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Asia-Pacific

China Outbound Travel to Spike in Early May

Alan Woinski
April 24th, 2023 at 7:38 AM EDT

Skift Take

  • Fitch Ratings said China’s domestic travel has seen a significant uptick in the first quarter of this year and is likely to gain momentum in the second quarter.
  • Trip.com said the first round of outbound travel fever in China is coming ahead of the May Labor Day.
  • The construction of Galaxy Entertainment’s Raffles at Galaxy Macau and Andaz Macau, as well as the resort of the phase 3 hotel project for the Cotai casino, is basically complete.

Fitch Ratings said China’s domestic travel has seen a significant uptick in the first quarter of this year and is likely to gain momentum in the second quarter. They believe leisure travel in China continues to rebound but outbound travel remains much lower than before the pandemic levels as flight capacity is still limited. Fitch said business travel demand saw a rapid rebound following the Chinese New Year holiday, leading to a swift hotel industry recovery. Many of the industry’s key operating indicators surpassed pre-pandemic levels by February 2023. Some major Chinese hotel groups such as H World Group Limited and Atour Lifestyle Holdings Limited are forecasting RevPAR will reach above 110% of 2019 levels in the first quarter of 2023. As for outbound travel, international flights are still 70% lower than pre-pandemic as of this month. Flights to Japan and South Korea are expected to increase due to the relaxation of travel restrictions from China while Russian airspace restrictions still impede the revival of flights to North America and some European countries. If you are wondering what Fitch may have been trying to say, this May Day Holiday period could be the greatest in China.

Trip.com said the first round of outbound travel fever in China is coming ahead of the May Labor Day. Trip.com is predicting an 18-fold increase in demand year on year, as the search volume for outbound flight tickets for the holiday is already up 9x year on year. They believe this will help drive the resumption of airlines and the rapid recovery of the basic service capacity of local service which they said will have outbound travel recovering to 80% by the end of the year. Outbound travel bookings from mainland Chinese travelers started surging in April with the drop in flight ticket prices helping bring this on. The number of outbound travelers is growing rapidly. Trip.com said the fastest recovery has been flights from Chinese cities to/from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan with Japan, South Korea, the US and Canada having a slower recovery of flight capacity. Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia are ranked as the top 5 destinations for outbound travel during the Labor Day holiday period with Thailand still topping the list of popular destinations for Chinese travelers. The top 5 cities in terms of outbound travel hotel bookings are Hong Kong, Phuket, Bangkok, Macau and Singapore.

The construction of Galaxy Entertainment’s Raffles at Galaxy Macau and Andaz Macau, as well as the resort of the phase 3 hotel project for the Cotai casino, is basically complete. The hotel project will not be able to open for the upcoming May 1 Golden Week holidays due to the much-discussed manpower shortage in Macau. An opening before the summer holiday period is now the best chance of a time frame.

Hoshino Resorts, which operates luxury resort facilities throughout Japan, will open a tourist accommodation facility, KAI Okuhida, in Okuhida Onsengo, Takayama City, Gifu Prefecture. The scheduled opening date is the fall of 2024. This will be the company’s first foray into Gifu Prefecture. KAI is the company’s brand of onsen ryokan in Japan, with most properties having around 50 guest rooms, characterized by its high price range. They plan to offer a hot spring bath with a view of the Northern Alps and a space that takes advantage of the Hida region’s advanced woodworking techniques.

The Sun & Moon, Riverside Hotel in Cambodia held its official Grand Opening Ceremony on April 22. The 200 room luxury hotel is the latest addition to the Phnom Penh hotel scene and is Sun & Moon Hotel Group’s second property. They describe themselves as a home-grown brand with a strong international focus. The 200 rooms span eight categories, ranging from Deluxe King Bed to an exclusive Penthouse Suite King Bed. The hotel has three F&B outlets, flexible meeting and event spaces, TODAY.FITNESS gym, Spartans Boxing and Well Spa to enhance the wellness journey.

PTT Public Company Limited notified the Stock Exchange of Thailand late last week that the meeting of the board of directors of Energy Complex Co Ltd., a subsidiary in which PTT holds 50% of share, has passed a resolution approving EnCO to invest jointly with it. The objective of the joint venture is to jointly develop hotel and retail businesses within the Origin Smart City Rayong project on Sukhumvit Road. The joint venture will jointly operate a hotel business under the Holiday Inn Express brand from IGT. The company is developing a project on area 24 degrees Celsius on the Origin Smart City Rayong project in large format mixed use, worth more than 10,000 million baht, which includes condominiums, community center, serviced apartment, service office and a hotel. The hotel will have more than 210 rooms.

Marriott International is planning to launch its select hotel brand Moxy in India by 2024. Marriott expects to open Moxy Bangalore Airport Prestige Tech Cloud and Moxy Mumbai Andheri West in 2024. Marriott is present in over 40 cities with 140 hotels across 16 brands in India. They are focusing on advancing development in secondary and tertiary markets to attract both business and leisure visitors. In Shillong, where they recently launched, they were the first international brand to enter the market. Marriott is planning to expand its portfolio in key markets like Jaipur, Corbett, Coorg, Shimla and Pahalgham. They plan to be in more than 50 cities in the next two years.

Marriott’s Tribute Portfolio soft brand has welcomed its latest addition with the opening of Mulberry Shares Bengaluru Nandi Hills – a Tribute Portfolio Resort. The 102-key hotel is nestled at the foot of the historic Nandi Hills in India. The opening marks the eighteenth property to join Marriott’s portfolio of brands in the city, teaming up with the Prestige Group. There are 102 villas and suites, three unique restaurants, the Ksema Spa and 2,200 square feet of banquet space along with Aurora, the poolside deck, which measures 1,000 square feet and outdoor lawn Shanti measures 2,600 square feet.

OYO announced it would add 50 properties in Ayodhya in 2023. About 25 will be homestays run by homeowners and 25 will be small and medium hotels with between 10 and 20 rooms each. OYO Rooms is being actively supported by Ayodhya Development Authority and Uttar Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation to start the properties in a time-bound manner.

Hilton Garden Inn Ram Intra in Bangkok will feature 225 rooms and serviced apartments and is expected to open in 2025. Stakeholders include Siamese and Kew Green Management Company Thailand, a joint partnership between Thai property developer, Siamese Wealth Company Limited and Kew Green Hotels. The Hilton Garden Inn Ram Intra will have extensive meeting space, swimming pool and gym, located in the heart of Bangkok’s family entertainment district.

Radisson Hotel Group kicked off 2023 with the signing and opening of several landmark properties as it continues its growth and development plan with the expansion of nine brands across EMEA and APAC. During Q1, Radisson Hotel Group opened its fifth Radisson Collection property in Italy as well as its first Radisson Collection property in Lithuania. The Group also signed its second Radisson Collection property Brussels, Radisson Collection The National Hotel, Brussels, its first property in Central Asia, Radisson Collection Hotel, Tashkent, as well as its third in Nigeria. In the DACH region, Radisson Hotel Group has growth plans with the projected opening of four more hotels including Radisson Blu Hotel at Porsche Design Tower Stuttgart and the Group’s second Radisson property in Zurich. The Group started 2023 with the signing of Berlin’s first Radisson Individuals property, the 701-room Hotel Berlin, Berlin, quickly followed by the signing of a Radisson Individuals property at Munich Airport. Also scheduled to open later this year are two of the Group’s new prizeotel properties in Dresden and Dortmund which will be joined by another in Qsnabruck signed in Q1 2023. In China, the Group swiftly signed and opened nearly 20 properties. Radisson Blu’s key signing and openings in Q1 including the Group’s eighth hotel in Riyadh, Radisson Blu Hotel, Riyadh Convention & Exhibition Center, as well as Radisson Blue Hotel & Residences, Islamabad. The Group grew its footprint in Thailand to 10 hotels with the signing of its first Radisson RED property in Patong Beach in Phuket, a new Radisson property in Bangkok, the opening of Radisson Resort & Spa Hua Hin, and the signing of the Group’s first Radisson Collection property in Vietnam.

Alan Woinski
April 24th, 2023 at 7:38 AM EDT

Companies: Accor, Andaz, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Hoshino Resorts, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Marriott International, Moxy Hotels, OYO Hotels, Radisson Blu, Radisson Collection, Radisson Hotel Group, Raffles, Tribute Portfolio

Locations: Bangkok, Bengaluru, Cambodia, China, Japan, Macau, Phnom Penh, Phuket, Uttar Pradesh, Vietnam

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