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China’s Travel Rebound May Speed Up

Alan Woinski
January 9th, 2023 at 7:43 AM EST

Skift Take

  • STR reported China hotel RevPAR was down -17.7% year over year for the week ended 12/31/22. When compared to the same week in 2019, RevPAR was down -23.6%.
  • As of Sunday, the terrible hotel news of the past three years is just that, in the past as borders were reopened in China.
  • The Philippines and China signed a new comprehensive tourism agreement that aims to strengthen mutual development in areas such as hotels, resorts, cruise ships, ports, tourism products and other related industries.

STR reported China hotel RevPAR was down -17.7% year over year for the week ended 12/31/22. When compared to the same week in 2019, RevPAR was down -23.6%. Absolute occupancy for the week was 39.8%. A year ago, absolute occupancy was 51.3%.

As of Sunday, the terrible hotel news of the past three years is just that, in the past as borders were reopened in China. There will continue to be plenty of news stories about countries putting restrictions on travelers from China while also trying to keep their residents from traveling to China. Quite a few European countries, as well as the United States, warned their citizens not to travel to China, including the SAR of Hong Kong and Macau. The warnings include the potential not to be able to get medical care, the highest outbreak ever of Covid cases in China but the reality is that this will fade away. The early data from the first day of Macau’s borders being open shows that Chinese are just like the US residents were when things opened up. They don’t carry the same fears as the media wants them to. Reservation rates in Macau after January 8 were 70%-80%, according to the Macau Hoteliers & Innkeepers Association. Most were coming from Hing Kong and Mainland China. They are expecting the Spring Festival occupancy to match 2019, reaching 90%. Hong Kong-based travel platform Klook said they experienced a 50-fold increase in Macau hotel and event bookings compared to the previous month in anticipation of the borders reopening. Overall hotel bookings, on a weekly basis, increased 3.2 times. As for what happened Sunday, arrivals jumped to over 39,000, which is about double what the better days had been in the past year. The first day of ferry services from Hong Kong brought in over 2,000 visitors.

The Philippines and China signed a new comprehensive tourism agreement that aims to strengthen mutual development in areas such as hotels, resorts, cruise ships, ports, tourism products and other related industries. Prior to the pandemic, the Philippines recorded 8.26 million international visitors with China being the second highest contributor at 1.74 million arrivals.

Hilton announced the opening of Conrad Singapore Orchard, its second Conrad Hotel & Resorts property in Singapore, joining Conrad Centennial Singapore. The hotel includes 10 restaurants and bars and 14 event spaces. From now until late 2023, the hotel’s 440 rooms will undergo extensive reinvention and refurbishment and will fully open in early 2024.

OUE Limited and OUE Commercial REIT Management, the manager of OUE Commercial REIT, announced the reopening of the 446-room Orchard Wing at Hilton Singapore Orchard. The property is the Hilton brand’s flagship hotel in Singapore and its largest in the Asia Pacific region. The hotel underwent a 10-month renovation with the reopening of the Orchard Wing marking the end of the final phase of the asset enhancement initiative announced in March 2020. Hilton Singapore Orchard is now operating at full inventory of 1,080 rooms. They relaunched the 634-room Mandarin Wing in February 2022. OUE said the RevPAR for 3QFY2022 ended September 31 increased 10.2% to S$332 and surpassed the previous RevPARs of the property before its rebranding.

Accor is preparing to open the first ibis budget hotel in Cambodia. The ibis budget Phnom Penh Riverside by Accor is scheduled to soft open later this month, enjoying a central location in Phnom Penh’s Chamkar Mon District. The hotel is located 14.4km from Phnom Penh International Airport. The 305-room ibis hotel includes a restaurant, grab and go breakfast, car park and a choice of multipurpose meeting rooms. The hotel is owned by OCIC, one of the leading conglomerates in Cambodia.

Accor also announced the opening of the Novotel Mumbai International Airport, the second Novotel hotel in Mumbai and twenty-second in India. The hotel is situated close to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport. The hotel features 268 guest rooms as well as 16,500 square feet of event and meeting rooms including the Harbour Room, located on the lobby level, with is own private entrance, in addition to two meeting rooms on the first floor and the grand ballroom on the eleventh floor. The hotel includes food and beverage options including a lobby restaurant an infinity pool overlooking the city views and event venues, complete with a rooftop bar. There also is a spa and salon.

Marriott will be opening a Courtyard by Marriott hotel in Shillong, India very soon. This was announced by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma when he did a walk-through of the 5 star property.

The Salil Hotel Riverside – Bangkok, a brand new lifestyle hotel, has opened in Charoen Krung by the Chao Praya River, in the center of Thailand’s capital’s downtown. The hotel includes Deluxe rooms with a choice of city, pool or river views. There are also other options like the Family Room, Presidential Suites and Penthouse Two Bedroom Suites. The Salil Hotel Riverside includes 11 separate drink or dining venues as well as Bangkok’s first and only Rooftop Cigar and Whiskey Bar. Meeting and event facilities include The Ballroom. There is a range of spa and fitness options which will be opening in the coming months such as the Harnn Heritage Spa Riverside and Rabbit Moon Aquatherapy. Guests will also be able to access a leisure swimming pool, complete with a whirlpool feature and kids’ area, as well as The Fitness Gym and The Studio. The hotel also provides an exclusive make-up area and changing room for photo shoots in and around the hotel called “The Dressing Room”, open to all guests.

JR Tokai will be building a new hotel in front of Kyoto Station in Kyoto, Japan. The name and scale of the hotel has not yet been decided but it is expected to open in fiscal year 2026. Like the existing Nagoya Marriott Associa Hotel, JR Tokai Hotels (Nagoya City), a subsidiary of JR Tokai, will manage the new hotel. The planned construction site is 3,000 square meters, the former site of a hotel on the south side of Kyoto Station. JR Tokai Real Estate acquired the land last July, the first time JR Tokai Group acquired a business site in Kyoto City. When it opens, it will be the seventh hotel for the JR Tokai Group. They expect the hotel to attract tourists from Japan and abroad.

Alan Woinski
January 9th, 2023 at 7:43 AM EST

Companies: Accor, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Courtyard by Marriott, Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, ibis Budget, JR Tokai Group, Marriott International, Novotel, OCIC, OUE Commercial REIT Management

Locations: Bangkok, China, Hong Kong, Kyoto, Macau, Mumbai, Philippines, Phnom Penh, Shillong, Singapore

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