[photopress:PaulKirwinPhoto.jpeg,full,alignright]Carlson Hotels Asia Pacific is working away on new hotels in China. There are five brands involved: at the luxury end Regent and Radisson Hotels & Resorts and then down a step, Country Inn, Park Inn and Park Plaza although not all of these will opening in China.
President and managing director, Carlson Hotels Asia Pacific, Paul Kirwin said China is one of the world’s fastest growing economies and it is here he sees great growth potential.
He said, ‘We believe the company has underperformed in Asia Pacific, particularly with its Regent brand. We had started in the region by franchising hotels. That worked well until Asia’s 1997-99 financial crisis, but when we looked again, we decided to come back as a manager rather than a franchiser.
‘We have been busy. We are in advanced discussions for two more Radissons in Shanghai. We have a Park Plaza signed for Beijing, and are close to signing for one in Shanghai. We think over the next 5-10 years, China will be a good market for Park Inn, but not in the next five years.
‘We see the Regent brand coming back. We have Beijing, Ningbo, and Shanghai under construction and due to open 2005 and 2006. The owners are different, each local; we find that more effective.’