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Asia’s Hotel Rates Soar on Chinese Traveler Wave

Alan Woinski
March 7th, 2023 at 8:14 AM EST

Skift Take

  • CNBC produced a segment on how hotel rates in Asia Pacific are surging.
  • CBRE said Australian hotel sales hit $2.14 billion in 2022, the second highest transaction volume on record
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Fukuoka will open its doors on June 21, 2023 on the island of Kyushu in southern Japan.

CNBC produced a segment on how hotel rates in Asia Pacific are surging. Squawk Box Asia late last week interviewed Alan Watts, Hilton’s Asia Pacific president who told them rates are at an all time high, clearly following the same pattern rates did in the United States after they opened up the country. Watts said the rates are being fueled by travel demand that is like a feast to offset the famine. CNBC said that travel booking company Traveloka reported average hotel rates across Southeast Asia have gone up more than 10% since 2022 but rates have climbed more than 45% in destinations that are attracting the most Chinese travelers, naming Bali, Bangkok, Phuket and Singapore. The booking company said Bangkok rates are up over 70% and Singapore is coming in at over 40%. Ctrip told CNBC average hotel prices in Bangkok jumped nearly 70% in late January. As for airlines, international travel is being impacted by airfares that have doubled or tripled which shows why higher end hotels are getting more action with data identity company Adara saying fewer travelers are booking rooms under $100 a night while the number of people booking rooms that cost $400 or more nearly tripled. It could be Chinese travelers wanting luxury stays or only the wealthier can afford the airfare these days. Reuters said a return flight between San Francisco and Shanghai showed United Airlines charging nearly US$4,000 in economy and more than $18,000 in business class. Kayak, on the other hand, said their data is showing some of the highest average hotel rates in the region have already started to drop with average nightly hotel rates in Bangkok down -36% from January to February and down -33% in Singapore. At the same time average nightly rates rose 70% in Hong Kong and 73% in Tokyo.

CBRE said Australian hotel sales hit $2.14 billion in 2022, the second highest transaction volume on record, with significant additional equity capital still on the sidelines waiting for signs of a stabilization in interest rates and inflation. CBRE’s latest Hotels Overview and Outlook report highlights recovering occupancies and strong growth in ADR assisted in insulating the hotels sector from the effects of rising inflation. Last year hotel sales included 53 transactions valued at over $10 million, a record number of deals, 39% above the 10 year average. CBRE said the momentum has continued into 2023 with the recent sale of the first Australian Waldorf Astoria hotel to Tattarang property company Fiveight. CBRE jointly negotiated the Sydney transaction, a new Australian record set for a single asset hotel sale. CBRE said that nationally, ADR rose 24% year on year in 2022 to $228, up 23% from 2019 rates. National occupancy averaged 65%, just 10% shy of pre-pandemic levels. CBRE is expecting ADR growth to moderate in 2023 but operators are expected to maintain strong rate policies in favor of returning to pre-pandemic occupancy levels. CBRE expects occupancy levels in domestic demand dominated cities to edge upwards from already strong levels. Sydney and Melbourne should also continue to see occupancy gains as inbound demand recovers. Short term overseas arrivals remain -40% below pre-pandemic levels but the return of Chinese travelers should help the inbound tourism recovery. On the development front, the report highlights that the hotel market’s expansionary phase is set to peak in the next 12 months with around 8,400 rooms set to be delivered across the country’s major hotel markets in 2023 and 2024. Following this wave, higher debt and construction costs are anticipated to suppress the hotel development pipeline, being largely limited to key strategic sites usually having mixed use appeal.

The Ritz-Carlton, Fukuoka will open its doors on June 21, 2023 on the island of Kyushu in southern Japan. Situated within the main tower of the Fukuoka Daimyo Garden City complex in the tech hub of Tenjin, the 167 room luxury hotel is the first by Marriott International to open in the Kyushu region. The hotel is 15 minutes from Fukuoka Airport. The 11,900 square meter Fukuoka Daimyo Garden City complex is a core feature of the Tenjin Big Bang site. The Ritz Carlton will occupy the first, third and upper floors of Garden City’s main tower, which rises 25 stories above a new 3,000 square meter park created for outdoor events. The 147 guest rooms and 20 suites will be situated on the 19th to 234d floors with the standard rooms beginning at a minimum size of 50 square meters. A club lounge, spa, gym and pool are planned for the 24th floor, along with a bar overlooking the ships and sparkling lights to Hakata Bay. Hotel facilities include a wedding chapel, banquet rooms, Japanese restaurant, all-day dining venue, lobby lounge and bar and a café.

Radisson Hotel Group said they signed the Radisson RED Phuket Patong Beach, an upscale lifestyle hotel that will mark the debut of the Radisson RED brand in Thailand. This is part of their strategy to double its portfolio of operating hotels in Thailand by mid-2024. Radisson RED Phuket Patong Beach is scheduled to open in late 2023 and marks the conversion of an existing property in the heart of Patong Beach. The hotel is owned by Destination Group which recently partnered with RHG to open both the Radisson Resort & Spa Hua Hin and Radisson Resort & Suites Phuket. The hotel has 390 rooms, including Family Rooms with bunk beds and Party Rooms with dedicated fun spaces . There is a rooftop beach club, alfresco dining in the Warehouse, and a secret speakeasy lounge. A gym and wellness amenities like ice tubs and Himalayan sea salt spa are some of the amenities in addition to two pools including a rooftop pool. 

Pan Pacific Hotels Group launched ParkRoyal Langkawi Resort, strategically located along the beaches of Pantai Tengah at the UNESCO Geopark of Langkawi, Malaysia. The 301 room beachfront resort adds to Pan Pacific’s network of more than 50 hotels, resorts and serviced suites in over 30 key cities across Asia Pacific, North America and Europe by 2024. The resort’s rooms range from 437 square feet for the deluxe room category to 1,248 square feet for a two bedroom apartment. Its one to three bedroom villas range from 2,615 square feet to 3,982 square feet and feature a cozy lounge area and a private plunge pool with direct access to the beach. There are dining options, a Suasana Spa, two pools, outdoor playground and kids’ club, jogging trail and a fitness center. Next up for Pan Pacific Hotels Group will be the opening of ParkRoyal Serviced Suites Hanoi and ParkRoyal Serviced Suites Jakarta in 2023 and 2024 respectively.

Club Med will be opening a new resort in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah in Malaysia by the fourth quarter of next year. The greenfield beach resort will be developed in close collaboration with the owner, Golden Sands Beach Resort City Sdn Bhd. The property sits on 41 acres and has 400 rooms, including 40 suites. The Club Med will have a 5-Trident collection space, classified as 4-Trident but with a 5-Trident space, the first in Malaysia. Full details of the property will be announced later this year.

JWLand has reconfigured plans for a multi-building, mixed-use development that was to include two hotels on the former public housing land sitting between Haig Park and the Rex Hotel in Braddon in Australia. The $158 million proposal was to add 602 units and 239 hotel rooms to the inner north, as well as restaurants and commercial tenancies. The number of residential apartments remains unchanged but the planned hotel rooms have been reconfigured and increased in size to achieve 128 BTR units, 83 with one bedroom and 45 with two bedrooms. A range of residential amenities proposed include a wellness center with exercise equipment, a yoga space and other facilities, a bicycle workshop and storage area, communal kitchen and entertaining space, including two dining rooms, and a recreation room.

Personnel Moves

Accor announced Anne Gill has taken up the role of SVP Commercial, Premium, Midscale and Economy for Accor Pacific. She was previously VP Sales and Connected Partners in the Pacific region. She takes over for Renae Trimble who was promoted to CEO of Accor Plus. Steven Lake has been appointed SVP Finance, Premium, Midscale and Economy for Accor Pacific. He has been with Accor for 28 years with his most recent role having him lead Accor’s Hospitality Services division incorporating Qantas Lounges and more recently Concierge, Cafes, Kiosks and third Spaces in Commercial Office towers. He moves into the role as Philip Basha is promoted to CFO, Premium, Midscale and Economy for Accor in the Middle East, Africa & Asia Pacific. Angela Howard will begin as SVP Talent & Culture, Premium, Midscale & Economy for Accor Pacific from March 29. She was previously with Holland America as Group VP of Talent and Culture within Carnival Corp. Angela takes over for Shelley Perkins who was promoted to SVP of Talent & Culture, Premium, Midscale and Economy for Middle East, Africa & Asia Pacific. Claire Haigh has been promoted to VP Communications, Premium, Midscale and Economy for Accor Pacific. She was previously Director of Communication.

Alan Woinski
March 7th, 2023 at 8:14 AM EST

Companies: Club Med, JWLand, Marriott International, Pan Pacific Hotels Group, Parkroyal Hotels & Resorts, Radisson Hotel Group, Radisson Red, Ritz-Carlton

Locations: Australia, Bali, Bangkok, Fukuoka, Malaysia, Melbourne, Phuket, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney

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