CBRE report: Robust growth in Asia Pacific hotel market

CBRE research highlights structural changes in the Asia Pacific hotel market, emphasizing operational and branding strategy adjustments.

With the Asia Pacific hotel market continuing to undergo structural change, hotel owners and operators are fine-tuning operational and branding strategies, CBRE reports. Increased labour and utilities costs, limited new supply, and the prolonged peak of the interest rate cycle are among the driving factors.

Major global hotel operators are expanding rapidly across the region, with almost half of the new hotels in the development pipeline being developed in conjunction with five hotel groups: Marriott (60,566 rooms), Accor (47,052 rooms), IHG (34,227 rooms), Hilton (31,606 rooms) and Wyndham (21,455 rooms). These operators continue to invest in loyalty programmes and niche segments to capture market share while also significantly expanding their technological capabilities.

Despite prolonged high interest rates globally, hotel investment in the Asia Pacific has been resilient, driven by continued interest in Japan and Australia, a record-breaking year for serviced residence sales in mainland China, and a steady flow of deals in a strongly performing Korean market.

This report explores the key trends impacting the hotel sector in Asia Pacific, including an analysis of the current market landscape, the latest activities of the major operators, asset management and investment trends, and ESG considerations.

Key Trends

Operators keep daily rates elevated as a result of limited supply, elevated demand and rising labour costs: While hotels have successfully adapted to lower levels of applicants and staffing, new labour-related issues present a challenge to owners and operators. With this challenge expected to persist for the rest of 2024, operators will look to keep daily rates high to capture some of these losses on balance sheets.

Major global operators continue to expand aggressively, with increased emphasis on lifestyle brands: With the ‘big 5’ operators expanding their global market share from 20% to 24% over the past six years, the trend is set to continue as the push for greater presence across all segments continues.

A large part of this strategy is the expansion into the lifestyle sector, with brand loyalty programs, avant-garde design and wellness initiatives driving the demand.

Investment robust despite debt-related headwinds; investors maintain a preference for upscale+ branded assets: Amid ongoing capital market dislocation, the upscale+ segment has emerged as the most appealing segment for hotel investors in the Asia Pacific. This has been driven by growth in global wealth and travellers’ willingness to spend more on accommodation following the prolonged border closures witnessed during the pandemic.

Adoption of Sustainability / ESG initiatives continues; hotels with strong ESG initiatives set to outperform: The Asia Pacific hotels and hospitality industry’s commitment to ESG initiatives continues to gain momentum. Rising energy costs, which have increased significantly since the onset of the pandemic, along with further commitment to ESG initiatives are set to accelerate the industry’s focus on sustainability. Other supportive factors include a shift in guests’ preferences toward more sustainable tourism, along with growing demand for disclosure around climate risk.

George, in his capacity as an intern, diligently oversees the flow of news, assists in the publication of content, and delves into the strategies of social media distribution. He is currently pursuing his studies in Business Administration at the Athens University of Economics and Business.