The Thai hotel industry is expecting a full recovery from the pandemic’s fallout by the end of the second half of this year. The Thai Hotel Association is predicting Phuket will remain Thailand’s most popular tourist destination during the current high season which runs through March 2024. The average occupancy rate of Thai hotels in 2023 was 60%. It was 75% in 2019 but a surge in tourist arrivals in the second half is being traced to the addition of direct overseas flights to the resort island, along with visa-free entry for visitors from China, India, Kazakhstan and Taiwan and an extension of the visa-free stay for Russian nationals from 30 days to 90. Hotels in Pattaya have seen more tourists from India and Hua Hin hotels have seen an increase in European guests, particularly from Germany and Scandinavian countries. In Bangkok, the hotel occupancy rate was 80% during the New Year holiday season with most of the guests independent travelers from China. Over 28 million foreign arrivals to Thailand in 2023 was above the 25 million target of the Tourism Authority of Thailand. The national goal for 2024 is to get close to the 40 million achieved in the pre-Covid year of 2019.
The Vietnam National Authority of Tourism said they are targeting 17 to 18 million international visitors in 2024 with total revenue of approximately 840 trillion VND. 2023 was estimated to have 12.6 million arrivals, above its target of 12.5 million. 2023 saw 108 million domestic trips with a total estimated revenue of 678 trillion VND. By year end 2023, Vietnam had 3,921 international travel businesses, a 1,027 business increase from 2022. The total number of tour guides reached 37,331 with 10,004 new tour guide cards issued during the year. The country has approximately 38,000 tourist accommodation establishments, including 247 five star hotels with 80,896 rooms and 368 four star facilities totaling 50,716 rooms.
Marriott International announced it signed an agreement with Beijing North Star Company Limited to open the third The Ritz-Carlton and first Marriott Marquis Hotel in Beijing. The Ritz-Carlton Beijing North is expected to open in 2026 with the Beijing Marriott Marquis Hotel to be located at China National Convention Center Phase II, a large complex with hotels, retail, offices, leisure facilities and spacious venues for high-level conferences, exhibitions and events. The Ritz-Carlton Beijing North will feature 282 guestrooms and suites, refined dining experiences at six distinct venues, indoor swimming pool, fitness center, the Ritz-Carlton Spa and conference and event facilities totaling 968 square meters. Beijing Marriott Marquis Hotel will offer 671 rooms and suites, all-day dining and a specialty restaurant, lobby bar and lobby lounge, swimming pool, fitness center and 3,207 square meters of conference and event spaces. Besides The Greatroom (Lobby Lounge) being accessible to all, guests that qualify will have access to the M Club executive club lounge.
Marriott’s Sheraton Hotels & Resorts announced the opening of its latest property, the Sheraton Colombo Hotel, the second Sheraton to open in Sri Lanka. The hotel has 320 rooms and suites spanning 36 to 88 square meters and is strategically situated in the central hub of Colombo’s business and shopping district, about a 45 minute drive from the Bandaranaike International Colombo Airport. Guests in Club Rooms or a suite get access to the exclusive Sheraton Club Lounge. The hotel provides a variety of upscale dining options including the soon to open rooftop restaurant that will function as an outdoor bar and indoor fine dining area. Other amenities include the Sheraton Shine Spa and a pool.
ONYX Hospitality Group announced the addition of three new properties to their Malaysian portfolio. They include the OZO Medini, Shama Medini and the Shama Suasana Johor Bahru, all three set to join the collection in 2024. The expansion will result in a total of seven properties in Malaysia by the end of this year. Malaysia will become the first country outside of Thailand to host all three ONYX brands: Amari, OZO and Shami.
Onora Hospitality announced the opening of its second Bookmark Resorts property, the Bookmark Jogi Mahal Resort in Ranthambore, India. The newly constructed boutique luxury resort is spread across a 3.74 acre area. There are 40 rooms at Bookmark Jogi Mahal Resort with 19 Luxury Rooms with a heated plunge pool and 21 Deluxe Rooms without the plunge pool. Each room has a private balcony and indoor as well as outdoor open-air shower area. The resort includes a multi-cuisine restaurant, banquet hall spread over 4,200 square feet, large swimming pool, a spa with three treatment rooms, fitness center, bar and an amphitheater.
The Macau YOHO Treasure Island Resorts World Hotel has postponed its official opening date by more than a month to January 26. They are currently in the midst of a soft opening but the expected official opening date was supposed to be December 15th. The official opening will include the launch of Macau’s first Galeries Lafayette department store and first Bona International Cinema. Once fully operational the property will include two separate hotels – YOHO Treasure Island Hotel and YOHO Resorts World Hotel. YOHO Treasure Island will have hotel condominium suites with a total of 88 suites, 11 sea-view rooms, nine balcony sea-view rooms and 365 standard rooms. YOHO Resorts World features suites in red, white and metallic colors with a large number of specialty suites, including a presidential suite, 18 garden onsen suites, 14 garden onsen rooms, 23 suites, 14 balcony sea-view rooms and 57 standard rooms.
The Vietnamese government plans to turn the Central Highlands resort city of Da Lat into one of Southeast Asia’s leading tourism centers with high quality nightlife activities including a casino. Under the plan for the period 2021-2030 with a vision towards 2025, Dal Lat, capital of Lam Dong Province, will focus on developing modern and world-class nighttime activities. Around 110 kilometers from Da Lat, the mountainous resort city Bao Loc is slated for the development of eco-tourism, wellness treatment, healthcare and sports facilities. Last year, Da Lat authorities proposed a plan to build a casino and new night market and set up a new pedestrians-only street to develop a nighttime economy. Casinos in Vietnam have been a huge failure so far.
The island country of Fiji is hoping Macau junket and investment firm David Group is serious about building a US$895 million casino and 1,000 room 7-star hotel on its shores. The first phase, estimated at US$447.4 million, would encompass a stand-alone casinos and 1,000 room luxury integrated hotel. The hotel would include restaurants, conference rooms, business center, shopping mall, marina, and the infrastructure to support this development. The second phase would cost another US$447.4 million and would include a Disney-style amusement park, indoor rugby stadium and entertainment complex and luxury subdivision. The casino project would be based in Nadi, a city on Fiji’s main island. David Group outlined a development timeline of 2026.