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Asia-Pacific

Many of Thailand’s Budget Hotels Are Struggling

Alan Woinski
August 31st, 2023 at 7:29 AM EDT

Skift Take

  • China hotel RevPAR increased by 50.4% YoY, outperforming a 48.2% comparison and growing 19% compared to 2019, driven by strong recovery.
  • Thai hotels, especially those with three stars or less, faced severe impact from interest rate hikes, uncertain tourism outlook, and competition, prompting calls for regulatory changes.
  • New luxury hotels are opening in historic Japanese and Vietnamese destinations, while major hotel chains like Accor and Melia are expanding their portfolios in Singapore and Vietnam. Additionally, Meriton Suites is expanding luxury offerings across Australia.

STR reported China hotel data for the week ended August 26. China hotel RevPAR was up 50.4% year over year. It was up against a 48.2% comp. Compared with the same week in 2019, China hotel RevPAR was up 19%, a solid result once again.

A survey by the Thai Hotels Association and Bank of Thailand found that 29% of hotels rated three stars or less suffered a severe impact from interest rate hikes and might need debt restructuring. The Tourism Council of Thailand said something similar, as 34% remain uncertain about the tourism outlook, and 19% believe they will earn less this quarter than the previous one. The Bangkok Post blamed all this on the sluggish economies in China and Japan and an unequal tourism recovery that favors large operators. The TCT is asking the government to amend the laws preventing operators from registering their businesses, such as small hotels that face obstacles in obtaining a license. The THA said hotels incur a higher financial burden from increasing debt as interest rates remain elevated, with hotels with three stars or less faring the worst. The segment continues to compete for tourists amid a weaker-than-expected inbound market. Lower-than-expected Chinese arrivals are blamed the most, but small operators in second-tier destinations did not benefit as much from the subsidy programs.

Skift India reported that nearly 4.38 million foreign tourists arrived in India from January to June, 106% higher than the first six months of 2022. Earnings from tourism more than doubled from $8 billion in 2021 to $16.4 billion in 2022.

The Luxury Collection, part of Marriott Bonvoy, announced the opening of Shisui, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Nara, in one of Japan’s most historic and scenic leisure destinations. The property is on the western edge of Nara Park, a 10-minute walk from Kintetsu-Nara train station and 48 kilometers from Osaka Itami International Airport. The hotel’s reception lobby, restaurant, and lounge are situated in a low wooden structure, first built in 1922 as the residence of the Governor of Nara, with its classic Japanese roofed gate preserved as the hotel’s main entrance.

Accor signed an agreement with Worldwide Hotel Group, the largest hotel operator in Singapore by room count, for a new Novotel hotel. Situated in the heart of the historic Little India, the 543-room Novotel Singapore on Kitchener is set to welcome guests starting from November 1, 2023. Novotel Singapore on Kitchener will be rebranded from ParkRoyal on Kitchener Road. Worldwide Hotel Group acquired the hotel in July, the largest-ever single-asset hotel transaction in Singapore and the second-largest in Asia Pacific this year. The rebranding starts after the acquisition will be completed by October 31.

The third themed hotel in Shanghai Disney Resort began construction today. The new expansion will further cultivate the credentials of the popular resort as a multi-day tourism destination. The new hotel will be designed to have 400 rooms and will join the 420-room Shanghai Disneyland Hotel and the 795-room Toy Story Hotel. The new hotel will be located on the shores of Wishing Star Lake. Currently, Shanghai Disney Resort encompasses Shanghai Disneyland, Disneytown, two themed hotels, Wishing Star Park, and other outdoor recreation areas.

Indian Hotels Company Ltd. unveiled the Rambagh Palace, Jaipur, which was the royal residence of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II and Maharani Gayatri Devi; the Jai Mahal Palace in Jaipur; and the Taj Amer in the Aravalli ranges, close to the Amer Fort. For IHCL, this adds to their properties in Rajasthan, India.

ITC Hotel Group’s Fortune Hotels unit signed Fortune Jungle Resort & Spa in Jim Corbett in Uttarakhand, North India. The resort is expected to open in the next few months and is in line with Fortune Hotels’ plans to add 15 new hotels to their portfolio with 1,500 rooms in the next two and a half years.

Melia Hotels International signed an agreement for a new hotel in Ha Long, Vietnam, that’s set to debut in 2027. The Hanoi Halong Tourism Companywill own Melia Halong Bay. The property will have 240 guestrooms and 302 serviced apartments spread over two towers. The resort will feature four restaurants and bars, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a spa, and 2,000 square meters of MICE space. Melia Hotels is in the middle of a massive expansion in Vietnam. The group currently has 23 hotels throughout the country, including the upcoming opening of Gran Melia Nha Trang, Sol by Melia Cam Ranh Bay, Melia Nha Trang Beach Resort, and Melia Quy Nhon Beach Resort, opening over the next few years.

Meriton Suites will add two states to its list of locations before the end of 2023, part of a $400 million-plus expansion project. The company will develop three new hotels, extending its luxury offering into Canberra, ACT, and Melbourne, VIC. Both new Meriton Suites hotels are located in the heart of Melbourne and Canberra CBD’s. The third location of the three to launch is Liverpool, NSW. Liverpool is the 16th address for Meriton Suites in NSW alone. Canberra launched on August 19, adding another 280 luxury rooms to the Meriton Suites portfolio. Liverpool’s 229 luxury rooms will be completed and open for guests from September 23. Melbourne will open on September 26 and offer 378 spacious rooms. Meriton Suites offers one, two, and three-bedroom suites for its guests. Each property features state-of-the-art facilities, including an all-hours fitness center, an indoor heated swimming pool, a spa, and a sauna.

Alan Woinski
August 31st, 2023 at 7:29 AM EDT

Companies: Accor, Disney Parks, Fortune, ITC Hotels, Marriott International, Melia Hotels & Resorts, Melia Hotels International, Meriton Suites, Novotel, The Indian Hotels Company Ltd, The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts, Worldwide Hotels Group

Locations: China, India, Jaipur, Japan, New South Wales, Osaka, Shanghai, Singapore, Thailand, Uttarakhand, Vietnam

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