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Wanda makes its mark

By Ma Xue ( China Daily ) Updated: 2013-11-02 07:22:07

Wanda makes its mark

Wanda recently opened its 46th hotel in Harbin, reinforcing the company strategy of putting its mark on second-, third- and even fourth-tier cities. Photos provided to China Daily

It's a young hotelier, barely one-and-a-half years old, but Wanda Hotels & Resorts is catching up fast, pitting its hospitality expertise against large international conglomerates. But, it has a first-bite strategy that it hopes will give it an edge. Ma Xue reports.

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Since the company was founded in July 2012, there has been a new Wanda hotel opening up every 10 days or so, bringing the total number to 46. As the new kid on the block, if Wanda Hotels & Resorts wanted the industry's attention, it has certainly captured the eyeballs.

On Sept 14, it opened its 46th hotel in Harbin's Haxi, reinforcing the company strategy of putting its mark on second-, third- and even fourth-tier cities.

Just like the international brands, the Wanda hotel management group has three proprietary luxury brands - the five-star Wanda Realm, the five-star plus Wanda Vista and the ultra-prestigious Wanda Reign.

Almost all the Wanda Realm and Vista hotels have established foothold in the secondary cities.

"This is no coincidence," says Liu Xiaofeng, head of Wanda's marketing department. "Nearly 80 percent of China's population live in these cities, and the country's economic success has boosted domestic as well as international travel.

"That said, the hotel industry in these cities are in the early stages of development and show much better potential, compared to the more saturated hotel markets in first-tier cities such as Beijing and Shanghai."

China is one of the few countries in the world where the domestic market actually competes with, if not rivals international arrivals.

"Make no mistake, if we don't take a bite out of the pie now, someone else will and they'll act fast," Liu says with emphasis.

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