Featured in this Asia Pacific Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 10 June 2005
More Hotels Needed in UAE to Meet Demand
Melbourne Market Picks Up
Handbury Group Expands the Sands Development
InterContinental Hotels Group Manages ANA Hotel Gold Coast
Starwood Expands the Westin Brand in China
Oman Eyes Listing for Tourism Project
Absolute Share Price Performance, as at June 10 2005

More Hotels Needed in UAE to Meet Demand Return to Headlines

Thousands of new hotel rooms are needed in the United Arab Emirates to meet ambitious targets of at least 18 million visitors to the Arab Gulf state by 2015. The emirate of Dubai alone, which has become a global travel and business destination, aims to attract 15 million tourists by 2010, up from 5.4 million in 2004, with its pristine resorts, modern convention centres and sports events. The Abu Dhabi emirate has set a target of three million visitors by 2015, up from 850,000 now, and has started developing its tourism industry to lure foreigners to the country's capital.

Melbourne Market Picks Up Return to Headlines

The Melbourne hotel market witnesses robust sales activity as demand for accommodation increases. There have been significant growth in occupancy and average room rates since the beginning of 2005 with its resilience surprising industry watchers in recent years. Demand growth at 10 per cent over the past year has been stronger than many in the industry had anticipated. Occupancies had recovered in 2004, as a wave of new development was absorbed by strong demand growth. Year to date 2005 has witnessed room-rate growth in the market, particularly at the five star level, albeit from a low base. Revenue per available room (RevPAR) growth is anticipated to gather pace as the Commonwealth Games approaches in 2006. Melbourne had now largely moved through the current hotel development cycle and the fundamentals were starting to look positive again. The improving trading environment is being reflected in the positive investment sentiment and the increasing level of interest Melbourne is experiencing for hotel acquisitions.

Handbury Group Expands the Sands Development Return to Headlines

The privately owned Handbury Group is to build a 96 room hotel in the Victorian seaside town of Torquay in a major expansion of its The Sands residential and golf course development. Hotel group Mirvac Hotels and Resorts is to operate the property under its Sebel brand. Construction of the hotel is to begin in the coming weeks, as an addition to the development already under way in connection to the US$191million 18-hole golf course designed by high-profile golfer Stuart Appleby. The new hotel rooms are planned to be sold to investors as an approved strata title investment.

InterContinental Hotels Group Manages ANA Hotel Gold Coast Return to Headlines

Raptis Group announced the appointment of InterContinental Hotels Group to take over management of ANA Hotel Gold Coast. The hotel has been be re-branded as Holiday Inn Surfers Paradise, joining more than 80 Holiday Inn hotels and resorts across Asia Pacific and becoming InterContinental Hotels Group's second hotel in Australia's leading leisure destination. The 22-storey hotel will become one of the largest Holiday Inn hotels in the Asia Pacific region with 404 rooms including 18 suites.

Starwood Expands the Westin Brand in China Return to Headlines

Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Guangzhou Cheng Jian Tian Yu Real Estate Development Company Limited, a subsidiary of Poly (Hong Kong) Investments Limited, announced an agreement for Starwood to manage a 400-room hotel in Guangzhou's emerging central business district. Scheduled to open in 2007, the Westin Guangzhou will be a short, five-minute walk from the Guangzhou East train station, which is the major access point for commuters between the city and Hong Kong and will be situated in close proximity to the CITIC Plaza Development, which houses many Fortune 500 companies. The hotel is part of a multi-purpose complex that houses the hotel in one tower and office space and luxury retail shops in another. The Westin Guangzhou will feature 13,000 square feet of meeting and function space, four food and beverage outlets, a health club and spa and an indoor swimming pool. This is the fifth development in China signed by Starwood in 2005. New developments signed earlier this year include Sheraton hotels in Chongqing, Shanghai and Urumqi as well as a new Westin hotel in Nanjing.

Oman Eyes Listing for Tourism Project Return to Headlines
Oman's biggest tourism project, the US$15 billion Blue City looks set to be listed on the Gulf Arab state's stock market. The Blue City will take 10 to 15 years to complete and will stretch over 35 square kilometers. It will house 200,000 permanent residents alongside hotels and businesses. Oman is already building the US$780 million Waves project, one of several large-scale resorts springing up in the area around the capital Muscat. The Blue City project will create as many as 32,000 jobs in a country where more than half the population is under 20 and unemployment is running at 20 per cent. Oman only recently shrugged off a reticence to promote mass tourism and there are just 6,000 hotel rooms in the whole country, a fraction of those on offer in nearby Dubai, which is in a headlong rush to build hotels, flats and housing for millions of wealthy foreigners.

Absolute Share Price Performance, as at June 10 2005
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