The year 2014 has been a very interesting year for the hospitality industry in Asia, with various political and economic factors aﬀecting countries across the region, which have in turn had varying levels of impact on the travel and hospitality sectors. A slowdown in economic growth in China and the government’s crackdown on corruption has led to declines in spending on travel and hotels both within the country and outside. Given that China is a key feeder market for many of the countries in the region, any drop in Chinese tourist numbers is bound to have a signiﬁcant impact on the performance of hotels in those countries. India and Indonesia both saw high turnouts during their general elections and the ascendance of leaders with a strong focus on honest governance and businessIfriendly policies. Japan has just dipped into a recession again and heads to elections on December 14th.
Since the beginning of mankind, the urge to travel to learn more about the world around us and to experience new cultures has been strong, and has become only stronger with the ease of travel to new destinations. This dynamic is particularly true in Asia, where low cost carriers such as Air Asia, Tiger Air, IndiGo and Silk Air have been very successful and continue to expand aggressively. With oneIthird of the planet’s population living in Asia and with increasing disposable income, the region has become the epicentre for tourism in the world. The majority of tourist arrivals in Asia originate from within the region and this trend will continue, making the countries here less dependent on tourists from the West and less susceptible to political and economic shiPs in the Western countries.
We do however have concerns about the unplanned way in which our tourist destinations are being developed, leading to overIbuilding that leads to logistical issues such as traﬃc congestion and overconsumption of natural resources, and economic ones such as a supplyIdemand imbalance, lower occupancy and average rates, and therefore lower returns for investors. There is additionally the risk that visitors will ﬁnd the destinations too commercialised and move on to newer exotic ones. Unless we take a step back and learn from past mistakes, this cycle will continue and we will soon run out of destinations in Asia. And what a tragedy that would be!
Through the 2015 edition of the Asia Paciﬁc Hotel Watch, we aim to provide hotel owners, investors and other stakeholders with relevant, unbiased intelligence on the dynamics that inﬂuence each market and help you determine how that should impact your investment behaviour going forward. We hope you ﬁnd the report informative and useful and would love to hear from you if you have any questions or comments.
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