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Data on the Return of Chinese Outbound Travelers

Alan Woinski

February 20th, 2024

Skift Take

Chinese travelers flocked to tourist hotspots across Asia over the Lunar New Year break, with visitor numbers and spending in destinations including Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia exceeding pre-Covid levels.

Reuters reported that Chinese travelers flocked to tourist hotspots across Asia over the Lunar New Year break, with visitor numbers and spending in destinations including Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia exceeding pre-Covid levels. Those with visa-free access led the way. Those countries where tourism from China has always been relied on saw some relief in the past couple of weeks, but sustained recovery in overseas travel is still overshadowed by a sluggish mainland economy and volatile financial markets causing consumers to tighten their belts. said bookings to Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia combined jumped more than 30% from February 10-17 compared with 2019. Chinese visitors to Hong Kong, Macau, Japan and South Korea also increased. said hotel bookings for Bangkok tripled over the period February 10-13 year on year while those for Singapore jumped by nine-fold.

In China, official figures showed China’s new year holiday spending surged past pre-pandemic levels. Chinese travelers made 474 million trips across the country during the eight day holiday period, up 19% from 2019. Domestic spending on tourism rose 7.7% from 2019 to US$87.9 billion. Nomura said while total spending was up, the average spending per trip was down by -9.5% from 2019. JP Morgan said they recommend investors take profits on China hotel stocks as their proprietary data suggests the strength was concentrated in a single week with a sharp normalization post the holidays. JP Morgan also said hotels’ average daily rates during the LNY holidays were lower than for the Golden Week in early October. While analysts may be negative, the China Tourism Academy said they are projecting Chinese tourists will take more than 6 billion domestic trips in 2024, showing pent-up demand for travel among Chinese residents. They also expect the international travel scene to show a significant uptick with the number of inbound and outbound tourists anticipated to surpass the 260 million mark.

ATEC said this year’s Lunar New Year showed a slower recovery for China’s visitor market to Australia with reduced bookings and revenue compared to pre-pandemic levels. Holiday makers from China currently make up about 26% of visitors compared to 2019 when they accounted for more than 50% of overall visitation from China.

Macau appears to have been the big winner of the Chinese New Year business with 1.52 million visitors from February 9-18. The city’s checkpoints recorded over 5.8 million border crossings. We remind you the Macao Government Tourism Office was projecting 960,000 visitors for the eight day holiday. Total Macau visitation for the eight days was 1,357,803. Daily average Macau visitation, at 169,725, was 1% above CNY Golden Week 2019. Mainland China visitation was about 76% of the total visitation. Hong Kong visitors represented 19%. Average hotel occupancy in Macau reached 95.2% with the highest occupancy of 97.9% achieved on Day 4. The average room rate rose by 23.4% year on year to MOP1,922. The average daily volume of international visitors was about 6,600 which was 78.5% of the 2019 level.

The Singapore Edition officially opened its doors on Sunday, the latest new hotel in Singapore’s famous shopping district, Orchard Road. The hotel is a redevelopment of the former Boulevard Hotel by a consortium comprising City Developments Ltd., Hong Leong Holdings and Lea Investments. The 204 room hotel is managed by Marriott International and features a 43 meter rooftop pool, spa and various meeting spaces. There is a conservatory in the lobby that houses over 300 Southeast Asian plants, including live palms and ferns. The hotel is home to Fysh, Australia chef Josh Niland’s first restaurant outside his country. The Singapore Edition had its soft opening in November 2023, the same month the 142 Artyzen Singapore opened. The hotels are opposite each other.

Marriott International’s Moxy Hotels brand announced the opening of Moxy Bangkok Ratchaprasong, marking the brand’s debut in Thailand. The 504 room hotel is situated in Ratchaprasong and is the largest Moxy hotel in Asia Pacific. Guests check in on the ninth floor where there is a welcome area and bar. That includes the Library & Plug-In area. Other amenities include the Moxy Bar & Restaurant and a soon to open rooftop bar. There is a 34 square meter meeting room, and a gym to round out the amenities.

Bangsar Heights Pavilion announced a landmark partnership with an affiliate of Hyatt Hotels Corporation. Hyatt will manage the 200 room Hyatt Place Johor Bahru City Centre, to be located at Quayside JBCC, a new lifestyle, retail and entertainment destination in the heart of Johor Bahru in Malaysia. Quayside JBCC is a freehold mixed development comprising retail, hotel, serviced suites and sky bar fine dining with an expected gross development value of RM600 million. It entails a development of a total of 482 serviced suites, 24 units of commercial retail, a 200 keys hotel suite and rooftop sky bar and fine dining. The 482 serviced suites will be managed and operated by Oakwood Hotel & Apartments, a unit of Ascott International Group.

The launch of SOMOSHOTELS, a Bali-born brand from Mirah Investment & Development, has been announced. The first location to open under the SOMOSHOTELS banner is SOMOSHOTELS Uluwatu, situated in Bingin, Uluwatu in Indonesia. The 250 room hotel will include a pool day club, multiple restaurants and retail venues, a fitness center with recovery facilities, spa, yoga studio and events spaces for exhibitions.

IHG Hotels & Resorts confirmed the first Six Senses hotel in Japan is expected to welcome guests from April 23. The Six Senses Kyoto will be located in the historic Higashiyama district in a prime location, a 90-minute drive from Kansai Airport. The resort will have 81 rooms and suites, ranging in size from 42 to 238 square meters with the pinnacle of the accommodation being the Three Bedroom Penthouse Suite on the top floor. Facilities at the hotel include a choice of F&B outlets, a spa, traditional male and female bath houses, an indoor pool, wellness facilities and a gym.

EVT Hotels & Resorts announced a management partnership with Invictus Developments, as part of the Independent Collection by EVT. The Old Clare Hotelin Chippendale and the Harbor Rocks Hotel in Sydney, Australia are now managed by EVT, with the aim of taking the partnership further. The Invictus hotels will form part of a new brand within the Independent Collection which will be announced later this year. The Independent Collection by EVT currently consists of 19 hotels covering all market segments from luxury to leisure. The Old Clare Hotel currently features 69 unique heritage-modern rooms across seven levels including lofts, and executive suites. The Harbor Rocks Hotel has 59 five-star accommodations with a mix of Heritage, Superior, Deluxe and Suite and harbor-view options.

Alan Woinski

February 20th, 2024

Companies: Marriott International, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Invictus Developments, Mirah Investment and Development, Moxy Hotels, Oakwood, Six Senses

Locations: Australia, Bali, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Kyoto, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Sydney, Thailand

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