Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and
Aquarius International Development are some of the hospitality groups
which have unveiled aggressive expansion plans and fresh initiatives in
Asia Pacific, signalling their continued confidence in the region’s
In the first half of 2020, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts signed 59 new
properties across Asia Pacific – an estimated 30% year-on-year growth
compared to 1H 2019, marking “a strong show of confidence from owners
and developers in our business and our family of brands,” said Joon Aun
Ooi, president, Asia Pacific, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts.
Of these, 21 new hotels were signed within Southeast Asia and Pacific
Rim (SEAPR), including the debut of the Wyndham Grand and Wyndham
Garden brands in Japan, four new hotels in Bangkok, and two in New
Zealand. Thirty-eight new hotels were signed in Greater China, with key
signings including Wyndham Grand Lishui, Wingate by Wyndham Weihai and
Wyndham Garden Wuhan Jianghan.
“While we remain cautiously optimistic on the recovery process, these
signings reflect Wyndham’s focus on the long-term horizon and in the
Asia Pacific hospitality industry’s ability to recover and bounce back
from the pandemic,” said Joon.
IHG launched its upscale hotel brand, voco, in the US and Greater
China – two of the brand’s fastest-growing markets. In Greater China,
voco marks IHG’s 11th brand entry in the region, where an upcoming voco
Hangzhou launch will bring the group's total footprint to 500 hotels.
Created two years ago, voco has saw 12 conversion and new-builds
across the UK, Continental Europe, the Middle East and Australia. Next
in the pipeline are 28 more properties entering 19 markets over the next
five years, and in the next 10 years, another 200 hotels will be added
at urban and leisure destinations.
“The brand’s sleep experience, thoughtful interior design, informal
service and focus on sustainability have really resonated with guests.
We’re excited to be bringing voco to the US and China, as we continue to
grow it successfully in our other key markets across the world,” said
Keith Barr, CEO, IHG.
On this note, IHG has also stepped up their game for global planners
with its ‘Meet with Confidence’ programme. Some safety practices and
cleanliness guidelines include clutter-free event spaces to ensure
social distancing, visible signage and staggered breaks for crowd
management, tapping on outdoor spaces where possible, disinfecting
tables and chairs before, after and during events, enhanced food
handling procedures, and technology solutions to support virtual and
hybrid meets. Zero cancellation charges, no attrition fees for unbooked
rooms, up to 5% rebate for master bill and IHG Business Rewards Points
are other ways the hotel group hopes will attract events
“The Meet with Confidence programme combines a laser focus on
cleanliness as well as flexibility where it’s needed most. Whether it’s
for a 10-person meeting, an intimate wedding or a virtual global
conference, with more than 5,900 properties in over 100 countries, our
diverse family of brands provides exceptional spaces to ensure every
meeting, event, or celebration is unforgettable,” said Derek DeCross,
SVP, Global Sales.
In the region, Bangkok-based travel and hospitality firm Aquarius
International Development (AQI) will from Q4 2020 execute a US$250
million, five-year expansion plan across Southeast. This new ecosystem
will cover luxury resorts, residences, yacht charters, private island
beach club, F&B services and AQBooking.com – an online travel booking and membership services platform for AQI’s elite globetrotters.
Unveiling this year are two projects: Aquarius Residences &
Resort, Koh Chang, an exclusive cliff-top eco-retreat, and AQ Privilege
Beach Club & Residences, Koh Man Nai, a private island located on
Koh Chang’s west coast. The former will open in three phases from 2022.
“We firmly believe in the long-term vitality of the Asian travel and
tourism industry, especially at the top-end, and at the heart of this
prosperity is Thailand, which benefits from excellent accessibility,
global visitor appeal and incredible natural assets,” said Nixon Chung,
COO of AQI.