Asia Gets High Share of New Luxury Hotels

Article excerpt

The surprisingly high rate of new luxury hotels that are opening across Asia can be attributed to the lag effect of the region's economic downturn, according to an industry expert.

Sonnenblick-Goldman managing director for the Asia-Pacific region Mr Robert Stiles said top-class new hotels had opened in the region in the past 18 months. He said most of the new hotels had been conceived before the economic crisis hit Asia.

"The gestation period for new hotels can easily be three to five years," he said.

There would be a "significant pause" in the rate of new hotels opening in the year 2000 and 2001, he predicted.

Sonnenblick-Goldman is a world renowned independent real estate investment banking firm. Mr Stiles is one of the judges who determined finalists in this year's Best Business Hotels in Asia Awards.

Other judges were News Corporation director, Mr Ken Cowley; strategic investment coordinator in the Australian Prime Minister's office, Mr Bob Mansfield; chairman of The Charlton Group, Mr Peter Charlton; and Bloomberg Television's Ms Appy Tang.

The awards, first held last year, were introduced by Business Asia to recognise the importance of hotels to the business sector.

Business Asia and Bloomberg Television have joined forces to present this year's awards.

A new category has been introduced this year: the Best New Business Hotel in Asia, which will herald the best hotel in Asia under two years old.

Other categories will name the best business hotels in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. …