Asia “defies gravity” for hotel CEOs

Top hotel leaders praise Asia and the Philippines

Asia’s economic growth shows signs of slowing, with an average of 3-4% room supply growth in the next five years throughout the region, but it remains a focal point for global hotel development. Destinations like Myanmar and the Philippines are attracting higher interest than ever. Christopher Nasseta, president & CEO of Hilton Worldwide, says that demand growth is “much, much greater” than supply growth, pointing to the region’s massive population, its growing middle class and huge infrastructure investment.
“It’s the most powerful demographic story on earth for travel and tourism,” he said at a panel debate at the just-concluded Hotel Investment Conference Asia-Pacific (HICAP) 2012. “We remain super confident in Asia in the short, medium and long term.”
Richard Solomons, CEO of InterContinental Hotels Group, agreed. “It’s a long-term business. You don’t build a hotel for tomorrow but for 20, 40, 50 years, so you’ve got to look ahead.”
Gerald Lawless, president and CEO of Jumeirah Group, picked the Philippines when asked where he would put his money.
“The Philippines is at last getting some kind of political stability, there is dedication to rid corruption and the recent peace agreement in Mindanao is pretty significant. I think the Philippines is a country long time coming, especially when you also consider the wealth of talent [Filipino hotel staff] in Dubai and the rest of Asia,” he said.
TTG Asia
[pictured: Philippines; courtesy PATA]

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