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Indians Cancelled 8,000 Bookings to Maldives

Alan Woinski

January 31st, 2024

Skift Take

India has now slipped to the fifth position for tourist arrivals into Maldives in January, with just over 13,000 visitors. This is per the latest data from the Maldives tourism industry and is quite different than the commentary last week from the Maldives.

JP Morgan initiated coverage on the China hotel sector with a Cautious stance. They see H World emerging as the industry winner in a tough environment and is their only Overweight rating. They initiated on both BTG/JinJiang with Underweight ratings. JP Morgan’s data tracker suggests downside risks to the sectors hotel additions/RevPAR/earnings in 2024 due to macro headwinds to demand, especially for BTG/JinJiang. Other analysts are suggesting 30%-40% FY24 EPS growth. JP Morgan expects H World to meet their reasonable expectations of mid-teens recurring profit growth despite industry headwinds. They are expecting Chinese hotel operators’ 2024 guidance in March to be a negative catalyst for share prices.

Skift, parent company of this publication, said India has now slipped to the fifth position for tourist arrivals into Maldives (free read) in January, with just over 13,000 visitors. This is per the latest data from the Maldives tourism industry and is quite different than the commentary last week from the Maldives that we expressed a lot of skepticism over the recent tussle on social media. Russia is in the top spot for inbound arrivals into the Maldives as this month draws to a close, followed by Italy, China, and the UK. Between January 9-29, less than 11,000 Indian tourists visited the Maldives, showing how the #BoycottMaldives movement hurt visitation. As we headed into 2024, Indiahad been ranked as the third largest source market for Maldives with a 7.6% market share. In 2023 India provided 11% of the total 1.8 million tourism arrivals. Reports on social media suggested cancellations of over 8,000 hotel bookings and more than 2,500 flight tickets by Indians to Maldives.

Macau Statistics and Census Service confirmed 2023 hotel occupancy was 81.5% with 2 star hotels at 85.1% and five-star hotels at 82.5%. In 2023 the number of guests totaled 13, 573,000 which was 96.2% of the level in 2019. 9,844,000 of them were from Mainland China with Hong Kong guests at 2,219,000. Total visitation was 28.23 million visitors, 71.6% of the 2019 level.

Marriott International said at the close of 2023 they set a milestone in Asia Pacific, excluding China, with over 60 properties added to its portfolio during the year, bringing the company’s presence in the APEC region to more than 560 operating hotels and residences, exceeding the 10% net rooms growth compared to 2022. The company also signed a record of over 80 deals across 13 markets, representing approximately 18,000 rooms. At the end of 2023, Marriott’s APEC development pipeline stood at over 320 hotels with over 69,000 rooms. 25% of Marriott’s global luxury rooms pipeline is represented in APEC. In 2023, 15% of the deals signed in APEC were in the luxury segment. A record nine luxury hotels were opened in the region in 2023, including the Ritz-Carlton, Melbourne which is Marriott’s 1,000 hotel in the Asia Pacific region. The JW Marriott Goa debuted the brand in Goa and was the company’s 150th hotel to open in South Asia. They also added The Singapore Edition, the first Edition hotel in Southeast Asia. In APEC, the Marriott Bonvoy membership base has surged by 50% since 2019.

The BE Group of Companies announced its entry to Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte, building the largest resort facility in terms of accommodation in the surfing capital of the Philippines. The company said they will construct nearly 100 rooms for the upcoming BE Resort in Siargao, which is targeted to be completed in 2026. The property is expected to be a twist of the BE Mactan Resort, but more in line with the Siargao vibe. Groundbreaking is expected before the end of the first quarter of 2024. The BE Resort Siargao will be the third hospitality property of the BE Group after the BE Resort Mactan and the BE Grand Resort in Panglao, Island Bohol. Right now Siargao has a total of 1,270 hotel/resort rooms provided by 148 DOT-accredited establishments.

Lemon Tree Hotels announced the signing of the Lemon Tree Hotel, Motihari, Bihar. The property will be franchised by Lemon Tree Hotels Limited and is expected to open in FY25. The hotel will feature 50 rooms, a restaurant, a fitness center, lounge, banquet hall, meeting room, swimming pool, bar, spa, and other public areas.

Indian Hotels Company announced the signing of a third hotel in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. The brownfield project will be branded as an IHCL SeleQtions hotelIHCL will now offer three distinct brands in Ayodhya of about 400 rooms. Those brands include SeleQtions, Vivanta, and Ginger. The 150 key SeleQtions hotel is being developed by KM Vyapar Ltd. The hotel is sprawled over 1.3 acres, a short driving distance from the upcoming Maryada Purushottam Shri Ram International Airport. It will feature a range of dining options, including an all-day diner. Other recreation facilities will include a spa, swimming pool, and fitness center. The hotel will also offer over 10,000 square feet of banqueting space.

Hemant Kanoria promoted Sarga Hotels, which operates a five-star hotel under the Westin brand in Kolkata, India will be acquired by Shri Ram Multicom under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code processShri Ram Multicom previously developed a Fairfield Hotel and operates malls and hotels in Dhanbad, Jharkhand.

The Alzburg Resort, in the heart of the Victorian High Country in Australia, has been listed for sale by the Bono family who are retiring after 38 years of ownership. The 14,280 square meter hotel and business is available with vacant possession and has a price expectation of circa A$11 million. The sale includes an on-site ski hire operation with a large inventory of modern ski and snow equipment. CBRE Hotels is managing the sale via an Expression of Interest campaign which will close on March 4th. The Alzburg Resort sits on a 1.428ha site with three street frontages and comprises 44 rooms made up of one and two-bedroom self-contained apartments, penthouse apartments and hotel spa rooms as well as function facilities, a swimming pool, two tennis courts, and a one-bedroom manager’s apartment.

Personnel Moves

Radisson Hotel Group announced the promotion of Tim Cordon, adding South East Asia Pacific regions to his current role as Chief Operating Officer for the Middle East, AfricaCordon is based in Dubai and with the promotion, will also take the helm of the SEAP region that has over 60 hotelscurrently in operation or under development.

Alan Woinski

January 31st, 2024

Companies: Marriott International, BE Group, Edition Hotels, JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Lemon Tree Hotels, Radisson Hotel Group, Ritz-Carlton, SeleQtions, The Indian Hotels Company Ltd, Westin Hotels & Resorts

Locations: Maldives, Australia, Bihar, Goa, Hong Kong, Kolkata, Macau, Melbourne, Philippines, Singapore, Uttar Pradesh

Photo credit: Ritz-Carlton Maldives Fari Islands from above.  Pontiac Land Group

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