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Asia-Pacific

Malaysian Budget Hotels to Raise Rates 30%

Alan Woinski
April 15th, 2024 at 9:07 AM EDT

Skift Take

Malaysian budget hotel owners are raising room rates due to increasing operational costs and taxes, amidst pressures from unlicensed accommodations.

In the first quarter of the year, the Philippines received nearly 1.6 million international visitors, marking a 21.3% increase compared with 1Q23. The big difference appears to have been the Chinese visitor arrivals, rising by 150% to 109,568. While the percentage increase is no big deal given how 1Q23 had China just converting from their Zero Covid policy to one where their residents were free to resume somewhat normalcy, the results were higher than the DOT projected. Also, China bested Japan which had 105,347 people travel to the Philippines in the quarter. If you combine the two countries, they still did not even come close to the Philippines’ number one source market, South Korea, with 458,619 arrivals, up 26% year on year.

In Malaysia, budget hotel owners need to hike their rates to make up for inflation and other operational costs that are rising. The Vibes reported rates could go up as much as 30% to 40% over the next three months. Added to the pressure is that the sales and services tax has increased to 8% from 6%. The increase in room rates is expected to vary for different budget hotels depending on their ratings. MyBHA said rates right now are RM80-100 per room for a one-star hotel, RM100-150 for two-star and RM200-250 for three-star. Some hoteliers have already raised rates to cover costs. The hoteliers also want the government to help them by curbing the unlicensed accommodation owners which are pressuring the true hoteliers’ businesses.

Thailand’s Prime Minister has proposed the introduction of a Schengen-like visa scheme that would include Thailand and five other Southeast Asian countries – CambodiaLaosMalaysiaMyanmar, and Vietnam. The initiative is designed to simplify travel across these nations and is anticipated to attract more long-distance and high-spending tourists. The six countries welcomed about 70 million tourists but Thailand and Malaysia accounted for more than half. The proposed single-visa scheme is aimed at sustaining the long-term growth of the tourism industry with the unified visa expected to simplify travel decisions for long-haul tourists with the visas being extended to 90 days from the standard 30-day limit.

The Ascott Limited, the wholly-owned lodging business unit of CapitaLand Investment, has announced a partnership with Canopy Sands Development Co. Ltd. to manage two properties: Oakwood Bay of Lights Sihanoukville and Summer Bay Beach Club & Cabins by Preference. This is the first-ever collaboration between Ascott and Canopy Sands Development of Cambodia. This would mark the arrival of the second Oakwood property in Cambodia and the introduction of Preference, a brand described as being unique, authentic with allure, to the country. Oakwood Bay of Lights Sihanoukville features 250 rooms while Summer Bay Beach Club & Cabins by Preference comprises 60 quaint cottages.

Robinsons Hotels and Resorts said they are transforming Go Hotel Mandaluyong into a Go Hotels Plus, upgrading its first property in the value essential category. Go Hotels Mandaluyong is the pioneering property of RHR in the value essential category in the Philippines that opened in May 2010. The 222 deluxe and PWD rooms were the first of its kind no-frills hotel. With the brand upgrade, guests can now look forward to an enhanced stay experience, including a more modern and sleek room design as well as a new and spacious lobby. A new room category with a bunk bed for sharing is also now offered for groups on a budget on top of its existing deluxe twin and queen rooms. RHR introduced Go Hotels Plus in 2022 with a refreshed look, upgraded amenities and spaces, while maintaining its affordable rates. The first Go Hotels Plus was opened in Tuguegarao, shortly followed by the opening of the second one in South LuzonGo Hotels Naga.

The Mohegan INSPIRE integrated casino resort in IncheonSouth Korea has opened a new food court with seating for around 1,000 diners. OASIS Gourmet Village is located within the INSPIRE Mall, and opened on March 10th as part of a collaboration with domestic space branding company Glow Seoul. The food court is part of Mohegan trying to finish the IR, opening in late 2023 but the full first phase, at a budget of US$1.6 billion, is still not completed despite being delayed for many years. The soft opening was in November, and casino operations started on March 5th but they still had to complete the retail mall, outdoor experiential space, international food court, immersive content exhibition hall and indoor children’s playground, with the expectations that all this would be complete by mid-2024.

Lemon Tree Hotels Ltd said they opened the Tigerland Safari, at Chitwan in Nepal. This is Lemon Tree’s second property in Nepal after launching a hotel in Kathmandu earlier this month with 102 rooms, a coffee shop, an Asian restaurant and bar and tea lounge. The Tigerland Safari property features 35 cottages, a coffee shop called Citrus Cafe and a banquet space.

BWH Hotels announced the signing of SureStay by Best Western Iconic Suvarnabhumi in BangkokThailand. With this signing, BWH Hotels will offer a comprehensive 13 hotels in the Greater Bangkok region. Situation close to the Bang Na-Trat ExpresswaySureStay by Best Western Iconic Suvarnabhumi will offer 198 rooms, a restaurant and an outdoor pool.

Hilton Mauritius Resort & Spa recently completed a renovation to provide an elevated hospitality experience for guests. The hotel has 193 renovated guest rooms including 74 deluxe rooms, 100 grand deluxe rooms, and 18 suites. The accommodation features warm, elegant interiors with views of either the hotel’s palm garden, the new infinity pool or the seaside. The rooms were renovated to create a more modern and contemporary feel. The confirmed connecting rooms are ideal for larger families, friend groups, wedding attendees and other travel parties. The Hilton Mauritius Resort & Spa features six restaurants and bars.

Alan Woinski
April 15th, 2024 at 9:07 AM EDT

Companies: The Ascott Limited, Best Western Hotels & Resorts, CapitaLand Investment, Go Hotels Plus, Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Lemon Tree Hotels, Oakwood, Robinsons Hotels and Resorts, SureStay, The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority

Locations: Bangkok, Cambodia, China, Incheon, Laos, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nepal, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand

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