Real estate investment group, ARA Group, has launched an initial public offering (IPO) to list ARA US Hospitality Trust, the first US hospitality trust, on Singapore Exchange (“SGX”) at USD0.88 per share. The proposed Trust has an appraised value of USD719.5 million which encompasses 38 hotels with 4,950 rooms, consisting of 27 Hyatt Place select-service hotels and 11 Hyatt House extended-stay hotels. With the exception of Hyatt Place Lakeland Center and Hyatt Place Secaucas Meadowlands, the other 36 hotels hold freehold land titles. According to a preliminary prospectus that has been lodged with the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the proposed Trust will comprise of US dollar-denominated stapled securities of ARA US Hospitality Property Trust (“ARA H-Reit”) and ARA US Hospitality Management Trust (“ARA H-BT”). ARA H-Reit will own the hotel properties while ARA H-BT will operate the hotels. ARA US Hospitality Trust has an indicative forecast distribution yield of 8.0% for the eight-month forecast period of May to December this year. ARA will own 9.5% of the US Hospitality Trust's shares on issue upon listing.
Myanmar-based tourism-focused company, Memories Group (“Memories”), has announced the acquisition of a 15.28% stake in Strand Hotel International Limited (“SHIL”) for a consideration of SGD3.19 million. The transaction was conducted through a share purchase agreement with Oakfame Investment Limited and its holding company, Sun Hung Kai & Co. Limited, to acquire 1,696,636 shares of SHIL. SHIL is a joint venture partner of the Directorate of Hotels and Tourism Development in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, and holds a 50% stake in Myanmar Hotel International Company Limited (“MHIL”). MHIL has long-term leasehold rights and the rights to develop, operate, and manage three hotels in Yangon. These hotels are the Strand Hotel in Yangon, Inya Lake Hotel and Hotel G Yangon. SHIL has also entered into another joint venture with GCP Hospitality Management Limited and has an 80% interest in Myanmar Cruise International Limited, which owns a 50-passenger 61-metre-long boat cruise in Myanmar.
Tourism Authority of Thailand has signed a “Trade and Tourism Alliance” Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with six departments under the Thailand’s Ministry of Commerceto integrate development strategies and marketing promotions, while establishing links between trade and tourism. The six participating departments include the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Department of Foreign Trade, Department of Internal Trade, Department of Intellectual Property, Department of Business Development, and Department of International Trade Promotion. Under the MoU, all parties will cooperate on (1) providing support for the health and wellness, and gems and jewellery sectors through various online and offline activities; (2) organising marketing activities for agricultural and food products, geographical indication products, as well as all relevant products and services concerning tourism such as fruit fairs or border trade fairs; and (3) information exchanges via the set-up of a knowledge centre that will assist with organising events and encourage businesses to become more knowledgeable on international trade and investment opportunities overseas, as well as promote tourism-related trade and investment through training courses and seminars. The tourism initiative seeks to leverage the strength of each participating government agency in order to maximise the potential benefits derived from trade and tourism development.
The Queensland Government has announced the partnership with Australia Zoo to launch an AUD8 million wildlife camping experience, named ‘Camp Croc Hunter’ on the Sunshine Coast. The new initiative will provide a wide range of accommodation options on a 108-site camping ground, including tents, caravans, permanent glamping-style tents and eco cabins. The camping village will also feature a cafe, reception, entertainment and pool area, caretaker quarters and workshop, amenities blocks, covered cooking areas, school camp facilities and a mountain bike course. The project is anticipated to attract more than 39,000 annual visitors and contribute up to AUD4.5 million in visitor expenditure a year to the Sunshine Coast following its opening in 2020.
Brisbane Marriott Hotel has completed an AUD20 million renovation. The refurbishment covers areas including its 263 guest rooms and 4 suites, the executive lounge, two floors of event space and its signature restaurant, Motion Dining. The modernised rooms have been fitted with the Assa Abloy Orion system, an advanced technology that enables the hotel staff to control the lighting and air conditioning in each room upon guest check-in. At Motion Dining, diners can also now be seated at tables overlooking the Grill, at high tables in M bar or enjoy alfresco dining overlooking the river on MDeck. Located approximately 14.5 kilometres from the Brisbane International Airport and in Brisbane’s Central Business District, the hotel is within walking distance from Chinatown, Eagle Street Pier, Queen Street Mall and Story Bridge. Brisbane Marriott Hotel currently features two dining options, twelve flexible event spaces spanning a total of 737 square metres, a business centre, an outdoor pool and a fitness centre with views of the Brisbane River and the hotel’s Dome Spa Retreat. Marriott Hotel is the flagship brand of US-based hospitality company, Marriott International.