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HVS Asia Pacific Hospitality Newsletter – Week Ending 19 November 2021


The Rydges Wellington Hotel Acquired by NZ Hotel Holdings Asset LP in New Zealand

Located right across Wellington train station with a strong base of corporate, government, and leisure demand, The Rydges Wellington Hotel has been sold for AUD100 Million to NZ Hotel Holdings Asset LP, a partnership between the New Zealand’s sovereign wealth fund, NZ Super Fund, The Russell Property Group, and Lockwood Property Group. Rydges Wellington will join a strong tourism portfolio that includes the Four Points by Sheraton and Adina Apartment Hotel Auckland, Holiday Inn Rotorua, Breakfree Hotel in Christchurch, and the Sofitel Queenstown. Initially developed in 2007 and sold to investors in New Zealand, Australia, Asia, and the United Kingdom, the four-star Rydges Wellington is the largest hotel in the capital. The 17-level property features 280 rooms including 19 suites, five conferencing spaces, a fitness centre, a lap pool, a spa and sauna, and an award-winning restaurant and bar. Upon acquisition, the hotel would continue to be managed by Australia-based Rydges Hotels and Resorts. This transaction brings the total amount of hotels transacted in New Zealand this year to more than AUD300 million, setting a record and surpassing the previous records reached in 2010 and 2015.

CitizenM Hotel Chain Raised USD 1 Billion from Existing Shareholders for Future Expansion

Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC Private Limited (“GIC”) with Netherlands-based APG Asset Management (“APG”) and private equity firm, KRC Capital (“KRC”), have injected USD 1 billion to CitizenM (“CMH”), a Netherlands-based Hotel Chain. The funds would be used to build new hotels, complete projects already in the pipeline and make up for revenue lost during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chief Executive Officer of CMH, Klaas van Lookeren Campane, mentioned that despite revenue loss due to the pandemic, the long-term plan for the company remains unchanged with the major shareholders. With the majority of the new capital allocated for future growth, CMH is expected to have 24 operating hotels by the end of 2021 and another 16 or more by the end of 2024. GIC became one of the major shareholders along with APG and KRC on 27 March 2019, through an acquisition of 25% equity interest in CMH.

Velana International Airport will Complete New Expansion by 2022 in Maldives

Maldives-based Maldives Airports Company Limited (“MACL”) has announced the completion of the new seaplane terminal in Malé’s Velana International Airport (“VIA”) and is slated to open by end 2021. The MVR 849 million (approximately USD 55 million) terminal will have four stories, with each spanning 70 million square metres, allowing four operators to fully use the terminal. After the current seaplane terminal is shifted to the new terminal, the second runway in VIA will be opened for services. The USD 373 million runway can allow jumbo jets such as A380 to land and subsequently solve the overcapacity and long waiting time issue in VIA. MACL has been increasing the capacity of VIA, such as opening a new apron in November 2021 that covers 35,000 square metres to accommodate additional nine aircrafts. The entire airport redevelopment plan will allow VIA to cater up to 7.5 million passengers annually in 2023, when compared to the current capacity of 3 million passengers.

Singapore Tourism Board and Korea Tourism Organisation Partners to Capture Tourism Demand on Both Sides

The Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) have signed a two-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote each destination, develop tech solutions to benefit respective industries, and boost bilateral tourism by raising awareness and marketing. Both organizations will support tourism startups to develop technologies that will help the tourism sector. STB will support Korean startups through the Singapore Tourism Accelerator program to provide quality solutions and guide them within Singapore’s tourism industry. As a start of the partnership, both organisations will progressively launch familiarization trips for media and trade partners to promote safe travel between both destinations under the Vaccination Travel Lane (VTL). South Korea is a vital visitor source market for Singapore, ranking 9th out of 15 top source markets in 2019, a 3% increase over 2018. The partnership demonstrates STB’s continued efforts to raise the attractiveness of Singapore to South Korean travellers.

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