[photopress:Intercontinental_1.jpg,full,alignright]Although major hotel chains first began testing the water in China in the early 1980s, it wasn’t until recently that they launched aggressive expansion campaigns. The InterContinental Hotel Group has a portfolio of 51 hotels in China and plans to develop 74 more by 2008.
Hong Kong’s Shangri-La has 20 hotels and plans for 17 more by the 2008 Olympics. Marriott has 26 hotels, and plans to swell its portfolio to 35 and 100 by 2008 and 2010.
France-based Accor said this year it has 30 hotels under development in China, all of which are scheduled to open before 2008. By 2008, Accor will add 70 more hotels to its Asia-Pacific portfolio. New projects in China alone account for 43 per cent of those additions.
The 2008 Beijing Olympics are the catalyst for foreign hotel groups’ growing interest in China’s hotel sector since 2005, and the trend is set to continue in the lead-up to the Games and after 2008.
According to China Merchants Securities among China’s 11,180 hotels, only 14.55 per cent are managed by hotel chains. That compares to 80 and 50 per cent in the US and the Europe respectively. This lack of local hotel chains means international hotel groups see China as the world’s major development opportunity.
Source: China Daily
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