Jinjiang Inn, one of China's largest budget hotel chains, said it will open a new hotel under a separate brand name, Bestay, to capture the growing number of business travelers with ever tightening budget.
The Shanghai based-company, which is a unit of China's largest hotel group, Jinjiang, said that it has plans to open at least 30 Bestay hotels in 2009, with the first one to be launched in Beijing early this year.
"The first Bestay Inn will appear in the first half of 2009 in Beijing, and there will be at least 30 around the country by the end of this year," Yu Meng, executive vice-president of Jinjiang Inn Co Ltd, told China Daily.
Like many other large hotel chains around the world, Jinjiang Inn has been hit hard by the global economic downturn as shrinking profits are forcing many corporations to cut their travel budgets. "The hotel business cannot recover until the latter half of 2009," said Yu. The traditional budget hotels occupy the segment of the market that has taken the most severe blow.
In December 2008, Jinjiang Inn, which manages 350 budget hotels in 95 Chinese cities, reported a 30 percent drop in sales from a year earlier. That was the first decline since the outbreak of SARS epidemic in 2003. Yu predicted that the downward momentum will continue for at least 6 more months.
The average daily room rate at Bestay's hotels, at 150 yuan ($22), will be about 30 percent lower than that of Jinjiang Inn.