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Chiang Mai Tourism Bounces Back

Alan Woinski
June 15th, 2023 at 7:50 AM EDT

Skift Take

  • China hotel RevPAR in the week ending June 10th: Up 66.7% YoY, down 2.6% compared to 2019.
  • Chiang Mai‘s tourism industry recovering with increased hotel occupancy rates and visitor numbers.
  • New developments in the hospitality industry: Ritz-Carlton Reserve opens in Jiuzhaigou, Bookmark Resorts announces first wellbeing resort, and Karl Lagerfeld hotel in Malaysia.

Chiang Mai’s tourism industry is continuing to recover as the Thai Hotels Association (Upper Northern Chapter) said the average occupancy rate of hotels in the province rose to 75% in the first five months of 2023. Hotels in the northern province were sitting with a comfortable 70% occupancy rate from January to March, but those numbers plummeted in April to less than 30% as Chiang Mai, like other northern provinces, battled smog and high PM 2.5 levels. May had a strong recovery and that caused operators of unregistered small hotels to increase their rooms to eight or more to meet the legal requirement to register as a small hotel and attract more customers. There are currently around 600 registered hotels in the province with about 2,000 more who are yet to be registered. The Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Chiang Mai office said in the first five months of the year, Chiang Mai recorded over 4.7 million visitors, of whom 3.08 million were Thais and the rest foreigners. The TAT estimates Chiang Mai will secure at least 80 billion baht of tourism revenue this year, approaching the pre-Covid level of 100 billion baht recorded in 2019.

STR reported China hotel data for the week ending June 10. China hotel RevPAR was up 66.7% year over year, up against a decline of -22.1% comp. When compared with the same week in 2019, China hotel RevPAR was down -2.6%.

Rissai Valley, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, was unveiled in Jiuzhaigou, a valley on the edges of the Qinghai-Tibet plateau in China’s Southwestern Sichuan province. The region has been inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and World Biosphere Reserve. Marriott International said Rissai Valley is the sixth property in a rare portfolio of exclusive estates worldwide. The Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area covers 72,000 hectares in northern Sichuan Province, protected as a national natural reserve. Rissai Valley has 87 villas offering views of the snow-capped Minshan mountain range, forests and ancient Tibetan villages. The Ritz-Carlton Reserve offers food and beverage options from all day dining to Sichuan and western restaurants to a lobby lounge. The Rissai Spa offers treatments inspired by Tibetan philosophies and includes an expansive infinity swimming pool for guests.

Onora Hospitality Pvt Ltd announced its first wellbeing resort under its newly launched brand Bookmark Resorts. The company presently operates 20 boutique hotels and resorts with over 500 rooms in 8 states under its brand ‘juSTa Hotels and Resorts’ and ‘NUO’. The first Bookmark Resort is scheduled to open in Manali in Himachal Pradesh soon. The wellbeing resort will have 39 rooms and suites with all modern facilities. The company plans to open 10 Bookmark Resorts across India over the next three years. Onora said the emphasis at Bookmark Resorts will be on hospitality and not just service. Facilities will include a Spa, swimming pool, gym and a dedicated Yoga Pavilion. The upcoming Manali property will have well-planned spaces for food and beverage, large lawns and in-room balconies with views of the snow-capped Himalayas.

Bollywood actress Bhumi Pednekar has partnered with Mumbai Hospitality Groupto invest in their first boutique hotel in Goa. The company has already made a name for themselves in Mumbai’s casual dining scene. The new boutique hotel in Goa is aiming to cater to travelers seeking ultimate relaxation.

Pride Hotels Group said they signed and operate approximately 17 properties under the Pride Biznotel brand. The company is hoping to cash in on the growing business travel segment by scaling its operations to focus more on the brand which is a moderately priced, upscale, full service hotel that meets the discerning needs of a business, adventure and leisure traveler. As part of its national expansion plans, Pride Hotels will have 100 properties and over 10,000 keys by the end of 2030 in various geographic locations. Pride Biznotel will form a major slice of the expansion, primarily spread across tier 1 and tier 2 markets in India. Pride has a presence in around 56 locations currently with 5,390 rooms, 109 restaurants, 152 banquets, lawns and conference halls.

Handmade Hotel Room at Deco Hotel Canberra is Australia’s first ever handmade, one of a kind hotel room, the brainchild of Handmade Canberra and Deco Hotel Canberra. The description is this provides an unmatched stay in Canberra where everything from the artworks, décor, soft furnishings, kitchenware, dinnerware, food and beverage, and toiletries come direct from all-Australian Handmade designers and makers.

Sheng Tai International Sdn Bhd has revealed the Karl Lagerfeld Tower, featuring the first Karl Lagerfeld hotel in Southeast Asia and first of its kind in Malaysia. The Tower is situated inside The Sail Melaka’ in the Melaka Waterfront Economic Zone in Kota Laksamana and consists of a hotel and branded residences. The Sail consists of nine towers for business, hotels, entertainment and leisure.

Hilton will unveil its newest 42 family-friendly villas at Hilton Yala Resort in Sri Lanka. Hilton Yala will start accepting reservations from September 1 and beyond. Besides the villas, the hotel offers an elephant trail, spa, outdoor pool and a bar.

The Manila Bulletin said the Government Service Insurance System and Philippine Plaza Holdings Inc. have revised their lease agreement for the land on which the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila hotel is situated. The amended contract now encompasses not only the original building site but also lots 19 and 41 in Pasay City where the luxury hotel is located. The amended agreement is still valid until June 26, 20141 but now includes the other land lots instead of just lots 30-A and 30-B where the main building of the hotel stands.

Six Senses Kanuhura in the Maldives in one of the most pristine corners of the Lhaviyani Atoll, is now open for bookings and stays from September 1 onwards. The resort encompasses another two white-sand private islands, one for intimate desert island dining and the other for the ultimate castaway escape. Six Senses is reinventing the Maldivian icon, reimagining the existing resort and resources while protecting the natural beauty of the island. The 91 beachfront and overwater villas include 12 new Beach Retreats. They offer one to three bedrooms and private pools just steps from the ocean.

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts announced the opening of the 68 room Istanbul New Airport Hotel, its first Trademark Collection by Wyndham Hotel in Turkiye. Wyndham said this adds to their standing as the largest international hotel company there with more than 95 hotels open and operating and more than 20 under development. The hotel is located just 12 km from Istanbul Airport. Istanbul New Airport Hotel, Trademark Collection by Wyndham is a new construction hotel featuring an on-site restaurant, business center, concierge and other amenities.

Alan Woinski
June 15th, 2023 at 7:50 AM EDT

Companies: Accor, Bookmark Resorts, Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International, Mumbai Hospitality Group, Pride Group of Hotels, Ritz-Carlton, Six Senses, Sofitel, Trademark Collection, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Locations: Canberra, Chiang Mai, China, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Istanbul, Malaysia, Maldives, Manila, Sichuan, Sri Lanka

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