Hilton still looking for new HK location

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 May, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 May, 1997, 12:00am

Hotel management group Hilton International is looking for new opportunities in Hong Kong after the old Hilton Hotel was razed last year, vice-president of sales and marketing in Asia-Pacific Jeffrey Gan says.

At a roadshow to promote the group and its partners yesterday, Mr Gan said Hilton was finding it difficult to enter the market.

'All the [existing] hotels here are performing well and this makes our entry harder,' he said.

It is understood the group is negotiating for a hotel management contract at the airport railway's Central station. Mr Gan declined to comment.

The $40 billion Central station development consists of two hotels and two office towers and is being undertaken by a consortium led by Sun Hung Kai Properties, Henderson Land Development Co, Hong Kong and China Gas Co and the Bank of China Group.

Mr Gan said Hilton's expansion in China also was proceeding more slowly than expected.

'It is difficult to find partners in China for hotel management projects in the right locations, especially when we are looking upmarket,' he said.

'We're targeting key cities rather than emerging markets in secondary cities.' Hilton manages two mainland hotels, in Shanghai and Beijing, and is negotiating for seven more in prime cities.

It hopes to increase its occupancy rate to 78 per cent in the region, generating more than US$610 million in room revenue this year.