[photopress:sir_stamford_raffles.jpg,full,alignright]Raffles Hotels has revised an early projection — made just four months ago — of the number of properties that will come under its wing. Now Raffles believes it will have about 30 properties under its brand name by 2011. This according to Diana Ee-Tan, its managing director.
Mrs Ee-Tan said Raffles Hotels and Resorts has stepped up its pace of expansion since its acquisition by Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding and Los Angeles-based Colony Capital.
Now there is the Raffles Tianjin Hotel with more on the way. For the planned expansion one area of focus for the group will be secondary cities in China, which are seeing rapid economic growth.
Raffles will try to grow mainly through management contracts, Mrs Ee-Tan said. But the group remains open to taking equity stakes in projects if needed.
Naming could have been a tad difficult but Raffles, named after Sir Stamford Raffles, seen above, won through. Raffles Hotels & Resorts is now part of Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, which is a hotel company headquartered in Toronto. The company owns and manages 120 hotels in 25 countries under four brand names — Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Raffles Hotels & Resorts, Swissotel Hotels & Resorts and Delta Hotels — as well as vacation ownership properties managed by Fairmont Heritage Place.
Mrs Ee-Tan is quick to point out that what remains consistent is the Raffles brand name and style of service. Most Raffles properties remain small in size, usually comprising between 150 and 250 rooms.