China Eases Some Zero-Covid Policies

Asia-Pacific
5 minutes

On Thursday, China’s new top leadership body reaffirmed Beijing’s “dynamic zero” Covid-19 policy in their first meeting since the Communist Party’s Congress last month. The Politburo Standing Committee said China’s epidemic prevention measures must not be relaxed. The meeting was chaired by President Xi Jinping. On Friday, Chinese regulators moved to relax Zero-Covid policies, changing the seven day hotel quarantine plus three in isolation requirement for all international travelers to 5+3 which means five days in a hotel quarantine and then three days of self-isolation. Other measures were scrapped such as temporary bans on routes operated by airlines found to have brought passengers infected with Covid-19 into the country. Is it any wonder why global stock markets are sending Chinese stocks higher on expectations that a reopening is in the making?

Chinese hotel operator Atour raised $52 million in an initial public offering in the United States. They had been hoping to raise more than $300 million, first filing for the IPO in April 2021. They wound up issuing 4.8 million American depositary shares at US$11 apiece, the low end of the range. Investors gobbled them up in the first day of trading with the shares rising 17%.

TDM Radio Macau said the negotiations between the Macau government and concession holders is getting to its conclusion with the latest being, the holders agreed to 10 year investment plans of US$12.5 billion. Sands China and Galaxy agreed to invest over $2.5 billion with the remaining concession holders will have to invest less, around US$1.9 billion each. Most of the investment will be in non-gaming elements with the concession holders continuing to be the main sponsors of Macau’s event calendar. This also is a good sign that the existing six concession/sub-concession holders will get the new concessions and Genting, who was the only non-concession holder to submit a bid, will not. Since they have no real past investments except an interest in a non-gaming hotel, Genting would surely have to play catch-up and invest the most if they were to be granted a concession.

Indian Hotels Company said they plan to emerge as the most iconic and most profitable company in South Asia by 2025 and that plan is on track. Meanwhile JP Morgan downgraded its rating on the stock after the quarterly earnings report, saying they missed estimates on margins and JPM feels they have reached their peak.

Radisson Hotel Group announced it is launching its new midscale India brand, Park Inn & Suites by Radisson. The group is looking to double its Indian footprint with nearly 150 hotels and resorts to be added by 2024. Radisson announced a strategic alliance with Ruptub Solutions Private Limited which operates a domestic chain of 1,000+ properties in 120+ cities across India under the Treebo brand. The company is backed by investors like Matrix Partners India, Elevation Capital and Ward Ferry Management. The Park Inn & Suites by Radisson brand is described as being tailor-made for the Indian market, based on ‘Inviting Modern Comfort’, ensuring guests feel welcome, valued and looked after. The average size of the hotel will be 50 to 70 keys with the hotels equipped with inviting social spaces, a welcome corner, fitness center, signature breakfast options and more. The partnership will identify and convert quick to market opportunities by targeting the development of a 150-hotel strong network of Park Inn & Suites by Radisson properties over the next decade. The brand will be powered by the combined Radisson Hotel Group’s EMMA CRS and Ruptub Solutions’ Hotel Superhero PMS. Radisson Hotel Group intends to catalyze the Park Inn & Suites by Radisson brand by way of master franchise, collaboration, and brand development agreements with high-quality hotel development partners. The brand will initially focus on Kerala and Karnataka as well as the northeast.

ITC Hotels’ Fortune Hotels unit announced the opening of its new property in Kufri, Shimla. Situated in the Gallu valley, this is the fourth addition to the Fortune Hotel brand in Himachal Pradesh after Dalhousie, McLeod Ganj and Kasauli. It has 41 operational hotels in the country. The hotel has 44 rooms and is described as a great destination for combining business and leisure, especially for everyone in and around Delhi, NCR.

InterContinental Chiang Mai Mae Ping, the first hotel as part of a strategic partnership between IHG Hotels & Resorts and Thailand’s Asset World Corporation, will open in mid-2023. When the first phase of renovations is completed, the nature-ensconced hotel will feature 240 elegant rooms and suites overlooking the alleyways of the old city or the jungle-clad Doi Suthep mountain. The guest rooms will feature Lanna-inspired décor showcasing traditional crafts such as lacquering and metal beating, and spacious zen bathrooms with a plunge bathtub and separate shower. F&B options will include a rooftop bar, authentic Chinese dining with a modern twist to a lobby lounge and all-day dining venue, five restaurants and bars in total. Event venues will include a secluded central lawn set within the temple grounds, enclosing Wat Chang Kong, a 600 year old stupa nestled in the shadow of a centuries-old tree.

MUU Hotels & Resorts announced the opening of its first property, MUU Bangkok, marking the brand’s debut in the Kingdom. MUU said they transform the luxury hotel experience into something personable, yet constantly evolving under the wants, needs and desires of its guests and the community in which each property exists. The 148 room MUU Bangkok is part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World community, sitting in the middle of Bangkok’s tony neighborhood of Thong Lo with views of the cityscale. The rooms, suites and residences start at the 37 sqm Deluxe King and goes up to the 180 sqm Thong Lo Suite which includes a spacious private terrace. The lifestyle-oriented residences range from the 52 sqm One Bedroom Residence to the 170 sqm Three Bedroom Residence with Terrace. There are two restaurants and two bars, including a speakeasy, a high tech gym and a rooftop swimming pool. The hotel will be in a soft opening phase all through November.

Marriott Vacation Club announced it has officially opened Marriott’s Bali Nusa Dua Terrace. This is the brand’s second vacation ownership property in Bali, perched on the hills of the island’s southernmost region, roughly 20 minutes away from the airport and near the area’s most popular beaches and cultural sites. The resort features 88 units offering one, two, and three bedroom luxury apartments designed to feel like a private residence with a living area, full kitchen, separate bedroom suite with a spa-like bathroom and an outdoor terrace with a private plunge pool. Owners and guests at Marriott’s Bali Nusa Dua Terrace have full access to the shared amenities at the co-located Renaissance Bali Nusa Dua Resort. That 5-star hotel currently features four outdoor swimming pools, eventually six food and beverage outlets, the SPA at Renaissance and children’s activities.

Personnel Moves

The Anam Group has called on Laurent Myter, a hospitality veteran with almost three decades of experience managing luxury hotel and resorts, to spearhead its expansion and oversee its growing number of properties. The Indochine hotel group also named Martin Koerner as the group commercial director. Ye Chang Sheng, who has worked for the group’s first resort Anam Cam Ranh since its 2017 debut, has been promoted to resort manager of the group’s second property, Anam Mui Ne, due to celebrate its grand opening in January. Myter comes to Anam after working at YTL Hotels for 26 years, Koerner returns to the Anam Group after establishing Optimum Hospitality. Ye Chang Sheng was Anam Group’s executive assistant manager at Anam Cam Ranh.