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Asia-Pacific

Macau Tops Forbes Travel Guide’s Five-Star List

Alan Woinski
February 16th, 2023 at 7:42 AM EST

Skift Take

  • When going up against the same week in 2019, pre-pandemic, China’s RevPAR last week was up 1.3% despite tough Chinese New Year comps due to the timing of the holiday.
  • The average occupancy rate of hotels in Taiwan was 48.06% last year, the fourth lowest in history, but the average room price per night rose to NT$4,195 (US$138), which is a record high.
  • After four years of London being on top as the five-star hotel capital of the world, they have lost that title to Macau, China.

STR reported China hotel RevPAR, the week ending February 11, was up 61.6% year over year. That was despite being up against a 54% comp result in 2022. When going up against the same week in 2019, pre-pandemic, RevPAR last week was up 1.3% despite tough Chinese New Year comps due to the timing of the holiday.

The average occupancy rate of hotels in Taiwan was 48.06% last year, the fourth lowest in history, but the average room price per night rose to NT$4,195 (US$138), which is a record high. The Taiwan Tourism Bureau said despite being affected by the pandemic, the average hotel room rate in Taiwan has grown for three consecutive years. Scholars told the Taiwan News that the main reason for the high hotel room rates in the country have been rising commodity prices and labor costs. That may be true but if customers won’t pay the prices and there is no demand, hoteliers have to lower rates. With the opening of Taiwan’s borders, any further uptick in demand could result in even higher rates, just like what has happened in the United States. The Tourism Bureau is hoping the industry will offer more weekday discounts and recommended to consumers they choose non-peak periods for travel so both parties can achieve a win-win situation.

After four years of London being on top as the five-star hotel capital of the world, they have lost that title to Macau, China. Forbes Travel Guide’s 2023 Star Awards recognized Macau as having 22 five star hotels overall. London is in second place with 21 with no new five star hotel additions to the English capital this year.

Accor announced the opening of the latest ibis budget hotel, ibis budget Phnom Penh Riverside. The Cambodian hotel comprises 110 modern rooms in five configurations including Standard Room and Family Suite options. The hotel includes self-service vending machines offering snacks, light meals and various beverages. The hotel is in the riverside area which is home to the Diamond Island Convention Center and Aeon Mall. The hotel provides a bridge connecting the hotel with Koh Pich, an up-and-coming district of the capital alongside the Mekong and Basac rivers featuring restaurants, entertainment and a photogenic neighborhood named Elysee inspired by Paris.

Meghalaya in India, also known as the Scotland of the East, recently received its second luxury hotel, the Courtyard by Marriott Shillong. The hotel launched on Monday, a few months after Vivanta opened. Currently Meghalaya has 640 registered accommodation units and 5,100 rooms, which is insufficient for a state that welcomes 12.7 lakh tourists and is expected to reach 15 lakh by 2024. The government is aiming to double the number of accommodations in the state within the next five years with 50% of them being high-value rooms falling in the highest GST slab. The Courtyard that opened is the 26th in the brand to open in India. The hotel offers 182 rooms with mountain views, equipped with smart amenities and services, located about 30km from Shillong airport. The hotel features deluxe and luxury suites, three dining options and more.

China Fortune Land Development’s co-president Meng Jing has been detained by authorities due to suspected violation of laws. Fortune Land admitted this in a filing to the Stock Exchange of Shanghai earlier this week. China Fortune said they were recently informed by the supervisory commission of Chongyang County in Xianning City, central Hubei province, about the detention of Meng. The company said the board of directors and management team will try its best to maintain all business operations of the company in an orderly manner. China Fortune Land was among the first developers in the country to default on its debt amid a widening property slump. They have a lot of company including China Evergrande, Modern Land and Sunac China Holdings. In another unrelated but similar situation, Chinese developer Seazen Holdings last Friday said they have been unable to contact its co-president and board member Qu Dejun and are unaware of his status.

STR said Abu Dhabi’s hotel occupancy remained roughly 5 percentage points lower than pre-pandemic levels in January. Their preliminary January 2023 data showed occupancy at 72.4%, ADR at AED508.45 and RevPAR at AED368.16. ADR and RevPAR far exceeded recent comparables for the month while Occupancy was slightly above January of last year. When compared to January 2019, ADR and RevPAR were up by 14.6% and 6.6% respectively.

Personnel Moves

IHG Hotels & Resorts announced Malcolm Zancanaro joined the company at the end of 2022 as Director, New Hotels Australasia & Pacific, based in the IHG Sydney office. Malcolm comes to IHG from the Grand Hyatt Beijing where he was General Manager since 2021, overseeing a $100 million renovation and hotel repositioning.

IHG also said Joel Gordon will start as Director of Operations, Franchised, Australasia & Pacific on February 20, initially looking after IHG’s Franchised estate in the region, latest adding additional support to parts of its managed estate. Joel most recently was Regional General Manager for Crystalbrook Collection, overseeing the opening and operations of hotels throughout Queensland.

Accor announced changes to its senior operations leadership team across Australia, New Zealand, French Polynesia and Fiji. Scott Boyes was appointed SVP Hotels Operations, Pacific North, responsible for hotels under management agreements in the newly designated Pacific North region. Scott has been with Accor for 28 years. Adrian Williams was appointed SVP Hotel Operations, Pacific South, responsible for Premium, Midscale and Economy hotels in the newly designated Pacific South region. Danesh Bamji has been appointed VP Franchise, Pacific and Marcus Hanna was named VP Operations Pacific, Sofitel, MGallery and Emblem.

Centara Hotels & Resorts announced the appointment of Pornchanok Thongrungrot as its new Corporate Public Relations Director. Known as Pao, she has worked at Centara since 2015 when she first joined as Assistant Corporate Public Relations Manager.

Alan Woinski
February 16th, 2023 at 7:42 AM EST

Companies: Accor, Centara Hotels & Resorts, China Fortune Land Development, Courtyard by Marriott, ibis Budget, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International, Seazen Holdings, The Indian Hotels Company Ltd, Vivanta

Locations: China, Macau, Phnom Penh, Shillong, Taiwan

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