|Featured in this Asia Pacific Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 24 August 2007|
|Proposed US$33.1 Million Ramada Plaza In Townsville, North Queensland, Australia||Return to Headlines|
|Brisbane's SSI Group has sought development approval with Townsville City Council for a proposed US$33.1 million eight-storey Ramada Plaza motel at the corner of Mitchell and Gregory streets, behind the Seaview Hotel, which is also owned by SSI Group. Scheduled to be opened by mid-2009, the Ramada Plaza motel is expected to offer 148 rooms, a porte-cochere, a function room, a gym, a swimming pool and a two-level basement car park with 209 parking lots. In addition, SSI Group is also proposing a US$4.1 million refurbishment of Seaview Hotel and plans to develop a five-star deluxe hotel next to the Seaview Hotel by 2010.|
|Vietnam's Tourism Sector Faces Shortage of Accommodation||Return to Headlines|
|Vietnam's tourism industry is experiencing a hotel room supply crunch due to significant increases in foreign visitation, leading to rising room rates. In the first seven months of 2007, foreign visitation has surged by 16.2% to 2.46 million foreign tourists compared to the same period in 2006. Hotels in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have achieved occupancy rates of approximately 90% to 99% and average room rates have increased by 30% to 50% in the first six months of 2007. Higher room rates have raised concerns about the competitiveness of Vietnam's tourism sector, especially in the MICE business segment. The local authorities are aware of this accommodation shortage and have recently proposed 23 sites for building luxury hotels. Approximately 15,000 to 20,000 hotels rooms are expected to be developed by 2010 to accommodate a projected total of 30.5 to 32 million foreign and domestic visitors.|
|India Targets 10 Million Tourist Arrivals By 2010||Return to Headlines|
|India has set its aim for tourist arrivals to reach approximately 10 million by 2010, the year the country hosts The Commonwealth Games. In recent years, India's tourism industry has witnessed a steady growth with 3.92 million tourist arrivals in 2005, 4.43 million in 2006 and is expected to exceed five million arrivals in 2007. It is anticipated that at least 150,000 rooms are required for all hotel categories to accommodate the expected increase in tourist arrivals. Besides promoting health tourism, the Indian government is also initiating world class shopping facilities in destinations such as Uttar Pradesh, Shilpagram, Bhubaneswar, Aurangabad in Maharashtra and West Bengal, to boost the tourist sector.|
|China Approves More Countries As Destinations For Tourist Groups||Return to Headlines|
|According to the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), the Chinese government has approved six more countries as the destinations for outbound tourist groups. These countries include Oman, Morocco, Monaco, Syria, Namibia and Bulgaria. China's outbound tourism saw rapid growth in the first half of 2007, with the number of tourists up 14 per cent from the same period in 2006. The country remained Asia's largest source of outbound tourism with 34 million Chinese tourists travelling abroad, up 10 per cent year-on-year. China has so far approved 132 countries and regions as destinations for outbound tourism, 86 of which receive Chinese tourist groups.|
|Riau Islands Officially Gets Free Trade Zone Status For 70 Years||Return to Headlines|
|The Riau islands of Batam, Bintan and Karimun in Indonesia have been officially designated as free trade zones (FTZs). The government instruments have been signed by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, which will grant the Riau islands the FTZ status for 70 years. A supervisory council, for the Batam-Bintan-Karimun (BBK) Free Trade and Free Port Zone, will be set up by the local Riau authorities and will include representations from bureaucrats, policy-makers, the business community and security bodies. Expected to be approved by September 2007 and to be headquartered in the Riau islands' provincial capital of Tanjung Pinang, the council will overlook development in the whole of Riau but will also appoint separate management bodies or Badan Pengusahaan Kawasan (BPK) for each of the three islands. Indonesia has previously granted FTZ status only once, in 2000, to Aceh's Sabang seaport. Businesses in Riau are expected to benefit from tax incentives and the relaxation of trade laws.|
|Investment Opportunities In Asia||Return to Headlines|
HVS is pleased to offer several hotel properties and resort investment opportunities in Asia.
For more information, please contact Basil Chan at BChan@HVS.com or +65 6293 4415 Ext 14.
|Absolute Share Price Performance, as at 24 August 2007|