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Asia-Pacific

Philippines Sees Strong Tourism Rebound with 3.3 Million Foreign Arrivals in 2023

Alan Woinski
September 7th, 2023 at 8:02 AM EDT

Skift Take

  • Foreign arrivals in the Philippines reached 3.3 million in the first eight months of 2023, approaching the government’s annual goal of 4.8 million. South Korea was the top source of inbound tourists.
  • Trip.com Group reported robust recovery in domestic and international business in 2Q23, with strong growth in domestic hotel bookings in China. However, outbound hotel and air reservations remained down compared to pre-Covid levels.
  • Wyndham Hotels & Resorts signed three new agreements with Indonesia Hospitality Group, expanding its presence in Indonesia. This follows the earlier launch of the Howard Johnson by Wyndham brand in Indonesia.

The Philippines Dept. of Tourism said foreign arrivals reached 3.3 million in the first eight months of 2023, approaching the government’s goal of 4.8 million arrivals for the full year. South Korea remains the top inbound tourist source, with over 940,000 visitor arrivals recorded in the eight months. The US was second with 17.31% of arrivals, or 632,687. The government is confident in the full-year arrival target, especially after launching the Philippine e-Visa system, with the initial phase targeting Chinese tourists in Shanghai with plans to expand to India in the next stage. The eventual expansion of the e-Visa system is envisioned to cover all Philippine foreign service posts spread across China.

Trip.com Group revealed that the domestic and international business continued to recover robustly in 2Q23, with China’s domestic hotel bookingsgrowing by 170% year over year and over 60% compared to the same period in 2019. Trip.com said outbound hotel and air reservations remained down 40% from pre-Covid levels for the same period in 2019. Air ticket bookings on the online platform grew by over 120% year over year and nearly doubled compared to the pre-Covid level for the same period in 2019 as the company steals share from competitors.

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts announced three new agreements signed with Indonesia Hospitality Group. These follow the earlier signing of an exclusive development agreement between Wyndham and Indonesia Hospitality Group for the Howard Johnson by Wyndham brand, which saw the brand launch in Indonesia through Howard Johnson by Wyndham Pekalongan in February. The three new agreements signed comprise Howard Johnson by Wyndham Kota Kedoya Jakarta, Howard Johnson by Wyndham LA Hub South Jakarta, and Howard Johnson by Wyndham Treepark Tangerang.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India approved Samhi Hotels’ plan to raise funds through an Initial Public Offering. Samhi Hotels is a hotel ownership and asset management platform that Goldman Sachs backs. They have 3,839 rooms in their portfolio, with 25 hotels in 12 Indian cities. The last filing had the company looking to raise $120 million, plus they would be offering 9 million shares from existing stockholders.

The Hyatt Regency Chennai announced the unveiling of its newly refurbished rooms. The hotel said the refurbished rooms project resulted in meticulously redesigned rooms designed for comfort, convenience, and the latest technology. Guests of Hyatt Regency Chennai even get access to an exclusive concierge service.

OYO India CEO Ankit Gupta and Europe head Mandar Vaidya have left the company. That is probably not the best thing to happen when you are still trying to get going on an IPO. Gupta is leaving to begin his own startup and is mentoring a senior OYO executive to take over his role in India. OYO said this was in the works six months ago, and they have already transitioned Varun Jain as COO India and Gautam Swaroop as CEO of OYO Vacation Homes. Gupta was only in that role for about a year before deciding to leave in March.    Vaidya took over the European head in April 2021. The planned IPO still hopes to raise $1 billion at a valuation of $2.7 billion, way down from the $10 billion valuation OYO once told investors they were worth.

CBRE Hotels said a private investment group is moving to sell the recently restored Maleny Lodge amid growing demand for Australia’s Sunshine Coast accommodation assets. Maleny Lodge is positioned on an expansive 2,582 square meter freehold land parcel in the Sunshine Coast town of Maleny. It includes seven guest rooms, a heated in-ground swimming pool, and a fire pit, all overlooking the woodland forest below. CBRE Hotels was exclusively appointed to manage the Expression of Interest campaign for the freehold going concern interest in the lodge. The hotel opened in June 2022 after a comprehensive restoration and refurbishment program. CBRE Hotels has been responsible for a bunch of Sunshine Coast, Australia accommodation transactions, including the Loea Boutique Hotel, Moffat Beach Hotel, and the previous sale of Maleny Lodge. The Expression of Interest campaign closed on October 12, 2023.

Luxury travel company &Beyond announced the launch of its first lodge in Asia, &Beyond Punakha River Lodge, situated in the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. This is the first fully &Beyond-owned and managed property to open on the continent and is said to kick off a new era of expansion for their brand. The lodge is situated on the banks of the Mo Chu River in the Punakha Valley and features six tented suites, as well as a two-bedroom villa with a private pool and a one-bedroom villa, which has a plunge pool/hot tub, depending on the season. The lodge site offers easy access to the Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten and has uninterrupted views of the Himalayas

YTL Hospitality Real Estate Investment Trust has entered into a sale and purchase agreement with Hotel 25 Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of its parent, YTL Corp Bhd, to acquire the Hotel Stripes Kuala Lumpur, Autograph Collection on Jalan Kamunting in Kuala Lumpur for RM138 million. YTL-REIT will then lease the property back to Hotel 25 for 15 years, with the option of extending the lease for another 15 years. The five-star hotel had a 69.3% occupancy rate as of June 30 this year. The purchase will be made entirely in cash from borrowings and internally generated funds. Hotel 25 will then remit annual rental payments of RM9.7 million from the first year to the fifth, after which it would increase by 5% to RM10.1 million annually from the sixth to tenth years and by a further 5% to RM10.7 million for the final five years.

HIIVE by Fusion Hotel Binh Duong opened its doors last month in the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park in Thuan An, Binh Duong, near Aeon Mall, about an hour from Tan Son Nhat International Airport by car. The hotel has 172 rooms (five different types) on its 11 floors, three meeting rooms, co-working space, and entertainment and culinary facilities. Additional amenities include a 3D Golf Course, a modern gym, and a yoga room.

Alan Woinski
September 7th, 2023 at 8:02 AM EDT

Companies: &Beyond, Autograph Collection, CBRE Hotels, Fusion Hotel Group, Hiive, Howard Johnson, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Hyatt Regency, Indonesia Hospitality Group, Marriott International, OYO Hotels, Samhi Hotels, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Locations: Australia, Bhutan, Chennai, China, Indonesia, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Philippines, Vietnam

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