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China Resumes Group Tours to South Korea

Alan Woinski

August 10th, 2023

Skift Take

  • China‘s hotel RevPAR rose by 22% YoY as of the week ending August 5th, and by 6.7% compared to the same week in 2019.
  • China lifted its ban on group tours to over 70 locations, including countries in Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa, and North America. Notably, group tours to South Korea are resuming for the first time in six years.
  • Indonesia’s ONE°15 Marina Nirup Island opened, with phase two set to include a Westin Hotels & Resorts property by Q4 2024.

STR reported that China hotel RevPAR was up 22% year over year for the week ending August 5th. When compared with the same week in 2019, RevPAR was up 6.7%.

China has lifted a ban on group tours to more than 70 locations. Group tours will resume to dozens of locations in Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa, and North America. In Asia Pacific, tours will resume to Japan, South Korea, and Australia, while Middle East nations getting the approval include Qatar, Oman, Lebanon, and Israel. This will be the first time in six years that China allows group tours to South Korea, as they banned such tours in 2017 in response to the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense Systems in SK.

A new Indonesian private island – ONE°15 Marina Nirup Island – opened in July, nine miles south of Singapore. The launch is the first of two phases and includes the opening of a restaurant and bar, ferry terminal, and marina that can hold 44 yachts up to 150 feet long. The second phase of development, expected next year, will include the opening of a Westin Hotels & Resortsproperty, scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2024. The hotel will have 94 rooms and 52 villas. The Riahi Residences is scheduled to open during the second phase of the island’s opening, with 30 villas for sale. PT owns Nirup Island. Tritunas Sinar Benua, an Indonesian real estate developer, is managed by marina operator SUTL Enterprise. The private island is part of Indonesia’s Riau Islands, a province in the South China Sea where several private island hotels have been developed over the past two decades.

FCM Consultancy announced the launch of its Global Quarterly Trend Report. Of note was that Asian hotel prices were up by an average of 26% in 1Q23. Tokyo, Singapore, and Seoul topped the list at $294, $269, and $239, respectively. Honorable mention went to Hong Kong and Taipei at $224 and $200, respectively.

Lemon Tree Hotels announced the signing of Lemon Tree Hotel in Hissar, Haryana, in India. Their latest property is expected to be operational by the fourth quarter of FY2024 with 50 rooms, a banquet hall, meeting rooms, two restaurants, a swimming pool, a bar, and other public areas. It will be managed by Lemon Tree Hotels’ management arm, wholly-owned Carnation Hotels Private Limited. The hotel will be located 148 km from the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi.

Roseate Hotels & Resorts, owned by Bird Group, plans to add two hotels annually through management agreements while pursuing the development of luxury boutique properties in India and abroad. The company told Economic Times that they intend to include co-working centers at hotels in metro cities while its properties in holiday destinations will be developed as resorts. The company recently acquired 2.6 acres of land near the upcoming Noida airport to develop a 250-room project, including a convention center. They are also looking at expanding their Rishikesh resort as well.

FabHotels, which describes itself as the fastest-growing budget hotel chain in India, said it added 100+ premium hotels to its collection. They now have 1500+ hotels in 80+ cities, with their hotels divided into 4 categories – FabExpress, FabHotel, FabHotel Prime, and FabEscape. The 100+ premium hotels have been added in top Indian cities such as New Delhi, Chennai, Pune Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai, Visakhapatnam, Tirupati, Noida, Gurgaon, Jodhpur, Gandhinagar, Goa, Jaipur, and Coimbatore.

Accor opened three new properties in Asia during the month of July. They include the midscale Mercure Pangkalan Bun in Indonesia, premiumMovenpick Hotel Surabaya City in Indonesia, and the midscale Novotel Rayong Star Convention Center in Thailand. They bring Accor’s total new properties in Asia to 15 in 2023. The Novotel Rayong Star Convention Center will have 234 keys with a pillarless conference and event venue able to accommodate 1,200 guests. Accor’s first property in Indonesia’s Central Kalimantan Province, Mercure Pangkalan Bun, features 150 rooms ranging from Premium Superior Rooms to the Presidential Suite. The Movenpick Hotel Surabaya City relaunched and opened its doors under the Movenpick brand with 243 rooms and suites. This is now the second Movenpick-branded property in Indonesia, following Movenpick Resort & Spa Jimbaran Bali.

Galaxy Entertainment Group announced that the opening of Andaz Macauwould take place on September 15th, part of the recently launched Galaxy International Convention Center at Galaxy Macau. Andaz Macau will become the world’s largest Andaz hotel, with more than 700 rooms and suites. It will also become the eighth hospitality brand within Galaxy Macau, forming part of the integrated resort’s expansive Phase 3 development. Features of Andaz Macau will include a dedicated check-in lounge catering to large MICE groups, a signature lounge, bar and restaurant, a fitness center, and a heated 19-meter indoor pool.

The Azabudai Hills building complex, which includes Japan’s tallest skyscraper, will open on November 24th in Minato Ward, Tokyo. Mori Building Co. said the offices, residences, museum, hotel, and other facilities within the complex are in the final phase of development and will open one by one starting from November 24th. The 330-meter-tall Mori JP Tower is the main building of the complex. The building is 64 stories and is almost as tall as the 333-meter-tall Tokyo Tower. The Mori JP Tower will be the tallest building in Japan until fiscal 2027, when Mitsubishi Estate Co is set to complete a building near Tokyo Station that will be about 390 meters tall. The Azabudai Hills complex will also house the Keio University Center for Preventative Medicine, residences by the Aman Group, and one of the largest international schools in central Tokyo.

Dubai’s hotel and tourism sector added nearly 100 new hotels, over 30,000 new keys since June 2019. The latest data released by Dubai Economy and Tourism said the number of hospitality establishments grew by 96 from 714 in June 2019 to 810 in June 2023. The number of new hotels grew by 37 compared to June of last year. Those opening in the past year included Atlantis the Royal, Hilton Palm Jumeirah, and the Marriott Resort Palm Jumeirah. The emirate has surpassed its pre-pandemic tourist figures, reaching 8.55 million in the first half of 2023 as compared to 8.36 million in the same period in 2019. The number of hotel rooms increased by 30,344 year over year to 148,689 in June. The five-star category has 155 establishments housing 51,227 keys, followed by 189 properties housing 42,480 keys and 1-3 star hotels offering 29,469 rooms. Average hotel occupancy stood at around 78% in the first half of 2023, among the highest in the world. ADR was the only thing down, at Dh534 in January-June 2023 versus Dh567 in June last year.

Alan Woinski

August 10th, 2023

Companies: Accor, Aman Group, Andaz, Carnation Hotel Private Limited, FabHotels, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Lemon Tree Hotels, Marriott International, Mercure Hotels, Movenpick, Novotel, Westin Hotels & Resorts

Locations: Bali, China, Dubai, Haryana, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Lebanon, Macau, Oman, Qatar, Seoul, Singapore, South Korea, Taipei, Thailand, Tokyo

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