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Asia-Pacific

The Peninsula’s Parent Company Seeks a New CEO

Alan Woinski
December 18th, 2023 at 9:50 AM EST

Skift Take

  • The Philippine Department of Tourism achieved over 5 million international visitors in 2023, nearing pre-pandemic levels, with a focus on their National Tourism Development Plan 2023-2028.
  • China’s tourism rebound is driven by domestic demand, though sustainability into the next year is uncertain.
  • The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels announced executive changes effective 2024, with a formal search for a new CEO.

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The Philippine Department of Tourism said in 2023 they achieved a milestone with over 5 million international visitor arrivals (5,069,752 already) and a substantial increase in tourism receipts, amounting to over PHP458 billion which is 96% of the 2019 figure. The Marcos Administration said central to this transformation has been the implementation of the National Tourism Development Plan 2023-2028 which focused on enhancing connectivity, convenience, and equality within the tourism sector. This serves as the DOT’sstrategic roadmap for the coming years. The DOT said their arrival goals for 2024 will be 7.7 million international visitors. While that will still be below pre-pandemic numbers of over 8.2 million in 2019, they will push hard to meet and beat that target.

The South China Morning Post reported China’s tourism rebound has primarily been driven by a surge in domestic demand as native tourists took enough trips to lift 2023 revenue back in line with 2019. Leading up to the New Year’s holiday, the SCMP said hotel bookings have already increased more than fivefold in the week leading up to that. The question now is whether this growth can continue or if they can get enough inbound travel to make up for any decline? The Institute for Theme Park Studies in China is not optimistic, believing that it will be very hard to sustain this growth into next year. They are predicting China’s domestic tourism will recover, at most, to a similar level as 2019 in 2024.

Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced the opening of Hyatt Centric Gaoxin Xi’an, a lifestyle hotel located in the heart of the action in the Xi’an Hi-Tech Zone. The hotel features 231 guestrooms including 11 spacious suites with balconies, located within walking proximity to the central business district. The design of Hyatt Centric Gaoxin Xi’an offers a stylish reimagination of Tang Dynasty culture that pays tribute to Xi’an as a center of trade and prosperity. The Hospitality Suite offers 3,692 square feet of space with separate living and dining rooms, an open kitchen, and an elliptical bathtub. The Zhangba No2 Restaurant & Bar features a lounge and bar, exclusive private dining rooms, and a bamboo-filled terrace. There is 6,533 square feet of event space offered and more.

Curio Collection by Hilton announced they welcomed Next Hotel Melbourne as the brand’s first Melbourne, Australia property in the global portfolio of nearly 150 hotels. This is the third brand for Hilton in MelbourneNext Hotel Melbourne opened in 2021 and is set among the city’s prestigious 80 Collins precinct. It includes 255 stylish rooms and suites, La Madonna Restaurant & Bar on the third floor of the hotel while street side Ingresso Café is located on the ground floor. The Club is an exclusive guest-only lounge for refueling, working, and winding down from the day. A Fitness Centre is open 24 hours a day.

Marriott International announced the opening of Courtyard by Marriott Gorakhpur. The hotel has 97 rooms, located in Gorakhpur, India’s city center, a 30-minute drive from Mahayogi Gorakhnath Airport.

Radisson Hotel Group announced the opening of Uday Palace Navsari, a member of Radisson Individuals. The hotel is located within a one-hour drive from the Surat airport and just a short 20-minute journey from the Navsari railway station. The hotel features 100 rooms adorned with French windows with jharoka-style frames, offering city and garden views. Guests can select from multiple categories including standard rooms, superior rooms, junior suites, and executive suites. The hotel also features an outdoor swimming pool, five indoor and outdoor event spaces, all-day dining restaurantGulmohar, and more.

Indian Hotels Company Limited announced the signing of a 215 key Taj-branded hotel in Dehradun, Uttarakhand. The brownfield project is in partnership with developer La Roche Hotels & Resorts. With the addition of this hotel, IHCL will have 10 hotels across Taj, SeleQtions, Vivanta, and Ginger brands in Uttarakhand including five under development. IHCL also signed an agreement to debut in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh with the introduction of a Vivanta hotel. The 150 key Greenfield hotel is IHCL’s first in Itanagar and second in Arunachal Pradesh.

The EVE Hotel, operated by TFE Hotels and developed and owned by TOGA Group, is Sydney’s newest 102 room boutique hotel. The hotel is nestled in a curated new lifestyle precinct, Wunderlich Lane, at the center of TOGA Group’s Surry Hills Village. Set on the site of Sydney’s original Wunderlich Ltd factory, the precinct’s inner-city laneways will feature boutique shopping, al-fresco dining, and design-led commercial and events spaces peppered among lush gardens at the doorstep of the Eve Hotel, Sydney. The hotel will also feature a lavishly landscaped rooftop deck, swimming pool, bar, and restaurant with a fully operable glass roof and walls.

BWH Hotels announced their ramping up of expansion in Asia with the opening of five new hotels in Thailand and Japan. They include the 120 room Best Western Ratchada Hotel, open in the heart of Bangkok’s rapidly emerging Ratchada district, surrounded by commercial towers and the MRT subway stations. The 192 room Best Western Chatuchak is a new hotel located right next to Chatuchak Market in Bangkok. The 199 room Tawa Ravadee Resort Prachinburi in Thailand is a member of WorldHotels DistinctiveKAYA Kyoto Nijo Castle, BW Signature Collection by Best Western is located in the center of Japan’s former capital. The 57 room boutique hotel is surrounded by UNESCO World Heritage sites. The 157 room Villa Fontaine Grand Haneda Airport is also a member of WorldHotels Distinctive.

Personnel Moves

The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels (operators of The Peninsula Hotels) announced Mr. Clement Kwok will be stepping down as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company with effect from October 31, 2024. He will remain on the Board as an Executive Director and Advisor to the CEO until the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting in 2025. Mr. Peter Borer will be stepping down as an Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the company with effect from July 31, 2024, and will be re-designated as a Non-Executive Director of the company and will become a Senior Advisor to the Chairman for a term of two years with effective from August 1, 2024. Mr. Gareth Roberts will succeed Borer as an Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer with effect from August 1, 2024. Roberts has been with the company since 2002 and has been a Group Management Board member since 2020. The company will conduct a formal search process to identify a successor to the CEO.

Alan Woinski
December 18th, 2023 at 9:50 AM EST

Companies: Best Western, Best Western Hotels & Resorts, BW Signature Collection, Courtyard by Marriott, Curio Collection by Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Centric, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Marriott International, Radisson Hotel Group, Radisson Individuals, Taj, TFE Hotels, The Indian Hotels Company Ltd, The Peninsula Hotels

Locations: Bangkok, China, India, Melbourne, Navsari, Philippines, Sydney, Thailand, Uttarakhand, Xi'an

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