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Asia-Pacific

Booking.com to Face Class Action Lawsuit in Japan Over Payment Delays

Alan Woinski
October 17th, 2023 at 8:22 AM EDT

Skift Take

  • Samaras Construction plans to build a high-end hotel in Adelaide, Australia, featuring 175 luxurious rooms, a lavish lobby, a hotel-style bar, and a restaurant.
  • Pan Pacific Perth is undergoing a $50 million refurbishment of its luxury hotel and convention spaces in Adelaide, including guest rooms, suites, and convention facilities.
  • Keppel has completed the divestment of Sedona Hotel Yangon in Myanmar for $57.4 million, while Galaxy Entertainment Group is not re-entering a resort project in the Philippines.

Samaras Construction and Developments unveiled plans for a high-end hotel in AdelaideAustralia, replacing the current Wilson car parking facility at 15-19 Halifax Street. Charcoal brickwork, aged brass panels, and double-glazed windows will characterize the building’s façade. Guests can expect 175 luxurious rooms with a lavish lobby on the ground floor, along with a hotel-style bar and a restaurant that will also be open to the general public.

Pan Pacific Perth will undertake a $50 million refurbishment of its more than 400-room luxury hotel and convention spaces on Adelaide Terrace. The hotel group will completely refurbish the hotel’s 392 guest rooms and suites and upgrade its 96 Pacific Club rooms and suites by mid to late 2024. Pan Pacific will also redesign eight spaces on its convention level, including its two ballrooms, pre-function areas, meeting rooms, lobby, porte cochere, and Pacific Club lounge. The renovations began earlier this year. The result will include a new welcoming lobby and state-of-the-art upgrades to the convention facilities.

Keppel has completed the divestment of Sedona Hotel Yangon in Myanmar for US$57.4 million. The consideration is more than the NAV of the sale share of about US$43.9 million as of February 28th. Keppel’s real estate division sold its 100% stake in Greenfield Development to Spring Blossom Ventures. Greenfield Development holds 100% of the shares in Straits Greenfield Limited, which has the right to build and operate Sedona Hotel Yangon, a five-star hotel in Yangon, Myanmar.

Macau gaming concessionaire Galaxy Entertainment Group did not take long to answer the public goading by DigiPlus Interactive Corp. Galaxy issued a statement saying they are not considering re-entering Boracay in the Philippines to develop a resort. This followed the former Leisure and Resorts World Corporation publicly asking Galaxy to come back and try again for the $500 million planned project. DigiPlus had said they were testing the “comfort level” of Galaxy, asking them, “What will it take for you to come back in again?” Galaxy said its plans are “contrary to some media reports.”

Booking.com continues to be dogged by claims they are not transferring customer payments in Europe and Asia. The Japan Times reported that some Japanese hoteliers plan to file a class action lawsuit against the company. Hotel owners allege that over the past few months, Booking.com has failed to promptly transfer customer payments to the hotels, essentially leaving hotel bills unpaid for days or even months. The lawyer taking on the class action suit said around 40 people had consulted him about Booking.com‘s payment failure, with three deciding to take part in the lawsuit. The head of Kazaya GroupMasahiko Matsuo, is one of the prospective plaintiffs. He said his hotels have experienced delays in payments since June. He said he was notified by an email from Booking.com that the revenue from the end of June and all of July would not be transferred until August due to system maintenance. He said he finally got the payment at the very end of August and still has yet to receive September revenue while Booking.comcontinues to charge commission fees for using the platform. Matsuo said Booking.com currently owes his company around 6 million yen.

Sumitomo Realty & Development is embarking on a 500 billion yen (US$3.34 billion) redevelopment project in downtown MumbaiIndia. Nikkei said the Japanese developer plans to build offices, a hotel, and commercial facilities on a roughly 80,000-square-meter former factory site. This will be among India’s largest real estate projects to be handled by a foreign company on its own. The project will bring Sumitomo Realty’s total officer floor space in India to 1.26 million square meters, giving it the largest footprint of any Japanese developer in India. The site they are acquiring is in Mumbai’s Worli neighborhood. The Worli project will bring Sumitomo’s total investment in India to around 700 billion yen.

Accor announced the signing of The Grand Mercure Amritsar Airport Road. The 100 key property is scheduled to open in 2026 and will include five spacious suites and two distinctive food and beverage outlets. Amenities in the property include an expansive 800+ square meter banquet facility, spa and fitness center, and a swimming pool. The hotel is located in the heart of Amritsar in India and is the debut of the first Grand Mercure in the city. The hotel is being developed by RV Enterprises.

Lemon Tree Hotels said it signed a license agreement for a 55-room property in Uttarakhand’s Dehradun in India. The property will operate under the company’s brand, Keys Prima by Lemon Tree Hotels. It is slated to open by financial year 2027. Keys Prima by Lemon Tree Hotels will have 55 furnished rooms, a restaurant, bar, banquet hall, meeting rooms, and various other public spaces. The management will be overseen by Lemon Tree subsidiary Carnation Hotels Private Limited. The Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is about 40 kilometers from the property. The hotel is being developed and will be owned by M/s Doon Dwelling LP.

juSTa Hotels and Resorts announced it will unveil its first wildlife resort, juSTa Lazy Haven Corbett, on October 19th. The property, in Kyari in proximity to Jim Corbett National Park in India, is the 22nd addition to the company’s hotel portfolio and is the third presence in the state of Uttarakhand. The resort occupies 1.1 acres of land and features 24 rooms divided into Superior Room with Balcony and Deluxe Room with Balcony types. There is a swimming pool, a 48-seat multi-cuisine restaurant, and a rejuvenating spa.

OYO said they will add 750 hotels on its platform in the next three months in over 35 leisure markets to tap the festive and winter tourism season. The majority of the hotels will be incorporated under OYO’s premium brands, such as PaletteTownhouseTownhouse Oak, and Collection O. OYO said its key focus markets are GoaJaipurMussoorieRishikeshKatraShimlaNainitalUdaipur, and Mount Abu for the new hotels addition. OYO said the number of foreign tourists who arrived in India this year from January to June is 106% more than the figure for the corresponding period in 2022.

Alan Woinski
October 17th, 2023 at 8:22 AM EDT

Companies: Accor, Booking Holdings, Carnation Hotel Private Limited, DigiPlus Interactive Corp, Galaxy Entertainment Group, Grand Mercure Hotels and Resorts, juSTa Hotels & Resorts, Lemon Tree Hotels, OYO Hotels, Spring Blossom Ventures, Sumitomo Realty and Development Co

Locations: Adelaide, Amritsar, Goa, Jaipur, Japan, Katra, Macau, Mumbai, Myanmar, Perth, Shimla, Udaipur, Uttarakhand

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