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Asia’s Hotel Market Expands with Key Partnerships

Alan Woinski
November 6th, 2023 at 6:18 AM EST

Skift Take

  • STR reported strong hotel performance in China, with an 88.7% year-over-year increase in RevPAR for the week ending October 28th. The region is showing signs of rapid post-pandemic recovery, reaching occupancy levels similar to Europe and America.
  • Macau recorded over 22.72 million visitor arrivals, with a recent increase in daily arrivals, and the first 10 months of the year reaching 68% of 2019 levels.
  • Various hotel-related developments and partnerships were announced by brands like IHG, Accor, and CapitaLand Ascott Trust across Asia, including new property openings, divestments, and expansions, highlighting continued growth in the region’s hospitality industry.

STR reported China hotel data for the week ended October 28th. Chinese hotels’ RevPAR was up 88.7% year over year for the week, up against a decline of -17.1% as a comp. When compared with the same week in 2019, RevPAR was up 3.4%.

STR said the Asia Pacific region is accelerating its post-pandemic recovery and could potentially reach levels seen in Europe and America. Year to date through August 2023, hotel occupancy rates surged past 90% of the 2019 comp levels across most subcontinents worldwide. The occupancy indices in Asia Pacific subcontinents closely aligned with those in most European subcontinents and North America, ranging from 91 to 100, indicating demand in the Asia Pacific region has reached comparable levels to other parts of the world that began their post-pandemic recovery journey much earlier. Leisure markets in China, specifically Hainan and Sanya, took the top spots in terms of RevPAR recovery over the summer period across all global markets. STR said recent data from the 2023 National Day Holiday showed the region’s occupancy performance has edged close to pre-pandemic performance, showing more evidence of growing domestic demand. STR said Asia Pacific markets are poised to recover at a pace similar to that of EMEA markets, with the exception of Melbourne, Beijing, and Guangzhou, which are expected to lag behind 2019 levels.

Macau recorded over 22.72 million visitor arrivals for the year to October-end or circa 75,000 arrivals per day on average. The past three months have been closer to 100,000 arrivals a day on average than 75,000. The Macao Government Tourism Office said the first 10 months of the year has arrivals at 68% of 2019 levels. The October results should be about 2.79 million for the month thanks to Golden Week.

VNExpress reported on the 6.6% jump in losses for Royal International Corporation, operator of the Royal Casino Halong Hotel in the northern town of Ha Long. The losses are attributed to an even bigger decline in the number of Chinese visitors to Vietnam, caused by a tightening of visas issued by Chinese authorities. VNExpress said in the first nine months of the year, Vietnam received over 1.1 million Chinese tourists, only 28% of pre-pandemic levels as the country seems to have lost favor as one of China’s top southeast Asian tourism destinations. Despite reporting losses for 16 quarters in a row now, Royal International Corporation is maintaining their plans to develop a new 5-star hotel in the northern Vietnamese city.

The opening of the InterContinental Chiang Mai The Mae Ping in Chiang Mai, Thailand’s historic district marks the first milestone in a strategic partnership between IHG Hotels & Resorts and Asset World Corporation. The property has 240 rooms and suites facing the old town or the misty slopes of Doi Suthep mountain. Guests staying in Premium Rooms and suites will have access to Club InterContinental benefits. There are various bars and restaurants including the signature restaurant Hong’s Chinese Restaurant & Sky Bar on the 16th floor. The hotel is opening with a collection of event venues, leisure facilities including an outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, and The li Spa.

CapitaLand Ascott Trust will be divesting two hotels in Sydney, Australia for A$109 million to an unrelated third party to help finance higher-yielding acquisitions. The properties are the Courtyard by Marriott Sydney-North Ryde and Novotel Sydney Paramatta, located outside Sydney’s city center. They will be sold at 5% above book value with an exit yield of 4.4% on an expected net gain of A$14.2 million. CapitaLand Ascott Trust said they expect to obtain around A$98 million in net proceeds with part of that used to partially finance the stapled group’s acquisition of three prime lodging assets in London, Dublin, and Jakarta.

The Star said they reached an agreement for the sale of the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort Gold Coast. The consortium led by Star will be A$192 million with the sale being to entities owned by the Karedis and Laundry families. The consortium had been looking for A$200 million. They expect to net A$60 million from the sale. Star partnered with Chow Tai Fook and Far East Consortium, buying the hotel in 2017 for A$140 million.

Bidding for the shares of Best Holdings Limited, owner of the five-star hotel Le Meridien in Dhaka, is scheduled to being on November 20th and continue until November 23 of this year. The bidding will take place through the electronic subscription system of the stock exchanges where eligible investors will determine the cut-off price for each share under the book-building method. Best Holdings will offload 10% of its shares with the expected proceeds to be TK350 crore.

Accor’s Novotel Hotels, Suites & Resorts announced the opening of Novotel Singapore on Kitchener, the latest addition to its portfolio in Singapore. The 543 room property is owned by Worldwide Hotels Group, Singapore’s largest hotel operator by room count and a long-standing partner of Accor. The hotel is located in the precinct of Little India. The Mustafa Centre is located adjacent to the hotel, offering a 24-hour shopping odyssey and City Square Mall is across the road. The hotel underwent a complete refurbishment in 2020. Amenities include a swimming pool, state of the art gym, all-day dining restaurant, and more.

Accor also announced the signing of its second Pullman hotel in India. The Pullman Amritsar is set to open in 2027 and will cater to the new generation of business and leisure travelers. The hotel will feature 200 well-appointed rooms, three food and beverage outlets, a banqueting facility, fitness center, spa, and swimming pool. Accor currently operates 61 properties in India with a pipeline of 30 properties under development. In addition, Accor announced the launch of its 24th Novotel property in India, with the opening of Novotel Jaipur Convention Centre. The hotel is in close proximity to the Jaipur Exhibition & Convention Centre and Jaipur International Airport. The hotel has 226 rooms with the hotel and exhibition center spread over an area of 42 acres with pillar-less exhibitions-convention-entertainment facilities. It has 13 breakout meeting rooms, a VIP Lounge, 2 Green Rooms and a Grand Ballroom with 740 auditorium-style seats. There are three dining venues. The hotel is owned by Dangayach Group.

Alan Woinski
November 6th, 2023 at 6:18 AM EST

Companies: Accor, Ascott Residence Trust, Asset World Public Company Limited, CapitaLand Investment, Courtyard by Marriott, IHG Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental, Le Meridien, Marriott International, Novotel, Pullman, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, Worldwide Hotels Group

Locations: Amritsar, Beijing, Chiang Mai, Dhaka, Gold Coast, Guangzhou, Jaipur, Macau, Melbourne, Singapore, Sydney, Vietnam

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