Deloitte, the business advisory firm, has confirmed that Asia Pacific is leading the recovery in global hotel performance, achieving the strongest revenue per available room (revPAR) growth during the first four months of 2010, up 24.1% to US$83.
“With an outlook of strong economic recovery for Asia Pacific, hotel performance has benefited and revPAR is only US$14 short of levels achieved pre-recession, for the same period in 2008," says Alex Kyriakidis, Global Managing Partner of Tourism, Hospitality & Leisure at Deloitte.
Kyriakidis adds that the region is also leading growth in international tourist arrivals and passenger traffic. If this trend continues, revPAR may push past the US$100 level at some point this year, he notes. "If this happens, the region will be achieving the best performances it has ever achieved,” notes Kyriakidis.
In local currency, Phuket was the strongest performing market in Asia Pacific with revPAR up 31.7%. More direct flights from Australia and Europe resulted in an occupancy jump of 30.1% to 79.6%, while average room rates grew only 1.3%. Although performance remains strong, according to figures prepared by STR Global, there have been recent reports that occupancy is starting to decline and forward bookings are looking week as protests turn violent in Bangkok.
Recovery from the global economic crises was evident in January and February, as Bangkok achieved double-digit revPAR growth. However, increases decelerated to 5.4% in March and dipped into the red in April down 12.6%. Year-to-April results remain positive, but will dip
back into the red if violence carries on and international governments continue to advise against travel to the Thai capital.
When measured in US dollars, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Sydney achieved revPAR growth in excess of 35%. However, these results are inflated by the strong Australian dollar against the US dollar. In local currency, Sydney leads the recovery Down Under with revPAR up 11.8%. Brisbane followed behind with 8.1% growth, while hotels in Melbourne contracted 0.3%.
Hong Kong and Beijing were the second and third best performing destinations across Asia in terms of revPAR growth when measured in local currency. Meanwhile, occupancy improved by 30.7% and 19.3% in Beijing and Shanghai respectively, providing a welcome break from declines experienced through the economic downturn and as new supply flooded the market.
“China’s hotel industry is proving to be a global leader by bouncing back faster than many others. Average room rates in Hong Kong are doing particularly well and pushed past US$200 during the month of March for the first time in 16 months. The outlook for the rest of the year looks strong, especially for Shanghai where hoteliers will also receive a boost from an expected 70 million visitors attending the World Expo 2010 from May to October,” says Ronald Chao, Tourism Hospitality and Leisure Partner for Deloitte in China. “Longer-term prospects look promising too, with continued economic prosperity encouraging domestic and international travel. The World Tourism Organization recently predicted that China will overtake France to become the world’s largest tourist destination by 2015.”