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Hotel Franchising Doubles in Southeast Asia

Alan Woinski

April 30th, 2024

Skift Take

A new report says that hotel franchising is rapidly expanding in Southeast Asia, providing local hotel owners significant growth opportunities despite market challenges.

JLL issued a report on how franchising is gaining traction with hoteliers in Southeast Asia. They said this offers local and regional hotel owners an avenue for growth and resilience in the wake of the pandemic. JLL said that in Southeast Asia, the number of hotels operating under franchise agreements has doubled over the past decade, rising from 3% of the market to 6% in 2024. While this has already become a mainstay in the U.S. and Europe, the model remains in its infancy in Southeast Asia, hampered by the region’s fragmented hotel market, made up of numerous small local owners, a lack of options for third-party operators as well as regulatory and legal barriers. JLL believes Thailand is poised to embrace hotel franchising. They are confident that hotel owners across Southeast Asia will consider this opportunity as the markets evolve. Before doing that, there are some obstacles to overcome and an education process that has to be undertaken.

Macau’s average hotel occupancy rate rose by 9.9 percentage points to 84.8% in the first quarter, according to the Statistics and Census Service. The occupancy rates for 5-star, 4-star and 3-star hotel establishments rose by 12.9 percentage points, 8.4 percentage points, and 1.7 percentage points, respectively to 87.1%, 81% and 81.1%. The number of guests totaled 3,779,000 in 1Q and that was 8.4% above the first quarter of 2019. At the end of 1Q24, Macau had a total of 141 hotel establishments, up 15 year over year. The total number of available guest rooms rose by 19.6%, reaching 47,000. The Macau Land and Urban Construction Bureau said as of the first quarter of 2024, six hotels were under construction in Macau with the potential to add another 3,021 new hotel rooms. Seven more hotels are in the planning phase with a combined projection of 851 hotel rooms.

Amora Hotels & Resorts is positioning itself for a new phase of expansion in Asia Pacific as it prepared to introduce its luxury hospitality to new destinations across the Pacific and Southeast Asia. The group opened its inaugural corporate office in Sydney, Australia with the plan being to use that to double its portfolio from six to twelve hotels in five years. The regional hub is expected to be a launch pad for the fast-developing hotel group to leverage opportunities for acquisitions while driving strategy, brand, operations, finance and human resources. Earp Siriphatrawan, Amora’s owner and director, is leading this. He has brought on Ravi Chandran, a senior executive with Banyan Tree for 20 years, as an independent director to drive strategy and brand development. The corporate office will be led by Group VP of Operations Tamer Habib who is a former Starwood executive.

Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced the grand opening of Hyatt Centric Ballygunge Kolkata, marking the expansion of the Hyatt Centric brand in India. The hotel is debuting in association with Mukti Projects Limited and offers 93 rooms and suites. This is the second Hyatt hotel in the city. Amenities include Cal-On, a terrace garden craft brewery; YAYAvar, a regional Indian restaurant, and TESS, a Euro-Asian bistro. The hotel offers 3,045 square feet of meeting and event space, outdoor pool on the seventh floor, rejuvenating spa and a fitness center.

Marriott International’s Four Points by Sheraton brand announced its expansion in India with the opening of Four Points by Sheraton Sonmarg Resort in Jammu and Kashmir. The hotel is set among the majestic Himalayan Ranges, near Zoji La Pass, connecting Srinagar to Leh, conveniently accessible from the Srinagar International Airport. The resort features 47 rooms, each with a private balcony offering valley and mountain views.

Radisson Hotel Group said they signed Svelte Delhi as a member of its Radisson Individuals brand. The 108 room hotel is expected to open by the third quarter of 2024. Radisson Hotel Group has more than 24 hotels in the Delhi national capital region in India.

In a follow up to our story on SM Group from yesterday, SM Hotels and Convention Corp said they will expand with nine new hotels. This follows the official opening of Lanson Place Mall of Asia. The 390 key hybrid hotel and residences launched in Passay, Philippines on April 24 in partnership with Lanson Place. SM said they have nine other hotels underway with ongoing construction including two hotels in Cebu – a Park Inn by Radisson and a Radisson Hotel. SMHCC has earmarked P16 billion for its capital expenditure for 2024. The planned hotels in Cebu are targeted to open in 2027 while the rest are scheduled to open in 2028 and beyond. SM signed a master franchise agreement last year with Radisson for the Park Inn brand and in March signed six other license agreements with Radisson. As for the Lanson Place property, it is the 10th owned by SMHCC in the country.

YOTEL announced its partnership with Singapore-based Frasers Hospitality to open the first YOTEL hotel in Japan in early 2025. YOTEL Tokyo Ginza will be located in central Tokyo’s dynamic neighborhood, steps away from the city’s most popular dining and shopping destination. The hotel will feature 244 rooms, showcasing the brand’s latest features including a signature robotic concierge, motorized SmartBeds and fully integrated technologies. YOTEL Tokyo Ginza is part of YOTEL’s wider strategy to expand across key cities in Japan including Osaka, Kyoto, Sapporo, Yokohama, Fukuoka, Nagoya and Kobe. The group is also working on opportunities to roll out YOTELAIR, the group’s unique transit hotel concept, at key gateway airports and train stations.

YTL Hospitality Real Estate Investment Trust is proposing to develop a five story hotel with a two story basement under the Moxy brand from Marriott in Aza-Soga, Niseko-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido, Japan for an estimated total development cost of RM199 million. The hotel, under Marriott’s millennial-focused brand, will have 310 rooms and a gross floor area of 10,354 square meters upon completion. The hotel will be leaded to YTL Corp Bhd under a variable rental arrangement.

Lek Hang Group announced the soft opening today of their flagship hotel, the Hotel Central in the heart of Macau. Lek Hang Group is investing over HK$2 billion in acquisitions and revitalization. The century-old Hotel Central is a landmark of Avenida de Almeida Riberio. Hotel Central offers 114 rooms with six different room types ranging from the Superior Room to the Supreme room with balcony. The high end restaurant, Palace, is located on the fourth floor of the hotel.

Alan Woinski

April 30th, 2024

Companies: JLL, Amora Group, Four Points by Sheraton, Frasers Hospitality Trust, Hyatt Centric, Lek Hang Group, Marriott International, Moxy Hotels, Park Inn by Radisson, Radisson, Radisson Individuals, Sm Group, YOTEL

Locations: Cebu, Delhi, Fukuoka, Hokkaido, Jammu, Kashmir, Kolkata, Kyoto, Macau, Osaka, Philippines, Sapporo, Sydney, Thailand, Tokyo, Yokohama

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