90,000 beds on hold as revenue slide expected The global financial crisis will delay plans for as many as 90,000 new hotel beds in the Asia-Pacific region and pull back growth in revenue to single digits this year from 18 per cent last year. Hotels were bracing for a sharp slide in revenue per available room, or yield, in the fourth quarter, after 11.6 per cent growth between January and August, said Alex Kyriakidis, Deloitte's global managing partner of tourism, hospitality and leisure. The unfolding financial crisis added to the challenges posed by soaring fuel prices and swelling construction costs, Mr Kyriakidis said. 'Consumer confidence is starting to wane and companies are paring their travel budgets,' he said yesterday. 'Still, Asia-Pacific comes out as a winner relative to the rest of the world.' Between January and August, Japan, Thailand and Indonesia saw their yield grow between 10 per cent and 15 per cent. However, by August, yields had slumped to between 0.9 per cent and 2.4 per cent, according to Deloitte's data. The mainland, troubled with an oversupply of hotel rooms in Beijing and Shanghai, recorded 47.1 per cent growth in yield in August due to the Olympic Games. The country is expected to see a 3 per cent drop in yield this year, underscoring the impact of visa restrictions on foreign visitors since June and shrinking business travel. Mr Kyriakidis said hotel projects in the pipeline in the region would be delayed as developers had problems obtaining funding and construction costs continued to rise. The credit crunch would delay as many as 90,000 new hotel rooms across the Asia-Pacific region, or 18 per cent of the total of some 500,000 rooms the world's five biggest hotel chains had planned, he said. He estimated the mainland accounted for 40 per cent of new inventory in the Asia-Pacific region. Macau, which is in the middle of a construction boom of hotels and casinos, also faced significant risks of delays, he said. The city's reliance on mainland visitors meant it needed to entice more visitors from the rest of Asia, he said. Chicago-based Hyatt International Hotels and Resorts, which operates about 365 hotels in the world, expected the global financial fallout would inevitably postpone the opening of 26,000 hotel rooms in the pipeline. Hyatt's global head of real estate and development, Steve Haggerty, said the delay was particularly acute in the United States, which accounted for 38 per cent of the hotel group's new inventory. 'The visibility of the sector is very limited, which is the most difficult aspect to deal with,' he said. 'The question is how long the crisis will last.' Despite the gloomy prospect of the hospitality sector, Mr Haggerty said Hyatt was interested in buying some distressed real estate assets in the US and Europe and converting them into hotels.