[photopress:hotel_pullman_dongguan.jpg,full,alignright]Accor, Europe’s largest hotelier,will open five Pullman hotels in China by 2010, part of plans to grow its three-month-old Pullman brand globally.
The Pullman brand, which was launched last December and targets mainly business travellers, will tap Asia’s fastest growing business travel and conference markets, Accor Asia Pacific Chairman Michael Issenberg said in the statement.
Accor said last May that it expected to double revenue from Asia in three or four years by ramping up a plan to expand across China, aiming to have as many as 160 hotels in operation or under development across the country by 2010, compared with 103 at that time.
The first Pullman hotel in China was opened in Dongguan, a city in southern Guangdong province, while another four will be opened in cities including Beijing and northern Tianjin.
Pullman derives its name from the opulent Pullman railway carriages that redefined overnight railway travel in the United States, and later in Europe in the 1860’s. They were started by George Pullman.
In 1867 Pullman introduced his first hotel on wheels, the President, a sleeper with an attached kitchen and dining car. The food rivaled the best restaurants of the day and the service was impeccable.
A year later in 1868, he launched the Delmonico, the world’s first sleeping car devoted to fine cuisine. The Delmonico menu was prepared by chefs from New York’s famed Delmonico’s Restaurant.
Traditionally, all Pullman head porters were called George in memory of the founder. There is no suggestion that this tradition will be followed in the hotels.