This is your one free issue for the month.

Subscribe today for full access.


Asia Pacific Hotels Wait for Chinese Travelers

Alan Woinski
April 3rd, 2023 at 7:57 AM EDT

Skift Take

  • Xxpectations for everyone in the Asia Pacific region was the reopening of China would cause a regional surge but so far, that has been muted. For February, the biggest proportion of tourists to Indonesia came from Malaysia, followed by Australia and Singapore.
  • The Singapore Tourism Board has signed a new three-year Memorandum of Understanding with Flight Centre Travel Group Limited aimed at driving increased visitation to Singapore via FCTG’s global network.
  • Las Vegas Sands is expected to complete their US$1 billion upgrade of hotel facilities at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore by the end of the year.

Foreign visitors to Indonesia in February were down -4.62% from January, recording 701,930 tourist arrivals, the lowest since December. Officials said this was a seasonal effect as February is the low season for tourism. Of course, the expectations for everyone in the Asia Pacific region was the reopening of China would cause a regional surge but so far, that has been muted. For February, the biggest proportion of tourists to Indonesia came from Malaysia, followed by Australia and Singapore. February 2019 had 1.25 million foreign visitors to Indonesia so they are not even close to pre-pandemic levels. The country is targeting more than 7 million foreign visitors this year.

The Singapore Tourism Board has signed a new three-year Memorandum of Understanding with Flight Centre Travel Group Limited aimed at driving increased visitation to Singapore via FCTG’s global network. The MOU represents FCTG’s first global agreement with a destination partner since the Covid pandemic. It will specifically target Australia, New Zealand, UK, USA, Canada and South Africa by offering destination holiday packages as well as stayover packages encouraging travelers stopping over in Singapore to explore the city before continuing their long-haul journey. The partnership will also have the FCTG consultants deepen their knowledge about Singapore.

Las Vegas Sands is expected to complete their US$1 billion upgrade of hotel facilities at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore by the end of the year. This upgrade is separate and in addition to the planned US$3.3 billion expansion project that will see a fourth tower built alongside MBS’ existing tower trio. The US$1 billion reinvestment plan will introduce world-class suites in Tower 1 and Tower 2 and is designed to meaningfully enhance the suite product offerings and the appeal of the integrated resort to premium customers.

Travelodge Hotels Asia Co., Ltd. recently unveiled its newest addition to its portfolio, Travelodge Kyoto Shijo Kawaramachi, located in Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture in Japan. The hotel officially opened on March 15. The hotel has 232 guest rooms with six types of rooms: standard single, standard queen, superior queen, superior twin, deluxe twin, and friends & family triple along with accessible rooms. There is a restaurant on the first floor, fitness gym and more.

The Hyatt Regency Osaka will exit the Hyatt system on July 1. The hotel will be reflagged as Grand Prince HotelSeibu Prince Hotels purchased the property and will operate it from the handover date. There have been rumors that the hotel was to be operated under the Tribute Portfolio from Marriott International but that has yet to be confirmed.

The four-star Fairfield by Marriott Phnom Penh hotel at the Chip Mong Tower in the heart of the capital of Cambodia was officially inaugurated on March 31. The timing is positive as Cambodia is set to host the 2023 Southeast Asian Games and the country received 2.28 million international tourists in 2022, up 10-fold from 2021. Fairfield by Marriott Phnom Penh consists of 300 modern bedrooms, a rooftop swimming pool, a luxury ballroom, restaurant and sky bar. It occupies the top 19 floors of the 45-story Chip Mong Tower, a mixed-use building.

Indonesian property firm PT MNC Land launched a 1,040-hectare tourism complex on Java Island. The Indonesian president inaugurated a special economic zone within MNC’s tourism project, called Lido City, located around 60 km south of the capital Jakarta in the Bogor area. The project will be operated by former US President Donald Trump’s Trump Organization. MNC Land said they fully own the project in Lido, which includes a movie studio called Movieland while the Trump Organization will operate an 83-hectare golf course opening this year and a five-star hotel. The Trump Organization is also partnering with MNC on another project in Bali.

Hyatt has seen a nearly 175% growth in its leisure group business in India in the first quarter of 2023 and an 80% growth in its corporate group businesscompared to the pre-pandemic first quarter of 2019. Hyatt is aiming to cross the milestone of 50 Hyatt-branded properties in the country by the end of 2023 besides crossing the 10,000 keys mark. The chain currently has 41 hotels across eight brands, totaling over 8,500 keys in India along with two more in Nepal. Hyatt will launch its global JdV by Hyatt brand in India in July. In 2022 there were nine Hyatt-branded hotels opening in India.

Indian Hotels Company announced its debut in the state of Chhattisgarh with a Taj-branded hotel, a brownfield project. The signing is in line with IHCL’s vision to be present in every state capital of the country. IHCL is partnering with Krish (Raipur) Hotels Pvt Ltd, a part of Vyapak Group, on the Taj hotel. The 152-room luxury hotel is strategically located a short driving distance from Raipur Airport. It will feature an all-day diner, a specialty restaurant, a bar and a lobby lounge. The hotel will have over 1,300 square meters of banqueting space and will offer an auditorium, the first in the city. The hotel will introduce IHCL’s signature Jiva spa brand to the city with other recreational facilities including a swimming pool, gym and a salon.

Personnel Move

The Star Entertainment Group said Star Sydney CEO and group head of transformation, Scott Wharton, has resigned after only eight months, effective April 28. Wharton accepted another job and will transition his executive responsibilities in an orderly manner. Mrs. Nicola Burke, their current general manager transformation office, agreed to accept the chief transformation officer role. Star said a restructuring will take place following Wharton’s resignation with two new appointments to be made. The Sydney Morning Herald called this a further blow to Star and said their future was thrown into further doubt with this turn of events as Wharton had taken on the role of overhauling the struggling casino following it being unfit to hold a license. Wharton is joining Smart Group as CEO of the salary packaging business.

Alan Woinski
April 3rd, 2023 at 7:57 AM EDT

Companies: Fairfield Inn & Suites, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, JdV by Hyatt, Marina Bay Sands, Marriott International, Prince Hotels & Resorts, Star Entertainment, Taj, The Indian Hotels Company Ltd, The Prince, Travelodge Hotels Asia, Trump Hotels

Locations: Australia, Bali, Chhattisgarh, Indiana, Indonesia, Java Island, Kyoto, Malaysia, Osaka, Phnom Penh, Singapore

Up Next


Full Tourism Recovery in APAC Forecast for Early 2025

Fitch Ratings projects China outbound tourism to the Asia Pacific region will recover to 86% of pre-Covid levels in 2024, with full APAC tourism recovery expected by the first half of 2025.


Hilton Garden Inn to Expand in China

Hilton plans to open around two dozen new Hilton Garden Inn hotels in China over the next year, including locations in Beijing, Nanjing, Chengdu, Chengde, and Jinan.


Banyan Group to Open Kyoto Hotel in Q3 2024

Banyan Tree Higashiyama Kyoto, opening Q3 2024, will be Banyan Tree’s first Japan hotel, featuring 52 guestrooms, a spa, and two dining options.

You've Read Your Free Issue for the Month

Subscribe today to get access to 20+ new issues a month and our entire archive.

Already a subscriber? Login

Per Month
Charged $350 per year.
APAC + NA Combo
Per Month
Charged $795 per year.