Featured in this Asia Pacific Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 15 September 2006
Vegas Tycoon Wynn Opens Casino Resort In Macau
Bangkok Airways Returns To The Maldives
Banyan Tree Expands In India, Ireland And China
Four Seasons Expands Presence In The Maldives
Phuket Arrivals Soar In First Half 2006
China Rapid Expansion Of Budget Hotels
Absolute Share Price Performance, as at 15 September 2006

Vegas Tycoon Wynn Opens Casino Resort In Macau Return to Headlines

Stiff competition to control what is tipped to become the world's largest casino market heated up when US tycoon Steve Wynn opened his latest mega-resort in southern China's Macau beginning of September. Wynn Macau is the first integrated casino and hotel resort to open in the former Portuguese enclave and the second US gaming venue to open since a 2001 law liberalized the city's century-old casino industry. The first, Sands Macau -- a subsidiary of Wynn's rival Las Vegas Sands, run by gaming magnate Sheldon Adelson -- opened the floodgates to a surge of some US$20 billion dollars of overseas investment that has transformed the once sleepy enclave. Wynn, who developed the Bellagio and the Mirage in Las Vegas, also shrugged off economists' worries that the pace of development in Macau was too fast for a city of just 450,000 habitants, saying there was ample room for growth. "We have a perfect case study in Las Vegas of a city that has grown not in spite of its development but because of its development," he added. All 600 rooms were fully booked for the first night, a source said.

Bangkok Airways Returns To The Maldives Return to Headlines

Bangkok Airways has announced it will resume its service to Male in the Maldives from 30 November 2006 and operate a twice-weekly flight between Bangkok and Male using a 162-seat Airbus 320 aircraft. The airline's spokesman said the direct flight from Bangkok to Male International Airport would take only four hours and the airline would offer an introductory return air fare of about US$427 and accommodation packages. The Maldives service was suspended in September 2005 due to a poor response following the 2004 tsunami.

Banyan Tree Expands In India, Ireland And China Return to Headlines

Banyan Tree Holdings has secured new agreements to manage two Banyan Tree Resorts and one Angsana Resort in India, as well as three new spas in Ireland, China and India respectively. The Group has entered into an agreement with Brigade Enterprises to manage a 25-room Banyan Tree Resort and Spa and a 50-room Angsana Resort and Spa in Karnataka in 2008. The Group has also entered a joint venture scheme with the Kapico Group to operate a Banyan Tree Resort and Spa on Vembanad Lake in Kerala, offering about 100 water villas and luxury houseboats plus resort residential development. Under the spa management agreement with the Blarney Group, Banyan Tree will manage an Angsana Spa at the 80-room Bunratty Castle Hotel near the 15th century Bunratty Castle in County Clare, Ireland. The Spa will be the second Angsana Spa in Ireland, and is scheduled to open in October 2006. The Group also plans to establish Angsana Spas in Sofitel Fizi Tianmu Lake, Jiangsu in China in 2007 and at Gurgaon, India in 2008.

Four Seasons Expands Presence In The Maldives Return to Headlines
The original Four Seasons resort on the island of Kuda Huraa in the North Male Atoll reopens in September following an extensive period of reconstruction. The resort is situated at a 25-minute speedboat ride from Male and features 96 beach and water bungalows offering modern tropical comfort. The company's second new resort, Landaa Giraavaru, will open on 1 November 2006. Situated in a hideaway location on the Baa Atoll, 120km north of Malé, the 102-villa Resort occupies the entire 18-hectare island. Guests can further explore other atolls in the area with the company’s luxury catamaran, the Four Seasons Explorer.

Phuket Arrivals Soar In First Half 2006 Return to Headlines
The Tourism Authority of Thailand reported tourist arrivals to Phuket soared 113% in the first half of 2006 compared to the same period in 2005 - but were still lower when compared with 2004. The TAT reported arrivals to Phuket advanced to 2,247,250 in the first six months of 2006, compared to 1,056,770 on the previous year. In the first half of 2004, the agency recorded 2,373,542 visitors to Phuket.

China Rapid Expansion Of Budget Hotels Return to Headlines
On the back of positive predictions about the continued growth of the Chinese tourist market, the country has become increasingly attractive to budget hotel brands from home and abroad which have accelerated their plans for expansion in the country in recent years. Shanghai-based Jinjiang Inn, one of main domestic budget hotel players, disclosed that its first overseas hotel would probably be in St. Petersburg, Russia with progress on the deal expected in 2007. If their plans go ahead as scheduled, it will be the first for a Chinese budget hotel group to venture into overseas markets. In recent years many domestic budget hotel brands like Jinjiang Inn, Home Inn and Motel 168 have expanded rapidly.

Absolute Share Price Performance, as at 15 September 2006
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