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Asia-Pacific

China’s Not Yet Having a V-Shaped Travel Recovery

Alan Woinski
March 14th, 2023 at 7:49 AM EDT

Skift Take

  • Reuters published an article on how the hoped for, fast out of the gate, revenge travel by the Chinese following the demise of Zero-Covid has not occurred. Instead of a stampede, it has been more like a fast walk.
  • South Korea and Australia were left off the next list of 40 countries to which China will resume outbound group tours as of tomorrow.
  • Macau authorities are easing measures for entry to mainland China for visitors coming from Hong Kong, aimed at further improving circulation between the SARs and the mainland

Reuters published an article on how the hoped for, fast out of the gate, revenge travel by the Chinese following the demise of Zero-Covid has not occurred. Instead of a stampede, it has been more like a fast walk. Reuters described Chinese consumers as returning to hotels, restaurants and some shops, but they are choosy about what they buy. Beijing had expected domestic demand to stimulate the economy. Other countries, once they got over the fear of Covid, laid out the red carpet, expecting their hotels to be filled again. Neither have occurred. Nomura said the V-shaped spending recovery that the US and other countries saw immediately after Covid restrictions were lifted will not happen with the Chinese and markets should curb their enthusiasm.

South Korea and Australia were left off the next list of 40 countries to which China will resume outbound group tours as of tomorrow. Vietnam and Nepal were included. The latest list of 40 countries also excludes Japan and the United States. That will make a total of 60 countries that can take part in the resumption of outbound group tours and ‘air ticket + hotel’ business for Chinese citizens.

Macau authorities are easing measures for entry to mainland China for visitors coming from Hong Kong, aimed at further improving circulation between the SARs and the mainland and encouraging more multi-destination tourism. Individuals entering Macau from Hong Kong are now allowed to enter directly into mainland China without needing to provide a negative nucleic acid test or show the Macau Health Code, as long as they have not been in Taiwan or other foreign countries within 7 days prior to departure. Macau’s tourism industry is also urging authorities to prolong beneficial measures for overseas tourists, pushing to keep providing things like half-price ferry and bus tickets for Hong Kong travelers. This practice is supposed to end on March 31. The Macau Leisure Tourism Services Innovation Association wants this extended to overseas travelers as well.

Accor’s Pullman Hotels & Resorts brand announced the opening of Pullman Singapore Orchard, marking the brand’s debut there. The hotel includes 326 rooms and suites in nine configurations, ranging from Classic Rooms to the Presidential Suite. There is a selection of Club Residence Rooms, offering access to the hotel’s Archive Club, a multi-purpose Executive Lounge with pockets for work, relaxation and social interaction. There are guaranteed inter-connecting rooms for families. Level 4 of the hotel houses dining and social destinations. The first of its kind in Orchard Road, the P.S.O Beach Club offers guests a chance to relax with ambient music, cozy cabanas, sun beds, a striking pool and a swim up pool bar.

The Sea Nuvali has expanded from a boutique hotel to a 365-room resort-like property. The expansion has been driven by those seeking a respite from Metro Manila to Laguna. Its new tower offers suites, a ballroom, additional meeting venues, and a bigger and better gym, children’s playroom and Game Room. They also added a Pool Bar as an amenity. The guest rooms and suites are now spread out over two towers. There are four types of suites – the Suite, Executive Suite, Family Suite and soon the Seda Suite. The Family Suite includes a master bedroom with a tub, a children’s room and separate living area.

The Victorias Hotel, in Victorias City in the Philippines, opened on March 12, ahead of the 25th Kadalag-an Festival celebration. The construction of the City Hotel started in 2022 with the aim to augment the lack of accommodation facilities in Victorias City and to amplify tourism attraction. They had a soft launch prior to Sunday’s grand opening.

The Home and Youth Affairs Bureau in Hong Kong approved the first project under the Subsidy Scheme for Using Hotels and Guesthouses as Youth Hostels from the Hong Kong United Youth Association. The Subsidy Scheme was launched in response to the HK Government’s 2022 policy address that included they would explore ways to increase the supply of youth hostels, including subsidizing non-governmental organizations to rent suitable hotels and guesthouses for use as youth hostels, with the target of providing about 3,000 additional hostel places within five years. HYAB launched the Subsidy Scheme in early January 2023 to subsidize NGOs to rent suitable hotels and guesthouses for use as youth hostels. The one under the first project approved encompasses an entire hotel on Morrison Hill Road, Causeway Bay with a total of 97 rooms, providing up to 194 hostel places. The HKUYA teamed up with the Gale Well Group. The HKUYA will operate the youth hostel under the name of “BeLIVING Youth Hub.”

Personnel Move

Royal Orchid & Regenta Hotels has appointed Vijay Krishnan as their new Vice President of Operations for South India. Krishnan is a 25-year industry veteran, working for brands such as The Oberoi (Trident), Starwood Hotels’ Le Meridien & Design Hotels, Hyatt’s Alila, and others. Krishnan is considered an expert in strategizing growth blueprints and leadership programs in emerging markets with a deep understanding of soft and grand openings.

Middle East Highlights

WorldHotels Collection announced the expansion of its hotel offerings in key travel destinations across Europe and Asia with five new properties. The latest additions to the portfolio include; The Sofraga Palacio, Spain, Crafted collection with 27 bedrooms and suites; the 25-suite Luxury Suites Amsterdam, Netherlands, the first WorldHotels Elite collection hotel in the city; Makedonia Palace, Greece, Luxury collection; the 202-room b’mine Dusseldorf, Germany, Luxury collection; and the 160-room Villa Fontaine Premier Haneda Airport, Tokyo, Elite collection.

Radisson Hotel Group announced the opening of its eighth hotel in Riyadh, Radisson Blu Hotel, Riyadh Convention & Exhibition Center. The new addition forms an integral part of the Riyadh International Conference and Exhibition Center. The hotel in the capital city of Saudi Arabia includes 223 rooms, all with views of Riyadh. The heart of the hotel is a double-volume lobby. There are Executive Rooms and Suites with access to the Business Lounge. Two food and beverage venues are available to guests as well as nine distinctive meeting and events spaces, including the 400 square meter Najd Event Hall.

Jumeirah Group, in partnership with Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism, introduced Jumeirah Mobile Check-In, described as the industry’s first biometric and digital technology solution. The solution empowers guests to complete all check-in formalities prior to arrival through their mobile phone. The technology allows Jumeirah guests, who booked directly on their website or mobile app, to upload all essential ID within 48 hours of their stay. They then take a selfie for identification. A digital or physical key is received upon arrival. The service further uses guest identity to customize and create personalized experiences both on and off-property. The technology is currently available at Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Jumeirah Emirates Towers. Jumeirah Mobile Check-In will be rolled out across several of the group’s 13 hotels and resorts in the UAE this year.

Alan Woinski
March 14th, 2023 at 7:49 AM EDT

Companies: Accor, Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts, Pullman, Radisson Blu, Radisson Hotel Group, Royal Orchid Hotels Limited, WorldHotels Distinctive

Locations: China, Dubai, Hong Kong, Macau, Manila, Nepal, Philippines, Riyadh, Singapore, South Korea, Tokyo, Vietnam

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