Swiss chains expand
Two Swiss hotel chains have made headway in their expansion into the mainland.
Swiss International Hotels will help manage existing premises in Xiamen and three new properties now being built through a partnership with a mainland developer, while Movenpick Hotels & Resorts has set up an executive team in Shanghai to oversee its three properties under construction.
Swiss International has signed an agreement with Huayuan Construction Group of Xiamen to develop a chain of properties throughout the mainland. Huayuan owns the 588-room Wyndham Hotel in Xiamen, which will be rebranded, together with three other luxury hotels currently under development.
Huayuan will own and manage hotels under the Swiss International brand, offering service consistent with Swiss hospitality standards.
'For some time, we have wanted to branch out with our own brand,' says Benjamin Yan, chairman of Huayuan. 'Swiss International Hotels is especially appealing to us because of its reputable characteristics of quality, reliability and service associated with Swiss hospitality standards. These are exactly the same elements we identify with and want our guests to experience in our hotels. In this way, our vision and desire to expand in China matched completely with Swiss International's vision to expand in Asia.'
Hans Kennedie, CEO of Swiss International, says the partnership is in line with the company's strategic expansion plan.
'Over the past year, we have prepared for strategic expansion with the goal to create a global company with hotels around the world, particularly in China because it is an important market.'
The company has 30 affiliated hotels in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Meanwhile, M?venpick has set up its China management team in Shanghai to spearhead its expansion together with a Chinese name, a new logo, and a Chinese website.
The chain has three new hotels under development: the 300-room M?venpick Hotel Jiading, Shanghai; the 380-room M?venpick Resort & Spa, Phoenix Island, Sanya, both opening next year; and the M?venpick Hotel & State Guest House Chifeng, Inner Mongolia, opening in 2015.
'Large cities in China are saturated with hotel brands and many Chinese investors are discovering we offer a Swiss breath of fresh air,' says the president and CEO of M?venpick Hotels & Resorts, Jean Gabriel Peres.
'Our brand underlines Swiss values of reliability and quality, but we also offer a warm and human approach which is refreshing to investors who may want an personable alternative to anonymous huge multinational companies,' he adds.