According to the latest Mastercard Global Destinations Cities Index 2017 released today, travel and tourism in Asia-Pacific are both expected to grow steadily in the period ahead. Bringing in $91.16 billion USD in travel expenditure in 2016, Asia Pacific outpaced Europe ($74.74 billion USD), and North America ($55.02 billion USD).
International overnight visitors to the Top 10 destination cities were up in 2016. According to the Index, Bangkok tracked 19.41 million visitors, while London came in a close second with 19.06 million visitors. Singapore (13.11 million visitors) inched past New York (12.7 million visitors) into fifth position for the first time in three years, while Seoul (12.39 million visitors) leapfrogged three spots into seventh place.
Home to half of the world’s top ten most visited cities, Asia Pacific’s success as a global travel hub has been supported by strong intra-regional travel. Both Singapore and Seoul tracked significant growths, aided by visitors from neighboring countries, particularly those from China. In the Index’s seven-year history, China has grown from being passive contributors to the region’s travel sector to the main driver of growth for visitor arrivals into Asia Pacific’s top destinations. Overall, forecasts for continued growth in 2017 are positive except for New York, with Tokyo (12.2%) expecting the largest boom.
Australia's first Curio Collection by Hilton property has just opened up in Sydney's Central Business District (CBD) and next to the brand new waterfront leisure and commercial Barangaroo precinct. The West Hotel Sydney, Curio Collection by Hilton is a newly-built hotel with 182 beautifully-appointed rooms and suites.
The first St. Regis-branded property in Hong Kong (St. Regis Hong Kong) is slated to open in early 2019 in collaboration with China Resources Property. Marriott International has nine properties in Hong Kong currently and the introduction of the St. Regis brand in Wan Chai will make it the perfect luxury accommodation for business travellers and leisure guests.
When you have memberships across different loyalty programs, it is always a good idea for you to keep track of it (manually or otherwise). I have previously written about AwardWallet which is free to use (but premium features can only be unlocked when you make a contribution) and today I just wanted to mention how useful it actually is because I actually discovered that my account got hacked through this very platform - 339,500 points were gone!
I recently stayed in a Premier Suite at the InterContinental Singapore over New Year's Eve (well, I actually checked-in on 30 December 2017 and checked-out on 01 January 2018) and was curious to know which set of Accelerate challenges it would count towards. More importantly, I was curious to know whether the elite-qualifying nights counted towards my 2017 or 2018 quota.
MGallery by Sofitel adds three new iconic properties to its growing portfolio of 90 hotels. The addition of the Victory House Leicester Square in London and The Retreat Palm Dubai as well as Tarcin Forest Resort & Spa is part of the rapid expansion of the MGallery brand that is slated to happen over the next five years.
The Holiday Inn Express Bangkok Soi Soonvijai is the fourth Holiday Inn Express property to open in Bangkok. This 206-room property is located just two minutes walk away from Bangkok Hospital and a short trip to both Piyavate Hospital and Rama 9 Hospital, making it perfect for medical tourists.
Singapore's largest tour agency that specialises in tours to Europe and the USA has just launched a brand new website today that enables consumers to not only access full itineraries but also to make payments for their upcoming trips online. Travellers who are interested in any Premium Tours will also be able to enjoy a discount of S$128 by simply entering a promo code.
IHGA Hotels Group Japan, a joint venture between InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and ANA has just signed an agreement to bring IHG's popular boutique brand, Hotel Indigo, into Japan. This is in response to a growing segment of travellers who are constantly looking for a different travel experience. The Hotel Indigo Hakone Gora is slated to open in 2019 and it will be a place where guests and locals alike can gather and enjoy the rich culture and history of Gora, with its famous, pastel coloured hot springs surrounded by majestic, green mountains and the charms of nature that change with the seasons.
Following its official opening on 15 July 2017, the Oakwood Premier OUE Singapore has just unveiled The Oakwood Executive Club which is an add-on membership for in-house guests. Similar to an executive lounge in hotels that most travellers are familiar with, The Oakwood Executive Club offers Prosecco breakfasts, a stunning private poolside lounge, stylish boardroom with floor-to-ceiling windows and cocktail service, as well as free-flowing evening canapés on the terrace to discerning corporate and leisure guests in Singapore’s downtown.
Singapore's newest integrated lifestyle hub as well as one of the newest hotels to open in Singapore this year is the Novotel Singapore on Stevens and the Mercure Singapore on Stevens by AccorHotels. The two new-built hotels feature 772 guest rooms and suites (256 from Novotel Singapore on Stevens and 516 from Mercure Singapore on Stevens), 14 dining outs, two outdoor swimming pools, a tennis court as well as function space that is large enough to accommodate 500 guests. Located at the edge of Orchard Road along Stevens Road, the two hotels will offer guests and visitors an integrated range of gastronomy, health, fitness and lifestyle options in the precinct close to the city’s best shopping and entertainment, conveniently accessible via the hotel’s shuttle service.