APPD Market Report Article

Kuala Lumpur

May 26, 2024

Nihat Ercan, CEO - Hotels & Hospitality Group, Asia Pacific

23.2%

MYR 490

RevPAR
Rising

Tourist arrivals expected to reach pre-pandemic levels this year

  • According to Malaysia’s tourism data, Malaysia welcomed about 20.1 million international visitors in 2023. However, Malaysia has yet to recover to 2019 levels, with approximately 77% of visitor arrivals achieved compared to 2019.
  • Effective from 1 December 2023, citizens of China and India will enjoy visa-free entry to Malaysia for up to 30 days. Based on data from the Malaysia Inbound Tourism Association, arrivals have risen by about 33% y-o-y in January and 50% y-o-y in February.

Growing incoming supply of hotels in Kuala Lumpur in 2024

  • As of YTD March 2024, one hotel opened in Kuala Lumpur in 2024, namely the 318-key Crowne Plaza Kuala Lumpur City Centre, which opened in January this year.
  • For the remainder of the year, 4,268 keys from 13 hotels are expected to enter the market. Assuming that all projects materialise, supply is expected to grow by 9.3% in 2024. Notable openings include the 471-room Kimpton Kuala Lumpur, the 279-room Waldorf Astoria Kuala Lumpur and the 560-room 8 Conlay Kempinski Hotel Kuala Lumpur.

YTD trading performance exceeds 2019

  • As of YTD March 2024, Kuala Lumpur luxury hotels have registered a revenue per available room (RevPAR) growth of 23.2% y-o-y. This growth is attributed to both occupancy, which grew by 7.6 ppts from 64.4% to 72.0%, as well as an average daily rate (ADR) growth of 10.2% to MYR 681.
  • Compared to 2019, YTD March 2024 RevPAR has expanded by 20.3%, driven mainly by the 17.0% growth in ADR. Occupancy has also risen by 1.98 ppts. The exceptional start to the year was attributed to the influx of Chinese tourists in February during the Chinese New Year holidays and the implementation of the visa-free policy.

Outlook: Anticipation of pent-up leisure demand from Chinese tourists

  • Last year, Kuala Lumpur lagged behind its regional neighbours, such as Singapore and Indonesia, in terms of tourism recovery. However, the new visa-free policy is expected to revitalise the tourism industry and accelerate the post-pandemic recovery.
  • In 2024, Malaysia aims to attract more than 27.3 million international tourists, surpassing the 26.1 million arrivals in 2019. Additionally, the country anticipates tourism receipts to surpass MYR 102.7 billion by 2024.

Note: Kuala Lumpur Hotels refers to Kuala Lumpur's luxury and upscale hotel market.

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