Prospective hotels apply to the group to become members and have to undergo a screening process, to ensure they meet the organisation's requirements. Firstly, the hotel must fall into the deluxe or luxury category, and will be judged on its service, physical structure, management, cuisine and overall comfort. Two professional hoteliers, usually front Europe, carryout the inspection.
In the past year or so, the group has shown a growing interest in China. We talk to Paul McManus, vice president of marketing.
How important is it to have a presence in China?
From a strategic standpoint, the hotels who are members in China reflect the growth of member hotels in the Asia Pacific area.
Are you doing anything to raise awareness of your presence in China?
Yes, we are planning to hold our Annual Meeting, which is the most important event of the year for The Leading Hotels of the World, in China (city not yet determined) in November 1995.
Would you like to have a stronger presence in China?
Yes. You will see by the list below that as recently as 1992 we have accepted three hotels in China which indicates our interest in expanding in this area.
Do your hotels tend to cater to the business or tourist visitor? Which do you think is the fastest growing sector in China?
Both. In the immediate future the business traveller is going to be the more important. As the country develops international tourism standards, the tourist visitor will follow.
Do you feel that there is still an overcapacity of top class hotels in the major Chinese centres of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou?
We do not feel that there is an excess of luxury hotels in the major Chinese centres. There are times of the year when these hotels are sold out. We would expect that over a period of time, as the country further develops, these hotels will become heavily occupied on a year-round basis.
Member hotels Year of membership
Grand Hotel, Beijing 1.8.88
The Palace Hotel, Beijing 1.2.80
White Swan Hotel, Guangzhou 1.7.85
Garden Hotel, Shanghai 1.2.90
The Westin Tai Pin Yang, Shanghai 28.12 92
Shanghai JC Mandarin, Shanghai 21.12.92
Xian Garden Hotel, Xian 1.3 92
The Leading Hotels of the World, headquarters: 747 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017-2847, LISA. Tel: +1 (212) 838 7874, Fax: +1 (212) 758 7367).