Alta Thoughts (November 2022)
By Rakesh Patel
I was in Singapore recently attending HICAP (Hotel Investment Conference Asia-Pacific) and facilitating a roundtable for the “Hotel Owners for Tomorrow”. The mood around the events was generally positive, partly as they are back to live in-person, and also given the recent recovery in travel. Singapore in particular has seen a sharp rebound of in-bound visitors, with tourism revenues more than doubling yoy, albeit still below pre-Covid levels.
HICAP covered a wide range of hospitality topics, with some of the key themes being:
- STR and HotStats report a sharp recovery at hotels in most parts in Asia, led by leisure travel. Overall, Asia performance still lagging Rest of the World and the 2019 high.
- With Chinese international travel still at zero, the hotel sector has learnt to pivot to other sources markets, particularly India and GCC
- More investment opportunities will emerge over the next 12–18 months as banks/owners work through credit challenges as funding costs rise
- Sebastien Bazin, the CEO of Accor, is especially bullish on the lifestyle sector, where more than 50% of revenues are non-room related
- MICE is back and Singapore is leading in Asia. The Minister of Tourism, Alvin Tan, pointed to multiple large conferences in Singapore this week alone
- ESG/sustainability compliance is advancing from “nice to have” to “must have”, though progress in Asia is behind Europe. Triggers in Asia will be rising fuel costs and guest preferences, likely ahead of real regulatory change
- Other future trends covered: long-stay bleisure, all-inclusive resorts, experiential travel, mixed-used development with brand residences
Every month we circulate a brief summary of our latest comments on hospitality, real estate, wellness, sustainability, travel and tourism in Asia, etc. You can follow us directly on LinkedIn and go to our website. As always, happy to hear your feedback and exchange ideas.