Saturday, November 22, 2014

Growth as Pacific tourism heats up


Outrigger on the Lagoon  was recently sold in Fiji.
Outrigger on the Lagoon was recently sold in Fiji.

"The South Pacific tourism market is heating up after a long period in the shade," says Dean Humphries, the national director of Colliers International Hotels.
He says the renewed optimism is a result of the easing global financial crisis and a number of geopolitical events that have occurred including the recent Fijian elections returning a democratically elected Government after eight years of military rule.
"With regional and global economies improving, we are seeing encouraging signs of increased tourism activity, culminating in improving revenue and property values," says Humphries.
"As with recent trends in New Zealand, Fiji is reporting record occupancy and room rates while other markets like PNG, Samoa and Rarotonga are also displaying strong trading conditions.
"In the past 12 months the South Pacific region's key performance metrics and transactional inquiry levels have risen as global markets recover and discretionary spending on leisure tourism increases."
Humphries says new development is also featuring in Fiji, Samoa, New Caledonia and PNG and renewed investment activity has been noted.
"This is a result of a several large transactions in the last year, and more significant assets being offered to the market as investors take advantage of counter-cyclical buying opportunities."
Colliers International's hotel division has produced a visitor-supply ranking index based on inbound visitor arrivals and the supply of hotel rooms and resorts.
"This is a very effective barometer for investors wanting to identify key markets in the region where activity is most likely to occur over the short to medium term," Humphries says.
The ranking has Fiji at number one, Tahiti second and PNG third, with other markets such as Samoa and the Cook Islands showing signs of improvement.
A first "South Pacific hotel investment cycle clock", produced in conjunction with a number of regional industry experts, also forms part of the report,
"This identifies where each market is in terms of its current revenue performance," says Humphries.
"While many countries are towards the bottom of the hotel investment cycle, there are encouraging signals that most of these will enter a growth phase over the short term."
The report includes the recent sales of large resorts in Fiji such as Sonaisali Island, Castaway Island and Outrigger on the Lagoon.
New resort developments include the resurrection of the Momi Bay development in Fiji after its collapse in 2007. Marriot International plans to open a five-star, 250-room resort there in 2016. Other notable projects are the refurbishment and rebranding of Aggie Greys Hotel and Bungalows in central Apia, Samoa, and the rebranding of Aggie Greys Lagoon Beach Resort and Spa, which is opening under the Sheraton brand next year.

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