Hotel industry and travel news from around the Asia Pacific region: Singapore and Maldives sign open skies agreement, Korean Air announces changes in route network, OYO plans further expansion and more...
MACq 01 Hotel in Hobart Sold to Syndicate of Local Investors for AUD50 million
The MACq 01 Hotel has sold for a reported AUD50 million to a syndicate of investors comprising the Farrell family, whose Federal Group operates the MACq 01, the Rockefeller family led by property moguls Robert and Victoria Rockefeller, and the Newton family, which includes Knight Frank partner Scott Newton. As of end 2018, the MACq 10 site and building was valued by Tasmanian Valuer-General at more than AUD80 million and the hotel was put up for sale with an asking price of AUD60 million in 2018. Opened in 2017, the luxury property is prominently located along Hobarts iconic waterfront overlooking the CBD and Mount Wellington. The 4.5-star waterfront hotel at 18 Hunter Street offers 114 guest rooms and suites, and has a high-end restaurant, bar and an arcade of six retail components. According to Peter Harper, broker JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group, the sale was the latest in a series of recent high-profile Tasmanian accommodation sales. Four hotels across Tasmania has been transacted this year and there is an upcoming major hotel asset under contract.
Singapore and Maldives Signed Open Skies Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding
Singapore and Maldives signed two agreements to expand air connectivity and further strengthen bilateral cooperation, on 1 July 2019. Under the Open Skies Agreement (OSA), the airlines of Singapore and Maldives will be able to operate any number of passenger and/or cargo services between and beyond both countries. Currently, Singapore carriers operate a total of 20 weekly services to Malé, the capital of Maldives. Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min, who signed the air pact with Maldives' Foreign Affairs Minister Abdulla Shahid, mentioned that the OSA will enable greater movement of people and goods between the two countries for mutual economic benefits. A separate memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed to step up bilateral exchanges and cooperation. Singapore will continue sharing its development expertise, and offer a two-year technical cooperation package in governance and sustainable development for Maldives. To date, more than 1,300 Maldivian officials have participated in the Singapore Cooperation Programme.
Korean Air Announces Changes in Route Network to China, Fiji, India and the Philippines
South Korea-based national carrier, Korean Air Lines Company Limited (Korean Air) has announced several changes to its route network on flights to China, Fiji, India and the Philippines. Korean Air plans to launch four new routes in three cities in China and one in the Philippines. Commencing later this year, the China services include a thrice-weekly service to Zhangjiajie, a four-times weekly service to Nanjing, and a thrice-weekly service to Hangzhou. The Incheon-Clark route, connecting South Korea and the Philippines, will operate on a daily basis starting end of October. Beginning from 1 September 2019, Korean Air will also increase the frequency of its Incheon-Delhi service to seven flights a week, and extend its Incheon-Beijing service from 14 to 18 flights per week starting end of October to accommodate the increasing demand. Starting from 1 October 2019, Korean Air will crease operation of its Incheon-Nadi flights, attributing the decision to decreasing demands and constant deficit of the route. Korean Air operates over 460 flights daily to 126 cities in 44 countries on five continents.
Hayman Island by Intercontinental Opens After AUD135 Million Refurbishment
UK-based multinational hospitality company, Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG), has announced the opening of Intercontinental Hayman Island Resort after undergoing an AUD135 million refurbishment, on 1 July 2019. The refurbishment includes the rebranding of the previous hotel to Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts, the addition of a three-bedroom Hayman Beach House spanning 400 square metres, new restaurants and bars, a new spa and event spaces. Situated on a 400-hectare private island in the northern most point of Whitsundays, the resort is accessible via either luxury vessel, helicopter or seaplane from Hamilton Island. The 166-key resort features three distinct wings of rooms, suites and villas with views of the Coral Sea the Pool Wing, the Beach Wing and the Lagoon Wing. Other facilities include five restaurants and bars, a fitness centre, Hayman Spa with 13 treatment rooms, The Planet Trekkers kids club, a boutique, 15 indoor and outdoor event spaces. The resort is the first of four InterContinental Hotels & Resorts to open in 2019, and will be followed by ANA InterContinental Beppu Resort & Spa, InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort and InterContinental Phuket Resort.
OYO Plans Further Expansion Across Southeast Asia
Following its launch in the United States with USD300 million investment, India-based hospitality startup, OYO Hotels and Homes (OYO), has officially launched in Vietnam. OYO has plans to commit USD50 million to achieve 20,000 guest rooms in a minimum of 10 Vietnamese cities by the end of 2020. Currently, OYO has more than 90 franchised hotels in six Vietnamese cities, including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Da Nang, Phu Quoc, Vang Tau and Nha Trang. According to Rishabh Gupta, country head for OYO Indonesia, OYO has invested more than USD100 million to strengthen its presence in Indonesia earlier this year, commencing the operations of 30 franchised hotels and 1,000 rooms in Jakarta, Surabaya and Palembang. The company has an additional 300 hotels in the pipeline for Indonesia slated to open over the next two months. OYO also registered 8,000 and 1,300 exclusive rooms in Malaysia and the Philippines respectively, and has more than 23,000 hotels and 46,000 vacation homes available in more than 800 cities in 80 countries.