Melbourne-based boutique investment house, Pentagon Group (“Pentagon”) has announced the acquisition of the Tasmanian hotel portfolio from Sydney-based EBC Hotel & Leisure Fund for AUD 35 million. This is the first portfolio hotel deal in Tasmania since the part selldown of the Goodstone Group in 2011 for AUD 27 million. The portfolio comprises three freehold hotels, the 62-key Olde Tudor Hotel in Launceston, the 54-key Bayside Inn St Helens and the 16-key Foreshore Tavern on the outskirts of Hobart. Collectively, they comprise 4.58 hectares of land, 132 accommodation rooms, 90 gaming machines and add up to more than 100 staffs. The acquisition plan is part of Pentagon’s plan to expand the group’s hotel portfolio to AUD 100 million in the next two to three years. Following the finalization of the sale, Pentagon seeks to rebrand all three properties to Comfort Inn starting from next week.
Izumisano City, one of the 33 cities located in Osaka Prefecture, has announced several upcoming tourism developments in Rinku Town. Located a 10-minute drive from Kansai International Airport, Rinku Town serves as the main gateway for air travel into Japan’s Kansai region. Upcoming attractions include the Kanku Ice Arena and the expansion of Rinku Premium Outlets that will add another 60 to its existing 210 shops. Both projects are anticipated to complete by late 2019 and 2020 respectively. Another prominent project will be the Setia Izumisano City Center (“SICC”), a two-hectare mixed-use development that will house serviced apartments, a four-star hotel, a convention centre with a capacity of up to 1,600 persons, offices, a conservatory with fountains and waterfalls, gardens, as well as various dining and retail shops. Developed by Malaysia-based property development company, S P Setia, SICC is scheduled to open in 2024. In addition, new hotels in the pipeline include the 98-key Hen na Hotel Kansai Airport (opening late 2019); the 258-key Oriental Suites Kansai Airport (opening late 2019); and the 700-key Hotel WBF Grande Kansai Airport (opening 2020). With these new developments, Rinku Town will boast 2,834 rooms, up from the current 1,778 rooms.
Cebu Pacific has announced the launch of a direct flight service between the capital city of Philippines, Manila and China’s major city in Guangdong Province, Shenzhen, offering a new low-cost flight option for travellers. The route will be operated by A320 aircraft with all 180 seats in the economy class. Starting from 1 July 2019, Cebu Pacific will commence a four-times weekly service between Manila and Shenzhen. At present, the only direct flight option between Shenzhen and Manila is with the budget carrier, Philippines Airasia. Full-service carriers connecting Manila and Shenzhen includes Air China, Asiana Airlines, China Eastern, Korean Air and Singapore Airlines, but these require frequent long stopovers and transits. The Manila-Shenzhen route aims to improve air connectivity between the two destination, enabling business travellers and visitors to make full use of business hours. Cebu Pacific currently flies 23 times weekly between the Philippines and mainland China, with direct flights between Shanghai, Manila and Cebu; as well as Manila and Beijing, Guangzhou and Xiamen.
Canada-based international hospitality company, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts (“Four Seasons”), has announced a multi-million dollar enhancement projectfor Four Seasons Hotel Sydney. The project commenced inOctober 2018 and is slated for completion in late 2019. The renovation consists of remodelling 517 of its guest rooms with a new design. The newly designed rooms will feature up-to-date technology including large flat screen televisions. Guest arrival experience will also be enhanced with rejuvenated public spaces which includes guest floor corridors. During the remodelling, public facilities such as Mode Kitchen & Bar, award-winning Grain bar, spa, pool and Lounge 32 will continue to be in operations. Four Seasons’ currently operates 114 hotel and resorts, and 41 residential properties in 48 countries, with more than 50 projects under development.
According to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, China saw a total of 95.978 million domestic tourist trips made during the three-day Dragon Boat Festival holiday, which was held from Friday to Sunday, up 7.7% from last year. In order to attract a large number of tourists, a variety of folk-custom activities, including dragon boat races, zongzi making, offerings for Quyuan and intangible cultural heritage exhibition and performance, took place in different places of the country during the holiday. A survey shows that a growing number of tourists opted to go outing for summer getaway due to the hot temperature, which accounted for 36.6% of total trips. Given a short holiday period, tourists preferred a short-to-medium-distance (three-hour) trip, with 70% of them travelling around a radius of 300 kilometers. During the holiday, tourism revenue reached RMB39.33 billion, recording a year-on-year increase of 8.6%.