HVS - ASIA PACIFIC HOSPITALITY NEWSLETTER - For The Week Ending 17 April 2015 (April 17, 2015)

AirAsia builds Langkawi International Hub

On 18 March 2015, AirAsia announced plans to set up its sixth and latest international hub in the island destination of Langkawi. Under the new initiative supported by Malaysia Airports Holdings, the low cost carrier plans to allocate five planes to Langkawi, potentially generating 1-1.5 million passengers. Initial services will focus on regional ASEAN markets before gradually expanding to the key international markets of India and China. Langkawi island received 3.57 million tourist arrivals in 2014, a CAGR of 6.85% since 2010. In 2013, its top 5 feeder markets included China, Saudi Arabia, Australia, U.K. and India. In the same year, Langkawi International Airport recorded annual passenger traffic of 1.9 million, compared to Phuket International Airport’s 11.3 million and Bali Ngurah Rai Airport’s 15.5 million.  According to AirAsia Group’s CEO Tony Fernandes, this move could serve as game changer for Langkawi in catching up to popular island destinations in the region like Bali and Phuket.

Aman launches its first city property and the 27th in the portfolio – Aman Tokyo

The urbanisation of Aman was realised with the spectacular official opening party of Aman Tokyo at the Otemachi Tower, Tokyo, Japan on 26 March 2015. Occupying the top six floors of the recently-built Otemachi Tower, Aman Tokyo is a luxury resort in Japan and an urban sanctuary, high above the atmospheric whirl of tradition and modernity that epitomises Tokyo. Aman Tokyo presents 84 rooms and suites, all with unique layouts, magnificent city views and every contemporary convenience. The hotel draws design inspiration from traditional Japanese residential structures. Classic Japanese materials such as camphor wood, washi paper and stone are blended to great effect with modern technology and luxurious fabrics, and the luxury accommodations feature a large furo – a deep soaking tub intrinsic to the Japanese ritual of bathing. Food and beverage outlets will include two restaurants, a lounge as well as five private dining rooms. The facilities are complemented by a 2,500 square meter Aman spa and a fitness center featuring a 30-meter indoor swimming pool. As Aman’s first property in a city, it will test the brand’s strength in creating legendary resort experiences within the metropolitan fabric.

Erawan Group to launch its Hop Inn brand overseas

Erawan Group PLC, Thailand’s leading hotel developer, will launch five budget hotels under its Hop Inn brand in the Philippines and Indonesia by 2017. There is a high growth potential for domestic tourism in these countries due to their growing economy and a large population base of 100 million and 250 million people in the Philippines and Indonesia respectively. Furthermore, the limited number of budget hotels in both countries has made Hop Inn hotels an attractive investment. The five Hop Inn hotels will be located in downtown areas to attract business segment. Each hotel will have 150-200 rooms with affordable prices ranging from 1,000 to 1,200 baht. The first overseas Hop Inn hotel is scheduled to open by the end of 2016 in the Philippines. The group is also interested in Myanmar; however, the high investment cost and uncertain regulations and policies made the group hesitant about the long-term business development there.

Vantage Hospitality ties with Miraya Hotel Management India, plans for 100 hotels in ten years

US-based Vantage Hospitality, recently announced its entry into India through a tie-up with Miraya Hotel Management, a start-up hotel management company based in Delhi. Through this agreement, the venture plans to invest around INR700 crore to acquire assets in the economy and mid-market space and rebrand them as Value Inns Worldwide and Value Hotels Worldwide, respectively. Planning to have 100 hotels over the next ten years, their main focus will be to expand to Tier II and Tier III cities in India through franchising and rebranding of existing hotels and greenfield projects. Hotels will be positioned in the two to four-star categories and will feature an inventory of 30-65 rooms along with food and beverage and banqueting facilities. The first two properties under Value Inn Worldwide are anticipated to open in Sitarganj, Uttarakhand and Yercaud, Tamil Nadu, respectively, over the next two months. Owners under the franchise model will benefit from Vantage’s global reservation system, revenue generating programs and other resources.

Taj Hotels – Redesigning Business from Brands to Regions

India’s hospitality giant, Taj Hotels, is undergoing significant changes to its organization structure. With a view to make the company more profitable, the new Managing Director and CEO, Rakesh Sarna, has realigned the existing brand-wise divisions into a region-wise set-up (North, South and Central) which will include properties across categories – luxury, leisure and business excluding budget hotels. The North zone will be taken up by Rohit Khosla (previously Area Director at Taj Hotels, Sri Lanka), while the South region shall be headed by Prabhat Verma (erstwhile Chief Operating officer of the Gateway Brand), and the Central zone will come under Farhat Jamal (returning to Taj Hotels from Shangri-La). The group’s budget hotel brand Ginger will continue to function independently. Additionally, the hotel group saw two of its senior members retire after a long stint – Chef Hemant Oberoi (Grand Executive Chef, Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai and Corporate Chef, Taj Luxury Hotels) and Veer Vijay Singh (COO, Vivanta by Taj Hotels). Further, Deepa Misra Harris (Senior VP – Global, Sales & Marketing) and Abhijit Mukerji (ED Operations) have also resigned from their roles at the company.  

Gen Y Brands for the Gen Next Travelers | Hear from the Experts at CHIC 2015

There is an increasing emergence of a 'next-generation' brand approach, with a new form of brand and brand strategy being adapted by hotel companies worldwide. With the inception of these 'new-age' brands, how are companies re-positioning their offerings to cater to the unique demands of Millennials? What are some of the innovations and strategies that are being undertaken to drive and engage this next generation of savvy travelers? Will these strategic business models help power a sustainable first mover's advantage or will we merely end up with a handful of barely-differentiated replicas? Are these new-age brands geared for the future and what are their plans to stay relevant for the next generation of travelers in China? Hear the answers and get real insights from industry specialists - Brian Liu, VP Development-China, Wyndham Hotels Group; Chen Gang, CEO, Mafengwo.cn; Edmond Choi, VP & Sr. Technical Services Director Hospitality, CCDI; Li Yu Kai, CEO, Shanghai Jinjiang Metropolo Hotel Management; Samuel Lim, VP Development-China, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and Sunny Li, VP Development-China, Rosewood Hotel Group - in the session ‘Gen Y Brands for the Gen Next Travelers’ at CHIC 2015

Absolute Share Price Performance, as at 16 April 2015

Closing Share Price as at16 Apr 20159 Apr 2015% Change
Australia Stock Exchange (ASX)
Amalgamated Holdings Limited12.2512.31-
General Property Group4.704.641%
Mirvac Group2.052.031%
Mantra Group3.393.57-5%
Bangkok Stock Exchange (THB)
Central Plaza Hotel Public Co Ltd33.5033.50-
Dusit Thani Public Co Ltd55.5056.25-1%
The Erawan Group Public Co Ltd4.724.80-2%
Grande Asset Hotels and Property Public Co Ltd1.601.591%
Laguna Resorts & Hotel Public Co Ltd29.5029.251%
Minor International Public Co Ltd35.7535.75-
China Shanghai Stock Exchange (RMB)
Jinling Hotel Corporation Ltd20.4118.3111%
China Shenzhen Stock Exchange (RMB)
Huatian Hotel Group Co Ltd10.069.397%
Guangzhou Dong Fang Hotel Co Ltd17.3917.68-2%
China Lodging Group Ltd21.7820.805%
Home Inns & Hotels Management Inc24.8626.07-5%
Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HK$)
Miramar Hotel & Investment Co Ltd11.4611.083%
Regal Hotels International Holdings Ltd4.744.77-1%
Sino Hotels Holdings Ltd2.472.451%
The Hong Kong & Shanghai Hotels Ltd11.2811.28-
Shangri-La Asia Limited11.5411.342%
Dorsett Hospitality International1.271.233%
National Stock Exchange (INR)
IHCL (Taj Hotels, Resorts & Palaces)108.55115.10-6%
EIH (Oberoi Hotels & Resorts)108.00109.65-2%
Hotel Leela Ventures20.5519.655%
Korea Exchange (KRW)
The Shilla121,00095,90026%
Singapore Stock Exchange (S$)
Amara Holdings Ltd0.550.5451%
Ascendas Hospitality Trust0.6950.70-1%
Ascott Residence Trust1.271.275-
Banyan Tree Holdings Limited0.540.5351%
CDL Hospitality Trusts1.761.77-1%
Far East Hospitality Trust0.820.811%
Hotel Grand Central Ltd1.411.41-
Hotel Properties Ltd4.224.23-
Mandarin Oriental International Ltd (US$)1.591.5751%
OUE Hospitality Trust0.960.951%
Stamford Land Corporation Ltd0.580.572%
Taiwan Stock Exchange (NT$)
Formosa International Hotels Corporation328.00327.50-
The Ambassador Hotel, Ltd27.4027.50-
Tokyo Stock Exchange (JPY)
Japan Hotel REIT Investment Corp.86,70085,5001%
Imperial Hotel, Ltd2,6392,660-1%

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