Travel Weekly's Asia-Pacific E-letter: Nov. 8, 2004

HONG KONG registered a record number of visitors in September, bringing arrivals for the first nine months of 2004 past the 15.7 million mark, more than the number of arrivals for all of 2003. Septembers arrivals of 1.7 million were more than 200,000 ahead of the previous best total for that month, the 1.5 million arrivals recorded in September 2003. For the first nine months of 2004, Hong Kongs arrival numbers for the first nine months represented a growth of 52.1% compared with the same period in 2003 and 34.2% compared with 2002. Hotel occupancy in September was 84%, the highest September figure since 1996, and two percentage points higher than for the same months in 2002 and 2003.

THE INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS GROUP will add a second Holiday Inn hotel in Singapore, the Holiday Inn Atrium Singapore, which will open in January. The 27-story, 515-room hotel will be located at the crossroads of Havelock Road and Zion Road, next to the Great World City Shopping Center. The hotel will have two executive floors equipped with wireless Internet connections. Facilities and amenities will include a swimming pool, tennis courts, a business center, meetings rooms and a ballroom that can accommodate up to 400 people.

ACCOR will have launched three hotels in Bali by early next year. On Nov. 1, the company opened the 184-room Mercure Resort Sanur. It will open the Sofitel Seminyak in December. Early next year, Accor will open the Ibis Legian. The three new properties will join two existing Accor hotels in Bali, the Novotel Benoa Bali and Mercure Kuta, and a Novotel on neighboring Lombok. Accor said occupancy has risen considerably for the first nine months of 2004. The Sofitel Seminyak Bali registered an occupancy of 73%, up 50% from the same period last year. The Mercure Kuta recorded an average occupancy rate of 89%.

STARWOOD HOTELS & RESORTS said it will manage the Sheraton Haikou Resort on the northern tip of Hainan island in China. The newbuild, 330-room property is scheduled to open in late 2005. The hotel will join the Sheraton Sanya Resort on the southern tip of the island. The Sheraton Haikou will feature more than 13,000 square feet of meeting and function space, four restaurants, a spa and fitness center, an outdoor swimming pool and retail shops.

NORTHWEST AIRLINES on Nov. 1 launched service from Guangzhou, China, to its Tokyo hub. Through Tokyo, travelers are able to make connections to eight U.S. cities: Detroit; Honolulu; Los Angeles; Minneapolis/St. Paul; New York (Kennedy); Portland, Ore.; San Francisco; and Seattle.

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