AP Hospitality Bulletin Asia Pacific - June 2023
New AP Publication:Hotel Operator Guide 2023 – 10th Edition
This May, the Annual Asia Pacific Hotel Operator Guide (HOG) welcomed its 10thanniversary. This year, HOG features 49 operators capturing just shy of 1.6 million existing and over one million pipeline rooms spread across 13,400 properties. Details of HOG and the excerpt of the publication can be found here.
Transactions that matter
1. Former Hiyori Hotel Tokyo Ginza East, Japan
- Blackstone Group announced its latest acquisition in the Japanese hotel sector, adding a property in Tokyo. Located near Ginza and Tsukiji, the property was previously operated as Hiyori Hotel Tokyo Ginza East within a short walking distance to Takaracho Station. The property is now undergoing renovations and is set to reopen as ibis Styles Tokyo Ginza East in June.
- Together with two other luxury hotels in Kansai, 190-key Courtyard by Marriott Osaka Hommachi and 203-key Chapter Kyoto Tribute Portfolio Hotel, the recent hotel acquisition from Sun Frontier Fudosan is estimated to be approximately JPY 26 billion (USD 190 million).
2. Adelphi Hotel, Melbourne, Australia
- Located in East Melbourne, the 34-room Adelphi Hotel was sold to Virtical Pty Ltd at reportedly AUD 25 million (USD 17 million) or AUD 735,000 (USD 492,000) per key. The property features a rooftop pool with a bar, a cocktail bar, a boardroom and a food & beverage outlet leased to third-party management.
- The new owners are in discussion with architects and designers about renovating the property and expanding the existing facilities. With the great reputation of the property and convenient location, the new owners aim to turn the property into a focal point in the CBD area with great dining options. It is not disclosed if operators will be appointed in the future.
Hong Kong-based Tang family put two more hotel properties in the market in May, including the 598-key Hotel COZi Harbour View in Kwun Tong and 170-key Hotel Ease Access in Tsuen Wan for a total of HKD 2.8 billion (USD 360 million). Located in the new CBD, Hotel COZi Harbour View is reported to have an occupancy rate of 95% and ADR of HKD 500 in March. The property has an estimated value of HKD 2.3 billion (USD 290 million) or HKD 3.85 million (USD 491,000) per key. While it was rumoured that co-living operator, Weave, was taking over the property in Kwun Tong last year, the transaction seemed to fall through in the end. In early June, another hotel property owned by Tang family, 119-room Hotel Ease Access in Lai Chi Kok is now listed at HKD 410 million (USD 52 million) or HKD 3.4 million (USD 439,000) per key. The project in Lai Chi Kok was formally a commercial building and reopened after rennovations in 2022.
News that matters.
- Short-term overseas arrivals to Australia reached over 6.1 million in March, approximately 73% of the pre-pandemic figure. The largest feeder market, New Zealand, accounted for 15% of the total short-term visitors, followed by the UK (12%) and the USA (10%). In terms of territories of stay, New South Wales and Victoria are most popular among short-term overseas visitors.
- The absence of Chinese tourists continues despite reopened borders. Insufficient flights between two countries, the shortage of Chinese-speaking tour guides, and higher travel costs are likely to delay the return of Chinese tourists. Additionally, government policy also impacts Chinese outbound travel, as Australia is not included in the list of 60 approved destinations for outbound group travel.
- In the first four months of 2023, Laos welcomed more than 1.1 million visitors, according to data released by the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism. Earlier this year, the Ministry set an annual goal to attract at least 1.4 million foreign visitors, roughly 30% of the figure in 2019. The data also revealed that Thailand (39%), Vietnam (22%), and China (20%) were the top three feeder markets, showing similar trends to the pre-pandemic era. Key tourism destinations, such as Luang Prabang, are seeing growing numbers of tourists from both domestic and international markets.
- As one of the six priorities in Laos' socio-economic development plan, Laos’ government continued its various promotional events in key markets, particularly China. The China-Laos Railway connecting Kunming and Vientiane has greatly facilitated travel, further supported by an increased number of flights.
- Myanmar’s tourism industry was booming before the pandemic, but the country now faces challenges to bringing back tourists due to the pandemic and the coup in 2021. In the past, foreign tourists flocked to Bagan’s ancient temples and pagodas and Inle Lake. However, the tourism business is now reliant on domestic tourists. Hotels in tourist destinations also lower the room rate to attract domestic tourists.
- The government is reported to have plans to bring back foreign tourists, especially from China - its largest feeder market before the pandemic. Due to high inflation and limited growth in Myanmar, the country is keen to attract foreign tourists.
Recovery in Key Markets
Led by destinations in Southeast Asia, tourism in the region showed a strong recovery. Macau and Hong Kong showed the greatest month-on-month growth because of the increasing number of travellers from mainland China. However, Korea is the only nation that recorded a recovery below 50% in spite of an 11% month-on-month growth. (Note: April data from Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan were not available when the newsletter was prepared.)