Thursday, February 8, 2024

AP Hospitality Bulletin Asia Pacific - February 2024

Anchi LIU

Deal Watch

  • It is reported by Bloomberg that Hilton is in talks to acquire Graduate Hotels, which is currently owned by US-based AJ Capital Partners. As of November, there were a total of 37 Graduate Hotels, including four in the pipeline. The properties are usually in university-anchored towns in the U.S., except two in U.K. Hilton currently offers 18 brands across markets, including the latest lifestyle brand, Tempo by Hilton, launched in 2020.
  • Singapore's sovereign fund GIC is looking for a buyer for its 1,053-key Hilton Fukuoka Sea Hawk in Japan for an asking price of 85 billion to 90 billion Yen (US$570-610 million) or per key value up to 85.5 million Yen (US$576,000). Opened in 1995, the property was sold to GIC in 2007 as part of its acquisition of Hawks Town. The hotel remained GIC's last asset of Hawks Town after divestment of the mall in 2015 and stadium in 2012. However, while Japan is all the rage, investors might be cautious for an aggressive bid due to the hotel's age.

Deal that matters.

  • Travel + Leisure Co., formally Wyndham Destinations, announced the acquisition of Accor Vacation Club for US$48.4 million. The addition of Accor Vacation Club would increase Travel + Leisure Co’s membership to more than 100,000 in the Asia Pacific region and grows its club resort count to 77. The existing resorts under Accor Vacation Club are located in Australia, New Zealand, and Indonesia, including Novotel Bali Nusa Dua and Peppers Manly Beach.  

Transactions that matter.

1. Okinawa Prince Hotel Ocean View Ginowan, Japan

  • KDX Realty Investment Corporation acquired the trust beneficiary rights to the 340-key Okinawa Prince Hotel Ocean View Ginowan for 22 billion Yen (US$150 million) from a related party to Kenedix. Opened in 2022, the property sits within a short walk to the Okinawa Convention Centre and features an infinity pool overlooking East China Sea. After the sale completes, Seibu Prince Hotel would lease the hotel under 20-year, fixed-term lease with a fixed, variable, and incentive rent. In view of the tourism recovery in Okinawa, the buyer is optimistic about the upside of the performance in the long term.
  • The sale price indicates a per key value of 64.7 million Yen, or US$441,000. The property is set to be acquired at 11.6% discount to appraisal value under the ongoing recovery in Okinawa market. In 2023, Invincible REIT paid 101.2 million Yen per key for the Fusaki Beach Resort Hotel & Villas on Ishigaki Island in Okinawa.

2. The Sheung Wan by Ovolo, Hong Kong

  • A joint venture formed by Dash Living and PGIM Real Estate acquired the 58-key The Sheung Wan by Ovolo, which was previously co-managed by Ovolo and Dash Living since March 2021, for HK$320 million (US$ 41 million) or HK$5.5 million (US$732,000). Located a short walk from Sheung Wan MTR station, the property features a restaurant, a gym and self-service laundry facilities at the lower floors, and the guestrooms span 5th through 24th floor.
  • PGIM Real Estate has been betting on hospitality assets in Hong Kong, including two previous hotel acquisitions, 148-key Travelodge Central Hollywood Road for US$738,000 per key and 435-key Rosedale Hotel for US$411,000 per key. Both deals were partnered with co-living operators, Dash Living and Weave Living, respectively, and repurposed as co-living facilities despite the recovery of Hong Kong’s tourism market.
  • Weave Living partnered up with BlackRock to acquire the 154-key Citadines Mount Sophia for SG$148 million (US$110 million) or SG$961,000 (US$717,000) per key from CapitaLand Ascott Trust (CLAS). Located centrally in Singapore, the property is the residential component of the Wilkie Edge, which also houses retail and office components.

3. Courtyard by Marriott Penang, Malaysia

  • Tropicana divested its 199-key Courtyard by Marriott Penang for RM165 million (US$36 million) or US$180,000 per key to a direct subsidiary of IOI Properties. The transaction is expected to generate a cash inflow of RM80.8 million for Tropicana, contributing to a reduction in net gearing and an improvement in its financial position.
  • In December last year, Tropicana also divested its 150-key W Kuala Lumpur to IOI Properties for RM270 million (US$57 million) cash, or RM1.8 million (US$378,200) per key. The property was sold slightly higher than its book value of RM265 million as of the end of 2022, while local news firstly reported sales in discussion in 2016.
Source: RCA

News that matters.


  • International visitor arrivals to Indonesia reached 11.6 million in 2023, approximately 72.5% of the levels in 2019. The number surpassed the targets of 7.4 million and 8.5 million set by the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry. Tourists from Malaysia (18%), Singapore (16%), and Australia (12%) dominated the inbound tourism, and China only accounted for 6.6% of total arrivals, the fourth largest source market.
  • The government aims to reach 17 million international visitors to Indonesia with revenue of Rp 200 trillion ($12.9 billion) in 2024, after a robust recovery in 2023. At the same time, the government plans to extend its visa-free policy to visitors from 20 countries and regions, including Australia, China, India, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, New Zealand, and a number of other countries in the Middle East and Europe. It is expected that visitors from these countries will spend $5,000 during their stay, and the total additional revenue of $20–25 billion will come along with the new policy in the long term.


  • Over 28 million international visitors to Thailand were recorded in 2023, reaching 72.8% recovery of pre-pandemic levels in 2019. Malaysia (16%), China (13%), and Korea (6%) were the top three feeder markets in 2023, while the number of Chinese visitors failed to reach the initial target of 4.4 million. After PM Srettha Thavisin took office in August 2023, the government waived visas for travellers from China, Russia, Kazakhstan, India, and Taiwan and made efforts to revive the tourism industry after the pandemic.
  • In 2024, the government expects the recovery to reach 35 million international visitors, including 8.2 million from China and 2.5 trillion baht in international tourism revenue. Thailand and China agreed on a bilateral deal to waive visa requirements starting next month, and it is expected to further boost Thailand's tourism.


  • Vietnam welcomed 12.6 million international visitors in 2023, approximately 70% of the pre-pandemic levels recorded in 2019. South Korea remained the largest feeder market, accounting for 29%, followed by mainland China (13%) and Taiwan (7%). While the annual visitor number surpassed the initial target of 8 million set at the beginning of 2023, international visitors to Vietnam remained limited due to its visa restrictions. As of February, only citizens from 13 countries, including Russia and Korea, are exempt from the visa requirement.
  • In 2024, Vietnam is confident of setting its goal of 17–18 million international visitor arrivals as well as 110 million domestic visitors. The total revenue from tourism is expected to reach VNĐ840 trillion (US$34.4 billion) at the same time. The recovery is likely to align with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation's (UNWTO) estimate that international tourism will return to pre-pandemic levels by 2024.

Tourism Recovery in Asia Pacific

Due to the later reopening of borders in Asia Pacific, the tourism recovery of key countries ranged from the low fifties to the high seventies, while monthly visitor arrivals to Japan already surpassed pre-pandemic figures for three consecutive months. Hong Kong, on the other hand, also reported a strong recovery in December compared to the levels of 2019. However, it’s still far behind its peak in 2018.

Source: AP Hospitality Advisors
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