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Global hotel pulse: Asia/Pacific news

ADR continues to fall

Average daily rate in the Asia/Pacific region continued to trend downward, and now demand has softened as well.

Hotels in the Asia/Pacific region experienced mixed results in the three key performance metrics during December 2013 when reported in U.S. dollars, according to data compiled by STR Global.

The region’s occupancy for December remained flat at 66.3%; its ADR dropped 3.7% to $125.91; and its revenue per available room was down 3.7% to $83.46.

“As with regional economic growth, hotel performance in Asia/Pacific varied widely by country and market through a variety of reasons, including: oversupply, regulatory challenges, political uncertainty, increased demand and financial resurgence,” said Jesper Palmqvist, area director for Asia/Pacific at STR Global. “South Korea, China and India generally faced tough tasks to follow up from strong performances in 2012 whereas Thailand, Japan and Australia saw growth across all metrics for 2013.”

Highlights from key market performers for December 2013 in local currency (year-over-year comparisons):
• Mumbai, India, led occupancy growth, rising 10.3% to 74%.
• Bangkok fell 11.7% in occupancy to 67%, posting the largest decrease in that metric.
• Bali, Indonesia, and Jakarta, Indonesia, experienced ADR increases of more than 15%.

Copycat brands in China

Once limited to retail outlets and street-side vendors, China’s counterfeit conundrum has spread to the world of hospitality as aspirational owners mimic the industry’s most iconic brands, according to a report by HNN correspondent Helena Iveson.

But such imitation, much to the surprise of Western audiences, is often the result of admiration—not malice.

The owners of these individual properties “aspire for greater glory,” said Daniel Voellm, managing partner of hospitality consultants HVS in Hong Kong. “It is important to understand that intellectual property rights are seen in a very different context in Chinese culture where imitation or ‘copying’ is one of the highest honors bestowed on the creator.”

China’s attractive southern coast

China has become the hotel feeder market of all feeder markets and is now satisfying appetites in well-established southern coastal destinations such as Hong Kong and driving a development boom in hot new destinations such as the tropical resort of Hainan, according to a report by HNN contributor John Buchanan.

Although it has been a dynamic, healthy international destination for decades, much of Hong Kong’s more recent growth has been fueled by business and leisure travel from within China, as well as from across Asia.

While Hong Kong has been putting up impressive numbers, an almost unprecedented buzz has been building for the tropical resort of Hainan, the southernmost and smallest Chinese province highlighted by the Sanya and Haikou cities. Boasting a tropical climate and unspoiled beaches, Hainan has been dubbed “the Hawaii of China.”

StayWell executing expansion strategy

As CEO and managing director of StayWell Hospitality Group, an Australian-based hotel management group, Simon Wan has helped the company secure roughly 35 management agreements since the company’s inception and hopes to grow the portfolio to between 70 and 100 hotels over the next three to four years, according a report from HNN’s Samantha Worgull.

“We are constantly looking for growth opportunities, but that will be achieved by a combination of organic growth or portfolio acquisitions,” Wan said, adding that the company is in discussions to acquire a seven-hotel portfolio from a small hotel company in the Middle East.

The group, which operates the Park Regis and Leisure Inn brands, recently signed a five-hotel management agreement in New Zealand with global hotel investor CP Group, a partnership that Wan said took about two years to cultivate.

Melia announces China project

Meliá Hotels International plans to open two new hotels in Zhengzhou, China. Innside by Meliá will open in June 2015, and Meliá Zhengzhou will open its doors in January 2016. Zhengzhou, the capital and largest city of Henan province in north-central China, is the political, economic and technological hub of the province, according to a news release from Meliá.

The Spanish hotel company has more than 350 hotels in its portfolio.

The Zhengzhou hotels are in a complex of three buildings located in the new business district of Zhengzhou, one for the Innside hotel and the other two devoted to the Meliá hotel. Together, they will bring 933 rooms and meetings facilities.

The Meliá Hotels & Resorts brand has more than 90 hotels located in major cities and resort destinations in the world, from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Atlanta.

Hilton Garden Inn expands in China

The Hilton Garden Inn Shenzhen Bao’an opened in January in the center of Bao’an District in Shenzhen, according to a news release from Hilton Worldwide Holdings.

Hilton Garden Inn now has 582 hotels in 19 countries.

In Shenzhen, the 11-story hotel features 213 guestrooms and 550 square meters of functional space. Hilton Garden Inn Shenzhen Bao’an is operated by Hilton Worldwide and owned by Shenzhen Warmsun Property Company Limited.

Holiday Inn busy in West Bengal

InterContinental Hotels Group has partnered with real estate firm Jain Group to bring Holiday Inn to West Bengal. Hotels will be developed in Kolkata, Siliguri and Durgapur within the next two to three years, according to a news release.

The Holiday Inn brand family portfolio represents more than 85% of IHG’s growth in India.

Kyoto putting on the Ritz

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and Sekisui House Limited, one of Japan’s leading property developers, opened The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto in Japan.

Located in the heart of a city famed for its Zen temples, palaces and gardens, the riverside resort brings the unsurpassed elegance and renowned service of The Ritz-Carlton to Kyoto, while honoring the cultural heritage of the city through design.


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