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Vietnamese Outbound Travel Rises Sharply

Alan Woinski

April 25th, 2023

Skift Take

  • Vietnamese travelers are said to be opting for outbound tours due to the significant increase in the price of domestic flights as the holiday season approaches, according to travel agents and tour operators.
  • The South China Morning Post said hotel room rates in Hong Kong are surging ahead of the Labour Day holiday.
  • The number of visitor arrivals to Macau in March rose by 271.4% year over year to 1,956,867, according to the Statistics and Census Service.

STR pipeline data for March 2023 showed 476,993 rooms In Construction in the Asia Pacific region, down -0.8% year over year. Rooms in Final Planning were down -29.6% to 105,435, while those in Planning were up 1.9% to 322,507. Total Rooms Under Contract were down -4.4% to 904,935. STR said China has the most rooms in construction at 299,458 followed by Vietnam with 36,358.

Vietnamese travelers are said to be opting for outbound tours due to the significant increase in the price of domestic flights as the holiday season approaches, according to travel agents and tour operators. Workers get five days off to celebrate the commemoration of the Hung Kings on April 29, National Reunification Day on April 30, and International Labour Day on May 1. Saigontourist said the number of customers booking outbound tours has increased sharply, accounting for nearly 70% of the total number of customers during the upcoming holiday season. Many customers have chosen long tours to Japan, Taiwan, Republic of Korea and Thailand. Only short-haul tours in Southeast Asia, such as Singapore, Brunei, Singapore-Malaysia and Thailand still have available slots. The expectation is that in June, the number of customers choosing outbound tours will increase significantly as China reopens.

The South China Morning Post said hotel room rates in Hong Kong are surging ahead of the Labour Day holiday even as bookings remain below pre-pandemic levels. HK room rates are up by as much as five times in the run up to the Golden Week with occupancy expected to hit 90% in popular areas later this week. Even with that rise in room rates, they will still be below 2018 and 2019 levels. The Travel Industry Council estimates 600,000 mainlanders will visit Hong Kong between Saturday and May 5. 1.27 million people entered the city from the mainland from April 30 to May 5 in 2019.

The number of visitor arrivals to Macau in March rose by 271.4% year over year to 1,956,867, according to the Statistics and Census Service. 1,242,358 of the visitors were from Mainland China. The number of arrivals in the first three months of the year totaled 4,948,358. The total March figure includes 979,152 overnight visitors and 977,715 same-day visitors, a very different mix than it was pre-pandemic. The average length of stay is holding steady at 1.2 days.

Fitch Ratings said the complete recovery of airport traffic in China to 2019 levels might only happen by the end of 2024. Fitch expects it to continue to uptick in growth through 2023 and move the industry closer to its normalized level but will hinge more on the traffic profile, along with individual factors of each airport. There has been an upsurge in demand following the opening of Chinese aviation markets with 1Q getting to 80% of the 2019 average level, due largely to strong domestic passenger rebound. Fitch said uncertainty remains on the path to full recovery with economic challenges and potential shift in customer behavior pattern. The last thing China wants to do is have their airport traffic situation follow the path of the United States. It is quite the mess in the US.

Marriott International’s JW Marriott brand announced the opening of JW Marriott Hotel Xi’an, a destination home in China to six UNESCO World Heritage cultural and historic sites. The hotel is strategically located in the central business district of the Xi’an Economic and Technological Development Zone, a 30-minute drive from Xi’an Xianyang International Airport. The hotel features 333 guest rooms, including 13 suites with modern amenities. The guest rooms are situated on floors 25-37 of the hotel. The arrival foyer on the first floor includes a contemporary installation depicting an ancient carriage. The hotel lobby is on the thirty-eighth floor. The JW Executive Lounge is on the thirty-sixth floor. There are two restaurants and a lounge, the brand’s signature JW Garden, Spa by JW, a 24-hour fitness center and indoor infinity heated swimming pool. The hotel offers a total of 3,470 square meters of multifunctional space for hosting business or social events.

Dorsett Melbourne opened on April 18 in Melbourne’s southern end of the CBD. Australia’s newest Dorsett hotel will be a key component of West Side Place, a $2.4 billion development by Far East Consortium. Dorsett Melbourne comprises 316 guest rooms over 8 levels. The Dorsett Melbourne Club Lounge, modern conference rooms, restaurants and bars add to their indoor heated pool complete with day-bed area, spa, sauna, steam room, wellness room and gym as amenities for guests. All Dorsett Hotels boast the incorporation of five key attributes that are adapted to each new hotel site. They include city convenience, social connectivity, priceless guest delights, active wellness and creating positive impact.

Far East Consortium also announced the opening of the Ritz-Carlton in Melbourne, also in West Side Place. The group debuted the 257-room Ritz on March 23 with its lobby located on the eightieth floor of the property. Far East is currently developing five other hotels in Australia, which once opened will mean the group owns over 2,300 rooms in the country.

Chroma Hospitality, a unit of the Gotianun-led Filinvest Hospitality Corp, is aggressively expanding its footprint in the Philippines, with more hotels opening beginning next year under its Grafik brand. Chroma is opening Grafik Baguio in 2024, the Quest Plus Clark expansion which will break ground this year, the Crismon Resort and Spa Mactan expansion and then a second hotel in Mactan, called the Grafik Mactan. Grafik Baguio is the second partnership with the Bases Conversion and Development. Chroma currently operates seven properties in the Philippines.

Link Hotel Singapore in Tiong Bahru has been placed in receivership after a $50 million loan default and is now up for sale. Link Holdings, on April 3, disclosed it failed to make an outstanding payment of $31 million on a $50 million loan granted by DBS Bank, which then demand repayment of the full loan. The loan had been granted to Hang Huo Investment, a wholly owned unit of Link and the owner of the boutique hotel. DBS appointed Martin Wong, senior managing director of corporate finance and restructuring at FTI Consulting, as receiver and manager after Link Holdings failed to pay the sum. FTI opened an expression of interest exercise for bids on the purchase of the hotel or the land it sits on. The hotel was valued at close to $140 million by an independent qualified valuer in late 2022.

Palchan Hotel & Spa, located in the valley of Manali in India, has become the second hotel in Asia to be part of Radisson Individual RetreatsAtul and Ayaan Sharma, owners of Palchan Hotel & Spa, Manali, have signed with Radisson Individual Retreats. The hotel offers deluxe rooms and suites, and a variety of experiences such as fly dining, hot air balloon rides and more.

Personnel Move

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts named Yigit Sezgin as Chief Brand & Commercial Officer. He joins the team after four years as Chief Commercial Officer for Accor IMEAT.

Alan Woinski

April 25th, 2023

Companies: Accor, Fairmont, Far East Organization, Grafik, JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International, Radisson Hotel Group, Radisson Individuals, Ritz-Carlton

Locations: China, India, Macau, Melbourne, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Xi'an

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