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Thailand Takes Step to Woo Chinese Tourists

Alan Woinski
September 18th, 2023 at 7:50 AM EDT

Skift Take

  • The Royal Thai Government is granting temporary tourist visa exemptions to Chinese and Kazakhstani passport holders from September 25, 2023, to February 29, 2024, to boost tourism revenue.
  • Macao expects a high number of visitors during the upcoming Golden Week, with hotels projected to have near-full occupancy due to the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day Holiday.
  • Galaxy Macau has opened Andaz Macau, the largest Andaz hotel in the Hyatt brand’s portfolio, featuring 700 rooms, artworks, and a direct connection to the Galaxy International Convention Center and Galaxy Arena.

The Royal Thai Government announced a temporary tourist visa exemption scheme to passport holders of the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Kazakhstan effective from September 25, 2023 to February 29, 2024. The government hopes this will get them to their tourism revenue target of 2.38 trillion baht. Chinese and Kazakhstani nationals will be granted a temporary visa exemption for a 30-day stay for tourism purposes in Thailand during the five-month visa exemption period. During the period, Thailand expects to welcome 1,912,000 to 2,888,500 Chinese tourists and generate tourism income of around 92.58-140 billion baht. From January 1 to September 10 of this year, Thailand welcomed 2,284,281 Chinese visitors, making China the second largest source of tourist markets after Malaysia.

The Macao Government Tourism Office has upwardly revised its expectations for the upcoming Golden Week that it had just recently low-balled. The 8-day holiday sees the Mid-Autumn Festival and the National Day Holiday coincide. The MGTO now expects an average number of visitors daily to reach 100,000. The head of the Macau Hoteliers & Innkeepers Association said hotel occupancy rates during the holiday week are expected to be close to 100%. The city’s hotels had an average occupancy rate of 93% in July. August visitation was averaging 100,000 a day, so these predictions aren’t that difficult to make, and it really is not a stretch to expect the best week for Macau since the pandemic.

Galaxy Macau has opened Andaz Macau, the first and only Andaz hotel in Macau and the largest in the Hyatt brand’s portfolio at 700 rooms and suites. The hotel features a collection of artworks and artifacts, telling the story of the city’s soul through art. The hotel is directly connected to both the Galaxy International Convention Center and the 16,000-seat Galaxy Arena.

The Hotel Sophia is up for sale. The 96-room hotel is located on the corner of King and Little Lonsdale streets in Melbourne’s CBD and includes the Golden Age pub purchased by real estate agent Paul Castan in 1993 for just $655,000. The listing agents are expecting a sale price of over $30 million.

Pullman Hotel Auckland, operated by Accor, located in the bustling CBD in Auckland, New Zealand, unveiled its recent renovations. Accor said the renovation of the hotel, which has a location that brings views of both Waitemata Harbour and Albert Park, has brought a fresh and modern look. The forecourt and reception area have been completely transformed. The hotel lobby is adorned with natural textures and stylish elements of brass and copper, leading into an executive club lounge. The Tapestry Bar & Grill is located on the hotel’s lobby level. The Luxe Spa features six treatment rooms, and the hotel boasts one of the largest conference facilities in Auckland, with 16 function spaces offering over 3,000 square meters of event space.

IHG Hotels & Resorts and BIM Real Estate JSC, a member of the BIM Group, signed a cooperation agreement with developer InterContinental Thanh Xuan Valley Resort. This is the first valley resort for the InterContinental Hotels Resorts brand in Vietnam. The property is in the heart of the Thanh Xuan Valley residential and tourism area, surrounded by mountainsides and pine forests, close to Dai Lai and Thanh Cao Lakes, less than an hour drive from Hanoi city center. The resort is expected to open in 2027 with 171 hotel rooms and 97 private villas. It will include a 5-star utility system that meets IHG’s global standards, including a high-class restaurant, a spa, an infinity pool, and conference rooms. The resort will feature treetop villas and luxury hotel rooms amidst the trees. IHG is developing and managing the hotel and resort projects in Thanh Xuan Valley and directly managing and operating the Country Club by InterContinental Thanh Xuan Valley Resort. The Mediterranean-style clubhouse offers over 11,300 square meters of space and many exclusive amenities for upper-class residents.

Langham Hospitality Group officially opened Cordis, Xuzhou, marking their first collaboration with China Merchants Shekou Industrial Zone Holdings. Xuzhou is located in the northwest of Jiangsu Province. This is the sixth Cordis hotel in Greater China and the seventh opening for the brand internationally. It joins properties in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Ningbo, Hangzhou, and Auckland. It is also the first venture for Langham Hospitality Group in Jiangsu Province. The hotel features 269 modern guest rooms and suites, ranging from 38 to 220 square meters. Conference facilities span over 1,000 square meters with views over Dalong Lake. The hotel includes wellness and spa centers.

The Mandarin Oriental, Singapore, has unveiled its six-month renovation project. The 510-room property closed in March this year for the renovations to the hotel rooms, lobby, and F&B spaces. Rooms have been redesigned to “blur the boundaries between indoors and outdoors.” The renovated lobby lounge HAUS 65 has been curated by the private members’ club Mandala Club with features including daily wine tasting. The all-day dining restaurant Embu offers a garden-style space with a tailored kids’ buffet and playground, and the MO Bar is also set to reopen this month.

Pan Pacific Hotels Group announced the official opening of Pan Pacific Orchard, located along Orchard Road in Singapore. The hotel is the first of nine new Pan Pacific Hotels as part of the group’s build and asset enhancement strategy, expected to be completed over four years. Other hotels to follow suit in the enhancement plan include Pan Pacific Serviced Suites Kuala Lumpur, Bellustar Tokyo, a Pan Pacific Hotel, and Pan Pacific Jakarta.

Lemon Tree Hotels Limited announced the opening of its latest property in the heart of Bengaluru: Peninsula Suites, operated by Lemon Tree Hotels. This marks the group’s sixth property in Bengaluru. Peninsula Suites offers 101 rooms and suites catering to both business and leisure travelers. Each suite has a separate living area, an independent balcony, and a convenient kitchenette. The multi-cuisine Citrus Café is an F&B option and the vibrant Slounge recreation bar. Peninsula Suites offers well-equipped meeting rooms and a fitness center to meet professional and wellness needs. The property is located 37 kilometers away from Kempedowda International Airport and 23 kilometers from the nearest railway station.

Alan Woinski
September 18th, 2023 at 7:50 AM EDT

Companies: Accor, Andaz, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, IHG Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental, Langham Hospitality Group, Lemon Tree Hotels, Mandarin Oriental, Pan Pacific Hotels & Resorts, Pan Pacific Hotels Group, Pullman

Locations: Auckland, Bengaluru, China, Kazakhastan, Macau, Malaysia, Melbourne, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Xuzhou

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