* Indonesia hoteliers eye emerging middle class

By Susan Cunningham
HotelNewsNow.com correspondent

BANGKOK—Fueled by steady economic growth exceeding 6% annually, the rise of Indonesia’s middle class and its impact on the hotel landscape were prominent themes at Travel Trends’ No Vacancy conference in Bangkok last week.

Of the 248 million people in Indonesia, approximately 20%–50 million–now belong to the middle class, said Sonia Kapoor, client service director for Nielsen Singapore. Now compiling between $4 and $20 each day to save or spend on leisure activities, members of this group will comprise 50% of the population by 2030, she predicted.

The number of new hotels being built or in the pipeline is unknown. The breakdown of travelers also is hazy, but Scott Blume, group CEO of PT Raja Kumar International, provided an estimate: “At least 25% is probably business travel and the travelers are staying in the 3- to 3-and-a-half-star range hotels. That’s 400,000 to 500,000 rupiah, or about $40.” … MORE

* Deals and developments in Sri Lanka

Cliff-side Kandalama Hotel (Aitken Spence), a Bawa design in central Sri Lanka

Geoffrey Bawa-designed Heritance Kandalama in Cultural Triangle

Sri Lanka’s hotels have been far from the international spotlight for 30 years, but the country accumulated a sizable inventory during the 1960s and 1970s. More than 500 Sri Lankan hotels and other types of lodging are listed on online booking sites. There are approximately 70 listed just for the Bentota-Kalutara beach strip southwest of Colombo.

Here are some companies that have announced sizable investments for renovations or new builds since the end of the country’s civil war in 2010.

Jetwing Hotels Limited

Jetwing Hotels will build six hotels by 2014, adding to its existing stable of 12, according to Jetwing Chairman Hiran Cooray. Forty-year old Jetwing, which also runs outbound tours, already operates the largest number of hotels in the country with a total of approximately 520 rooms. Cooray said Jetwing will spend $18 million … more

* Thailand: Data suggests supply/demand mismatch

By Susan Cunningham
HotelNewsNow.com Correspondent

BANGKOK—Tourism in Thailand has bounced back strongly since the global meltdown of 2009, despite continuing economic doldrums in Western countries and Thailand’s continuing political instability.

New source markets have momentum, tourism revenue was up 8% last year and more than 18,000 hotel rooms will enter the market within the next three years. Yet the mood in Bangkok earlier this month at TravelTrends.biz’s “No Vacancy” conference was cautious—even somber.

“There’s a disconnect between luxury hotels and growth in mass tourism,” said Bill Barnett, managing director of Phuket-based consultancy C9 Hotelworks. “There’s a disconnect when it comes to infrastructure … MORE