In this week’s roundup of news from the Asia/Pacific region: Kuala Lumpur outlook; a new hotel brand from Huazhu Group Limited; Australian hotel supply concerns; and more.
Hotel News Now each week features a news roundup from a different region of the world. Today’s review covers the Asia/Pacific region.
Kuala Lumpur hotel market looking for a revival
The Kuala Lumpur hotel market saw a 13.3% increase in supply since 2014 and 3.5% growth for full-year 2018, write STR’s Jesper Palmqvist and Jan Freitag. Demand, however, grew by 2.2% on average for the same time period and ended virtually flat (0.2%) by the end of 2018. STR is the parent company of HNN.
Over the past 10 years, tourist arrivals has remained almost flat. The market is becoming less dependent on arrivals from China, but both Malaysia and the Kuala Lumpur market are both seeing increases in the number of arrivals from Greater China. There is domestic and corporate business in the market, but when demand has increased occupancy levels, rates remained under pressure.
Huazhu CEO teases launch of new brand on earnings call
Huazhu Group Limited will launch a new upscale hotel brand called Madison in the near future, HNN’s Danielle Hess reports from the company’s fourth-quarter and full-year 2018 earnings call. Huazhu Group CEO Jenny Zhang did not provide much detail but did say the brand is expected “to accelerate our growth in the upscale segment.”
The company continues to grow its footprint, having 4,230 hotels in operation at the end of 2018. Its pipeline reached 1,105 hotels by the end of the year, which represents 26% of hotels in operation. Eighty percent of the rooms in the pipeline are in the midscale and upscale segments. Overall, the pipeline grew 19% year over year.
Brookfield buys India’s Leela business and four hotels
Canadian asset management firm and fund Brookfield has acquired India-based Hotel Leela Venture Limited’s Leela Palaces & Resorts’ management business and four of Leela’s nine assets, according to a news release. The assets are in Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi and Udaipur. The total transaction value is 39.5 billion Indian rupees ($572 million).
“The Leela is