Hotels were reported to be full in parts of the Philippines during the Holy Week break. The Tourism Congress of the Philippines said an increase in tourist volume was observed in top destinations such as Boracay, Mactan in Cebu, Siargao, Bohol and Palawan. The Philippine Hotel Owners Association to Bworld that domestic tourism will bounce back strong during the summer months with some member hotels in Metro Manila already returning to pre-pandemic levels in terms of occupancy and average daily revenue. International tourism is likely to return to pre-pandemic levels by this year or early next year. The DOT said Philippines had 2.65 million international visitor arrivals in 2022. This year the DOT is targeting 4.8 million international visitors. They were at 8.26 million in 2019.
The Commerce Federation of Macau Central and Southern District said Macau received over 300,000 visitors during the four-day Easter holiday period. The daily visitor average over Easter weekend was over 87,000, already 87% of the daily average of visitor arrivals posted in the last full pre-pandemic month. That is only 60% of what they saw in the three day Easter holiday of 2019.
Hirofumi Yoshimura was re-elected as Governor of Osaka, Japan. This re-election, winning with a 9.3 percentage point increase in his share of the vote compared to the April 2019 election, is being hailed as an endorsement of the plans for the MGM/ORIX Integrated Casino Resort project. In fact, an exit poll conducted by local news outlet Mainichi Shimbun during the election found 53% of the 6,190 locals polled saying they supported the IR. That is very different than a recent poll which found a majority opposed it. There has been more than one political election in Japan that resulted in the Pro-IR candidate losing, even stopping the project in its tracks so this is clearly an endorsement.
Fosun Tourism expects a sustained boom in Chinese tourism in the second and third quarters. Fosun is planning expansions in resort projects in China’s tier I and tier II cities. They highlighted the recovery in the company’s revenue from its hotel business to the pre-pandemic levels in the first two months of 2023. Fosun’s Club Med business has seen the number of bookings in the first half of 2023 increase 36% year-on-year as of a week ago. Business volume surged 55% in the first two months of 2023 from a year earlier and is up 26% over the same period in 2019. Their Atlantis Sanya on China’s southern Hainan Island saw occupancy rise to 96%. Fosun is expecting Chinese travelers to embrace the trend in the United States of bleisure, combining business trips with a holiday with their view that more urban citizens will prefer to stay at resorts with their families rather than at business hotels as leisure time is blended. The company aims to add 17 new resorts globally by 2025 with about 7 new projects in China.
Accor announced the opening of Pullman Hotels & Resorts’ fiftieth hotel in Greater China – Pullman Haining Hotel, located in the business center of Haining City, Zhejiang Province, an hour from Shanghai or Hangzhou. Accor plans to open several more Pullman hotels in Greater China this year, including Pullman Wuhan Airport New City and Pullman Dunhuang International. Additionally, more than 40 Pullman hotels are in development around Greater China.
Marriott International announced it signed a management agreement with Shengyuan Cultural Tourism to bring the St. Regis brand to Xiamen in 2027. The signing will debut the first St. Regis hotel in Fujian Province, a key port city and popular leisure destination in Southeast China. The St. Regis Xiamen is slated to feature 260 guest rooms and suites with enhancing coastal views. The hotel expects to offer five culinary venues in addition to the brand’s traditional Drawing Room and St. Regis Bar. The hotel will include a fitness center, indoor swimming pool, St. Regis Spa and a 300 square meter Children Club along with 1,800 square meters of banquet meeting space. Marriott currently operates 12 St. Regis hotels and resorts across Greater China.
Marriott International also announced the signing of an agreement with Asset World Corporation to develop a Ritz-Carlton resort, expected to open in 2025. The hotel will open after the renovation and rebranding of the existing Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa. The Phuket Ritz-Carlton will house 182 guestrooms, suites and private villas, along with as many as eight restaurants, bars and lounges. There will be three swimming pools, a signature Ritz-Carlton Spa and a fitness center. Four function rooms with 544 square meters of indoor space, a 168 square meter pre-function area and various outdoor spaces will round out the amenities.
La Vie Hotels and Resorts signed an agreement with YOO, the renowned international interior design and lifestyle group, to bring the upper upscale YOO2 Hotel and luxurious By YOO villas to Phuket. Last year YOO announced they secured the exclusive rights to bring the brand to the Pacific, announcing a play in Melbourne. The Forest by YOO will be the first design-led lifestyle hotel and luxury villas to enter the market and combined will add close to 600 additional rooms to the Phuket market. Spread over two separate zones, both YOO2 and By YOO luxury villas will cater to families, couples and groups with expansive, luxurious leisure facilities and amenities including signature restaurants, all day dining, swim up bars coupled with live music and entertainment. Primed for a 2026 opening, YOO2 will be a full service, design-led lifestyle hotel with 432 guestrooms, a luxurious day spa, a signature restaurant and all day dining restaurant and bar. The resort will also provide exceptional meeting, event and wedding facilities. There will be 131 By YOO luxury villas with guests having full access to the facilities on offer at YOO2 while also having its own YOO Clubhouse with restaurant, bar, gym and pool deck. La Vie is partnering with hotel owner Dr. Chirasak Chiyachantana from Worldcorp on the two projects.
Minor Hotels announced the upcoming debut of its luxury Anantara brand in India. The new-build Anantara Jaipur Hotel will launch in Q4 2023, set to become a venue for weddings and celebrations. The hotel will have 150 guest rooms and suites, including four Terrace Suites with private plunge pools and a 160-sqm Royal Suite with a large terrace and private pool. Dining options will include a specialty Indian fine dining restaurant and terrace, a rooftop bar and restaurant with views over the surrounding landscapes, all day dining with a show kitchen and a hotel bar lounge and terrace. Leisure and wellness facilities will range from a full service Anantara Spa with treatment rooms and a beauty salon, a gym with a semi-outdoor pool and garden area and a kids’ club. The hotel will cater to weddings of up to 2,500 guests with a collection of indoor and outdoor venues. There will also be three meeting rooms with an adjacent lounge and reception area for corporate meetings and events.
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts announced the opening of Ramada by Wyndham Goa Vagator. The 70 rooms hotel is opened under a franchise agreement with the Palace. The hotel includes a lobby lounge, all-day dining restaurant and bar, meetings and event spaces, business center, wellness areas along with a rooftop outdoor swimming pool. This is the first Wyndham-branded hotel in the state of Goa.
KIP REIT Management Sdn Bhd, the manager of the KIP Real Estate Investment Trust, has appointed Valerie Ong as its new CEO. Ong has been mandated to spearhead KIP REIT’s business strategies, operational plans and corporate exercises. Ong was appointed as executive director of KIP REIT in 2018. She had been appointed group CEO of the KIP Group of Companies. She is the daughter of managing director Ong Kook Liong.