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Cambodia’s Tourism Rebound Strategy Is Focusing on Chinese Visitors

Alan Woinski

March 27th, 2024

Skift Take

Cambodia’s tourism, rebounding to 82.5% of 2019 levels in 2023, aims to boost Chinese visitation, focusing on initiatives including potential mutual visa-free policies and increased flights.

International tourist arrivals to Cambodia recovered to 82.5% of 2019 levels in 2023 but they are doing that with China still way down. The recovery of visitation from China only was at 23.2% of 2019 levels. About 71.9% of the total Chinese visitor arrivals were business travelers. The new leadership of Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Manet is focused on tourism and they are setting up many initiatives to attract Chinese. Cambodia is hoping to follow SingaporeThailand and Malaysia in adopting mutual visa-free policies with China and the government is working very hard to try to add more flights between the two countries. Direct weekly flights from the Greater China region to Cambodia recovered to only 26% of the 2019 levels last year. The new inauguration of the Siem Reap Angkor International Airport and the under-construction Phnom Penh Techo Takhmao International Airport, expected to be fully operational by 2025, will contribute to an increase in arrivals.

Colliers Hotels & Leisure is listing the Holiday Inn Express Kuala Lumpur City Centre for sale. The proposed sale of the freehold, prime mixed-use commercial property includes office and retail space in the main building and four-floor annex building and the 384 room hotel. Colliers is listing the property for owner Winbond Group, located on Kuala Lumpur’s bustling Jalan Raja Chulan and Jalan Tengahin the heart of the Golden Triangle. The hotel is within walking distance to the Petronas Twin Towers and Bukit Bintang shopping districts. The total strata area is 14,903 square meters which includes all 15 hotel floors, office and retail space with the Annex building parts leased to specialty restaurant operators. The hotel offers a laundry room, fitness and recreational facilities and versatile meeting rooms capable of accommodating up to 170 guests.

Invictus Developments, the Singapore-based property arm owned by Indonesian billionaire Bachtiar Karim’s family, is expanding its hotel footprint in Australia with the A$29.8 million project that will convert an office building in Sydney to a 152 room hotel. The 15 story office building on York Street in Sydney’s central business district was bought by Invictus in August 2023 for A$52.5 million. Invictus has purchased five properties in the past two years with plans to build a $1 billion property portfolio with a focus on the hospitality sector within five years across Singapore, Australia, Japan and the UK. They have submitted a development application to the city of Sydney to reuse the York Street building as a hotel and expects to complete construction in 20 months. In Singapore they are building the 143 room Standard Hotel next to the Shangri-La Hotel on Orange Grove drive, expecting to open the hotel in July of this year.

Indian Hotels Company announced the opening of the 45 key hotel Vivanta Chitwan, Bharatpur in Nepal. This is IHCL’s third hotel in Nepal. IHCL opened the hotel in partnership with the owner, CG Group. Their relationship with CG goes back 25 years and includes 11 hotels in five countries. The 45 room hotel includes Mynt, the multi-cuisine all-day diner, and the bar, Wink. Wellness facilities at the hotel include a fitness center and an outdoor pool that overlooks the Siraichuli Mountains. The hotel is equipped with 2,400 square feet of meeting space including a business center.

Ananta Hotels & Resorts, in collaboration with Chester Hills, announced the launch of two premier resort properties in the scenic locales of Kasauli and ShimlaHimachal Pradesh. The partnership combines Ananta’s service with Chester Hills’ real estate prowess. The introduction of Ananta Spa and Resorts and Ananta Elite Cliffton Valley are expected to really shake up the luxury hospitality industry in Himachal Pradesh featuring state of the art accommodations, gourmet dining experiences, wellness facilities and a variety of recreational activities.

Fusion Hotel Group announced its first Fusion Suites property in Thailand. Under the Fusion Suites brand, the Phuket property is part of the group’s plans to expand its lodging wellness concepts in the region. With 141 rooms and suites, the Fusion Suites Phuket Patong is located on the country’s largest island and offers 5-star facilities, multiple swimming pools and a flagship spa. The hotel is distinguished by its tropical hillside location that overlooks the Andaman Sea and Patong Beach and includes its Maia Spa, bespoke “breakfast anytime, anywhere” concepts along with a rooftop bar and tapas lounge. Fusion Hotel Group’s brand portfolio includes resort and city center properties in Cam RanhDa NangSaigonVung Tau and Ho Tram in Vietnam.

SM Hotels and Conventions Corp plans to significantly expand its footprint in the Philippines tourism industry. The Philippine Daily Inquirer recently published an article on how they plan to double their hotel portfolio over the next five years, including venturing into new areas nationwide to foster growth. Currently they have 10 hotels and six convention centers strategically located across the country with established names like Conrad ManilaLanson Place Mall of AsiaRadisson Blu Cebu, and Park Inn by Radisson hotels in key cities. The convention centers cater to events in ManilaDavaoTaguigBacolodOlongapo and in Clark.

Personnel Moves

Indian Hotels Company announced the appointment of MrRanjit Phillipose as Senior Vice President – Operations, Goa. While he started with IHCL in 1993, his latest position had been Area Director – Middle East and General Manager – Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, The Palm, Dubai.

Imperial Pacific International, a company trying to avoid losing its casino license in Saipan and facing wind-up proceedings in Hong Kong, reappointed Chen Feng as Executive Director.

South Korea’s Paradise Co has announced a new joint leadership system under which it will have two co-existing CEOs. Under the new structure, Choi Sunguk, who served as the SK foreigners-only casino operator’s CEO for the past three years, will oversee the company’s external cooperation division while newly promoted Choi Jong–hwan will oversee the management and finance divisions. Choi Jong-hwan had been the CEO of Paradise Sega Sammy, the joint venture company that operates the Paradise City integrated resort in Incheon as well as being the CEO of Paradise Global and Paradise Hotel Busan.

Alan Woinski

March 27th, 2024

Companies: Ananta Hotels and Resorts, Colliers, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Fusion Hotel Group, Fusion Suites, Holiday Inn Express, Imperial Pacific International, Invictus Developments, Paradise Co., Park Inn by Radisson, Radisson Blu, Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, SM Hotels and Conventions Corp, Standard International, The Indian Hotels Company Ltd, Vivanta

Locations: Cambodia, Himachal Pradesh, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Manila, Nepal, Phuket, Shimla, Singapore, Sydney, Thailand

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