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International Hotels Strengthen Presence in China Market amid Pandemic

July 16, 2020 Headline News, Hotel News No Comments Email Email

Global hospitality industry hit hard by the covid-19 pandemic. Yet thanks to the recovering business travels and local tours, the hotels in China are seeing an increase in occupancy already. Data shows that the hotel industry in Asia Pacific region is recovering. The May occupancy rate of Asia-Pacific hotels was increased by 7.4 percentage points over the previous month and reached 26.6%. Though still 43.6 percentage points lower than that in May 2019, this is the first time the occupancy rate of Asia-Pacific hotels exceeds 25% since February 2020.

Chinese celebrities were invited to join the opening ceremony of The Ritz-Carlton, Nanjing

And international hotels groups did not stop investing in China market amid pandemic. They are still opening new hotels and introducing new brands into China.

Nanjing, the capital city of Jiangsu Province, welcomed 2 new hotels recently. InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) announced the official opening of their first EVEN hotel in Greater China, the EVEN Hotel Nanjing Yangtze River. EVEN® Hotels is the newest brand from InterContinental to serve wellness-minded travelers. Right after that, the Ritz-Carlton also announced the opening of their new hotel in Nanjing (The Ritz-Carlton, Nanjing). This luxury hotel is located at the center of Xinjiekou, the most prosperous business district in Nanjing.

Chinese celebrities were invited to join the opening ceremony of The Ritz-Carlton, Nanjing

IHG clearly showed their ambition of strengthening presence in China market. In April, they took over the Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai Pudong and reopened it as a Regent Hotel after renovation. On June 29th, IHG announced that they will renovate an independent hotel located at CBD in Wuhan and reopen it as voco Wuhan Xinhua in 2021. This is the first time for IHG to introduce their upscale brand voco® into China market.
Jolyon Bulley, CEO of IHG’s Greater China region, believes that the covid-19 pandemic has catalyzed the transformation of Chinese independent hotels to chains. Data shows that chained-brand hotels only account 24% of the total hotel market in China, whilst the number in the US is as high as 71%. So IHG’s future strategy focuses on seizing the opportunity of Chinese independent hotels’ transformation.

Hilton signed strategic agreement with Funyard Hotels & Resorts

Another hotel giant Hilton also maintains an optimistic outlook about the China market. Recently, Hilton announced their strategic cooperation with Funyard Hotels & Resorts, to introduce Home2 Suites brand to China. This expands on an existing cooperation between Hilton and Funyard parent Country Garden Group. Six Country Garden-owned hotels now operating or in the pipeline are currently managed by Hilton.

Hilton signed strategic agreement with Funyard Hotels & Resorts

Home2 Suites by Hilton® is an all-suite extended-stay hotel experience for travelers. Hilton introduced this new brand to China market is not only for a completion of its brand matrix, but also for meeting the increasing demands from high-yielding ‘family’ themed travels after the pandemic.

The covid-19 pandemic has exposed that independent hotels are with low risk tolerance. Therefore, international hotel groups took advantage of this opportunity to expand their market shares. In addition, the low proportion of chain-branded hotels in China’s mid to high end market also determined that this segment will become the major battlefield for international hotel groups in the future.

Source: TLD media

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