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Meetings and Events Boost Southeast Asian Hotels

Alan Woinski
April 12th, 2023 at 7:34 AM EDT

Skift Take

  • STR said Southeast Asia’s hotel industry is seeing the return of MICE. While leisure travel has shown the most resilience in the region, much of the recent demand in Southeast Asia can be linked to MICE travel and events.
  • The Singapore Tourism Board said the number of visitors from India rose by 3.5x in the first quarter of 2023, year over year.
  • IHG Hotels & Resorts announced plans to expand its presence in Asia through developments in Nepal and Indonesia.

STR said Southeast Asia’s hotel industry is seeing the return of MICE. While leisure travel has shown the most resilience in the region, much of the recent demand in Southeast Asia can be linked to MICE travel and events. STR’s report showed conferences, expos and large-scale trade events made their in-person comeback throughout 2022 following two years of cancellations. The demand generated by such events was clearly highlighted in Singapore as The Business Show on September 28-29 in 2022 generated occupancy and average daily rate to peak levels. Occupancy reached 87% on the September 28 and ADR was US$382 on the September 29. The G20 Summit this year will take place in New Delhi in September. STR said there already has been a small spike in occupancy on the books. Festivals, celebrations and religious observances also are positive for the hotel sector. Songkran, Thai New Year, begins tomorrow through April 15. As of March 27, Bangkok’s occupancy on the books already showed a peak of 54% occupancy for April 14. STR expects the levels to be even higher. MICE and cultural events also have big-name acts joining to contribute to the boost in hotel business. The report from STR was aiming to show that although leisure has propped the industry up as the recovery from the pandemic took hold, the trend began to shift at the end of 2022 with more travelers being drawn in by large scale events of many types.

The Singapore Tourism Board said the number of visitors from India rose by 3.5x in the first quarter of 2023, year over year. The STB said 193,000 Indians visited Singapore in the first three months of 2023. India is now the fourth largest source of tourist arrivals to Singapore with Indonesia, Malaysia and Australia ahead of them.

IHG Hotels & Resorts announced plans to expand its presence in Asia through developments in Nepal and Indonesia. The expansion includes the brand debuts of Hotel Indigo and InterContinental in Nepal and the first voco property in Indonesia. IHG is planning to develop four hotels in Nepal in the one four years in partnership with Shangri-La Hotel & Resort Group. This will include the InterContinental Kathmandu Lazimpat, Hotel Indigo Pokhara Gharipatan, InterContinental Resort Pokhara Begnas Lake, and the InterContinental Resort Chitwan, Meghauli. This will add nearly 500 rooms to its portfolio in the region.

In Indonesia, IHG will debut the first voco hotel in Bali by 2024. The voco Bali Seminyak, along with its second Holiday Inn Express in the region, the Holiday Inn Express Bali Sunset Road. IHG currently operates 25 hotels in Indonesia and plans to grow by 50% within the next four years. The two new hotels are in partnership with Indonesian conglomerate Mayapada Group.

Indian Hotels Company Ltd said they are poised to achieve its vision of 300 hotels by 2025, up from the currently portfolio of 260 hotels. In FY 2022-2023, which ended in March, they signed 36 new hotels. IHCL said they opened 16 hotels in the past year and their current pipeline stands at 73 hotels. Their Taj brand signed eight new hotels, ensuring they will reach the 100 hotel milestone as they currently are at 98. Even more important from a profit standpoint, IHCL’s growth of managed hotels (60% of new signings) brought them to 50% from 32% five years ago.

The upcoming Noida International Airport at Jewar in Greater Noida in India will feature an aero city to enhance its revenue base. Spread across 172 acres, the aero city will house hotels, restaurants, bars, shopping centers and other recreational facilities, similar to Delhi and Hyderabad airports. The aero city is expected to become operational by the end of 2024 with the completion of the first phase. Roseate Hotels and Resorts announced last year it would develop an airport hotel at Noida’s aero city with over 220 rooms.

The Andhra government in India is planning to spend Rs 1,350 crore for the construction of five hotels in Visakhapatnam, Rajahmundry, Tirupati, Horsley Hills and Gandikota. The construction will be done in collaboration with Oberoi Group.

Lemon Tree Hotels said it signed two franchised agreements for hotels, Lemon Tree Premier and Lemon Tree Resort in Budhanilkantha and Lumbini in Nepal, respectively. They will now have five properties in Nepal under different brands of Lemon Tree. Lemon Tree Premier will feature 102 rooms, two restaurants, one restrobar, a private dining room, three meeting rooms, one banquet hall, outdoor venues, swimming pool, fitness center, spa, casino and other public areas, expected to be operational on or before January 2024. Lemon Tree Resort in Lumbini will feature 81 rooms, restaurant, bar, meeting rooms, outdoor event venue, private dining room and other public areas, expected to be operational on or before October 2023.

Japan’s government is now expected to approve the plan to build the integrated casino resort in Osaka following the re-election of the Governor. Officials have entered the final stage of approving the proposal to develop the resort, which will include hotels and conference halls on Yumeshima island. They are maintaining the resort could open in 2029. The approval for the second IR, the smaller one in Nagasaki, is still not in sight as the partners there still are being questioned about their finances, amid other concerns.

Pan Pacific will open two new hotels in Tokyo, Japan in mid-May. Tokyu Kabukicho Tower is a new landmark in Shinjuku and will be the largest hotel and entertainment complex in Tokyo. On May 19, 2023, two new hotels will open in the skyscraper, both part of the Pan Pacific Hotels Group. Bellustar Tokyo of the Pan Pacific brand and Hotel Groove Shinjuku of the Parkroyal brand will be the latest additions. Then Pan Pacific will open a hotel in Malaysia in June. Tokyu Hotels will manage the venues as part of a strategic partnership with Pan Pacific. Bellustar Tokyu is situated on floors 39-47 floors of the new tower and will offer 97 rooms with five suites at the tower’s peak. Floor 47 will have the largest penthouse with butler service and in-room chef private dining. The hotel will have its main restaurant on floor 45. Hotel Groove will occupy floors 18-38 floors with 538 rooms. Floor 17 will be the hub for social gatherings with the hotel’s main dining restaurant and a bar.

Atmosphere Core, a new identity for the registered company Atmosphere Core Private Limited, has unveiled its third brand – Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts. They expect this to pave the way for refreshingly different destinations in South Asia while also blending in the company’s footprint in the Maldives. Atmosphere Core has an aggressive pipeline for future development across IndiaOzen Mansion Kolkata is opening in the first quarter of 2024 with key signings expected to be announced soon. In the past 10 years, they have launched eight resorts in the Maldives. They expect with the new brand, they can accelerate their growth with 20 properties opening in the next two years.

Alan Woinski
April 12th, 2023 at 7:34 AM EDT

Companies: Atmosphere Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express, IHG Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental, Lemon Tree Hotels, Mayapada Group, Oberoi Group, Taj, The Indian Hotels Company Ltd, Tokyu Group, Voco

Locations: Bali, Bangkok, Delhi, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, Noida, Osaka, Singapore, Tokyo, Visakhapatnam

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