[photopress:hotels_home_inns_1_2_3_4.jpg,full,alignright]Last week an official of Accor said that the future expansion of Accor in China will be with Ibis, the Accor budget line. And the plan is to add another 100 hotels within China in this group. Meanwhile Home Inns, probably the biggest player in the China budget market, is considering expanding outside mainland China, mostly in Asia, within two to three years.
May Wu, its chief financial officer said, ‘Our customers … are by and large domestic business travelers. They are traveling overseas. We want to be where they travel to.’
May Wu said in China Home Inns want to increase so that it has more than 30% within five years as opposed to 20 to 25% at present. It will quadruple its number of outlets to 1,000 in three to five years.
(Whether that it gives it 20% of the market now is open for debate. An informed guess would be it probably has something nearer 18% at the moment although that very much depends on how you define budget motel. In October Home Inns acquired Top Star in a RMB340 million ($45.6 million) deal. It still intends to grow organically but would not automatically reject further acquisitions.
May Wu said, ‘Top Star is one big step and a big milestone for us. We would continue on this path when the right opportunity presents itself.’