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Asia-Pacific

Conrad Seoul Is for Sale for $370 Million

Alan Woinski
October 24th, 2023 at 8:29 AM EDT

Skift Take

  • International arrivals in the Asia Pacific region saw growth in 2022, reaching the strongest level since 2019, with the Pacific region having the highest growth rate.
  • Macau received over five million visitors from Hong Kong in the first nine months of the year, nearing 2019 levels.
  • Radisson Hotel Group announced the rebranding of Fridays Boracay into a Radisson Collection Resort, marking their entry into Boracay, Philippines.

Pacific Asia Travel Association said international arrivals across the Asia Pacific region grew in 2022 and have strengthened significantly during 2023. PATA said 2022 saw 44 destinations across the APAC region end with a collective annual gain of almost 124.2 million foreign arrivals, to return a collective inbound count of nearly 265.5 million. That was the strongest since 2019, with the Pacific region having the strongest growth rate in 2022 year over year, whereas Asia received the largest number of arrivals and greatest annual increase in absolute numbers from 2021. We love those who trumpet these numbers and then quietly report that this was only 27% of 2019 levels. In that respect, the Americas led everyone in 2022, getting to 69% of 2019. 2023 is a different story as the IVA growth has continued with the addition of more than 93.3 million foreign arrivals in APAC, boosting the recovery rate for early 2023 to more than 68% of the early 2019 IVA levels. In early 2023, Asia had the strongest performance of the three destination regions. Asia is only at a 54% recovery rate as a source region, but that number will improve as China does. In 2019, it accounted for almost 30% of the IVAs from Asia. In early 2023, despite the recovery, it was only at 34% of the early 2019 level of arrivals.

The Macao Government Tourism Office said Macau received more than five million visitor arrivals from Hong Kong in the first nine months of the year. 5.58 million tourists from Hong Kong went to Macau in the first nine months of 2019, so that was close. In total, there were 17.6 million visitor arrivals to Macau in the first eight months of the year.

Macau welcomed more than 105,000 visitor arrivals for consecutive days over the weekend. With 110,468 arrivals on Saturday and another 107,956 on Sunday, that is an important milestone, as the average was 107,962 on each of those days in 2019. There were 83,275 visitors on Monday, so the Chung Yeung Festival holiday three-day weekend averaged 100,568 per day.

Radisson Hotel Group announced the signing of Fridays Boracay, A Radisson Collection Resort, which represents the group’s entry into Boracay in the Philippines and the debut of the Radisson Collection brand in the Southeast Asia archipelago. The beachside retreat will feature 110 rooms and standalone villas, the only luxury five-star resort with absolute beachfront villas, plus four restaurants and bars, three separate pools, a jungle gym, and an outdoor beach wedding pavilion that overlooks the sea. The former Fridays Boracay property will undergo an extensive makeover as part of the rebranding to transform it under the Radisson Collection concept.

Shang Properties plans to launch new projects in Quezon City and Cebu in the Philippines. Shang Properties is unveiling its new brand identity, saying it wants to define luxury and set new standards. Shang Properties is an affiliate of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts and Hong Kong property investment firm Kerry Properties Limited. The two projects would be residential high-rise projects. Their projects in the Philippines include Shangri-La Plaza, The Shang Grand Tower, Shangri-La at the Fort, and The Rise Makati.

Hotel Sensai Nimman Chiang Mai announced its’ opening in the Nimman area of Chiang Mai in Thailand, bringing Japanese style and cuisine together with Thailand’s traditional Northern Lai Thai heritage in its five-star boutique resort. Hotel Sensai has 24 elegantly appointed rooms, available as six room types including Deluxe Rooms, Pool Access, Junior Suites, Sensai Suites, Corner Suites and the Penthouse. The hotel has a heated pool, food and beverage options and more. Hotel Sensai is managed by Unicorn Hospitality and is owned by Siri Nimman Co.

A Singapore court ruled the Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort, a Relax Beach entity, can get insurance proceeds for the business interruption they suffered in Thailand during the pandemic. The insurers involved are QBE Insurance and MS First Capital Insurance. The Judge ordered the two insurers liable to indemnify Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort for loss resulting directly from the interruption of or interference with its business as a consequence of the closure ordered by the Phuket Governor due to the pandemic. The quantum of the indemnity shall be determined in accordance with the mechanisms provided in the relevant insurance policy. He awarded costs in favor of the hotel, fixed at S$20,000.

Brookfield Asset Management is seeking to sell off the five-star Conrad Seoul in South Korea at more than US$369.5 million. They hired JLL as a financial advisor, according to KED Global. Brookfield acquired the hotel as part of the 2.55 trillion won purchase of the International Finance Center Seoul. That includes the hotel, three office towers and a shopping mall. Brookfield put the entire IFC asset on the market in late 2021. This is when Mirae Asset Global Investments Co. won as the preferred bidder and then pulled out after the South Korean government rejected Mirae’s financing plan, saying the scheme was heavily dependent on borrowing and could hurt investors. Brookfield’s debts mature next year, and the debt on IFC Seoul is 2.28 trillion won. Brookfield believes selling off the hotel alone will be easier than selling the entire IFC Seoul due to the spike in interest rates. Brookfield has been trying to refinance IFC Seoul since early this year.

Tropicana Corp Bhd’s Assana Serviced Suites development in Langkawi in Malaysia is 90% taken up. Assana Serviced Suites, at a gross development value of RM573 million, is the first phase of the developer’s 5.28-acre Tropicana Cenang integrated mixed-use development project in Langkawi. Launched in November 2021, Assana Serviced Suites comprises 831 units in a 39-story residential tower. Starting prices are RM500,000, and completion is expected in the first quarter of 2026. The development comes with resort-themed facilities, such as a Jacuzzi, hammock garden, poolside cabanas, reflexology path and yoga terrace. Following Phase 1, the developer launched the second phase, Merissa Serviced Suites, in June. Merissa Serviced Suites has a GDV of RM115 million and comprises 60 beachfront units in a low-rise building. The project is slated for completion in March 2026. Langkawi is said to currently record the highest average daily hotel room rates and that will spur positive yields on short-term rental stay rates for developments that offer family- and group-sized accommodation options, such as the Assana Serviced Suites and Merissa Serviced Suites. Tropicana Cenang will comprise three development phases in total. The third phase will comprise a hotel and one serviced apartment tower. The development is located in proximity to the Langkawi International Airport, the ZON Duty Free and Underwater World Langkawi.

Alan Woinski
October 24th, 2023 at 8:29 AM EDT

Companies: Brookfield, Le Meridien, Marriott International, Radisson Collection, Radisson Hotel Group, Shang Properties, Shangri-La Group, Tropicana Corp Berhad

Locations: Boracay Island, Cebu, Chiang Mai, Langkawi, Macau, Philippines, Phuket, Seoul

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