STR/CoStar said Sydney, Australia’s hotel industry recorded its highest monthly average daily rate on record in December. CoStar released preliminary December results showing Sydney hotels had average occupancy of 77.1% in December, up 9.9%. The average daily rate was up 4.8% to A$313.27 resulting in a RevPAR increase of 15.3% to A$241.66.
Sydney hotels achieved their highest occupancy levels on New Year’s Eve at 94% followed by 93.8% on December 2nd. There were only two days in the month when occupancy was not above the 60% mark. New Year’s Eve room rates topped $775 per room. JLL Hotels said there are now several Sydneyhotels that are getting more than $1,000 per room per night, such as the newly opened W and the Capella Hotel. They expect more investors to buy city office blocks for conversion into hotels.
In 2023, Hong Kong recorded 34 million visitors, with Mainland China as the top source. December had robust arrivals from the Philippines and Thailand, exceeding pre-pandemic levels. MICE travel led the recovery and overnight stays increased in duration. The Hong Kong Tourism Board is saying their promotional efforts are working with 4 million visitors alone in December.
Mainland China remains the largest visitor source market for Hong Kong but the Southeast Asian markets are recovering the quickest. Visitor arrivals from the Philippines and Thailand in December exceeded the pre-pandemic level, reaching 116% and 106% of the pre-epidemic level, respectively. The number of MICE travelers recovered to about 70% of what it was before the pandemic.
The Maldives is anticipating a 40% increase in Chinese tourists in 2023, aiming to return to pre-pandemic levels through new bilateral agreements and targeted marketing strategies. They are clearly trying to turn the focus away from what could be major damage to their tourism industry with the social media battle and calls for a boycott from India. The Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corp said they are poised for a significant resurgence in tourism, particularly from Chinese visitors. Meanwhile, the Maldives President said he wants the Indian military personnel stationed in his nation withdrawn by March 15th. Something tells us that is not going to diffuse the tensions. President Muizzu said his country’s small size is not a license for anyone to bully the Maldives.
Indonesia has set an ambitious target of 14.3 million foreign tourists in 2024. This is part of a broader strategy to align with the increasing global popularity of green tourism. They highlighted three emerging tourism trends at the Asia Pacific Tourism Conference in Bali – ecotourism, cultural tourism and adventurous tourism as their key areas of focus. In 2023 Indonesia recorded 11.5 million foreign tourist visits, well above their initial target of 8.5 million. Bali contributed about half of the figure.
Macau’s Tourist Price Index for 2023 was up 21.53%. The price index for hotel accommodation was up 19.82% over the third quarter and about 179% when compared with 4Q22. The increase in the price index for accommodation was said to be driven by the upward trend in hotel room bookings during the National Day holiday and the Macau Grand Prix period.
IHG Hotels & Resorts celebrated the milestone of opening 700 hotels in Greater China. IHG is also introducing the “IHG Greater China 700 Club” featuring a range of new hotels across various brands. IHG celebrated the 600 hotel milestone in Greater China in 2022, showing the acceleration in their growth. The IHG Greater China 700 Club features a collection of recently opened iconic hotels in Greater China. They include The Regent Shanghai on the Bund, InterContinental Wuxi Taihu New City, Kimpton Qiantan Shanghai, Xanadu Guangzhou, Vignette Collections, Hotel Indigo Wuxi Taihu New City in the Luxury & Lifestyle Collection; HUALUXE Sanya Yalong Bay Resort, Crowne Plaza Jinan Runhua, voco Changsha Airport, EVEN Zhongshan City Center in the Premium Collection; and in the Essential Collection – Holiday Inn Chengdu East and Holiday Inn Express Shanghai NECC.
IHG also announced their previously announced 130 room Holiday Inn & Suites, the Mawson Lakes property in Adelaide has undergone a transformation during the development phase and will open this year as Crowne Plaza Mawson Lakes. The upgraded and rebranded hotel will open in the second half of 2024 and will have 155 rooms, three meeting spaces across 442 square meters, a fitness center and bar and restaurant. Co-developers Pelligra Group, currently the owners of Holiday Inn Werribee, Holiday Inn Dandenong and Holiday Inn Melbourne Airport, are set to add three more IHG-branded hotels to their portfolio, including the soon to open Crowne Plaza Carlton in 2024 along with Crowne Plaza Mawson Lakes and Holiday Inn Richmond.
LUX Collective announced the grand opening of its newest luxury resort in the Maldives, set to take place towards the end of 2024. LUX Collective’s new Maldives resort will offer spacious beachfront villas to luxurious overwater bungalows. One of the features of the beachfront villas is their direct access to the white sandy beaches. The new resort will have a diverse range of dining options, a world-class spa and wellness center and more.
The first Marriott hotel in Japan’s southwest Kyushu region opened today, located adjacent to JR Nagasaki Station. The Nagasaki Marriott Hotel is Marriott’s ninth in Japan. The hotel offers restaurants and room with panoramic views of local attractions such as Nagasaki Port and Mt. Inasa. The hotel is part of redevelopment work on the city’s main train station complex. It offers 207 rooms on the seventh to 13th floors of the complex.
Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC is considering selling a 1,053-room hotel in western Japan, marketing the property to potential investors since late last year. The Hilton Fukuoka Sea Hawk hotel is located on the coast of Fukuoka and had an asking price of around S$778 million. JLL is advising GIC on the potential sale. Hilton’s management agreement on the hotel will expire soon, giving any new owner additional options. The hotel is part of a complex that GIC acquired in 2007 which included a baseball stadium and shopping mall.
OYO said it is planning to launch 400 properties in major spiritual destinations like Ayodhya, Varanasi, Tirupati and Katra-Vaishno Devi in India by the end of the year. OYO said the planned expansion in major spiritual hotspots across the country has been fueled by a surge in domestic travel and rising interest in spiritual tourism.