The Philippines Department of Tourism is very positive on President Marcos Jr’s plans for extended holiday breaks. Tourism officials believe these extended weekends in 2024 will provide a substantial boost to the country’s domestic tourism sector. The upcoming extended weekends is a perfect addition to the DOT’s National Tourism Development Plan for 2023-2028.
The town of Penrith, located in the Western suburbs of Sydney, Australia, recently had a new resort open. The Penrith Beach opened on December 19, 2023, along the Nepean River. Its opening resulted in a draw of over 10,000 locals and tourists, clearly being met with great excitement and anticipation from the local community.
The Ascott Limited, a subsidiary of CapitaLand Investment, is adding eight new properties to its lyf brand portfolio. The additions mark Ascott’s ambitious expansion into various global city and resort destinations including Bali, Penang, Sydney, and Frankfurt. Ascott is also expanding in terms of scope with a goal of encompassing 150 properties and over 30,000 units within its brand by 2030. Ascott has nearly doubled its pace of procuring new properties, venturing into locations such as Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Japan, Germany, and China, reflecting their confidence in the lyf brand. Recent openings include lyf Ginza Tokyo which Ascott says has exceeded both occupancy and revenue expectations. Guiding the lyfexpansion is newly appointed Managing Partner, Adelina Phua, who will oversee the brand’s growth strategy.
The Ascott Limited and CapitaLand Wellness Fund have jointly acquired a freehold hotel with each holding a 50% stake in the property. Mintiandi reported that Hong Kong-based Gaw Capital Partners completed the sale of Hotel G, a 308 unit budget hotel at Bugis area in Singapore, selling it to CapitaLand’s lodging unit for just under S$240 million. CLI is expected to upgrade the property and rebrand it as lyf Bugis Singapore in mid-2024. It will remain operational during the renovation period. The acquisition will expand the brand’s presence in Singapore to four properties and grow Ascott’s overall portfolio in Singapore to over 4,700 units across 25 properties. CapitaLand Wellness Fund is CLI’s first wellness and healthcare-related real estate fund in Southeast Asia with a target fund size of $1 billion.
Legoland Shanghai Resort is set to open in the spring or summer of 2025. It is expecting 3 to 5 million visitors per year. The US$1.4 billion project comprises a theme park and a hotel, featuring eight diversified lands, such as Lego city, Ninjago, and Monkie Kid. Three Legoland resorts are under construction in China including Shenzhen Legoland Resort in Guangdongprovince with an investment of more than 7 billion yuan, the Shanghai one, and another in Sichuan province with an investment of over 3 billion yuan.
Yicai said four five-star hotels along the banks of the Huangpu River in Shanghai have been sold in the past four months as a result of owners’ financial difficulties. The Bulgari Hotel Shanghai is now owned by Jiangsu Jinfeng Cement Group, which bought it from state-owned developer Overseas Chinese Town Asia Holdings on December 26th with a winning bid of US$335.3 million. Jinfeng Cement bought two hotels in the city for more than CNY4 billion last year. Wanda Reign, located on the Bund in Shanghai, was acquired by Beijing Yingland Commercial Management from Zhuhai Dalian Wanda Commercial Management on December 25 for an undisclosed amount. The Marriott Hotel in the city’s Huangpu district was sold last month for nearly CNY1.5 billion and on September 20, the Shanghai Financial Courtauctioned the Sheraton Shanghai Hotel because of shareholder debt problems. Shanghai Yuzi Commercial Management won the bidding with a starting price of CNY1.6 billion.
Lemon Tree Hotels announced the signing of Lemon Tree Hotel Meerut. The property will be franchised by Lemon Tree Hotels Limited and is expected to open in FY25. The hotel is nestled in the heart of Uttar Pradesh in India and will feature 75 rooms, restaurants, fitness center, swimming pool, a spa, outdoor and indoor banqueting facilities, conference rooms, and other public areas.
Leisure Hotels Group signed a deal for Baikunth Resort in Kasuali and also entered into a management agreement for a boutique hotel in Mcleodganj. Baikunth Resort offers 37 rooms and cottages with valley views with Leisure Hotels partnering with Baikunth Resorts Pvt Ltd, expanding its presence in Himachal Pradesh in India.
Realty developer Abhinandan Lodha Group, with its partners, plans to invest over INR 2,000 crores to build five luxury hotels across India’s iconic heritage and cultural cities including Ayodhya, Benares, Vrindavan, Shimla, and Amritsar. The company and Brookfield Group-owned The Leela Palaces, Hotels & Resorts have entered a partnership to develop a luxury modern palace hotel in Ayodhya near the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Temple that is set to be inaugurated this month. The first palatial hotel in Ayodhya will spread over a five-acre land parcel on the banks of the sacred Sarayu River and will be developed around the theme of Indian culture and heritage. The other hotels in the portfolio will be developed along the same theme. The luxury hotel in Ayodhya will be part of the developer’s larger development ‘The Sarayu’ spread over 51 acres including residential plots, villas on a total of 31 acres, and high-rise luxury apartments on 15 acres in the holy city. The 100 key luxury hotel is expected to entail an investment of over Rs 450 crore and could be fully operational by March 2028. The other four hotels are expected to see similar amounts of investments. The Leela will manage the clubhouse, serviced villas, and serviced luxury apartments. Leela will be a joint owner of the Ayodhya hotel.
Tejus Jose has taken over as the Director of Operations for ibis and ibis Styles India, a key portfolio within Accor Hotels. Jose will be overseeing operations for 21 hotels located across 14 cities in India. The announcement comes on the heels of the recent unveiling of ibis Styles Goa Vagator, the latest property under the collaboration between InterGlobe Hotels and Accor. Prior to joining ibis, Jose served as the General Manager of the first Hilton hotel in Bengaluru, the Hilton Bangalore Embassy GolfLinks. He was one of the first employees of Accor in India, starting at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre and then went on to manage a few Accor hotels as GM.