Analysis for Asia
Asia Pacific international travel and tourism remains in the doldrums.
While the region had initial been expected to be one of the fastest to recover during 2021, the combination of disparate national responses to COVID-19, long border closures and other restrictions, and the imposition of burdensome travel requirements, have meant that international tourism in the Asia Pacific has remained at a near standstill.
The region’s three largest outbound travel markets – China, Japan and South Korea – have been among the slowest major markets to recover.
At the same time, some key inbound tourism markets continue to suffer from reduced travel from their historical source markets in Europe, North America and Oceania. Thanks to heightened concerns around health risks and travel disruptions, travellers in these markets are opting for travel closer to home.
Accor is to deploy an “aggressive expansion effort” in China using the Movenpick brand. In its most significant move with the brand since its 2018 purchase, Accor has signed a master franchise agreement with Sunmei Digital Intelligence Group to open more than 400 Movenpick properties across China from 2023, the same year the brand celebrates its 75th anniversary.
As Asia Pacific reopens, Asian travellers are displaying a strong appetite for international travel despite residual travel anxieties, according to new research produced for traveller experience specialist Collinson. The findings, based on a survey by data collection agency Lucid, indicates a marginal improvement from the prior year in terms of the percentage of travellers undertaking frequent trips.
Jakarta celebrates new arrivals – Park Hyatt debuts in Indonesia and Movenpick adds airport property
Jakarta, Indonesia's massive capital, sits on the northwest coast of the island of Java. A historic mix of cultures – Javanese, Malay, Chinese, Arab, Indian and European – has influenced its architecture, language and cuisine and it remains a popular business and leisure destination for travellers.
IHG Hotels & Resorts will launch its popular voco Hotels brand in Japan for the first time, following the signing of a management agreement with NTT Urban Development Corporation that will see it open the flagship voco Osaka Central in 2023. As part of the planned growth of its global luxury and lifestyle portfolio in 2022 it will also bring the InterContinental brand to Penang, Malaysia and Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts will expand into Malaysia with the opening in 2024 of the Waldorf Astoria Kuala Lumpur. The property in the heart of the city’s famed Bukit Bintang hub will be developed and owned by Tradewinds Corporation Berhad and managed by Hilton.
Accor has expanded the footprint of its bespoke-designed, boutique collection brand MGallery with the opening of a new flagship property in Hong Kong. The new Silveri Hong Kong – MGallery is labelled as a “chic, eco-friendly urban resort hotel styled after a modern manor house” and is located in Tung Chung, Lantau Island.
Among key hotel markets in the Asia Pacific region, Sydney’s gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) level came closest to its 2019 comparable, according to STR‘s April 2022 P&L data release. After coming in at just 51% of 2019 GOPPAR levels in Mar-2022, Sydney posted an April GOPPAR of USD52.08, which was 82% of the pre-pandemic comparable.
Accor has confirmed it will partner with real estate company Nomura Real Estate Development Co to introduce the luxury Fairmont brand to the Japanese market. The new Fairmont Tokyo is due to open in 2025 on the upper floors of the South Tower of the Shibaura Project, part of a development designed under the National Strategic Special Zone Program.
Inflation rises to levels not seen for decades, but China and Japan are laggards in the global surge
Inflation has risen to levels not seen for decades, and this in a rather synchronised and global fashion, pushed up notably by higher energy and food prices. The result is a widespread tightening of monetary policy with central banks taking action largely in unison.
Consumers now face “the double whammy of weakening purchasing power and higher interest payments on mortgages and credit cards,” warns airline trade body International Air Transport Association (IATA), which it says, “could spell trouble” for the aviation and travel sectors.