Featured in this Asia Pacific Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 16 September 2005
Le Meridien Opens Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
Hong Kong Disneyland Officially Opens
GIC Real Estate Acquires Paris Hotel in US$648 Million Deal
Time Share Holidays Making a Comeback in Australia
Homebush Has a Way To Go
India's ITC Eyes British Hotel Sector
Absolute Share Price Performance, as at 16 September 2005

Le Meridien Opens Hotel in Kota Kinabalu Return to Headlines

Taking the wave of Sabah's booming tourism industry, Le Meridien has opened a hotel in Kota Kinabalu. The new Le Meridien is expected to help resolve room availability issues for visitors travelling to Sabah, especially during peak season. The hotel is located in Sinsuran, in the heart of the city, close to major shopping centres, entertainment outlets and eateries. When fully operational by early December, the hotel will feature 306 guest rooms, 31 suites and one presidential suite.

Hong Kong Disneyland Officially Opens Return to Headlines
On 12 September 2005, Hong Kong Disneyland formally opened with expectations that China's burgeoning middle class will welcome Mickey Mouse with open arms. The Hong Kong government hopes the US$1.8 billion theme park, Disney's fifth, will boost its status as a tourism destination. The Hong Kong government struck the Disneyland joint venture deal with Walt Disney Co. in 1999 in a bid to salvage the territory's flagging tourism in the wake of the Asian financial crisis. The Hong Kong government owns a 57% stake in the project while Disney holds the remaining 43%. One-third of the visitors are expected to come from mainland China, one-third from Hong Kong and the majority of the rest from other Asian countries, according to Disney's forecast. The government has forecast to bring US$19 billion in benefits to Hong Kong over a 40-year period and to create 18,000 new jobs.

GIC Real Estate Acquires Paris Hotel in US$648 Million Deal Return to Headlines
Buying into a piece of French history, Singapore-based GIC Real Estate is acquiring the 438-room InterContinental Hotel Paris in the heart of the French capital for US$648 million. The deal is an all-cash transaction that GIC RE struck with the British-based InterContinental Group and is US$134 million in excess of the hotel's net book value. With the change of hands to GIC RE, the InterContinental will see further transformation including the refurbishment of the hotel’s guest rooms. The Starwood Group will manage the landmark hotel after rebranding it the 'Westin Paris'. It will be Starwood's first Westin hotel in Paris. The InterContinental Group, whose portfolio includes a number of hotel chains, is looking to become an asset-light entity, as it plans to sell more hotels in Europe even as it has shed hotels in Australia and New Zealand.

Time Share Holidays Making a Comeback in Australia Return to Headlines
Time share holidays, now known as holiday ownership, are making a comeback in Australia led by the French-listed Accor hotel group and its subsidiary Accor Premiere Vacation Club (APVC). APVC includes around 10,000 members in Australia and this year has spent close to US$22.83 million on new properties for its stable which includes Pinnacle Valley near Mt Buller in Victoria, the Novotel Vines Resort near Perth, the Novotel Palm Cove in Queensland and Novotel Barossa Valley. Accor will construct a $US41.1, million 144-room Novotel on the site due to be opened in the middle of 2007 in the heart of Victoria.

Homebush Has a Way To Go Return to Headlines
Accor is negotiating to operate one of two new hotels planned for Sydney Olympic Park, five years after the 2000 Games. The company is in discussions to operate a five-star Sofitel hotel and a budget hotel is also planned. The two properties will add 650 rooms to the precinct. Accor operates the precinct's 177-room Novotel and 144-room Ibis hotels, which were built for the Olympics and opened in September 2000. The properties are owned by Babcock & Brown's Tourism Asset Holdings.

India's ITC Eyes British Hotel Sector Return to Headlines
ITC announced it was keen on investing in the hotel sector in Britain in view of air services agreement between India and the UK. The company, which is aggressively looking at expanding its network of hotels is contemplating opening two "super luxury" hotels in Chennai and Bangalore. Currently ten of the ITC-Welcomgroup hotels are marketed world-wide by the well known global hospitality chain -- Sheraton Corporation -- which is part of Starwood Hotels and Resorts. It has pioneered a holistic concept of "branded accommodation" in the hospitality industry.

Absolute Share Price Performance, as at 16 September 2005
Return to Headlines