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Asia-Pacific

Macau Narrows the Visitation Gap From 2019

Alan Woinski
April 10th, 2023 at 7:34 AM EDT

Skift Take

  • Macau saw over 93,000 tourists come to the SAR on Saturday over the Easter weekend. Macau tourism officials continue to try to narrow the gap between current visitation and 2019.
  • Macau average hotel occupancy was about 75% in March. Officials are expecting up to 90% occupancy during the upcoming Labor Day holiday.
  • Accor has 56 operating hotels in India. They entered the country almost two decades ago in 2004. Accor’s vision is to have 200 in five years’ time.

Macau saw over 93,000 tourists come to the SAR on Saturday over the Easter weekend. Macau tourism officials continue to try to narrow the gap between current visitation and 2019, announcing plans to launch “Macau Treat”, a new version of its transport subsidy that will now encompass all international visitors coming to Macau from Hong Kong, staying at least two nights. The subsidy offers a free return ticket to the neighboring SAR on either the ferry or shuttle bus, set to run from April 10 to June 30.

Macau average hotel occupancy was about 75% in March. Officials are expecting up to 90% occupancy during the upcoming Labor Day holiday. Last Wednesday’s Ching Ming festival attracted over 74,000 tourists. This is all happening as Macau hotels continue to battle with a manpower shortage. This is particularly impacting 5-star hotels, operating well below capacity with reports operators are only providing half their overall rooms. Bloomberg covered this in an article saying the Macau Responsible Gaming Association said the lack of service staff is so severe that some hotels have reduced the frequency of maid services, cleaning rooms only after the guests check out. Macau’s hiring process for foreign workers has always been very slow and that is what is causing this problem. Locals mostly fill casino jobs.

The InterContinental Chiang Mai Mae Ping in Thailand is scheduled to open this summer following extensive renovation works on the former Imperial Mae Ping Hotel. The first phase of renovations will result in 240 elegant rooms and suites overlooking the alleyways of the old city or the jungle-clad Doi Suthep mountain. The guest rooms will feature Lanna-inspired décor showcasing traditional crafts and spacious zen bathrooms. There will be five restaurants and bars including a rooftop bar.

Como Group will open its first Singapore hotel later in 2023, just off Orchard Road. The home-grown lifestyle group created by fashion retail doyenne Christina Ong will transform 30 Bideford Road, a mixed-use development on the site of the former Thong Sia Building, into the Como Metropolitan Singapore hotel and lifestyle space. Como Orchard will also house a multi-label fashion store, a new wellness space, and gourmet concepts by Michelin-starred restaurant chefs. Como Hotels and Resorts operates 16 properties worldwide.

India’s foreign exchange earnings from tourism rose by 107% from $8 billion in 2021 to $16.4 billion in 2022. The Indian government said there were 10.93 million foreign tourist arrivals in India during pre-pandemic year 2019 and 6.19 million foreign tourist arrivals in 2022. That was up from 1.52 million in 2021.

ITC has sold its entire shareholding, a 26% stake, in its joint venture Espirit Hotels Private Limited. ITC said they sold all of its shares worth Rs 10 and Espirit Hotels ceased to be a joint venture company. ITC had bought the 26% stake worth Rs 45 crore in June 2011 in a joint venture to build a luxury hotel in Hyderabad.

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts announced the opening of Wyndham Shanghai Nanxiang. The hotel was developed by Hong Kong JunFeng International Group. This is Wyndham’s third Wyndham hotel in the city and thirty-second property overall in Shanghai. The hotel features 315 guest rooms and suites, both Chinese and Western dining options, a lobby bar, fitness center, indoor swimming pool, and a 750 square meter ballroom and nine meeting rooms.

Accor has 56 operating hotels in India. They entered the country almost two decades ago in 2004. Accor’s vision is to have 200 in five years’ time as India has been targeted as one of Accor’s key growth countries. They plan to be more aggressive in offering franchises for their economy and mid-scale brands of Novotel, Mercure and ibis, particularly in tier II and III cities. For their premium brands, Accor will focus on tier-I and II cities, principally under management contracts. They may consider franchises for their premium brands on a highly strategic basis.

Accor has expanded its portfolio in Malaysia with the opening of Mercure Miri City Centre with a design concept that highlights the natural wonders of BorneoMiri is the second largest city in the state of Sarawak. Mercure Miri City Centre is set to become a social hub with a lively all-day dining restaurant and a space that transforms throughout the day to create a different vibe. The hotel includes a casual café and gelato parlor, a rooftop Asian and Latin-themed restaurant and bar and a rooftop infinity swimming pool. The hotel has 172 rooms including Junior Suites, Deluxe Junior Suites and two floors of Privilege Rooms. There are two dedicated floors of conference and banqueting facilities and the Ruai Coworking Space.

Yong Tai Berhad debuted the Courtyard by Marriott hotel in Melaka on April 8. The four-star deluxe hotel has 287 rooms. This is the fortieth Marriott-branded property in Malaysia.

Edgar “Injap” Sia is looking for as much as $125 million for his Hotel 101 Global Pte Ltd. venture in the Philippines. Sia turned a chicken BBQ startup into one of the biggest restaurant chains in the country. His hotel company runs a property in Manila and has 10 others in various stages of development in the Philippines. Its first foreign project in Niseko, Japan is expected to open in 2025 with Madrid and the U.S. the next targets with sites already identified. Sia expects to raise the funds via private placement. His aim is to have Hotel 101 properties in 25 countries by 2026, mainly in Asia Pacific and Europe. He plans to sell shares via a Nasdaq listing this year, seeking a minimum valuation of $11 billion.

LET Group Holdings, the renamed Suncity, said the grand opening of their Manila Westside City hotel and casino is planned for 2025. A soft launch is being considered towards the end of next year. This project was delayed prior to the pandemic and things got worse as Suncity’s founder is now in prison in Macau. Suntrust Resort Holdings, a subsidiary of the LET Group, is developing the hotel-casino project in the Manila Entertainment City. They are planning a 450-room, five-star hotel, over 300 gaming tables and more than 1,300 electronic gaming machines, when fully operational.

Alan Woinski
April 10th, 2023 at 7:34 AM EDT

Companies: Accor, Courtyard by Marriott, Espirit Hotels Private Limited, IHG Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental, ITC Hotels, LET Group Holdings, Marriott International, Mercure Hotels, Wyndham, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Locations: Borneo, Chiang Mai, India, Macau, Malaysia, Manila, Philippines, Shanghai, Singapore

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