Business / Industries

International innkeepers still flocking to China

By Wang Wen and Zheng Xin in Sanya, Hainan (China Daily) Updated: 2014-04-25 06:57

International innkeepers still flocking to China

Travelers from Norway visit The Bund in Shanghai. Some of the international hospitality chains plan to open more hotels in China, particularly in smaller cities. Provided to China Daily

The current downturn in the nation's high-end hotel market has not curbed international innkeepers' confidence in China, as they continue their expansion plans.

"China certainly should be in the top two (out of Hilton's worldwide markets) within the next five years," Christopher Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton Worldwide, said on Thursday.

The United States-based group had 43 hotels in five brands in China at the end of 2013. The market currently is in fourth place for the hotel group's business.

International innkeepers still flocking to China

International innkeepers still flocking to China 
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But Hilton should have thousands of hotels in China in the long term, Nassetta said, and the group already has 140 in the pipeline for the world's second-largest economy.

In addition, two new brands, including Embassy Suites Hotels, could be introduced into China by the end of this year, he added.

But Hilton actually missed the most active period over the past decade, when international hoteliers were enjoying a remarkable expansion in China.

Most of Hilton's top rivals have many locations in China, and they continue to develop in the smaller cities.

Marriott International Inc has 67 hotels and 111 properties under construction or planned in China, with quite a few located in second- and third-tier cities, including Hangzhou, Zhejiang province; Sanya, Hainan province; and Zhuhai, Guangdong province.

Intercontinental Hotel Group plans to double the number of its hotels across China over the next five years, said Richard Solomons, global chief executive of IHG, on the sidelines of a travel industry forum in Sanya.

According to the IHG, about 90 percent of its newly opened hotels in 2013 were located in second-, third- and fourth-tier cities.

"This reflects the alignment of the group's development strategy to future industry growth drivers," Solomons said.

However, China's hotel market has stagnated since early last year, and experts are questioning whether the high-end hotel market is oversupplied in the country.

International innkeepers still flocking to China

International innkeepers still flocking to China

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