HVS E-Newsletter, Asia Pacific - 1 November 2002
TUI expands in China - The China Travel Service Group of China (CTS) and the German TUI Group have announced plans to set up a joint venture travel agency in Beijing. The joint venture will focus on the leisure and corporate markets from Europe to China. TUI includes 70 tourism wholesalers, 3,700 travel agencies and nearly 100 planes. CTS is China's first tourism enterprise. The new company will be the third joint venture travel agency to be established in China.
Peninsula in Tokyo - Hong Kong & Shanghai Hotels Ltd, the mother company of the Peninsula Group, has signed a lease agreement with Mitsubishi Estate Co. to operate a new hotel in Tokyo. The Peninsula Tokyo will be located in the Marunouchi district and will include 300 rooms. Total development cost for the property is estimated at approximately Y13 billion with the hotel schedule to open in 2007. The Peninsular Tokyo will replace the existing Hibiya Park Building in Yurakucho 1-chome.
Australia's accessibility to improve with new airline - A new airline was launched this weekend in Australia: Australian Airlines. CEO Denis Adams said the airline planned to carry 350,000 visitors to Australia each year and will serve markets from which other airlines, including Qantas, had had to withdraw. The airline will initially operate four Boeing 767-300 aircraft to offer daily return services between Cairns, Osaka and Nagoya, but its fleet will increase to 12 aircraft within two years. Services between Cairns and Singapore and Fukuoka will begin on November 21 and between Cairns and Taipei and Hong Kong on November 22. Adams said the carrier would move into stage two of operations in late 2003, focusing on outbound opportunities for Australian travellers from a second base in a southern Australian capital to more ports in Asia.
Arrivals to Hong Kong up 30% - Tourist arrivals to Hong Kong rose to 1.370 million in September, up 30.1% compared to the same month last year. However, it should be noted that arrivals in September last year were negatively impacted by the September 11 terror attacks in the US. Furthermore, arrivals in 2002 have been boosted by arrivals from Mainland China, which increased to 593,509, 70.5% above last year's figure. Nevertheless, on a better note arrivals from Europe and Australia also increased by respectively 9.7% and 6.2%. For the first nine months of the year, total tourist arrivals to Hong Kong were 11.743 million.
New spa at the Sukhothai Bangkok - The Sukhothai Bangkok hotel is spending US$ 14 million to build a new spa and 30 additional suites. The new spa, called 'Spa Botanica', will be located on a leased land plot adjacent to the hotel and will include 35 treatment rooms. The Sukhothai hotel is wholly owned and managed by Beaufort Hotels, the hotel arm of Hong Kong-based developer HKR International. Beaufort Hotels also owns and operates the Beaufort Singapore on Sentosa Island, Singapore where another Spa Botanica is expected to open by the end of this year.
Premier Resort Krabi Ltd. to issue one billion baht secured bonds - Thailand's Premier Resort Krabi Ltd. plans to issue up to one billion baht in five-year senior secured bonds late next month, said a source at the issue's underwriter, Kim Eng Securities. The bonds will be offered mainly to institutional investors, the source said. Details of the offering will be finalized early next month. Premier Resort owns Rayawadee Premier resort, a luxury beach resort in Krabi, Thailand, which is managed by Starwood. Premier Resort's bond issue will be backed by the resort's property assets. The bond will offer a fixed coupon rate in the first three years and a floating rate in the last two years. The source said the proceeds will be used to refinance the company's debt and to renovate its resort premises.Keppel Land Ltd to focus on property development and fund management
- Singapore's Keppel Land Ltd, the property arm of conglomerate Keppel Corp, said it would focus on property development and fund management and divest its investment properties to reduce its debt. Speaking in a news briefing, Kelvin Wong, managing director of Keppel Land said the firm was pursuing two property funds that could raise up to US$500 million. Wong said its fund management arm planned to raise US$200 million in a dedicated fund called China Housing Development Fund to invest in residential developments in China. The other fund – Asia No 1 Property Fund – would be managed by a joint venture with Henderson Global Investors, targeting to raise up to US$300 million for investments in incomegenerating real estate assets in Asia. The China fund would be launched in the first half of 2003, while the Asia No 1 Property Fund could be launched this year.
Ho Wah Genting buys casino gaming license in Cambodia - Malaysian cable manufacturer Ho Wah Genting announced it signed a deal to buy a casino gaming license as well as four plots of land in Cambodia, for US$3.5 million. The company will develop a casino and a hotel, which are expected to be in operation within two to three years.
Philippines tourism department tries to attract Korean entrepreneurs - The Philippines tourism department hopes to attract Korean entrepreneurs to invest in tourism related projects in the country. As such, Tourism Secretary Richard Gordon embarked on a six-day mission to South Korea where he will meet possible partners in the transportation business, scuba diving and submarine tours and other tourism related investors. The secretary will discuss the Tourism Enterprise Zone and investment areas in the Philippines. Gordon's mission is part of the Department of Tourism's preparations for "Visit Philippines Year 2003."
Hotel Plaza Ltd acquires rights to the Parkroyal brand for Asia - Hotel Plaza Ltd said unit Plaza Pacific Hotels and Resorts International Pte Ltd acquired rights to the Parkroyal brand for the Asia region. With the acquisition, four of the group's hotels in Singapore and Malaysia will carry the Parkroyal name. Plaza Pacific Hotels said it spent S$2.5 million in renovating one of its Parkroyal hotels in Singapore, and will be spending respectively S$25 million and S$10 million on Parkroyal Kuala Lumpur and Parkroyal Penang.
Proposed A$30 million resort near Sydney, Australia - A joint venture between Great White Shark Enterprises and the Macquarie Bank is looking at developing a A$30 million golf resort and residential estate in El Caballo Blanco near Sydney, Australia. The project is to include a 120-180 room four-star hotel; two Greg Norman designed 18-hole championship golf courses as well as 550 housing sites. Construction could start by 2004.
Vietnam earmarks tourism as key development sector - Vietnam has identified tourism as one of engines to accelerate their economic development, thereby making efforts to increase investment from all economic sectors to raise the tourist quality. The number of foreign visitors to Viet Nam saw a year-on-year increase of 11% while that of domestic tourists rose around five per cent, thus bringing the industry's turnover to US$1.18 billion. The State Steering Committee on Tourism has reviewed the operations of the industry in the first ten months, discussed measures to fulfil its
tasks of the remaining months as well as the 2003 plan. Deputy Prime Minister Vu Khoan spoke highly of the industry's positive development in both quality and quantity in the past months and pointed to the necessity to simplify visa procedures, diversify tourism products and promote the combination among sectors for the development of tourism.
Bali's hotel occupancy rate at all-time low - Bali's hotel occupancy rate has fallen to single digits in the wake of the Oct 12 bombing from 70% previously, according to the Jakarta Post, which cited Hotel and Restaurant Association in Indonesia head Yanti Sukamdani. More than 3,000 hotel bookings on the resort island have been cancelled. Hotels will cooperate with airlines and tour operators to offer package discount deals to lure tourists back to the resort island during the Muslim and Christian festive seasons, traditionally its busiest period.
JTB Corporation choses Afoofa Inc to draw inbound tourists from the Asia-Pacific region - Japan's largest travel firm, JTB Corporation, has chosen Malaysia-based Afoofa Inc to maximise the potential of its online travel reservation system to draw inbound tourists from the Asia-Pacific region. This arrangement is set to reap transaction revenue of US$150 million over the first three years. JTB is planning to add US$1 billion to its annual turnover by 2005 via online business. Afoofa is the sister company of and part of ATM Holdings. The online tie-up, which will run from the third quarter next year, has signed on about 30 online agents in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Thailand.
Hotel Plaza invests MYR70 million to refurbish hotels in Malaysia - Hotel Plaza unit Plaza Pacific Hotels and Resorts International Pte Ltd (PPHR) said remains cautiously optimistic of the industry outlook forecasting 2003 revenues at MYR154 million in 2003 compared to MYR132 million in 2002. PPHR is investing MYR70 million to refurbish its two hotels in Malaysia. Refurbishment program is scheduled for completion in November 2003. PPHR is also prospecting for acquisitions in Bangkok, Hong Kong and Jakarta.
China Travel secures HK$1.5 billion loan - China Travel International Investment Hong Kong Ltd said its Well Done Enterprises Inc and Hotel Metropole Holdings Ltd units signed a five-year loan and revolving credit deal worth up to HK$1.5 billion. China Travel is the guarantor of the loan, which will be used to repay banking facilities and as general working capital.
Gardens Parkroyal Queenstown, New Zealand re-branded to Novotel - Following Tourism Asset Holdings Limited (TAHL) acquisition of the Gardens Parkroyal in Queenstown, New Zealand, the hotel will be rebranded to Accor's Novotel brand. Accor will replace current managers Six Continents as at January 2003 when the 204-room hotel will be re-named Novotel Gardens Queenstown. This is TAHL's eighth hotel in New Zealand whilst Accor operates 12 hotels in the country.
New Sheraton in Dongguan, China - Starwood has signed a management agreement with C M Enterprises Company Ltd to operate a 411-room five-star hotel in Dongguan, China. The hotel, to be named Sheraton Dongguan Hotel, is scheduled to open by the second quarter of 2003. The Sheraton Dongguan Hotel will be located in the central business district of Dongguan City, approximately 100 kilometres from Hong Kong.
Phone: 516-248-8828, ext. 278