STR reported China hotel data for the week ended May 6. Hotel RevPAR in China was up 140.9% year over year. When compared with the same week in 2019, hotel RevPAR was up 21.2%.
The South China Morning Post said Macau’s casinos are still struggling with finding labor as hotel rooms stay shut and the resorts are unable to fully satiate the booming demand from mainland China tourists. While the newspaper said Macau casinos laid off staff during the pandemic, casino gaming revenue was down close to -80% from 2019 in the final quarter of 2022 yet they were still forced to have 52,174 full-time employees and that was down only 10% from 2019. The problem is that the casino employs locals but the hotels and non-gaming amenities tend to employ foreign workers and the Macau government makes them go through a lot of red tape to get approved to work there. Expatriate workers who left Macau over the past three years are finding it difficult to return due to difficulty in obtaining non-local work permits. Of course 80% of Macau’s tax revenue comes from the casinos but the government wants the major development to be in non-gaming but doesn’t seem to want to make sure they have the employees. The number of non-local workers in the industry was still down 50% from 2019 at the end of March.
Araiya Hotels and Resorts and Kamakhya Hospitality Services Private Limited announced plans for a new urban resort Soul by Araiya, Dharamshala, A Kamakhya Hotel, anticipated to open in Q4 2023. The town of Dharamshala in India is situated on the upper levels of the Kangra valley in Himachal Pradesh. The hotel will feature 33 spacious guest rooms and suites with terraces overlooking the valley. There is an all-day dining restaurant with an extended open terrace that will offer a multi-cuisine menu along with local specialties. The hotel also offers a lobby lounge and bar, banquet hall, and gym on the premises.
Crimson Hotels Private Limited announced its latest addition, ‘Econostay Dahej’, a mid-scale hotel under the Econostay brand category. The new property is located in Dahej, Gujarat and will expand the Indian company’s range of offerings in the midscale hotel segment. This will be Crimson Hotels’ first venture in Gujarat and its sixth operational hotel overall. The upcoming property is currently in its pre-opening phase and is expected to open by July 2023. It will feature 38 rooms and suites, a multi-cuisine restaurant, meeting and banquet facilities, recreation room and a fitness center.
Romance Valley in Haputale in Sri Lanka will be investing over Rs 300 million to add more rooms to its property. They plan to add four luxury suites increasing the total investment for the hotel to over Rs 1 billion. The four 1,000 square foot homes will be built into a separate tower and will have a rooftop infinity pool as well.
CBRE Hotels said they are managing the sale of the former Woodpackers Hostel and Barleycorn Hotel in Collingwood, Australia. The hostel has a modern fit-out with a reception, four principal dormitory rooms, 10 private and shared rooms and two full commercial kitchens. The 558-square-meter site has three high exposure frontages and is 4km from the Melbourne CBD. CBRE is managing the sale via an Expression of Interest campaign closing May 25. The facility is being sold on an as-is basis with nearly new bunk beds and mattresses and well-fitted kitchens.
Marriott International has appointed Tristan Cooper to the new position of Director of Hotel Development for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific. Cooper will be based in Sydney. He has led Marriott’s feasibility planning department in Australia since joining the company in 2019.
Middle East Highlight
IHG recently reported the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Saudi Tourism Authority at the Arabian Travel Market in 2023. To expand its presence in key cities such as Riyadh, Jeddah, Madinah, Makkah, Dammam, Al Khobar and the Megaprojects, IHG is positioned to add over 10,000 additional rooms to its portfolio in the next 2-3 years. They currently operate 37 hotels across five brands.
IHG also announced they signed a management agreement with The King Abdullah Financial District Management and Development Company, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, to bring the first Kimpton hotel in the region to Riyadh. The 212 key Kimpton Riyadh is expected to open in June of 2024.
Accor plans to open three properties in the upcoming project by Rua Al Madinah Holding Company in Madinah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The project includes a 142-key Fairmont hotel and 120 Fairmont branded residences, in addition to a 466-key Swissotel and 328-key Novotel.
Rotana signed agreements with Memar Development and Investment for five new properties in Saudi Arabia. These include four under its Edge by Rotana brand which was launched last year and one Rayhaan by Rotana property, all to be located in Riyadh. The five new properties will add 618 keys to Rotana’s portfolio. Rotana aims to triple the number of rooms it currently operates in the kingdom to 6,000 over the next four years.