Industry Update
Press Release31 August 2020

HVS Asia Pacific Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 28 August 2020

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Singapore to Ease Travel Restrictions From 1 September

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On 21 August 2020, Singapore Health Minister Gan Kim Yong has announced that general travel to Brunei and New Zealand will be allowed from 1 September 2020. Nonetheless, he has emphasized that Singaporeans should exercise vigilance, and continue to observe the safe distancing rules and travel requirements. Travellers who have remained in Brunei or New Zealand for the past consecutive 14 days prior to their visit to Singapore will not have to serve a stay-home notice upon arrival. However, they are required to undergo a test at the airport and will be allowed to go about their activities after receiving a negative test result. In addition, they will also need to apply for an Air Travel Pass between seven and 30 days before their intended date of arrival. Meanwhile, students studying overseas at institutions which do not offer distance learning will also be allowed to travel from 1 September 2020. The stay-home notice period for travellers from low-risk places such as Australia (excluding Victoria state), Macau, mainland China, Taiwan, Vietnam and Malaysia will be shortened from the current 14 days to seven days, which can be served at their place of residence or hotels instead of dedicated facilities from 1 September 2020.

Japan and Myanmar Agree to Reopen Borders for Long-term Residents

On 24 August 2020, Toshimitsu Motegi, Foreign Minister of Japan, and Myanmar leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, agreed to reopen borders for expatriates and other long-term residents as soon as early September, relaxing travel restrictions that were imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Both parties have also confirmed during the meeting that talks would be sped up to facilitate short-term business travel while taking precautions to curb the spread of the virus. Japan has launched talks with 16 economies, including Myanmar, to resume travel in tandem with the restart of domestic socioeconomic activities. Besides Myanmar, Japan agreed with Cambodia and Laos over the weekend and with Singapore and Malaysia earlier this month to allow reciprocal travel of long-term residents as early as September. Under the arrangements, long-term residents can travel on the condition that they stay at home or at a designated place for 14 days after arrival and take precautions to reduce the risk of infection. Motegi also pledged loans of JPY30 billion (USD283 million) to the Myanmar government as emergency budget support and JPY15 billion to support small and medium-sized firms. The funds came on top of virus-related aid worth over USD30 million that Japan has administered to Myanmar.

Anantara to Rebrand Luxury Resort in Seychelles

Thailand-based Minor Hotels Group has signed a deal to rebrand the Maia Luxury Resort & Spa in Seychelles as the Anantara Maia Seychelles Villas, from September 2020. The resort is located on Mahé, the largest of Seychelles' islands and a short drive from the international airport. Situated between the island's unique granite rocks and Anse Louis Beach, the resort offers 30 secluded private villas, each with a dedicated villa host available 24-hours a day for the duration of the stay. The villas are approximately 250 square-metres in size. Located in the resort's lush gardens, Anantara Spa will be home to three open-air treatment rooms and will offer a wide range of new activities with a dedicated wellness focus for the guests. Bespoke dining options will also be available to the guests. Additional resort facilities include an onsite restaurant, a pool bar, a wine boutique, a main resort swimming pool, a fully-equipped fitness centre, paddle boarding, snorkelling and kayaking. Curation of tours
beyond the resort will also be available. Anantara Maia Seychelles Villas will be the brand's first property in Seychelles and the seventh in the Indian Ocean, joining the two resorts in Sri Lanka, one in Mauritius and three in the Maldives.

New Delhi to Reopen Hotels and Weekly Markets

On 19 August 2020, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority ("DDMA") has approved hotels, restaurants and weekly markets in the city to reopen on a trial basis after being shut for almost five months due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Despite approval, hotels and weekly markets will not open from Thursday as they have to wait for DDMA's order. Detailed standard operating procedures ("SoPs") for the weekly market will be prepared to maintain and monitor social distancing. Gymnasiums and yoga institutes in the national capital will continue to remain shut. Hotels contribute approximately 8% of the city's Gross Domestic Product and also provide significant employment opportunities. India Ministry of Home Affairs has given permission for hotels, restaurants and hospitality services in the country to resume operations in a phased manner from 8 June 2020, albeit while following the detailed guidelines and SoPs as issued by the government.

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