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Asia-Pacific

Taylor Swift Concerts Boost More Hotels

Alan Woinski
August 1st, 2023 at 7:31 AM EDT

Skift Take

  • China hotel industry shows strong rebound: RevPAR up 36.9%, surpassing pre-pandemic levels by 5.4%.
  • Hong Kong hotels attract investors with discounts up to 30%, driven by cash-rich buyers seeking business district properties.
  • Vietnam’s tourism recovery gains momentum: July international arrivals tripled compared to last year, reaching 79% of 2019 levels.

STR reported that China hotel RevPAR was up 36.9% in the week ending July 22nd. That was up against a drop of -15.7% in the year-ago week. Versus the week in 2019, RevPAR was up 5.4%.
 
The South China Morning Post published an article on how cash-rich investors are looking to buy hotels in Hong Kong, taking advantage of discounts of as much as 30%. Hotels, especially those near the city’s business districts, are high on investors’ priority after retail amid limited supply over the next few years, according to Colliers HK. Some hotel owners are looking to offload some assets to lower their interest rate burden as the HK Monetary Authority continues to raise interest rates, coupled with tourist arrivals continuing to be on the upward trek. HK visitor arrivals reached nearly 13 million in the first half of the year, on track for 30 million this year. That is only -37% of the same period in 2019. According to the article, the latest deal in HK is for De Fenwick Service Apartment, about to be sold to China Tourism Group Hotel Holdings for HK$900 million. The 56-unit Wan Chai property was purchased in 2005 for HK$392 million.
 
CoStar said Singapore’s hotel bookings are increasing rapidly for 2024, with the market set to host several major events early in the year. Forward STAR data shows Taylor Swift performing at Singapore National Stadium March 2-4 and 7-9 already added 10% to March 2024 occupancy on the books. Coldplay concerts in January increased occupancy on the books to 13%. Group bookings for Swift concerts between July 10 and 17 jumped from 6% to 13%. The Rotary International Convention, set to take place between May 24-29, 2024, had group bookings peaking at 13% as of the end of May.
 
Vietnam’s tourism recovery continues to progress, with the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism announcing 1.04 million international visitor arrivals in July, a new post-pandemic high. The July figure is around three times higher than during the same period last year, representing 79% of foreign tourists in the country in July 2019. For the first seven months of 2023, Vietnam has welcomed 6.6 million foreign tourists and already reached 83% of the full-year target. A significant uptick in European arrivals and improvement from key Asian markets boosted July visitation. Chinese visitation only grew by 14%, and South Korea by 6%. Norway was the highest at 251% growth. Total revenue from tourists in the first seven months of the year is estimated at around VND416.6 trillion, representing 64% of Vietnam’s annual target.
 
The number of tourists to Hanoi in the first seven months reached 14.7 million, up 38.7%, according to the municipal Dept. of Tourism. International arrivals were estimated at 2.43 million, 5.7 times year on year, while domestic tourists were 12.3 million, up 20.6%. Total revenue from tourism in the period rose 68.3% to 53.7 trillion VND. The average occupancy of local hotels was estimated to reach 57.3%, up 25.5% year on year.
 
Macau’s Land and Urban Construction Bureau said they expect the construction of nine more hotels to be completed, potentially adding up to 3,732 additional hotel rooms to the city’s inventory. Seven of the hotels under construction were located on the Macau peninsula, and two on Cotai. Eight other hotel projects are being designed, with 1,308 rooms to go on the market by the time they are complete.
 
Prince Hotel in Hong Kong’s Tsim Sha Tsui district opened on August 1 following a three-year renovation that included its lobby, 394 guestrooms and suites, Continental Club, and dining venues. Prince Hotel is integrated with Harbour City, one of Hong Kong’s largest luxury retail and dining complexes.
 
Hilton announced many new signings in China in the first half of this year, including Conrad Qingcheng Mountain, Hilton Shanghai City Centre, Hilton Shanghai Jing’an, Curio Collection by Hilton hotels in Yantain and Anji, Hilton Garden Inn Hangzhou Grand Canal, and Hilton Garden Inn Chengdu Cheghua. Hilton said they lead China’s hospitality industry with 512 operating hotels in over 170 destinations, with another 700 hotels in the pipeline.
 
Sheraton Phu Quoc Long Beach in Vietnam has completed an update of its guestrooms and public spaces as part of a multi-phase property redesign. The refreshed lobby area is an intimate communal hub and a gathering space for guests to mingle or conduct business. A specialty coffee concept with light bites by day and a lively bar with creative cocktails after dark will be the new focal point of the resort. The hotel unveiled an &More by Sheraton, a smartly designed space where guests can gather alongside the locals and immerse themselves in a warm and inclusive setting.
 
The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts announced the opening of its second hotel in God’s Own Country, The Leela Ashtamudi, a Raviz Hotel, further consolidating its presence in Kerala. The hotel is perched on the banks of Ashtamudi Lake and has 93 rooms, suites, and experiential houses. Guests can choose between the Tower Wing or Heritage Wing or upgrade to one of two available private plunge pool villas. The resort also features two unique traditional experiential houses and four dining venues, the Favourite Kerala Ayurveda and Spa, an outdoor swimming pool, and a fitness center.
 
Indian Hotels Company said they received in-principle approval for acquiring Pamodzi Hotels PLC. The board of directors granted approval for the company or one of its subsidiaries to purchase 100% equity of the listed company in Zambia from Tata International Singapore Pte. Pamodzi Hotels PLC has long-term leasehold rights for Taj Pamodzi, Zambia, in Lusaka City, Zambia. IHCL operates the hotel under a Hotel Operating Agreement. The deal is subject to Tata International Singapore acquiring the remaining 10% balance of equity through a delisting process in Zambia.
 
Hong Kong’s Far East Consortium has put two Ritz-Carlton hotels in Australia on sale as they look to recycle capital and build their own Dorsett brand. The two Ritz-Carlton hotels are in Melbourne and Perth, and, as we reported earlier on the rumor, are seeking US$340 million for the two. Far East has HK$21.4 billion in debt due in 12 months as of March 31st, 2023, with about 86% of its debt carrying a floating interest rate.
 
IHG Hotels & Resorts plans to bring its Crowne Plaza brand to the Victorian regional city of Geelong in partnership with Plenary Group. The new 200-room Crowne Plaza Geelong will open in 2026, part of the Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre precinct development, which forms part of the Geelong City Deal, a collaborative plan by the Australian and Victorian governments and the city of Greater Geelong to transform the region. The redevelopment includes the construction of a purpose-built convention and exhibition space. The Crowne Plaza Geelong’s 200 rooms will include suites up to 57 square meters in size, an extensive restaurant and bar offering, and a pool and gym. The hotel itself will feature meeting spaces even though it will be connected to the new convention center. IHG will also open the 180-room Holiday Inn & Suites Geelong in September this year, putting it on track to be Geelong’s largest global hotel operator.
 
Palazzo Versace on the Gold Coast in Australia is now known as the Imperial Palace. The luxury five-star resort will see its 200 rooms undergo some refurbishment to reflect its new beginnings. The hotel’s dining outlets will introduce new menus in the coming weeks. A $114 million deal to buy the property fell through eight months ago. Dow Jones said talk is rife among the property’s wealthy apartment owners that groups of potential buyers from Dubai have come through with sales agents. Representatives from Giannarelli Group, which is developing neighboring Mariner’s Cove, also was said to have been spotted inspecting the hotel. Dion Giannarelli told Dow Jones he did not know the hotel was for sale.
 
Australia Financial Review said Penrith will open its first-ever five-star hotel next month. The city looks to benefit from the 2026 scheduled opening of the Western Sydney International Nancy-Bird Walton Airport at Badgerys Creek. The 153-room Pullman Sydney Penrith on Mulgoa Road is a $110 million joint development, along with the Western Sydney Conference Center, funded by the Panthers Group. This will be the first international five-star hotel west of Sydney Olympic Park and Warwick Farm.

Alan Woinski
August 1st, 2023 at 7:31 AM EDT

Companies: Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza, Curio Collection by Hilton, Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International, Pamodzi Hotels, Prince Hotels & Resorts, Ritz-Carlton, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, Taj, The Indian Hotels Company Ltd, The Leela Palaces Hotels and Resorts

Locations: Chengdu, China, Geelong, Hangzhou, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Kerala, Macau, Melbourne, Perth, Phu Quoc, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Vietnam, Zambia

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