Analysis for Asia
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.
Marriott International has confirmed two key new developments among its portfolio with an agreement with East Japan Railway Company to bring the JW Marriott brand to Tokyo, Japan, and the opening of AC Hotel by Marriott Seoul Gangnam, marking the brand’s debut in South Korea.
The huge size of China’s domestic market and the fast-expanding outbound international flows pre-pandemic meant that when it comes to travel, when China sneezes the rest of the world catches a cold. Now, as parts of Asia start following the rest of the world out of the border restrictions that weighed heavily on international travel over the past couple of years, China’s strong preventive action to continue to limit the spread of COVID-19 nationally, still limits regional and global recovery figures.
Serviced apartment group Ascott Limited has set an ambitious target to open 150 additional properties under its co-living lyf brand by 2030, adding over 30,000 units to its portfolio before the end of the decade. The brand, pronounced ‘life’ and standing for ‘live your freedom’ is a lodging concept designed for next-generation guests with apartments, social spaces and experiential programmes designed for guests to “forge connections and nurture a strong sense of community”.
Almost all countries across Southeast Asia have now started to remove their travel restrictions and are reopening their borders to international arrivals. This marks an important step in the recovery process and in particular rejuvenating economies that rely on visitor expenditure. Data from Travelport for 1Q 2022 clearly shows the easing of restrictions is influencing international demand for travel to Southeast Asia.