BANGKOK, June 24 (Bloomberg): The Thai-American founder of Minor International Pcl, which runs more than 500 hotels across 55 countries, sees green shoots emerging in Europe properties while those in Asia remain squeezed due to resurgences in coronavirus outbreaks.
Italy, Spain and the U.K. are seeing businesses reopen and resumptions in domestic tourism, helping boost Minor's hotel-occupancy rate to about 40% in Europe, Bill Heinecke, founder and chairman of the Bangkok-based company, said in a Bloomberg TV interview on Friday. Operations in Asia remain restricted as the region copes with continued outbreaks.
“I'm reasonably optimistic about the rest of the world, but a bit depressed about Asia," the 72-year-old Heinecke said in the interview with Haslinda Amin and Rishaad Salamat. The policies of some Asian governments to fully control virus outbreaks are “killing businesses, and economies are suffering much more greatly than even from the disease," he said.
Minor's business in Europe is mostly through NH Hotel Group SA, which it acquired control of in 2018. Cash flow will swing to a positive level in the region this month, with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization expected to follow in August, he said. Revenue per available room remains “a bit low" compared to pre-pandemic levels.
The group's properties in its home base of Thailand, as well as operations in neighboring Indonesia and Malaysia remain mostly locked down due to restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus, especially the more-contagious delta variant, he said. The outbreak is overwhelming public-health systems across much of Southeast Asia, where vaccination rollouts are slower-than-expected.
“We're not going to get to zero cases. This is a pandemic that we're going to have to learn to live with it the best we can," Heinecke said. “Vaccinations are the key to opening up in any country. We need more vaccinations, not more lockdowns or handouts."
Minor's revenue from Europe rose to 51% of the company's total sales before the pandemic in 2019, up from 7% two years earlier before the NH Hotel acquisition. That proportion fell back to 19% in the first quarter of 2021 amid lockdowns — with 41% coming from Thailand, where Minor also has substantial restaurant and consumer-product units.
Heinecke said easing of rules to allow people from mainland China to travel abroad will have a “huge impact" on the group's hotels in Southeast Asia and Europe. He expects outbound travel to be allowed in mid-2022.
To boost liquidity and cash flow, Minor plans “more asset rotations." The company this week announced the sale of two hotels in Portugal for 148 million euros. – Bloomberg
- The best hotels for spa breaks in Europe
- Inside Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, the Thai hotel beloved by travel writers and royalty
- Port successes among bright spots for South
- Best cheap hotels in Paris for a budget-friendly break in the City of Lights
- The Thai cave rescue: What happened next?
- Saudi teen let stay in Thailand after barricading herself in hotel
- The best beach hotels in the Mediterranean
- This is what it's really like at the Welsh hotel voted one of the world's best
- Saudi woman barricades herself into Bangkok hotel room, fearing she will be killed if deported
- What to see, eat, drink and where to sleep in Luang Prabang, Laos
- NI’s Carpet King, the tycoon with a speedboat and helicopter, who brought his rich and famous pals to Donaghadee
- Hotel Zoo Berlin: A whimsical and luxurious spot in uber-cool Berlin
- The 25 best European city breaks for 2019 and where to stay
- Relax and unwind by heading for a massage at a top wellness hotel in Turkey
- Get ready for major staycation inspiration as the UK's best hotels are revealed
- Come for the food, stay for the night: inside Bless Hotel, Madrid's latest hipster hang-out
- Where to stay: the best hotels in Rio de Janeiro by district
- Top cheap hotels in Edinburgh with rooms from £24 a night
- Spring is sprung! First snowdrops of the season spotted
- Where to stay in Florence: hotels by district
Thai hotel tycoon sees bright spot in Europe as Asia stays shut have 659 words, post on www.thestar.com.my at July 24, 2021. This is cached page on Asean News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.