|News from around the Asia Pacific region, Sept 13.|
Friday, 13th September 2013
Source : HVS
Hotel industry and travel news from around the Asia Pacific region; this week: Changi expands, Mantra moves into Asia, Thailand targets medical tourism and more....
New extension at Singapore's Changi Airport terminal 1
A new mixed-use complex, "Project Jewel", is slated to be constructed on the site of the existing car park in front of T1, designed to expand the terminal's capacity to 24 million passengers per year. The 3.5-hectare site will boast an impressive glass and steel structure, housing new multi-storey basement car park, an expanded arrivals hall, larger baggage claim area and more taxi bays. The most eye-catching feature will be the large indoor garden area, including a waterfall. The new area will connect T1 with T2 and T3, in an effort to improve inter-terminal connectivity. It would provide a central hub for transit passengers, which currently consist of approximately 30% of the airport's total traffic. Upon completion, Project Jewel, together with the new T4 development, will boost Changi's total capacity to 85m passengers per year.
Mantra first foray into Asia with Bali opening
Australia's Mantra Group has fully-opened its first hotel in Asia, the Mantra Nusa Dua Bali. Soon after the soft-opening earlier this year, it has now launched all 172 rooms, plus all leisure facilities and food and beverage (F&B) outlets. The upscale resort offers a spa, fitness club, an indoor/outdoor swimming pool with pool bar, a children's pool and F&B outlets. While for the events market there is a 400-pax capacity ballroom, eight meeting rooms and purpose-built wedding venue with ocean views. Mantra now plans to develop more properties in Bali, under all three of its brands. Negotiations are underway for a further two upcale Mantras and one budget BreakFree property, while three more properties are in the pipeline, including Asia's first luxury Peppers resort.
Novotel Christchurch reopens
Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square opened its doors on 19 August 2013, becoming Accor's second property to reopen in the New Zealand city since the February 2011 earthquake. The revamped 13-storey property joins the ibis Christchurch in the city, adding 154 more rooms to the citywide inventory. It also features a gym, dining and conference facilities, as well as offering views of Christchurch Cathedral, which was also damaged by the quake.
Thailand targets medical tourists
The Tourism Authority of Thailand invited more than 30 medical tourism facilitators and travel agencies specialising from 10 countries to the country, for the second annual medical fam trip. The 'Thailand Medical & Wellness Tourism Trade and Media Fam Trip' took participants on a tour of the country's medical tourism facilities in Bangkok, Phuket and Hua Hin, and introduced them to 58 Thai medical tourism suppliers, including hospitals, clinics and spa operators, to discuss business opportunities. The Thai health and wellness tourism sector is expected to be worth THB2 trillion (US$64 billion) by 2014, combining both domestic and international revenues.
Starwood to capitalise on MICE growth
Starwood Hotels and Resorts will continue to focus its MICE strategy on expanding domestic trade across its Asian properties, while tapping inbound and outbound travel in China and India to drive future growth. Elsewhere in the region, Thailand continues to do brisk business from its offering as a total destination. Bangkok and Phuket are most popular, with the latter benefitting from an increase in direct flights from India, which has spurred solid growth in the lucrative weddings market. Sydney, Delhi, Singapore and Hong Kong also remain hot favourites, while Japan has posted strong growth, partly due to a weakening Japanese yen. Taiwan and South Korea are gaining momentum as popular group destinations, while demand has surged in Malaysia and Indonesia.
July arrivals deliver strong low-season for tourism industry in New Zealand
Growth in international visitor arrivals during July has delivered a strong start to the winter season for the industry - with arrivals up 5.9 per cent against July last year. Total arrivals also increased, up 0.5 per cent on the year ending July 2012, a year boosted by Rugby World Cup arrivals. A record 183,700 visits to New Zealand delivered the highest ever July month. There was also a significant additional 83,000 holiday stay days generated during the month compared to July last year. Arrivals from Asia also increased, with China up 25.2 per cent and Singapore up 11.3 per cent.