The Wall Street Journal published an article on how Chinese investors are fleeing the Western world, no longer having New York City hotels as their favorite place to put their funds. The report said the change is due to hostility to Chinese capital and that Chinese companies are now spending money on factories in Southeast Asia and mining and energy projects in Asia, the Middle East, and South America instead of five-star hotels in Manhattan. The article said nickel-rich Indonesia is the biggest recipient of Chinese investment so far this year. This is not the first time an Asian powerhouse changed its focus of investment from U.S. luxury hotels to somewhere else, as Japan did the same thing in the 1980s.
Radisson Hotel Group said the first half of 2023 resulted in milestone openings and signings in Asia Pacific and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. That included the addition of the art’otel brand. Since the beginning of the year, the group has welcomed more than 100+ hotel openings and signings in APAC and EMEA. In APAC, Radisson Hotel Group added 60+ hotels to its portfolio, representing over 8,000 keys in Vietnam, India, Thailand, the Philippines, and China. The group has more than doubled its portfolio in Thailand by signing seven new hotels with over 1,300 rooms in the past 12 months.
Singapore’s Changi Airport said it handled 5.12 million passenger movements in June 2023, crossing the five million mark for the first time since January 2020. The month of June represented 88% of passenger movements in June 2019. The June figure took total passenger movements for the second quarter to 14.6 million or 87% of 2Q19 levels, while aircraft movements reached 86% at 81,400. In alphabetical order, the top five traffic markets were Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. Northeast Asia traffic grew from 50% of pre-Covid levels in January to 75% in June.
Sands China/Las Vegas Sands said they will reposition and upgrade hotels Sheraton and Conrad on Cota in Macau as part of Londoner Macau Phase 2. Sands China plans to rebrand the Sheraton and Conrad hotels as well as complete a comprehensive upgrade of the Pacifica Casino on the Sheraton side. More non-gaming amenities and attractions will be added to The Londoner, with more signature restaurants with international appeal, a state-of-the-art wellness center, and other lifestyle attractions. Over the long term, plans for a landmark garden-themed attraction, a conservatory, continue with the location to be in the gardens south of the Londoner resort. The Londoner includes five hotels, offering nearly 6,000 rooms in total.
Dharampal Satyapal Group has acquired Viceroy Bangalore Hotels Pvt. Ltd. following a bidding process. This marks the over-billion-dollar group’s expansion in the hospitality segment in Southern India. Viceroy Hotels owns the Marriott-managed Renaissance Bengaluru, which is situated on 1.8 acres in the Central Business District and has 275 rooms. The Hyderabad bench of the National Company Law Tribunal approved DS Group’s resolution plan in June. The company said it is now strategically approaching how to elevate the hotel’s appeal and align it to its standards.
The ITC Ltd. board has approved the spinoff of its hotel business. ITC will hold a 40% stake in the new entity, with public shareholders to hold the rest. The proposed reorganization is being done to ensure continued interest in the hospitality business, unlock the value of that business from the conglomerate and attract strategic partners and investors. The hotel business contributed less than 5% of ITC’s revenue and EBIT over the past decade but also accounted for 20% of the company’s capex.
Accor announced a new strategic partnership with JHRA (Ebisu Resort LLC) in Japan to renovate and rebrand the Daiwa Resorts portfolio into Grand Mercure and Mercure hotels. The agreement will double Accor’s current portfolio in Japan, adding 23 properties and over 6,000 rooms. Conversion of the hotels is expected during 2024, after which the properties will operate under the aforementioned Accor brands. Accor will also debut several new flagship properties in the Asia Pacific region over the coming years, including Pullman Singapore Hill Street, ibis Styles Bangkok Twin Towers, Novotel Nara, Fairmont Hanoi, Mondrian Singapore Duxton, and Fairmont Tokyo.
Hong Kong’s Cheng family has taken control of the Hoiana integrated casino resort in Vietnam from LET Group Holdings. The Cheng family’s Chow Tai Fook Enterprises owns the hotel with LET Group, formerly Suncity, and VinaCapital. The property opened in mid-2020 and has underperformed for various reasons, mostly due to Covid but also because the property was developed with the expectation that Suncity would drive VIP business from China to the property. Since then, Suncity’s founder and leader, Alvin Chau, has been thrown in jail, the VIP junket business in Macau has been decimated, and Vietnam’s IR casino properties have continued to underperform across the country. Chow Tai Fook Enterprises was reported to have assumed control of Hoiana’s day-to-day operations from LET Group. Hoiana, which already has a billion dollars invested in it, is planned to have a total of US$4 billion with seven phases over 13 years of development. The final vision is to include many hotels and residences, two 18-hole golf courses, MICE facilities, commercial space, high-end and outdoor retail, and the existing Hoiana Suncity Casino.
Melia Hotels International announced the signing of an agreement for a hotel in Ha Long, the entry point to Ha Long Bay in Vietnam. As part of Melia’s 18-month journey of rapid expansion within Vietnam, Melia Halong Bay is set to debut in 2027 with 240 rooms and 302 serviced apartments spread over two towers. The hotel will feature four restaurants and bars, an indoor swimming pool, and an expansive palm-tree-lined outdoor swimming space with man-made islets reminiscent of the neighboring UNESCO World Heritage site. The brand’s signature YHI Spa will be part of the new property, along with 2,000 square meters of MICE Space. The announcement brings the group’s total number of hotels nationwide to 23, both open and in development. This summer brings the opening of Gran Melia Nha Trang, followed later on by Sol by Melia Cam Ranh Bay, Melia Nha Trang Beach Resort, and Melia Quy Nhon Beach Resort, scheduled to open in the next few years.
Hilton unveiled the Hilton Okinawa Miyako Island Resort, the first Hilton property on Miyako Island. Miyako Island is 300 kilometers southwest of Japan’s main Okinawa Island. Hilton is opening the property in partnership with Mitsubishi Estate and Kajima Corporation. The resort is just a 15-minute drive from Miyako Airport, with the resort adjacent to Miyako Sunset Beach. The hotel has 329 guest rooms, including 56 Executive Rooms and 11 Suite Rooms, which offer exclusive access to the Executive Lounge. The hotel features four restaurants and bars, including the YUNAI Rooftop Bar. There are three outdoor pools and two indoor pools, and a gym. There is a ballroom, multiple meeting rooms, and a rooftop chapel.