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Sri Lanka Steals Tourism Share From Maldives

Alan Woinski

February 12th, 2024

Interior of a hotel room

Skift Take

The tensions with the Maldives have Indian tourists diverting to other coastal tourist destinations and Sri Lanka is already reaping the benefits, surpassing Maldives in the number of tourists for the first time.

The Singapore Tourism Board said Singapore received 1.44 million visitors in January, up 54.2% year on year and up 16.1% from December 2023. 1.07 million were overnight visitors, up 43.6% year on year and 26% sequentially. Indonesiaremained the top source market for Singapore visitors, with 268,970 visitors in January. Mainland China was second with 211,190 but Mainland China had the most growth, up 644.2%. Mainland China visitors also had visitors staying the longest, with an average of 3.73 days during the month. For full year 2023, Singapore received just over 13.61 million visitors, up 115.8% year on year. The STB is expecting 15 million to 16 million visitor arrivals in 2024 bringing in approximately S$26 billion.

Malaysia is expecting a 53.9% surge in inbound travel during this Chinese New Year period we are in the middle of. Spending is expected to surge by 154.2%, reflecting a trend of longer, more expensive trips and a shift towards destinations outside of Southeast Asia. Group gave these projections. They believe more Southeast Asian visitors are traveling behind SEA for the 2024 CNY period. said Singapore will see a 46.8% increase in inbound travel when comparing this year’s CNY to 2023. They predict a 108.6% increase in total trip expenditure for inbound bookings over the same window.

Sri Lanka hopes to keep the momentum going with India at the expense of the MaldivesSri Lanka Tourism launched its global tourism campaign in India to attract more tourists from its neighboring country, launching the campaign in Mumbai among the leading tour operators and travel agents from the country. The tensions with the Maldives have Indian tourists diverting to other coastal tourist destinations and Sri Lanka is already reaping the benefits, surpassing Maldives in the number of tourists for the first time. Not to rest on that, Sri Lanka is aiming for record-breaking tourism this year, launching its global campaign – Sri Lanka: You will come back for more. The ad states that 33% of tourists visiting Sri Lanka visit the country again. Over 20% of their current visitation is coming from India and they plan on attracting 10% of 50 million Indians that fly out of the country each year. They also are pushing for more MICE business, announcing the opening of upcoming venues and hotels. Sri Lanka is seeing 106% year on year increases in tourists visiting the country with around 9,000 flying in every day.

Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels’ IPO has been a success, debuting on the NSE at Rs 186, a 20% premium to their IPO price. Analysts had been predicting a premium of Rs 185 to Rs 195 per share. The IPO had a combination of a fresh issue of 3.87 crore shares amounting to Rs 600 crore and an offer for sale of 2.06 crore shares totaling Rs 320 crore.

Indian online travel company EaseMyTrip announced a five-star luxury hotel project in Ayodhya, ideally situated less than one kilometer from Ram Mandir in Uttar Pradesh. The 5-star luxury project represents an investment of up to Rs 100 crore through Jeewani Hospitality Private Limited, leading the project. EaseMyTrip said this signifies their expansion and commitment to enhancing India’s tourism sector.

IHG Hotels & Resorts is exploring opportunities to bring global brands such as Regent and Kimpton to India, looking to double their presence there over the next two to three years. IHG said they worked out an asset-light expansion plan that will see them add 45 hotels and close to 7,000 keys in India over the next two to three years. IHG has 45 hotels in India currently with over 7,600 keys, across five brands. In the luxury and lifestyle segment, they have two Six Senses properties and two InterContinental Hotels and Resorts while in the premium segment, they have 10 Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts. In the mainstream segment, 31 Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express hotels are in the country. 2023 had IHG announcing their first signings for their global lifestyle brand voco. Discussions are underway to bring brands such as Staybridge SuitesRegent Hotels and ResortsKimpton Hotels and Restaurants and the recently launched Vignette CollectionIHG said their business in India surpassed both 2019 and 2022 levels in 2023.

IHG is anticipating a strong 2024 in China, exploring both preferred and emerging destinations in the region under its “True Hospitality for Good” visions. IHGcurrently features a diverse portfolio of 12 brands, comprising over 1,200 openings and pipelines in Greater ChinaIHG said attention has been shifted from saturated luxury hotel markets in first-tier cities to second and third-tier cities. They introduced their flagship InterContinental Hotels & Resorts brand in new locations like Xiangyang, Hubei and Taichung, TaiwanIHG is enabling winter sports holidays with the debut of its Vignette Collection Shanghai Snow World Hotel and Crowne Plaza Shanghai Snow WorldIHG will launch Hotel Indigo Hangzhou Qianjiang CBD and Hotel Indigo Suzhou Jinji Lake, showcasing the Yangtze River Deltawhich has been gaining attention. IHG has opportunities to expand its presence in travel and urban networks in Greater China with voco Suites Shanghai Hongqiao CBD and EVEN Hotels Shanghai Hongqiao CBD. Others in this space that will open in Holiday Inn Shanghai Pudong Airport and HUALUXE Shenzhen Bao’an. A new Holiday Inn at the Hangzhou International Expo Center and Holiday Inn Guiyang Airport shows their commitment to this segment.

Dusit Hospitality Services, a subsidiary of Dusit Thani Public Company Limited, has expanded its operations in the luxury residential management segment by winning the contract to manage MARQUE Sukhumvit, a super luxury condominium which has the highest price per square meter in the Phrom Phong, Sukhumvitarea, for the next three years.

SIA-led real estate firm DoubleDragon Corp said its hotel subsidiary received the ticker symbol HBNB on the US Nasdaq market. Hotel101 Global Pte Ltd will be the first Filipino company to list via SPAC on Nasdaq. It is a bit backward, getting a Nasdaq symbol while saying they will sign the definitive SPAC business combination with its chosen SPAC sponsor by March, particularly since the past year has seen more SPAC deals blow up than be completed. Hotel101 is a condotel chain who said they want to battle Airbnb’s unregulated hotels. They believe the US listing will help them raise money to support their ambitious plans to build 500,000 hotel rooms in 101 countries by 2024. The Philippines based company said they are still finalizing the amount of proceeds to be raised.

Alan Woinski

February 12th, 2024

Companies: IHG Hotels & Resorts, Airbnb, Crowne Plaza, DoubleDragon Corp., Dusit International, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, InterContinental, Kimpton, Regent, Six Senses, Staybridge Suites, Vignette Collection

Locations: Bangkok, Hangzhou, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Mumbai, Philippines, Shanghai, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan

Photo credit: A room at the Sheraton Hotel Colombo in Sri Lanka.  Marriott International

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