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Asia-Pacific

Philippines to Start Tax Refunds for Tourists

Alan Woinski
January 31st, 2023 at 7:40 AM EST

Skift Take

  • Singapore hotels’ average room rate was up 27.7% in December 2022 from a year ago to a new 14 year high of S$285.84.
  • Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos has approved a value-added tax refund program for foreign tourists by 2024 to attract more visitors.
  • The first Hilton hotel in Japan’s Hokuriku region has opened. The DoubleTree by Hilton Toyama is located within a three-minute walk of Toyama Station.

Singapore hotels’ average room rate was up 27.7% in December 2022 from a year ago to a new 14 year high of S$285.84. Tourist arrivals rose to 931,337, the highest since the onset of the pandemic. 

Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos has approved a value-added tax refund program for foreign tourists by 2024 to attract more visitors. The government collects a 12% VAT on goods consumed within the country. The plan is to allow foreigners to get a VAT refund on items they are taking out of the country, similar to what other countries offer. This was one of the proposals submitted to Marcos by a private sector advisory council tasked to help boost the tourism industry. Marcos also has approved the launch of an online visa this year for Chinese, Indian, South Korean and Japanese tourists. For 2022, the Philippines recorded 2.65 million international visitors who brought in an estimated US$3.68 billion in revenue. That was above its 1.7 million tourists target. The government is aiming to boost visitor arrivals this year to 4.8 million tourists.

The first Hilton hotel in Japan’s Hokuriku region has opened. The DoubleTree by Hilton Toyama is located within a three minute walk of Toyama Station, a 20 minute drive from Toyama Kitokito Airport. The 13 story, 201 room hotel features contemporary guest accommodations with five room types, ranging from 26 square meter layouts for up to three people to a 79 square meter premium suite that can comfortably accommodate up to four people. Amenities include banquet and meeting facilities that can accommodate up to 100 people, a 24 hour fitness center and a public bath with a sauna.

Peppers Waymouth Adelaide unveiled a new look and an assortment of new guest offerings. The 202 room flagship Adelaide, Australia hotel renovation includes 17 floors of reappointed guestrooms as well as the addition of two new luxury suites and two dedicated family rooms. The hotel added a new restaurant – TUTTO Cucina + Bar with an open kitchen and wine cellar to its ground floor, plus a new high end private dining rooms/boardroom, guest library lounge and enhanced conference rooms located on level one of the hotel. The guest rooms have all been refreshed. The hotel’s premium room types have been redesigned to include a luxurious open plan bathroom with a deep bath and walk-in shower. Two new “Bentham Suites” are on level 18, boasting a spacious and well-appointed bedroom/bathroom/robe concept, a separate living dining area, work space, fireplace, and views of the city and Adelaide Hills. The hotel’s new Peppers Family Suites feature two separate spaces with king size beds, a full marble bathroom with a bath and separate shower, work station and more. The hotel’s multi-million dollar refurbishment coincides with, and is complemented by, a similar investment by Adelaide City Council to beautify the urban environment surrounding the hotel. The Peppers Waymouth Adelaide refit also includes the hotel’s conference rooms which are now contemporary spaces with the latest guest friendly technology for 20 to 120 guests. The hotel also includes an indoor swimming pool, spa and sauna on site.

The Ascott has unveiled plans to expand The Crest Collection into Asia, as well as adding a fifth property in France and rolling the brand out to locations including Jakarta, BangkokTokyo, Osaka and London. The Crest Collection is described as a global portfolio of charming bespoke hotels and serviced residences that integrate heritage stories with curated hospitality experiences. There are just eight properties currently open but Ascott says it has signed hotels in China, Singapore and Vietnam, as well as a fifth property in France, and further hotels in the pipeline. The Riverside Hotel Robertson Quay in Singapore will become The Robertson House by the Crest Collection by the end of 2023, following a refurbishment project and Yuexiu Hotel Guangzhou by The Crest Collection is expected to open in the fourth quarter of this year. The brand is also set to add a property in Hanoi in 2024. The Citadines Sanit-Germain-des-Pres-Paris is scheduled to undergo refurbishment and rebranding works after the Olympic Games in 2024, with completion slated for 2026.

The Oberoi Group of Hotels entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Department to construct a 7-star hotel in Tirupati in India. The tourism department formally handed over 20 acres of land parcel on Zoo Park road near Alipri to the Oberoi Group on a lease-cum-rent basis. The Oberoi Group also discussed interest in constructing 7-star hotels at Gandikota, Visakhapatnam, Pichchukalanka and Horsley Hills. Oberoi will invest 100 crores for constructing the hotel in Tirupati.

Sarovar Hotels and Resorts announced the opening of Shyama Sarovar Porticoin the city of Orai, Uttar PradeshIndia making it the foremost branded and theme-based hotel in the region. The hotel is located on the Kanpur-Jhansi National Highway, a 10-minute drive from the Orai railway station, within easy reach of religious significance. The hotel is spread over close to five acres and features 72 well-appointed and spacious rooms & suites; executive cottages and honeymoon cottages; an all-day dining restaurant called Flavours; a swimming pool; a well-equipped fitness center and a contemporary salon. The hotel has banquet halls and outdoor venues, spread over 50,000 square feet. Sarovar partnered with owner Shyama Club and Resorts on the property.

Indian Hotels Company Limited has prepared a robust expansion roadmap for Goa, intending to invest around Rs 300 crore in new properties in the Indian state. The company is looking to add to its existing portfolio of 23 hotels in Goa by opening up several new resorts over the next two to three years. Among the new projects IHCL intends to set up is a “super luxury dream project” at the Fort Aguada and Taj Holiday Village, Sinquerim. IHCL is aiming to have around 1,700 rooms in Goa under its portfolio by December 31. The company will expand with new additions for their SeleQtions, Ginger and ama Stay & Trails in Goa. Over the next 24 months, they will focus on the Ginger brand. Their investment in the hotels that are currently in the pipeline and ones that have recently opened up would be around Rs 300 crore. They are looking at potential opportunities around the new airport but nothing has been confirmed yet.

Following the opening of Taiwan’s borders, the CHO Stay Capsule Hotel at Terminal 2 of Taoyuan International Airport opened its doors after closing in 2020 due to the pandemic. The hotel opened for trial operations in December 2019. The bad timing had the hotel open only four months before being shuttered due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The occupancy rate in those four months had reached 70%, Since its reopening, the booking rate has been over 30%. The hotel provides 88 single beds, with each room accommodating 10 to 14 people, and six multi-person rooms. The hotel is located on the fifth floor of the south side of Terminal 2.

Radium Development Bhd has launched its latest project, R Suites Chancery Residences in Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, with a gross development value of RM521 million. The 51-story building in on 0.88 hectare of land and consists of 944 residential suites, commercial spaces and exclusive amenities, as well as a hotel with 145 rooms managed by a private hotel brand based in Kuala Lumpur. The project is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2027.

New Zealand’s SkyCity is bringing in David Attenborough, a former Tabcorp Managing Director and CEO, as a non-executive director. His appointment is effective from March 1, 2023.

Alan Woinski
January 31st, 2023 at 7:40 AM EST

Companies: ama Stays & Trails, DoubleTree by Hilton, Ginger, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Oberoi Group, Radium Development Bhd, Sarovar Hotels and Resorts, SeleQtions, Taj, The Ascott Limited, The Crest Collection, The Indian Hotels Company Ltd

Locations: Adelaide, Andhra Pradesh, Bangkok, Goa, Jakarta, Japan, New Zealand, Osaka, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Tokyo, Uttar Pradesh

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