HotelNewsNow.com each week features a news roundup from a different region of the world. Today’s compilation covers the Asia/Pacific region.
Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels executive Mike Batchelor said in Singapore last week that 2009 saw the emergence of a new trend with Asia/Pacific hotel transactions exceeding the Americas in terms of total sales volume for the first time ever. Asia/Pacific’s contribution and emergence as a global player is set to continue with sales from this region forecast to contribute approximately USD 3.7 billion or 29 percent of global sales. Total global transaction volume is forecast to reach USD 12.8 billion this year.
This trend has also been supported by the results of a recently released Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels’ Hotel Investor Sentiment Survey, which highlights Asia Pacific hotel investors’ expectations for the short- and medium-term trading continuing to trend upwards with Singapore and Sydney ranked the highest.
Despite global sales plummeting in 2008 and 2009, Asia challenged the trend by growing 22 percent during this period, demonstrating a much higher level of confidence seen in this region as well as overall stronger balance sheets enjoyed by both individuals and companies throughout this downturn.
According to the HISS results for Asia Pacific, after a year of stagnation, investors are signaling Asia Pacific hotels as a “buy.” Markets ranked highest for buy sentiment include Perth, Australia (45.5 percent), Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (45.5 percent), Hong Kong (45.5 percent), Singapore (44.4 percent), Brisbane, Australia (43.2 percent), Chengdu, China (42.9 percent), Tokyo (42.9 percent) and Sydney (42.6 percent).
Performance gets better
Hotels in the Asia/Pacific region experienced increases in all three key performance metrics for April 2010 when reported in U.S. dollars, according to data compiled by STR Global.
In year-over-year measurements, the Asia/Pacific region’s occupancy rose 11.7 percent to 65.3 percent, average daily rate increased 13.1 percent to US$130.06, and revenue per available room jumped 26.4 percent to US$84.96.
Highlights from key market performers for April 2010 (year-over-year comparisons, all currency results in U.S. dollar):
- Beijing experienced the largest occupancy increase, rising 29.7 percent to 43.3 percent, followed by Phuket, Thailand, with a 20.6-percent increase to 71.1 percent.
- Bangkok was the only key market to report an occupancy decrease, falling 4.9 percent to 43.3 percent.
- Four markets posted ADR increases of more than 20 percent: Sydney (+32.4 percent to US$156.38); Brisbane, Australia (+31.9 percent to US$149.77); Melbourne, Australia (+26.7 percent to US$152.80); and Hong Kong (+22.7 percent to US$214.13).
- Bangkok fell 4.3 percent to US$39.22 in RevPAR, reporting the only decrease in that metric.
The Asia/Pacific hotel development pipeline comprises 1,004 hotels totaling 252,584 rooms, according to the April 2010 STR Global Construction Pipeline Report.
Among the countries in the region, China accounted for more than 50 percent of the total active pipeline, reporting 133,062 rooms. The country also reported the most rooms in the In Construction phase with 96,431 rooms. India reported 45,583 rooms in the total active pipeline, followed by Thailand (16,018 rooms) and Vietnam (11,084 rooms).
Among the key markets, Shanghai reported the most rooms in the total active pipeline (14,289) and in the In Construction phase (11,720). Bangkok ended the month with 9,676 rooms in the total active pipeline and 5,777 rooms in the In Construction phase. New Delhi, India, followed with 7,183 rooms in the total active pipeline and 5,424 rooms in the In Construction phase.
Two of the seven chain scale segments accounted for more than 20 percent of rooms in the total active pipeline. The upper-upscale segment made up 24.6 percent of the total active pipeline with 62,094 rooms and the upscale segment accounted for 23.7 percent with 59,777 rooms.
Oberoi completes reconstruction; plans growth
India-based luxury chain Oberoi Hotels & Resorts has completed the US$45-million reconstruction of the terrorist-damaged Mumbai Oberoi—and now the company has set its eyes on Asia and beyond.
The company has plans for growth in Asia, the Middle East and in international gateways, according to executives. The company also aims to raise its profile in North America and has restructured its sales-and-marketing organization in North America.
Currently, the hotel operates 28 hotels and three cruise ships in five countries under the luxury Oberoi and Trident brands. Oberoi currently has seven properties under development in the Gulf, totaling 1,375 rooms.
Last year, Oberoi hired Liam Lambert from Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group to serve as president of the company. Lambert said North America is the second largest market for Oberoi’s city hotels and “the most important market for our leisure hotels in India.”
Hong Leong Group plans growth
Hong Leong Group will create a luxury hotel chain in China, with at least 10 Guoman Hotels to open during the next five years. According to Bernama.com, Violet Lee, group managing director of Guocoland China, HLG's property investment arm, told reporters the company would bring the unique English hospitality to the market long dominated by hotel chains from the United States.
"With Guoman's 30-year history in hospitality management and its uniqueness in services, I am confident of the group's future in the China market," she said.
Report: JAL Hotels is sold
According to Japan Today, Japan Airlines Corporation plans to sell its hotel operator JAL Hotels Company to the operator of Hotel Okura. Hotel Okura Tokyo Company aims to further expand its business through the acquisition of JAL Hotels.
In separate news, JAL Hotels Company Limited will open two Nikko Hotels properties in Suzhou, China. The first is currently under construction in a suburb of Suzhou and will open in October of 2010. The second will be part of a five star hotel in the center of Suzhou and will open in 2013. The two new hotels will bring the number of Nikko Hotels properties in China to 11. JAL Hotels also plans to open four more locations, in Shanghai, Wuzi, Guangzhou and Xiamen, all before 2012.
Tune, Plato Capital joins forces
Tune Hotels.com entered into a joint venture with Singapore-based Plato Capital Limited to develop and operate Tune Hotels throughout key countries in Southeast Asia, Australia and the United Kingdom.
The 50/50 MYR100 million (US$30.35 million) partnership with Plato intends to have a portfolio of up to 10 operational assets by 2013, said Tune Hotels.com in a statement yesterday.
The joint venture represents Plato’s entry into the leisure and hospitality sector, a growth area the company is actively seeking greater exposure.
IGB looks for hotel expansion
Malaysia Property News reports that IGB Corp Bhd plans to focus more on its hotel and property investment divisions to drive its growth and expansion as both businesses offer better gains, said group managing director Robert Tan Chung Meng.
“Our offices under the property investment division provide strong recurring income to the group and the hotel’s expansion and acquisitions are much easier as less hassle is involved,” he said.
Tan said the group was aggressively looking to build hotels and acquire existing hotels locally and in countries such as China, Japan and Indochina.
This and that…
Carlson Hotels and SM Investments Corporation announced the first Radisson Blu hotel in Asia Pacific. The Radisson Blu Hotel Cebu in the Philippines is expected to open in September 2010. The 400-room hotel is owned by SM Investments.
Choice Hotels Australasia is adding four new properties in New Zealand, including its first in Nelson and Timaru. Two of the new properties are located in Christchurch—The Marque Hotel Christchurch-Clarion Collection (171 rooms) and the Econo Lodge Canterbury Court (20 ground-floor studio and two-bedroom units). In Nelson, the newest hotel is the Quality Hotel Leisure Lodge with 76 studio, one- and two-bedroom suites and apartments. Choice Hotels also added the Comfort Hotel Benvenue in Timaru. The hotel has 26 studios, two one-bedroom and one two-bedroom rooms, a VIP suite and the Residence.
InterContinental Hotels Group broke ground on the InterContinental Resort Lhasa Paradise in Tibet, which will be the brand's largest and highest-altitude hotel. Owned by the Chengdu Exhibition and Travel Group, the InterContinental Resort Lhasa Paradise will open in the first quarter of 2012. Situated in Lhasa's newly developed business center and only a few kilometers away from the Potala Palace, the 2,000-room property will be the largest hotel in Tibet.
Marriott International opened the Suzhou Marriott Hotel in China. The 302-room Suzhou hotel is owned by Suzhou New Development Investment Company Limited and managed by Marriott. The 50-story building is part hotel, part international office building and part executive apartment. Marriott signed management agreements for seven additional hotels in China and plans to double its presence in the country in about five years. The company expects to have 60 hotels open across six brands by year-end 2010.
Accor signed a deal to manage two luxury hotels to be built at a combined cost of US$68 million in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Accor signed the agreement with the Que Huong-Liberty Joint Stock Company to operate the Novotel Saigon Center and the Pullman Hotel.
Carlson Hotels signed agreements to open 75 Radisson, Country Inns & Suites by Carlson, Park Inn and Park Plaza hotels in the region by 2013.