HVS Asia Pacific Hospitality Newsletter – Week Ending 6 December 2019

Wyndham Destinations Asia Pacific Acquires Peppers Airlie Beach in Whitsunday Coast, Australia

Australia-based Wyndham Destinations Asia Pacific (“Wyndham“) has announced the purchase of the majority freehold interest in 93-key Peppers Airlie Beach in Whitsunday Coast, Queensland, Australia. The transaction price is believed to be between AUD15 and AUD20 million. Subsequent to the transaction, Wyndham will take control of 59 of the 106 strata apartments while the rest will be held in private ownership. As part of the acquisition, Wyndham will also own and operate the onsite food and beverage and conferencing facilities. The property will be rebranded as Club Wyndham Airlie Beach Whitsundays and will be available for almost 60,000 Club Wyndham time owners. The addition of Peppers Airlie Beach takes the Wyndham managed resort portfolio to 70 properties across Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Indonesia, Thailand, Hawaii, Europe and Japan.

Royal Caribbean Seals Fly-cruise Partnership with Singapore Tourism Board and Changi Airport

US-based Royal Caribbean International (“Royal Caribbean“) has entered into a new multimillion-dollar marketing partnership with Singapore Tourism Board and Changi Airport Group (“CAG”) to promote fly-cruises. The five-year tripartite collaboration is expected to attract 623,000 international fly-cruise visitors to Singapore and generate over SGD430 million in tourism receipts between end-2019 and 2024. The partnership targets key regional markets including China, India, Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as long-haul markets like Australia, the UK, and the US. In a bid to support fly-cruises in Singapore, CAG has launched a seamless intermodal transfer service for passengers flying into Singapore and sailing out on cruise lines and ferries. Royal Caribbean has also deployed the Quantum of the Seas after her multimillion-dollar refurbishment for her six-month homeporting season in Singapore. New amenities onboard the refurbished Quantum of the Seas include an escape room and glow-in-the-dark laser tag. The Quantum class ship is expecting to carry 150,000 overseas and local guests.

South Kalimantan Announces New Infrastructure Developments

A series of infrastructure enhancement projects have been introduced across South Kalimantan, Indonesia, in a bid to increase its destination attractiveness. With the expanded 77,569-square-metre terminal and upgraded facilities at Syamsudin Noor Airport in Banjarmasin, the airport will be able to accommodate seven million passengers a year, a fivefold increase from the capacity of the old terminal. It also looks to serve international routes after receiving its international airport status, connecting the province with neighbouring countries, especially Malaysia, Brunei, and Thailand. According to Dahnial Kifli, the head of the province’s tourism agency in Jakarta, the local government will construct Samudra port in Tanah Bambu regency to improve accessibility to North Penajem Paser and Kutai Kartanegara, two regencies in East Kalimantan that have been named as potential sites of Indonesia‘s new capital. South Kalimantan vice governor, Rudy Resnawan, also added that South Kalimantan will seek opportunities to turn former mining sites into tourist destinations. In addition to infrastructure projects, there will be greater promotion efforts and increase in provision of incentives and favourable licensing processes to entice investors.

Nepal Developing a New Airport to Promote Tourism

Nepal is developing a new airport near Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha, with the support of Asian Development Bank (ADB). The Gautam Buddha International Airport, which is expected to be operational by March 2020, is being developed at an investment of USD70 million under ADB’s South Asia Tourism Infrastructure Development Project. Situated in Rupandehi district, approximately 280 kilometres from Kathmandu, the upcoming airport is anticipated to function as a second gateway to the country. The new airport is expected to promote religious tourism in the country by attracting Buddhist tourists from countries such as India, Bhutan and Sri Lanka, among others. In addition, the new development aims to diversify tourism to other parts of the country. India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Cambodia have expressed interest in starting airline operations from the upcoming airport.

Chinese Star-Rated Hotels Report Average Occupancy Rate of 53.05% in H1 2019

According to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the number of Chinese star-rated hotels amounted to 10,284, including 846 five-star hotels, 2,542 four-star hotels, 4,961 three-star hotels, 1,862 two-star hotels and 73 one-star hotels, as of 30 June 2019. All the star-rated hotels generated total revenue of approximately RMB93.813 billion in the first half of this year. Among the earnings, food beverage, room and other incomes constituted RMB38.215 billion, RMB42.669 billion and RMB12.929 billion, accounting for 40.74%, 45.48% and 13.78% of the total revenue, respectively. In the first six months of 2019, the average room rate of all star-rated hotels was RMB354.59 per room night, up by 2.45% year-on-year (y-o-y); the average occupancy rate was 53.05%, down by 0.92% y-o-y; revenue per available room was RMB188.11, up by 3.10% y-o-y; and average operating income per room was RMB33,451.46, up by 0.65% y-o-y.