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Asia-Pacific

China and Singapore to Launch Bilateral Visa-Free Policy

Alan Woinski
December 11th, 2023 at 7:30 AM EST

Skift Take

  • IHG chose Kuala Lumpur as the site of its 150th Hotel Indigo. The new hotel features unique amenities like a living vertical garden and a large-scale installation made from recycled plastic bottles.
  • Pro-invest is preparing to sell an $800 million hotel portfolio, including eight Holiday Inn Express properties across Australia and New Zealand.
  • Best Western is launching its first Aiden property in Southeast Asia in Phu Yen, Vietnam.

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The Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore said China and Singapore plan to launch a bilateral visa-free policy as early as 2024. Both sides agreed to strengthen the movement of people between the two countries through a 30 day mutual visa exemption arrangement. Implementation is expected as early as 2024.

IHG Hotels & Resorts announced its 150th Hotel Indigo globally with the opening of Hotel Indigo Kuala Lumpur on the Park, marking the brand’s debut in Malaysia. The 180 room hotel overlooks Bukit Nanas and is flanked by KL Forest Eco-Park. Guests are greeted in the lobby by a living vertical garden, a central staircase constructed from old railway sleepers and reinforcement steel bars from the hotel site during construction and a large scale installation made entirely from recycled plastic bottles. F&B options include local cuisine at The Silver Monkey. The rooftop includes a 24 hour fitness center and an outdoor pool. Additional hotel amenities include three flexible event spaces with one overlooking KL Tower.

IHG’s Crowne Plaza will open its first brand property in partnership with Yuk Tung Properties in Malaysia on December 15th. This will be the first Crowne Plaza in Kuala Lumpur. The modern-designed rooms and suites range from 36 to 146 square meters. The hotel will offer 12,000 square feet of space for meetings and events. Crowne Plaza Kuala Lumpur City Centre will introduce signature suites, an executive lounge, and its specialty French brasserie, Le Mid, located on Level 32, featuring a bar and terrace for dining.

The Australian reported that Pro-invest is selling a massive $800 million hotel portfolio. Pro-invest said they are preparing their Fund I Holiday Inn Express portfolio for recapitalization. The fund has been built up with hotels added that now total about 6,000 rooms. Up for sale are eight hotels sporting 1,964 rooms. The hotels on offer are Holiday Inn Express properties including Sydney’s Macquarie Park, Brisbane and Melbourne’s Southbank and Little Collins St., properties in Adelaide, Newcastle, Sydney airport and another property in Queenstown, NZ. CBRE will run a global campaign.

Accor announced the addition of Mantra Tonsley Adelaide to its portfolio, marking a significant expansion for the brand in South Australia. The four star hotel is the result of a partnership with a local South Australian development company and 1834 Hotels, unified through a hotel franchise agreement with Accor and the Mantra brand. Mantra Tonsley Adelaide features 88 rooms and apartments, a restaurant and bar, along with two state of the art conference rooms.

Langham Hospitality Group signed a management agreement with Xi’an Hao Rui Property Co Ltd. to bring its modern upper-upscale Cordis brand to Xi’an. The 250 room property will open in 2026. The Cordis project will be located just 3 km from the airport, which is adjacent to a multifaceted urban development that includes a convention and exhibition center. The property will see the introduction of three world class restaurants. The hotel will offer access to extensive meeting and event facilities and the property will have a heated indoor pool and fitness area.

Frasers Hospitality, a unit of Frasers Property Group, signed a management agreement with One Bangkok, an upcoming integrated district in Bangkok, Thailand. The agreement will see Frasers Hospitality manage a new Fraser Suites Bangkok in 2026, the hospitality group’s fifth property in the city. One Bangkok will comprise five premium commercial towers, three luxury residential towers, five luxury and lifestyle hotels, four retain precincts and a world-class entertainment area. Frasers Property is developing the entire project. Frasers Suites Bangkok will span the top 10 floors of the 45 story premium commercial tower and will offer 261 rooms with a mix of studios, one to three bedroom units. A sky bar, all day dining restaurant, residents lounge, fitness center and infinity pool will be offered.

BWH Hotels announced the signing of Aiden by Best Western Maman Vung Ro Bay, a new resort nestled in a coastal forest and overlooking the ocean in Phu Yen province, on Vietnam’s south-central coast. This will be the Southeast Asian debut of Aiden by Best Western.

Dennis Uy’s PH Travel and Leisure Holdings is hoping the third time is the charm. Fresh off being scorned again, this time by AppleOne, PH and Tiger Resorts, Leisure and Entertainment announced that Tiger is considering acquiring PH Travel and Leisure Holdings, the company behind the unfinished Emerald Bay Resort in Cebu. Tiger is the operator of Okada Manila. TRLEI entered into a preliminary agreement with PH Travel, something we have seen before. The parties expect to conclude the transaction by July 2024 with TRLEI planning to open the Emerald Bay integrated casino resort by 2026.

Personnel Moves

Chen Lip Keong, founder of Cambodian casino gaming giant NagaCorp, passed away at the age of 75. Chen passed away on December 8th due to illness. Chen Yiy Fon, his son, has been redesignated as CEO of the Group to assume leadership of NagaCorp, with effect form December 10. He was previously an Executive Director and had previously served as CEO of Operations since April 5, 2022. In July 2022, it was disclosed that Chen Lip Keong had his shares transferred to a family trust created for the specific purpose of succession planning.

Alan Woinski
December 11th, 2023 at 7:30 AM EST

Companies: Accor, Aiden by Best Western, AppleOne Properties, Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Cordis, Crowne Plaza, Frasers Hospitality Trust, Holiday Inn Express, Hotel Indigo, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Mantra, PH Resorts Group Holdings, Pro-Invest Hotels

Locations: Adelaide, Bangkok, Cambodia, Cebu, China, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Manila, Melbourne, Singapore, Vietnam, Xi'an

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