced the Six Senses Vana in Uttarakhand, India, has been welcomed into its portfolio. The launch marks the brand’s first dedicated wellness retreat. Six Senses Vana is spread over 21 acres in the Himalayan foothills.

Accor announced they signed a management agreement for a Grand Mercure hotel in the heart of Thailand’s capital city. The hotel will be refurbished and rebranded as Grand Mercure Bangkok Atrium, located on New Phetchaburi Road in downtown Bangkok. This will be the fourth Grand Mercure in Thailand. The hotel has 568 rooms and suites in eight room categories, ranging in size from 30 to 129 square meters. The hotel will offer an array of leisure facilities including an outdoor swimming pool and sundeck, a fully-equipped fitness center and spa and diverse dining options. The hotel also has a ballroom and selection of meeting rooms.

Pontiac Land Group celebrated the completion of Capella Sydney’s construction phase last month by hosting distinguished guests from the NSW government, City of Sydney and the Singapore High Commission. The former Department of Education Building in Sydney, Australia, after seven years, has been transformed into a 192-room hotel, described as contemporary design meeting storied architectural features. The official opening will be in March 2023. Capella Sydney is a two-phase restoration project, comprising two heritage properties – the former Department of Education building and Department of Lands building, collectively known as the Sandstone Precinct. Restoration works at the Dept. of Lands building are still underway with completion expected in 2026. Upon completion, Capella Sydney will be extended into a mixed-use development with larger-scale event and meeting spaces, curated retailers and signature food and beverage establishments.

Lemon Tree Hotels announced the signing of Keys Lite by Lemon Tree Hotels, Banswara, Rajasthan in India. The property is expected to be operational by April 2024 and will be managed by Carnation Hotels Private Limited, the management arm of Lemon Tree Hotels Limited. The property will feature 54 rooms, a restaurant, banquet spaces and a fitness center. The Udaipur Airport is about 161 kilometers from the property.

The Novotel Suva Lami Bay Hotel in Suva, Fiji reopened on December 9 after being closed for three years due to the pandemic. Fiji is trying to jumpstart tourism with the Fiji Tourism chief executive saying their goal of achieving visitor numbers of around 400,000 was way too low and they will wind up hitting over 600,000 visitors for 2022. The holiday season was on pace to exceed 2019 levels with Australians, Kiwis, and Americans leading the way. The Novotel Suva Lami Bay was closed in 2020 and opened in December, starting with just 40 rooms and then adding another 22 by the end of the year. At full capacity they will have 108 rooms. The hotel is looking forward to reopening their gym, spa and conference facilities shortly as they try to build up their business over the summer period. 

Berjaya Corp Bhd’s wholly owned indirect subsidiary Berjaya Yokohama Hospitality Asset TMK is acquiring six parcels of land measuring 20,977.15 square meters from the city of Yokohama for RM408.82 million. BCorp will develop a Four Seasons Yokohama Harbour Edge project on the land, with an estimated gross development value of 138.17 billion yen. In June 2020 the group secured a development tender approval from the city of Yokohama to develop projects involving a global luxury hotel and hotel condominium, together with aquarium and retail outlets. BCorp holds a controlling stake in the joint venture with Marubeni Corporation and Daiwa House Industry Co Ltd. to undertake the project. The Four Seasons Yokohama project is expected to be developed over four years with the development funded via bank borrowings and/or internal funds.

Emperor Entertainment said they will continue to operate a satellite casino out of its Grand Emperor Hotel property on Macau’s peninsula. They have an agreement with SJM, starting from January 1, 2023 to provide services to SJM in relation to the casino to be operated under SJM’s gaming concession. 

Alan Woinski
January 5th, 2023 at 7:31 AM EST

Companies: Accor, Capella Hotels & Resorts, Four Seasons, Grand Mercure Hotels and Resorts, Lemon Tree Hotels, Novotel, Pontiac Land Group, Six Senses

Locations: Bangkok, China, Fiji, Macau, Rajasthan, Sydney, Tokyo, Uttarakhand, Vietnam

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