Hong Kong expands official quarantine hotel list

The Hong Kong government has added four hotels to its designated quarantine hotels scheme to provide more options in the lower rate category.

According to Patrick Nip, secretary for the Civil Service, the four new entrants are IW Hotel, Ovolo Southside, Silka Far East Hotel and Silka Seaview Hotel. At the same time, four hotels – Eco Tree Hotel, Mojo Nomad Aberdeen Harbour, O’ Hotel, and The Luxe Manor – have chosen to withdrawn from the second cycle.

Nip said their withdrawals were made due to personal considerations or commercial reasons.

Ovolo Southside in Wong Chuk Hang district is among four new additions to Hong Kong’s designated quarantine hotels scheme

Some 2,000 invitations were sent to properties with valid hotel or guesthouse licenses in the government’s second cycle of participant acquisition. The exercise drew more than 70 applications, and a total of 36 hotels were qualified – 32 of which are part of the first cycle of the scheme.

Altogether, the 36 designated quarantine hotels will provide 10,000 rooms across various room types and rates to support overseas returnees from February 20 to April 20 this year.

A spokesperson from the Food and Health Bureau told TTG Asia that the inclusion of cheaper room options was made in consideration of market demand.

“In this new cycle, the number of hotels charging HK$500 (US$64.50) and below per day will increase from seven to 11. The number of these rooms will almost doubled to more than 2,800. In fact, 83 per cent of the total room supply in the second cycle will cost HK$1,000 or less per day,” she elaborated.

She explained that the government considered design, facilities and operations in selection suitable candidates for the scheme’s second cycle, stating that the hotels must meet the government’s infection control requirements.

“We have also taken into account other factors including the location of the hotels, the number of rooms they can offer and their rates, etc.”

Ovolo COO Tim Alpe expressed delight over Ovolo Southside’s entry into the scheme and said the property is ready to welcome quarantine guests. The property will offer its well-regarded Quarantine Concierge perks, as well as high-speed WiFi 6 to enable guests to be on Zoom and Netflix at the same time.

An industry observer told TTG Asia that the scheme has attracted overwhelming interest because of the financial incentives that come with participation. The government will guarantee 50 per cent occupancy at HK$600 per room or 70 per cent of non-suite room rate, whichever is lower.

He said that amid travel restrictions, hotels that fail to be a designated quarantine property will struggle with business, as the number of visitors to Hong Kong are “close to zero” and these hotels are not allowed to accept quarantine guests.

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