APPD Market Report Article

Kuala Lumpur

September 4, 2023

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


MYR 391


Robust domestic demand amidst international demand recovery

  • According to Malaysia Tourism Data, Malaysia welcomed about 4.4 million international visitors as of YTD March 2023. However, this only represents approximately 66% of visitor arrivals over the same period in 2019, indicating that a full recovery may take more time to materialise.
  • Top source markets as of YTD March 2023 include Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Brunei and Mainland China. While most of the top source market arrivals remain shy of what was recorded in the same period in 2019, arrivals from the Philippines and the US have exceeded pre-pandemic levels.

Uptick in supply growth in the short to medium term

  • Hotel room inventory in Kuala Lumpur is expected to grow 18% between 2023 and 2025, assuming all proposed projects materialise. Many owners, such the JW Marriott KL and the Ritz-Carlton KL, have also re-invested in their hotels over the past two years, which has changed the quality of hotel inventory in the market.
  • Notable openings as of June 2023 include the 117-room Lyf Raja Chulan Kuala Lumpur and the 238-room INNSiDE by Melia Kuala Lumpur Cheras. Some projects slated to open by mid-2023 have been postponed to the second half of the year.

State elections in 2023 drives strong trading performance

  • As of YTD June 2023, RevPAR has grown 100.0% y-o-y from MYR 195 to MYR 391, albeit on a lower base than 2022. This is mainly attributed to an uptick in occupancy, which rose 27.4 ppts from last year.
  • Despite the absence of top leisure source markets, hotel trading performance has recovered to pre-pandemic levels by June 2023. RevPAR as of YTD June 2023 was only 1% lower than YTD June 2019, as ADR exceeded 2019 levels. This was mainly attributed to strong domestic corporate and leisure demand ahead of the 2023 state elections.

Outlook: All eyes on Chinese outbound tourism for 2H23

  • Weighed down by slower global economic growth, Kuala Lumpur continues to anticipate pent-up leisure demand from the return of Chinese tourists to mitigate slowing corporate demand from around the region.
  • Malaysian authorities are pushing to resolve issues linked to visa approvals and flight connectivity in order to boost tourism arrivals. Furthermore, the tourism ministry has signed agreements with two Chinese tour agencies to bring in tourists from China.

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

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