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Philippines Begins 2024 With a 23% Tourism Bump

Alan Woinski

March 11th, 2024

Skift Take

The Philippines Dept. of Tourism reported that from January to March 4 this year, over 1.23 million international travelers visited.

The Philippines Dept. of Tourism said over 1.23 million international travelers arrived in the country from January to March 4 of this year. That is up nearly 23% from the same period in 2023 and is about 82% of the arrivals in January to February in 2019. Foreign tourists accounted for 1.16 million of the international arrivals with the rest being overseas Filipinos or Philippine passport holders permanently residing abroad. The DOT estimates inbound tourism receipts reached $653.3 million in January, up by 4.84% from January 2023 and -21% less than January 2019. The DOT is targeting international arrivals to reach 7.7 million this year with inbound receipts of US$8.92 billion under its baseline scenario. Of the total arrivals in the Philippines this year, South Korea remains the top source market with 349,956. That is just -3% less than those who arrived in January 2019. The US supplied 195,603 and that was down -4.1% from 2019. China visitation of only 85,876 was down -71.88% from 2019.

The South China Morning Post said Hong Kong hotels are betting on sporting, arts, consumer, and entertainment events this year to drive tourists flows into the city. While acknowledging they missed out on the Taylor Swift wave that just swept Singapore and Japan, HK officials are hopeful things like Hong Kong Rugby Sevens and Art Basel will push the city’s ambitions of becoming a cultural hotspot. 2023 hotel occupancy was 66 to 87 percent, a wide range from Colliers. The Hong Kong Tourism Board is expecting 46 million visitors to the city this year, up 35% from last year but still just 70% of the pre-pandemic levels. Estimated spending per overnight visitor is expected to shrink -16.4%, for some reason, from 2023 to HK$5,800.

Accor, together with Jinghe New City Industrial Development Group, announced the signing of a new dual-branded hospitality project in the Qin Zhihui Complex of Jinghe New City in Xi’an in China. Two brands from Accor, Sofitel and Novotel, will together encompass a 53,000 square meter space with over 420 guestrooms and suites. The expectation is, when completed, it will stimulate business and travel in Jinghe New City and support Accor’s expansion across Greater China. The Qin Zhihui Complex is poised to become a large scale integrated center combining commercial, office, lifestyle, and hotel facilities. The Sofitel and Novotel Qin Zhihui Complex will be a 20 minute drive from the municipal government and 15 minutes from Xianyang International Airport.

Accor’s Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi in Vietnam has officially reopened its historical Heritage Wing after nearly two years of renovation. The original wing opened in 1901 with 22 rooms in the section overlooking Con Coc Park. It was restored and renovated under a 21 month construction project and now features 103 room and suites. Alongside the three Legendary Suites, the Heritage Wing now features six Metropole suites, 40 Grand Luxury rooms, and 54 Luxury rooms. The Heritage Wing Lobby was also partially refurbished and restored with the ceilings modified with antique-style mirrors and the archways were enhanced as well as the staircase and three landings redone. The hotel, in total with the two wings, includes 358 rooms.

The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group plans to open two hotels in the Seto Inland Sea area of western Japan in summer 2027, two years behind schedule. One of them will be a 13 story urban resort hotel with 92 guest rooms to be built in Takamatsu. The other will be a 22 room hotel that evokes a traditional local house, situated in the Honmura district of Naoshima island. The two new facilities will be Japan’s first top-of-the-line hotels aimed at encouraging guests to explore local areas, in this case the Shikoku and Setouchi regions. Guest rooms at both hotels will be at least 50 square meters in size. Mandarin Oriental, Setouchi at Takamatsu is the 92 room urban resort opening in the Sunport area that constitutes the redeveloped business and shopping district area around JR Takamatsu Station and Takamatsu Port. Mandarin Oriental, Setouchi at Naoshima consists of a two story main building and three village houses, offering the 22 rooms in total. Shikoku Electric Power Co is the main stakeholder behind the project, which is expected to cost 25 billion yen. Mandarin Oriental will operate the luxury hotels.

Oravel Stays Ltd, parent company behind OYO, announced it plans to launch self-operated premium hotels under the Palette brand, beginning with Morbi in Gujarat. Oravel Stays had earlier launched a pilot program with 10 of these hotels in cities including Jaipur, Hyderabad, Digha, Mumbai, Chennai, Manesar, and Bengaluru. They now intend to open 12 additional self-operated Palette hotels by the end of the year. The Morbi hotel will be a 48 room premium hotel.

Suba Group of Hotels announced the launch of Click Hotel Yuvraj in Surat, Gujarat, one of India’s major economic hubs. The Surat International Airport is about 30 minutes from the hotel. This is Suba’s second launch in Gujarat in the last two months. Click Hotel Yuvraj features 54 contemporary rooms in two configurations in King/Queen and Twin rooms with an inhouse multi-cuisine restaurant – CINNAMON and three banquet venues. The hotel is owned by Baywood Hotels India Pvt Ltd.

Lemon Tree Hotels Ltd signed an agreement for a new property in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, under its Keys Lite brand. The Indian property is expected to open in 2025 and will be managed by Lemon Tree’s management arm, Carnation Hotels Pvt Ltd. The property will feature 40 well appointed rooms, a restaurant, and meeting room. This opening will be in addition to five existing and one upcoming property in the state.

Sri Lanka’s Santani resorts have ventured abroad, to Oman, setting up the first Sri Lankan brand overseas, in collaboration with the Oman Tourism Development Company. The strategic alliance marks a significant milestone in enhancing Oman’s wellness and the two exclusive wellness resorts will have 182 rooms and carry the Santani name. Santani Wellness Resorts said they have an additional global pipeline of eight projects.

Personnel Move

Hilton announced the appointment of Maria Ariizumi as Vice President of Development for South East Asia. Maria joins Hilton from Swire Hotels where she led efforts to set up Swire’s third party hotel development platform.

Alan Woinski

March 11th, 2024

Companies: Accor, Carnation Hotel Private Limited, Click Hotels by Suba, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Keys Lite, Lemon Tree Hotels, Mandarin Oriental, Novotel, OYO Hotels, Palette, Santani, Sofitel, Suba Hotels

Locations: Gujarat, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Jaipur, Japan, Oman, Philippines, Tamil Nadu, Xi'an

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