Hotel industry and travel news from around the Asia Pacific region: Emirates set to double daily Bali flights, Auckland, Vietnam arrivals up 29% in Q1, Malaysia introduces multiple-entry visas and more...
Paramount Corp Ventures into Hotel Development in Shah Alam
Paramount Corp Bhd is making a foray into hotel development and ownership, with the property developer set to build a Mercure Hotel at its university metropolis township in the city of Shah Alam, Malaysia. Paramount Corp, through its joint-venture (JV) company with Singapore-listed Lasseters International Holdings Ltd, has entered into a management agreement with French hotel group, AccorHotels, which owns the Mercure brand. The JV company, Super Ace Resources Sdn Bhd (SARSB), which is 45% owned by Paramount Corp, will invest RM75 million into the development of the hotel. Apart from the hotel management agreement, SARSB also entered into a hotel consultancy services agreement with AccorHotels, which will see the latter providing its expertise in the design and technical fit-out of the hotel. The 230-room hotel will be situated within a 21-acre township development, which houses the new flagship KDU University College (KDUUC) campus.
Chinese Developers to Build NZ$20 Million Hotel in Auckland
Auckland Council has declared that a resource consent application has been lodged, under Jiayao Capital Investment Limited, for a five-star boutique hotel to be built in Auckland’s Dominion Road. The developers plan to invest NZ$20 million in constructing the hotel, which would come up at the corner of Dominion Road and Elizabeth Street. To be called the Hotel One, the 60-room property will feature two retail outlets, a function room and a courtyard. While the hotel will target mainly Chinese and Asian tourists, it is also expected to be a draw for sports fans, local tourists, Australians and other independent travelers, given its proximity to Eden Park. With construction likely to commence in August 2017, the hotel is anticipated to open by the Chinese New Year in February next year.
Vietnam Tourist Arrivals Up 29 Per Cent in Q1 2017
Vietnam’s tourism industry is booming, with a record number of international travelers having arrived in the country in the first quarter of 2017. According to the latest data from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), the country welcomed nearly 3.21 million foreign arrivals in Q1 2017 – a 29 per cent increase as compared to the same period in 2016. This was driven by visitation from other Asian countries, most notably mainland China. Chinese arrivals surged 63.5 per cent to 949,199 in Q1 2017, accounting for almost 30 per cent of total visitors. South Korea (+29.2 per cent to 527,464) was Vietnam’s second largest source market, followed by Japan (+4.8 per cent to 201,590), USA (+9.1 per cent to 179,661) and Russia (+61.3 per cent to 175,456). Arrivals to Vietnam by air, which is a key indicator of international tourist traffic, increased 32.5 per cent to 2.63 million – 82 per cent of the total. In 2016, visitor arrivals to Vietnam jumped 26 per cent to 10.01 million. If the current rate of growth were to continue, the country could achieve 12.5-13 million international arrivals by the end of 2017.
Malaysia Introduces Multiple-Entry Visas for Indian Tourists
As part of the nation’s effort to attract more Indian tourists, Malaysia has introduced multiple-entry visas for up to 15 days. Indian tourists can now directly apply for the visas online by simply paying a processing fee of US$20. The new move will enable Malaysia to compete more effectively with other regional destinations, such as Indonesia and Thailand, which offer free visa on arrival. Additionally, the new arrangement is also aimed at making Malaysia the hub for Indian tourists to travel around the region as part of the ‘Visit ASEAN@50: Golden Celebration’ campaign. The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) believes that the new visa scheme could see a million Indian tourists visiting the country this year. India is Malaysia’s sixth top source destination. Statistics from Tourism Malaysia showed that only 638,578 Indian tourists visited the country in 2016, as compared to 722,141 in 2015 – a drop of 11.6 per cent, which could be attributed to the tedious process of applying for a visa. The new scheme makes it both cheaper and easier for Indian travelers to obtain a visa to visit Malaysia.
Emirates Set to Double Daily Flight Services to Bali
Starting 2 July 2017, Emirates will introduce a second daily flight to Bali, Indonesia, to cater to the growing demand for travel to and from Bali. The new flight will be operated using a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, with a capacity of 428 seats. This will enhance connectivity between Bali and key European source markets in Europe, such as the UK, France, Germany and Russia. It will also enable passengers to connect domestically to the nearby cities of Surabaya, Makassar and Lombok. A leading holiday and tourism destination, Bali welcomed nearly five million foreign tourist arrivals in 2016, a million more than in 2015. According to the Bali Government Tourism Office statistics, there were notable increases in year-on-year tourist arrival numbers from the UK (+32 per cent), France (+26 per cent), Germany (+28 per cent) and Russia (+29 per cent).