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Asia-Pacific

Japan Is Nearly Recovered But Thailand Still Lags

Alan Woinski
April 4th, 2023 at 7:45 AM EDT

Skift Take

  • The Tourism Authority of Thailand expects the country’s tourism sector to generate up to 2.4 trillion baht in revenue this year, or 80% of earnings in 2019.
  • STR said Japan’s recovery is moving in the right direction as the current central administration continues to focus on growing both domestic and inbound tourism.
  • The director of the Macao Government Tourism Office said the booking rate for Macau hotels over Easter was currently at between 50% and 60%.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand expects the country’s tourism sector to generate up to 2.4 trillion baht in revenue this year, or 80% of earnings in 2019. 880 billion baht would come from Thai tourists while the other 1.5 trillion would be from foreigners. The TAT said the big issue continues to be airlines as they have not reached their pre-Covid operating capacity. Domestic flights have returned to 85% but foreign flights are only at 56%. TAT has joined hands with airline businesses to launch BMA, which stands for ‘Bring it back, Make it full, All year round.’ The majority of visitors in 2022 came from Malaysia, India and Singapore respectively. Before the pandemic, Chinese tourists comprised about one third of all arrivals so with the lifting of travel restrictions, TAT is looking to Chinese travelers to boost numbers. Thailand saw 2.1 million foreign visitors in January, another 2 million in February and March.

STR said Japan’s recovery is moving in the right direction as the current central administration continues to focus on growing both domestic and inbound tourism as well as experiences in the country, resetting the agenda for rapid growth in international arrivals. In the final two months of 2022, Japan’s hotel performance surpassed 2019 levels, first with average daily rate in November, followed by ADR and RevPAR in December. There has been some softening in the first two months of 2023 but STR anticipates higher levels throughout the season following the current tourism growth trends. Japan’s high end hotels have recovered to 2019 rate levels but other hotel classes remain behind historical highs. Luxury and upper upscale hotels in Japan saw ADR finish at 5% above the pre-pandemic comp. International brands are growing rates faster.

The director of the Macao Government Tourism Office said the booking rate for Macau hotels over Easter was currently at between 50% and 60%. The chairman of the Travel Industry Council of Macau suggested the booking rate would reach 80%. The MGTO historically has been conservative and they are expecting only an average of 65,000 average daily visitor arrivals. The number of visitors to Macau once again broke the 70,000 mark this past Saturday. The number of visitors in March was higher than in February, averaging between 61,000 and 62,000. More people come from Hong Kong to Macau during Easter while Macau residents like to travel this holiday weekend with places like the Mainland, Taiwan, Southeast Asia and Japan the favorite locations.

OYO disclosed they are reducing the size of their long-awaited initial public offering to between $400 million and $600 million. The original offering plans, many moons ago, was for the Indian hotel company to raise $1.1 billion. OYO pre-filed its draft red herring prospectus last Friday, filing under the confidential pre-filing route. They hope to launch the IPO around the Indian festival of Diwali in November. The proceeds will be used to pay down some of their debt and if there is demand, OYO will have flexibility to change the primary issue size by 50%. OYO is expecting to have adjusted EBITDA of nearly $98 million in the upcoming financial year.

Goldman Sachs-backed Samhi Hotels, the owner of some Marriott hotels in India, has refiled its draft prospectus for an IPO. The company had first filed its papers with the Securities and Exchange Board of India for an IPO in September 2019. They had intended to raise capital of Rs $238 million) but also to sell 19.14 million shares by existing shareholders. The new filing shows a cut to $120 million while the offer for sale by selling shareholders will be reduced to nine million shares. Samhi Hotels will also use the proceeds to repay debt.

Sayaji Hotels is planning to open 10 new hotels in India. The properties will come up in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Lemon Tree Hotels announced its latest signing in Karnataka named Peninsula Suites – operated by Lemon Tree Hotels, Bengaluru in India. The property is expected to be open and operational by October 2023 and shall be managed by Carnation Hotels Private Limited, the management arm of Lemon Tree Hotels Limited. The property is located at Whitefield, which is part of Greater Bengaluru. It is the city’s first tech corridor to be connected by Namma Metro. The property is aimed at extended stays and will feature 88 rooms and suites, a restaurant, a bar, swimming pool, meeting rooms, fitness center and other public areas. Lemon Tree already has six operational hotels in the state, five in Bengaluru and one in Coorg. They have one more coming up in Hubi and now another in Bengaluru.

Personnel Moves

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group announced the appointment of Christopher Dolenc as Area Vice President, Operations. Dolenc will continue in his role as General Manager of Mandarin Oriental, Shenzhen while also overseeing the operations at Mandarin Oriental, Guangzhou and Mandarin Oriental, Sanya. Dolenc joined Mandarin Oriental at its flagship property, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong back in 2010.

Deutsche Hospitality announced the appointment of Mohamed Khedr as Regional Director for Sales and Marketing. They also named Toufic Tamim as Senior Business Development Director. Deutsche Hospitality has expanded its team to 10 regionally experienced professionals to enhance its commitment to maintaining and growing the company’s brand presence in the Middle East region. Khedr previously worked with other brands including Jumeirah Group, Accor and Armani Hotel Dubai. Tamim was previously responsible for the launch of 30 hotels and developed growth strategies for brands such as Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Movenpick Hotels & Resorts and Dur Hospitality Saudi Arabia. Deutsche Hospitality said Tamim was instrumental in the launch of TIME Hotel, accomplishing four management agreements in 2022.

Middle East Highlight

Sonesta International Hotels Corporation announced the opening of the Sonesta Nouba Hotel Aswan, the brand’s newest hotel and its third location in Egypt. The 45-room hotel is located in Aswan near popular attractions including the Temple of Philae, Elephantine Island and Aswan Botanical Garden. The Sonesta Nouba Hotel Aswan overlooks the Nile River with each guest room featuring a private terrace and sweeping majestic river views. There is a climate-controlled pond along the hotel’s promenade, inhabited by crocodiles maintained by local Nubians. The hotel includes an on-call doctor, meeting and social event facilities, a swimming pool, gym and a steam room.

Alan Woinski
April 4th, 2023 at 7:45 AM EDT

Companies: Deutsche Hospitality, Lemon Tree Hotels, Mandarin Oriental, OYO Hotels, Samhi Hotels, Sayaji Hotels, Sonesta International Hotels Corporation

Locations: Bengaluru, Egypt, India, Japan, Karnataka, Macau, Thailand

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