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Asia-Pacific

Japan Expects Hotel Occupancy Improvement in 2024

Alan Woinski
April 17th, 2024 at 6:53 AM EDT

Skift Take

Japan’s hotel industry experienced significant growth in 2023, achieving top global tourist destination status, with a rebound in foreign visits and high investment despite not reaching 2019 levels.

The Hong Kong Tourism Board announced a 38.6% year on year increase in March visitor arrivals, with significant growth in both short-haul and long-haul markets. Provisional visitor arrivals for March was about 3.4 million. For the first quarter, a total of 11.23 million visitor arrivals were recorded, a 5% increase from the fourth quarter of 2023. March Mainland China visitation was up 25.4% to 2.5 million.

Macau’s Chief Executive said he is confident Macau will attract more than 30 million visitors this year in fact he thinks with average daily visitors remaining above 100,000, Macau could record nearly 36 million visitor arrivals. Last year Macau registered over 28 million visitors so getting to 30 million should not be considered a victory while 36 million would be. The average expectation will be between 33 million and 34 million visitors this year. In 2019, Macau welcomed 39.4 million visitors.

Japan’s hotel industry had a banner 2023 with the country being crowned the top tourist destination globally for both business and leisure travel. Japan was one of the last markets to fully re-open its borders to visitors following the end of the Covid-19 pandemic but that has not stopped the large number of foreign visitors and domestic demand from spiking average daily rates across all cities and categories. While the expectations are solid for 2024, they are still not at 2019 levels. February 2024 occupancy was -11% below February 2019, according to CBRE. They expect improvement over the course of this year on the back of further foreign tourism gains. The Japanese government is anticipating tourist arrivals will hit a record 33 million this year. Their goal is for 60 million annual foreign arrivals by 2030. Business and city hotels are seeing accommodation nights in 2024 up by 16% and 13% respectively against 2019. Hotel investment volumes in Japan surpassed JPY 500 billion in 2023 with overseas buyers accounting for 46%, the highest proportion since 2007. International investors are expected to remain active in 2024 but expectations are that domestic investors will continue gradually increasing their activity. Institutional investors will continue to drive purchases in 2024 with J-REITs also expected to be more active. Luxury and upscale assets remain the most sought after by these groups with investors also looking to increase their exposure to the co-living sector.

IHG Hotels & Resorts announced new openings and property redesigns across Southeast Asia, part of the company’s strategic expansion. Highlighting this year’s openings is the Holiday Inn Resort Bali Canggu in Indonesia featuring amenities such as a rooftop pool bar and a 24 hour fitness center. In Thailand the InterContinental Bangkok Sukhumvit has opened in the Thonglor district. The hotel is located near major convention centers and shopping malls. In New Zealand, the InterContinental Auckland is part of the billion-dollar Commercial Bay lifestyle precinct, offering guests premium accommodations and fine dining options. Next up for openings will be the Six Senses Kyoto, Japan this month and then the Hotel Indigo Saigon The City sometime this current quarter.

Travelodge Hotels Asia has unveiled its newest addition, Travelodge Myeongdong Namsan. Situated in the Myeongdong district in Seoul, South Korea, the hotel includes Standard Queen, Superior Queen/Twin, Deluxe Plus Queen, Friends and Family and Accessible room accommodations. The hotel offers a multi-use all-day communal space, gym, self-service pantry and more. The Travelodge Myeongdong Namsan is owned by Plenitude Berhad, a publicly traded company in Malaysia.

Mayfield Hotel Seoul has refurbished its standard rooms. The five-star Mayfield Hotel Seoul is located in Gangseo-gu, Seoul in South Korea. They completed the room renovations and opened them to the public on April 11. The renovation was for the 29.8 square meter standard rooms, located on the east side of the hotel.

Shinsegae Group is pushing for a high end hotel project in Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu in South Korea. Shinsegae Property is working on a joint project with Mirae-in, the developer of the Prima Hotel site in Cheongdam-dong.

ITC’s maiden overseas hospitality foray, conceived in 2012, is about to become a reality. The ITC Ratnadipa in Colombo in Sri Lanka will become operational from April 25th, with the luxury venture costing Rs 2,775 crore to develop. The property was a 350 key hotel and luxury residential development with residential portion called Sapphire Residencies, sitting on a 5.86 acre of land. The mixed-use development is promoted by WelcomHotels Lanka (Private) Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the company. The hotel is 30 stories and the residences are 50 stories, joined by a skybridge 100 meters above the ground. The launch of the project comes ahead of the proposed demerger of the hospitality business at ITC at the end of the year.

The real estate arm of Melbourne-based fund manager Prime Value, Shakespeare Property Group, has paid about $55 million for the 90 room heritage-listed Woolstore 1888 hotel at Darling Harbour in Sydney, Australia. The acquisition is the second major hotel deal in Sydney in the past month after the InterContinental Hotel in Double Bay was acquired by a group of developers for $215 million. Boutique chain Ovolo acquired the luxury Darling Harbour hotel for about $33 million in 2014 from Paul Fischmann’s 8Hotels. Shakespeare Property Group is in negotiations with another hotel operator to replace Ovolo. An announcement is expected in a couple of weeks. The investment company will raise equity to fund the hotel acquisition from wholesale investors via a single-asset unlisted trust to be called the Shakespeare 1888 Trust.

Nobu Hospitality, in an ongoing collaboration with Viet Capital Real Estate, announced the upcoming Nobu Hotel and Restaurant Ho Chi Minh. This marks the brand’s 40th hotel and second opening in Vietnam. Nobu Ho Chi Minh Hotel and Restaurant is located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh’s District 1. The 40-story mixed-use complex is under construction and will encompass Class A office space and the Nobu Hotel and Restaurant. The hotel is situated on the upper floors and will feature 135 guest rooms and suites, a rooftop swimming pool, fitness facility and the Nobu restaurant on the seventh floor. The complex is set to open in 2026.

Wyndham Hotels will enter India’s branded residences market, starting with at least five projects in five major cities by 2025. This follows successful launches for Wyndham in Central Europe, viewing India as the next promising market for branded residences. In the initial phase, Wyndham will focus on densely-populated metros such as Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi but they are actively exploring tier-2 cities as well with locations like Chennai holding particular interest for them.

Alan Woinski
April 17th, 2024 at 6:53 AM EDT

Companies: IHG Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn, Hotel Indigo, ITC Hotels, Nobu Hotels, Ovolo Hotels, Shakespeare Property Group, Shinsegae Group, Six Senses, Travelodge Hotels Asia, Welcomhotel, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Locations: Bengaluru, Chennai, Colombo, Delhi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Mumbai, Seoul, Sydney, Thailand, Vietnam

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