STR reported China RevPAR for the week ending 2/18. China hotel RevPAR rose 62.1% year over year, up against a 14% comp. Versus a similar week in 2019, RevPAR was up 8.8%.
Fiji’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism announced they have recovered 71% of their tourist numbers since the reopening of their borders. In January, Fiji received more tourists than in January 2019. Travel agents are reporting a much higher quality guest, paying rates that are higher than ever before. The tourism industry is now contributing 40% to gross domestic product.
Low-cost Singapore-based airline Scoot has outlined plans to triple the number of weekly flights to and from China by April. The subsidiary of Singapore Airlines said it will initially increase its total flights to China from 14 times weekly to 26 by March 25, including increased frequencies to existing ports Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Qingdao, Tianjin and Zhengzhou. They will then increase to 42 flights weekly by the end of April with flights resuming to Haikou, Ningbo and Xi’an in April and to 57 weekly flights by June with services to Nanning and Shenyang resuming. Scoot is also planning to ramp up flight frequencies to Australia, Greece, Indonesia, Japan and Malaysia ahead of the northern hemisphere summer.
Marriott International said India was the strongest market to recover within Asia Pacific with the exception of Greater China last year. RevPAR recovery for the country was at 120% of 2019 levels in the fourth quarter. Marriott said they have seen a pretty strong recovery across Asia Pacific coming out of the second quarter of last year. Most Asian markets began opening up in phases through last summer. Japan was the last of the markets (besides China) to open fully and that was in October. Marriott’s RevPAR recovery in comparison to 2019 in the fourth quarter with all markets open was 106% of 2019. Marriott said the booking activity and pace of reservations in the current quarter in India are looking even stronger than where they were in the fourth quarter. Marriott has over 27,000 rooms in operation in Indiawith around 137 operating hotels and another 69 hotels currently under construction. Last year they opened around 11 hotels there. This year with 13 hotels expected to open in South Asia, India makes up 11.
Troubled Australian casino operator, The Star, registered an US$861 million loss in the first quarter and despite their dire outlook, have lined up investors to give them a much needed $545 million. The company is facing hundreds of millions in fines from Australian regulatory and national organizations and multiple class action lawsuits but Oaktree Capital Management, Chow Tai Fook Enterprises and Far East Consortium, Bruce Mathieson and others have agreed to pony up some cash to help them out. The capital raising will include a $115 million institutional placement and will be used to reduce the company’s net debt by $770 million to $341 million.
India’s Iconic Development Ltd., the developer of the 24-story luxury 110 Parliament Road and the 33-story Iconic Galaxy, both at Rajagiriya, is looking at investing in the Sri Lankan leisure sector. They are confident the Sri Lanka tourism sector will recover faster than the construction sector and are looking at opportunities in the Lankan leisure sector. They may build a new hotel and/or acquire and run an existing hotel. The group already owns and operates over 200 keys in the leisure sector in India in addition to their involvement in the private education sector. They have decided to put on hold their third property development project, the US$35 million 170 unit 24 floor Iconic Syke due to the current economic situation in Sri Lanka. The construction costs there per square are one of the highest in the region as the country has to import more than 70% of building materials from overseas.
Lemon Tree Hotels announced the latest signed hotel, the Lemon Tree Hotel, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. The property is expected to be operational by this coming December and shall be managed by Carnation Hotel Private Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary and management arm of Lemon Tree Hotels Limited. The property will feature 47 well-appointed rooms, a restaurant, banquet, gym and other public areas. The Bhopal Airport is about 17 kms from the property. Lemon Tree already has two operational hotels in the state in Indore and Bandhavgarh, and another three upcoming in Kanha, Jabalpur and now Bhopal. This is already the fifth hotel signed overall by the company this calendar year. Last year they signed 19 hotels.
Ayatana Hospitality has completed five years in the hospitality industry and is strengthening its footprints across South India with its expectations of launching seven new properties by 2024. The Ooty project is their latest launch while they gear up to enter Araku Valley in Andhra Pradesh later this year. Ayatana plans to develop luxury resorts and hotels chains in various South Indian states including Arakku Valley, Kabini, Chikmagalur, Vagamon, Kochi and Goa. The upcoming developments will each have a dedicated theme and will continue to represent Ayatana as a sanctuary of senses while remaining true to its name.
Manor Group, a Singapore-based real estate investment and hospitality development company, announced a strategic partnership with Unicorn Hospitality, a leading hospitality management company headquartered in Bangkok, Thailand. The partnership strategically aligns both companies by combining the strength of Manor Group in property development, with Unicorn Hospitality’s dedicated focus and expertise in hospitality management. The alliance is part of Manor Group’s growth strategy to accelerate the expansion of its hospitality portfolio. The strategic collaboration is expected to focus on projects in North and Southeast Asia.
SM Prime Holdings of the Philippines is considering reviving plans for an initial public offering of a real estate investment trust that could raise as must as $1 billion. The company has restarted discussions with advisers on listing its shopping mall portfolio through the REIT with a share sale in Manila happening as soon as the fourth quarter. SM Prime has 82 malls in the Manila area and seven in China. They have expanded into developing residential projects, office buildings and hotel and convention centers.