Singapore-based serviced residence owner and operator, The Ascott (“Ascott”), has secured contracts for another 26 properties with 4,600 units across 11 countries. This will increase Ascott’s portfolio to over 100,000 units globally, and represents Ascott’s second consecutive year of expansion. Half of the new properties will be established in China between 2019 and 2023, while…
Singapore-basedBanyan Tree Hotels & Resorts (“Banyan Tree”)has recently announced the opening ofAngsana Xishuangbanna, the first Angsana resort in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan Province and also its fifth in China. Located in Menghai County, the ‘Hometown of Pu’er Tea’, the resort features407 guestrooms, suites and villaswith a terrace. Food and beverage outlets include an all-day dining restaurant, a Chinese restaurant, a specialty restaurant, a lobby bar and a pool bar. The resort also features a pillar-less ballroom of600 square metres, which can be divided into three individual rooms, as well as two multi-function rooms covering an area of98 square metres, which can be combined and divided according to guests’ need. In addition, other facilities include an Angsana SPA, a Gallery, a gym, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a kid’s club, KTV and mahjong rooms. Banyan Tree manages more than 40 resorts and hotels, 60 spas, 70 retail galleries and three championship golf courses across 28 countries.
Malaysia has announced the Malaysian Government’s approval ofan extension for the temporary 15-day visa exemption for China and India tourists to the end of 2019. The exemption was previously planned to cease on 31 December 2018. The ease of visa restrictions is expected to help facilitate tourist arrivals by staying competitive with neighbouring countries including Indonesia and Thailand. Currently, Chinese nationals travelling to Malaysia payUS$40for a single-entry e-visa and an additionalUS$40as service fee while Indian nationals payUS$21.50for a single-entry e-visa,US$45for a tourist visa andUS$35for standard processing service fee. In an effort to boost awareness of Malaysia and to showcase the Malaysian Chinese culture and heritage, Malaysia has also launched other tourism initiatives including the organising of Malaysia-China Spring Festival Carnival in Kuala Lumpur on16 February 2019.
US-based airlineAmerican Airlines, Inc (“American Airlines”)and China-based airlineChina Southern Airlines Co Ltd (“China Southern”)are growing their partnership to codeshare on additional routes beyond key destinations in China and the United States,starting on 15 February 2019. The partnership will also includenine trans-Pacific routes between China and the US. Upon completion of the partnership expansion, the two airlines will codeshare on flights to20 destinationsin China beyond Beijing and Shanghai, and21 destinationsin the US including Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York. The two airlines will alsocodeshare all their long-haul flightsbetween China and the US. This partnership expansion will further enhance loyalty offering to customers of both airlines, with reciprocal lounge access and reciprocal loyalty program benefits. American Airlines and China Southern began their relationship in March 2017 and started codeshare service in January 2018.
Brunei-basedRoyal Brunei Airlines (“RB”)will restart its route between Brunei and Brisbanefrom 11 June 2019. Serviced by Airbus A320NEO with 12 Business and 138 Economy seats, theseven-hour non-stop route will operate four times per week, bringing an additional62,400 seats each year. Following the launch of daily London-Brunei flights in October 2018,the reinstated route will be part of RB’s one-stop service between London and Brisbane, offering an additional Australian travel destination for UK travellers. Brisbane was the second Australian city that RB flew to via Darwin in 1994. The direct route first opened in 1997 but was suspended in 2011. The reconnection of Brunei and Brisbane is expected to strengthen trade, investment, tourism, and cultural ties among the three countries. Founded in 1974, RB operates a network covering 16 destinations across Southeast and East Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Australia.
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