A white paper on the Corporate Travel Management Market said some 84.5% of companies in China are expecting an increase in domestic travel business budgets for 2023. 74.5% expect an increase in international business travel budgets. Trip.com’s Trip.Biz unit released the report with the study noting that business travelers are increasingly eager for a comfortable, safe and efficient travel experience meaning there will be demand for fast track security lanes, flexible change & cancellation policies and quality hotel service. In 2022, over 30% of companies allocated more than 10% of their budgets to business travel, higher than in 2021. The study also showed nearly 60% of the companies have begun digitalizing their business travel processes.
Cambodia is making plans to finish developing large tourist areas along its coast on the Gulf of Thailand. Chinese investors began turning Sihanoukville into a large gambling center five years ago but that ended with a ban on online gambling and the pandemic. Officials are now making plans to complete work on more than 1,100 unfinished buildings in Sihanoukville and are thinking about ordering developers to either tear down buildings or finish the construction by 2026. A new tourist area called Bay of Lights is under development near the Ream Naval Base, about 30 kilometers east of Sihanoukville. The project is expected to be completed by 2028.
Dusit Hotels and Resorts is set to expand its global and domestic footprints by opening three hotels in the next 30 days, including two new properties in Bangkokand its first hotel in Japan. Its first dusitD2 branded hotel in Bangkok – dusitD2 Samyan Bangkok, will soft open on May 12. The new hotel comprises 179 guest rooms and includes a stylish lobby, fitness center, versatile meeting space, outdoor swimming pool and multi-level food and beverage concept featuring a grab-and-go gourmet outlet, all day dining restaurant with an open kitchen and a Miami-inspired rooftop bar called Mimi. On May 15 Dusit will mark the official expansion of its ASIA Hotels lifestyle brand by opening ASAI Bangkok Sathorn on Sathorn Soi 12 near Bangkok’s central business district. The new hotel will include 106 compact rooms that focus on the essentials, a spacious and welcoming communal space that features a cozy neighborhood bar, co-working area, and a unique dining experience from chefs Bo Songvisava and Dylan Jones. On June 1, Dusit will take the ASAI brand outside of Thailand with the opening of ASAI Kyoto Shijo, Dusit’s first hotel in Japan with 114 compact rooms, a large communal hub and will offer regular collaborations with local restaurateurs and artisans and sustainable sourcing of produce to further set the distinctive lifestyle hotel apart. Dusit said they have an additional nine hotels set to open globally before the end of the year including their first entry into Nepal, a second in Japan and a strategic return to India. Dusit is set to add 1,700 keys to its hotel portfolio, resulting in 62 hotels with 13,700 keys operating across 18 countries worldwide by year-end.
Absolute Hotel Services announced its strategic move into the lease model of hotel management and operation in India under a new entity for lease and freehold ownership model. AHS Hotel Assets Pvt Ltd, floated by AHS’ India partners the Dharkar family, has attained its first property on ownership with U Rivergate Karjat. It is a 6.5-acre and 42-room property nestled amidst 60 acres of lush green landscape along the banks of River Pej in Karjat. The resort includes a multi-cuisine restaurant, lounge and bar, gym, swimming pool, a U Spa opening soon and sporty activities for kids and entire family. AHS said it is the first time AHS India started in the ownership and management of the resorts and hotels in the country as part of its growth strategy. The vision is to own 25 properties in India within a period of 10 years in addition to at least 25 under the management contract model.
ITC Hotels of India said they signed three more properties under the Storii brand in Goa, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. ITC said Storii is becoming a preferred brand in the experiential segment with every property under the brand telling its own unique Storii. Soon to open will be the Storii Moira Riviera, located in Moira, a village in North Goa. The 15 keys boutique property follows the Mediterranean style design and architecture with most rooms offering a plunge pool and recreational facilities including the K by Kayakalp spa. ITC also signed the 23 key Urvashi’s Retreat in Manali for the Storii brand. That will also offer the K by Kayakalp spa and food and beverage options including a bar, all day dining and a specialty restaurant. Then there is the Storii Prayagraj, just 10 km away from pilgrim spot – Triveni Sangam.
Thailand will soon open the doors of its first INNSiDE hotel including a sky-high transparent infinity pool, integrated co-working spaces and authentic, Spanish tapas bar. INNSiDE by Melia Bangkok Sukhumvit is set to debut in July, situated in the heart of the action in Bangkok’s lively On Nut neighborhood. The 208 room INNSiDE by Melia Bangkok Sukhumvit includes a co-working space on floor 32, meeting rooms such as Big Ideas Space and the two story infinity pool together with the rooftop pool bar on floor 34. The Spanish tapas bar is on floor 33 while the Open Living Lounge is integrated into floor 32’s co-working space. The hotel is also home to a 24-hour gym and a concierge service.
Melia Hotels International also announced they are extending their luxury portfolio with a ski and hot spring resort consisting entirely of villas in inner Mongolia. Located in the region of Arxan, it is the eleventh hotel in China from Melia.
The Australian Financial Review reported Rich Listers, Chris Morris and Brian Flannery, have put resorts in the Daintree Rainforest and Byron Bay up for sale. The Daintree Ecolodge, Red Mill House Bed & Breakfast and Daintree Village Hotel were put up for sale in Queensland by Chris Morris with an asking price of more than $8 million. They are being marketed for sale by CBRE Hotels who was also appointed by Brian Flannery and wife Peggy to sell the Bayshore Bungalowsresort in Byron Bay with an asking price of $13 million.
The World Travel & Tourism Council said the global travel and tourism sector won’t fully recover this year, but it will get close. According to the WTTC’s 2023 Economic Impact Research, the sector is forecast to reach $9.5 trillion in 2023, just 5% shy of its GDP contribution in 2019. WTTC expects 2024 to exceed 2019. By the end of 2022, tourism levels in 34 countries, out of 185 that were analyzed, rebounded to pre-pandemic levels in terms of GDP contribution. Countries leading the charge include the U.S. and Dominican Republic. WTTC’s research predicts that at least 50 more countries will meet, or be within 95% of reaching, this target by the end of this year. WTTC forecasts Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia-Pacific will recover in 2024 and the Caribbean is expected to recover by 2025. This year, jobs in the travel and tourism sector will recover to 95% of 2019 levels, according to the report. In 2019, 334 million people worked in the travel sector. By 2033, the WTTC forecasts the travel sector will employ some 430 million people around the world. Travel demand in many regions surged in 2021 and 2022, as a steady stream of border reopening kept travel momentum high. We can’t expect that momentum to continue into 2023, according to a forecast published by Riskline. According to Riskline’s report, higher airfares and hotel rates will severely limit travel in 2023. Travel disruptions, geopolitical turmoil and corporate sustainability practices will also take a toll. The report, published last week, shows that while willingness to travel varies around the global, overall intent is trending up, bolstered by demand in South Korea and Western Europe. Travelers still prefer cutting travel costs to canceling their plans. Bleisure travel is on the rise, particularly for trips that are primarily related to work. Domestic travel demand is cooling in the U.S. this year, but Americans are planning to travel internationally more often. Big city travel is rebound, as concerns about Covid-19 are not materially influencing travel behaviors in the U.S. as they are in parts of Asia.