Newsletter
Friday, June 11, 2021

AP COVID Hospitality Bulletin Asia Pacific - June 2021

by
Eunice Wong

Transactions that matter.

1. KAI Nagato, Japan

  • Opened in March 2020, NAI Kagato is an upscale boutique hot spring ryokan located in Yamaguchi Prefecture with 40 rooms. As the 16th property under the KAI brand, the property is part of a revitalization plan formulated by the Hoshino Resorts Group to create an attractive hot spring town center with other 10 hot spring ryokans in the neighborhood. The group is continuing to collaborate with Nagato City and local business owners to further enhance and promote the Nagato Yumoto Onsen town. 
  • Hoshino Resorts REIT intends and invests in the properties under the three main brands of “HOSHINOYA,” “Hoshino Resorts KAI” and “Hoshino Resorts RISONARE” operated by the Hoshino Resorts Group. 
  • The Hoshino Resorts Group plans to acquire the shares of Nagato Hotel Management Co., Ltd., which is the management company of KAI Nagato, to make it its wholly owned subsidiary promptly after the acquisition.

2. Ramada Hotel & Suites Sydney Cabramatta, Australia

  • Located in Fairfield Sydney, the 81-room hotel features a public bar, outdoor sports lounge, restaurant and gaming room with 25 machines as well as meeting space. The hotel is 27 kilometres from Sydney’s CBD and a 30-minute drive from Sydney airport.
  • Previously known as the Ibis Styles Sydney Lansvale, the hotel was rebranded as the Ramada Hotel and Suites Sydney Cabramatta in 2018 as part of a franchise agreement between Wyndham and Z Hotels. The hotel was the first Ramada hotel in Sydney at the time of opening in 2018.
  • Lewis Hotels hold a large portfolio of Sydney pubs, and this acquisition shows a diversification into hotel market and a new direction for the family business.

3. Millennium Seoul Hilton, Korea

  • Located in the heart of Seoul, the Millennium Seoul Hilton offers 680 room and 29 suites with sweeping city or mountain views.
  • The 22-storey hotel with 700 rooms first opened in 1983 under the Hilton brand. CDL subsequently had then acquired the property in 1999. The hotel later entered into a management agreement with Millennium in 2004. IGIS as the new owner of the building has announced plans to renovate the hotel into an office building after the takeover. 
Source: AP Research

COVID News that matter.

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Updates on key countries:

China

  • China’s industrial and trade centre as well as the most populous city that is home to approximately 19 million people in the Guangdong province – Guangzhou has reported a spike in infections starting late May. The cluster is the first community outbreak in China of the highly transmissible Delta variant. Since it was first detected in October 2020, the variant has quickly spread to more than 62 countries and regions across the world. Started in late May, the city implemented mass testing for all 11 districts in Guangzhou followed with a quasi-lockdown.
  • As of May 31, Guangzhou administered more than 13 million vaccinations and approximately 3.3 million people in the city are fully vaccinated. The Guangzhou outbreak will serve as a test for the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines made in China. Since some patients in Guangzhou had already gotten the first shot, it indicates that the vaccine may not protect against the Delta variant, according to the Chief Infectious Diseases expert working in Guangzhou No. 8 People's Hospital. 
  • As of 8 June, Guangzhou announced the temporary closure of cinemas, theaters, KTVs, internet cafes and other entertainment venues due to surging confirmed cases recording a new high over the first week of June. 


Japan

  • Japan's borders are currently still closed to foreign visitors. In order to gradually resume the country’s leisure and business travel sector, Japan announced plans to issue vaccination certificates for citizens traveling abroad this summer. The certificates will kick off with a paper version and later with a smartphone solution based on the European Union’s Digital COVID Certificate that was recently approved in the EU parliament in May. On top of vaccine verification, the app will also include results from PCR and antigen tests. 
  • Despite the quadrupled vaccine distribution in the past week in June, less than 10% of Japanese residents are only partially vaccinated due to early vaccine supplies issue. The slow-moving vaccination rollout has led to concerns voiced by health officials in Japan regarding the safety during the Olympics that will kick start at the beginning of July. Despite the situation, the event organizing committee insists that the games will proceed as scheduled.

Thailand

  • Known as the Phuket Tourism Sandbox model, the island of Phuket will re-open to fully vaccinated visitors in three weeks from 10 June. No quarantine will be needed for all travelers with a vaccine proof. According to the Bangkok Post, 60% of the local population has received one dose of the vaccine with a goal to at least fully vaccinate 70% of its population by 1 July. As a tourism experiment, the Tourism Authority of Thailand hopes to extend the quarantine-free policy to Bangkok, Koh Samui, and the northern city of Chang Mai in October if the Sandbox Model proves itself to be safe and successful. The ultimate goal is to reopen the whole country by January 2022 for fully vaccinated travelers.
  • The tourism board proposed discounting hotel room rates in Phuket to $1 as part of a campaign named “One-night, one-dollar.” The proposal invites hotels to participate in the campaign to lower room rates for rooms that were selling for between $32 and $96 per night during pre-COVID to entice foreign travelers. The proposal is expected to be advanced to the Thai cabinet for approval by the end of June.
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