Hotels in China continue to fuel revenue per available room (revPAR) growth throughout the Asia Pacific region according to latest hotel performance data from the HotelBenchmark? Survey by Deloitte.
During the first eight months of 2005 Chinese hotel markets have witnessed above average revPAR growth at 14.3%. Major commercial markets have fared even better with Beijing, Taipei and Hong Kong reporting growth in excess of 20%. Even in Shanghai where hotel construction is at a fever pitch, revPAR grew 17%.
The robust performance of the Chinese hotel industry is reflected in the latest international visitor arrival data from the World Tourism Organisation (WTO) which reveals China achieved above average growth in visitor arrivals and tourism receipts during the first seven months of the year. International visitor arrivals increased by around 16% and tourism receipts by over 20%.
The only country where revPAR improvement has surpassed principal Chinese cities is Vietnam where both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh have experienced revPAR growth of more than 30%. Much of this growth has been driven by double-digit increases in occupancy. The country has been hard hit in recent years by SARS and bird flu which have halted demand and the recent growth in occupancy to reach 72%, now brings the country back in-line with the regional average. A relaxation in visa requirements has certainly also helped stimulate demand, particularly from its South-Eastern neighbours and explains why international visitor arrivals are reported to have improved 22% during the first seven months of the year.
Unaffected by the tsunami that hit South Asia ten months ago, Vietnam is also benefiting from displaced tourism. Other markets that appear to have benefited include Bali and Hua Hin where revPAR has increased 14% and 24% respectively. However, the recent bombings in Bali, three years on from the 12 October 2002 attacks, may well temper performance in the short term. Thankfully, so far no travel advisories have been issued to the island, so we remain hopeful that the industry will recover quickly, as has happened in other areas of the world.
Conversely, in Phuket which was badly affected by the tsunami, hotel performance remains weak and revPAR has fallen 40%. In fact, Phuket is the only market in Asia that has reported negative revPAR during the first eight months of the year. The recent re-openings of the Meridien Phuket and nearby Meridien Kho Lak - both severely damaged by the tsunami - should help raise awareness that the city is back in business.
Marvin Rust, Partner in charge of hospitality at Deloitte said: “Hotels across the Asia Pacific region continue to display remarkable resilience in the face of adversity. Ten months on from the tsunami, international arrivals are up 25m as visitors continue to flock to the region to explore the magic which is Asia. This has continued to boost revPAR which has improved 11.3% during the first eight months of the year. Performance in China has been particularly strong and the recent opening of Disneyland Hong Kong should ensure that the country maintains this momentum for the rest of the year, as visitors flock to see Mickey and his friends.”
“2005 looks set to be another strong year for tourism with Asia expected to achieve close to 10% growth in international visitor arrivals, nearly twice the global average. This will translate into both a higher level of demand and continued average room rate growth for the industry. With a plethora of sporting activities on the horizon - Commonwealth Games, Melbourne (2006) and Delhi (2010) combined with the Olympics in Beijing in 2008 - the region will continue to raise its profile on the world’s stage, which bodes well for the future prospects of the region’s hotel industry.”