HVS - ASIA PACIFIC HOSPITALITY NEWSLETTER - For The Week Ending 14 Aug 2015 (August 14, 2015)

Thomas Cook to acquire Kuoni’s India and Hong Kong business for US$85 million

Travel services provider Thomas Cook India announced that it will acquire its rival, Kuoni’s business in India and Hong Kong for US$85 million (INR535 crore). The 134-year-old Thomas Cook will pay INR320 crore to add consumer-travel brands such as SITA, SOTC and Distant Frontiers to its portfolio in India, helping it overtake Cox & Kings to become the top player in customized holiday bookings. It will remit the remaining INR215 crore for acquiring Kuoni’s Hong Kong business, making way for Thomas Cook to enter another Asian country post Sri Lanka, where it acquired Luxe Asia recently. The company also operates in Mauritius. The transaction is expected to be completed over the next few months and entails the Kuoni brand being licensed to Thomas Cook for one year in India and for five years in Hong Kong. Thomas Cook and Kuoni’s tour operating businesses in India and Hong Kong will continue to operate as separate entities and Thomas Cook will retain all 1,800 employees. This is touted to be the second biggest transaction in India’s travel services space after Fairfax Financial purchased Thomas Cook for US$150 million in 2012.

Thailand’s six months multiple-entry visa to boost tourism

According to Minister of Tourism and Sports, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Thailand is considering the approval of a six-month multiple-entry visa scheme as a measure to boost tourism and stimulate Thailand’s sluggish economy. It is expected to come into effect within 60 days of cabinet approval. Currently, citizens from over 30 countries can enter Thailand without a visa for up to 30 days while other nationalities are required to pay 1,000 baht for a single entry visa. A proposed charge of 5,000 baht for the six-month multiple-entry visa is being considered. While other sectors in Thailand suffer from the global economic downturn, tourism is the only industry that has continued growing in recent years. According to the Department of Tourism, visitor arrivals to Thailand in May 2015 YTD was 12.5 million which represents a 25% growth over the same period of last year. Thailand is aiming to receive 28 million visitors with a forecasted income of 2.2 trillion Baht this year.

Four Seasons Hotel Seoul Set for October Opening

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts will further expand its portfolio in Asia with its latest hotel opening in the South Korean capital city of Seoul. Slated to open on 15 October 2015, the 317-key Four Seasons Seoul will be the brand’s first property in Korea and 24th in Asia. Located in the Central Business District of Jong-gu, the hotel will offer easy access to major business and diplomatic addresses as well as historic sites and shopping centres. The hotel will also feature seven exclusive restaurants and bars, two ballrooms and seven event spaces, a spa and health club. The Four Seasons Hotel Seoul comes at an opportune time as South Korea continues to establish itself as a hotspot for luxury travelers.

India to extend E-Tourist visa facility to 36 more countries

India, which launched its e-Tourist visa facility in November 2014 with a view to boost tourism, will extend the facility to 36 more countries, with effect from 15 August 2015. Currently this facility is available for 77 countries across nine airports. Post the addition, 113 countries will be able to procure tourist visas electronically. Simultaneously, the country will add seven more airports with provisions for entry on e-Tourist Visa. Since its launch last year, more than 200,000 visas have been issued under this facility.

Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts enters Boracay

Under a recently signed management deal, Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts will be adding another property to its portfolio in the Philippines in December 2015. Located in the popular beach destination of Boracay, the existing Sol Marina Resort will be rebranded as the Mövenpick Resort Boracay, a 333-key upscale property that will consist of meetings and events facilities to cater to a MICE segment. Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts currently manages one other property in the Philippines - the Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island, Cebu. The new property will join an estimated supply of 7,684 rooms in Boracay’s hotels and resorts sector. In 2014, the destination received over 1.4 million in total arrivals, a growth of 7.6% from 2013. Between January and July 2015, total visitor arrivals to Boracay showed an increase of 2.3% over the same period last year.

Oakwood opens Oakwood Residence Kapil in Hyderabad

US based hospitality group Oakwood has opened Oakwood Residence Kapil Hyderabad in its IT hub, Gachibowli. The Oakwood Residence Kapil is the company’s sixth hotel in India. Located on the Outer Ring Road, approximately 30 minutes from the airport, the hotel is well connected to the city’s corporate hub, Hitec city and shopping arcades. The property offers 158 residences including six duplexes.

Absolute Share Price Performance, as at 13 Aug 2015

Closing Share Price as at13 Aug 20155 Aug 2015% Change
Australia Stock Exchange (ASX)
Amalgamated Holdings Limited12.4012.61-1.7%
General Property Group4.644.65-0.2%
Mirvac Group1.831.90-3.7%
Mantra Group3.473.61-3.9%
Bangkok Stock Exchange (THB)
Central Plaza Hotel Public Co Ltd36.7537.75-2.6%
Dusit Thani Public Co Ltd59.2560.00-1.3%
The Erawan Group Public Co Ltd4.044.04-
Grande Asset Hotels and Property Public Co Ltd1.041.13-8.0%
Laguna Resorts & Hotel Public Co Ltd26.5026.001.9%
Minor International Public Co Ltd26.0028.25-8.0%
China Shanghai Stock Exchange (RMB)
Jinling Hotel Corporation Ltd19.9718.0810.5%
China Shenzhen Stock Exchange (RMB)
Huatian Hotel Group Co Ltd8.777.4318.0%
Guangzhou Dong Fang Hotel Co Ltd20.7118.1014.4%
China Lodging Group Ltd24.4925.18-2.7%
Home Inns & Hotels Management Inc29.4329.400.1%
Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HK$)
Miramar Hotel & Investment Co Ltd12.5613.00-3.4%
Regal Hotels International Holdings Ltd4.514.441.6%
Sino Hotels Holdings Ltd2.432.64-8.0%
The Hong Kong & Shanghai Hotels Ltd9.8210.16-3.3%
Shangri-La Asia Limited9.329.82-5.1%
Dorsett Hospitality International1.541.55-0.6%
National Stock Exchange (INR)
IHCL (Taj Hotels, Resorts & Palaces)90.8094.60-4.0%
EIH (Oberoi Hotels & Resorts)113.75114.50-0.7%
Hotel Leela Ventures22.1022.75-2.9%
Korea Exchange (KRW)
The Shilla126,000139,500-9.7%
Singapore Stock Exchange (S$)
Amara Holdings Ltd0.4850.50-3.0%
Ascendas Hospitality Trust0.6650.68-2.2%
Ascott Residence Trust1.281.28-
Banyan Tree Holdings Limited0.4850.49-1.0%
CDL Hospitality Trusts1.421.50-5.3%
Far East Hospitality Trust0.670.675-0.7%
Hotel Grand Central Ltd1.331.34-0.7%
Hotel Properties Ltd3.833.91-2.0%
Mandarin Oriental International Ltd (US$)1.621.62-
OUE Hospitality Trust0.8850.90-1.7%
Stamford Land Corporation Ltd0.5050.535-5.6%
Taiwan Stock Exchange (NT$)
Formosa International Hotels Corporation227.00243.00-6.6%
The Ambassador Hotel, Ltd26.4026.151.0%
Tokyo Stock Exchange (JPY)
Japan Hotel REIT Investment Corp.77,40081,300-4.8%
Imperial Hotel, Ltd2,6762,787-4.0%

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