Asia-Pacific hotel market sees growth

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SINGAPORE -- Hotel performance in the Asia-Pacific region during the first six months of this year is up month to month compared to the same period last year, according to a survey by Arthur Andersen's Asia division.

The group said observers were predicting a robust recovery in the Asia-Pacific hotel market long before tourism arrivals and airline load factors in the region began showing real signs of growth.

"The hotel industry is starting to reap the benefits of increased business and leisure travel," said Andreas Flaig, associate director of hospitality consulting for Arthur Andersen here.

"Intraregional business travel has increased substantially and leisure travel from Europe, the U.S. and especially Japan has rebounded," Flaig said.

According to the survey, the result has been double-digit growth in tourist arrivals for the first half of 2000 in several markets, including Singapore (11.8%), Hong Kong (15.7%) and Vietnam (18.1%).

Increased demand is translating not just into improved occupancies, but into room rate growth and stronger RevPAR (revenue per available room) performance.

Of the 27 markets tracked by Arthur Andersen, 19 markets recorded growth in average room rate compared to the first six months in 1999. This compares with only 14 markets in the first quarter of the year.

Meanwhile, 13 markets recorded double-digit growth in RevPAR compared to the first half of 1999, representing three more markets compared to the first quarter. These markets include Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Singapore, which recorded RevPAR growth of 28.8%, 25.7% and 19.4%, respectively.

Typically, RevPAR growth in the region was driven by strong occupancy growth and reinforced by smaller increases in average room rate.

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