Worldhotels to launch mainland brand
Worldhotels, the global hotel services company, is launching its own brand in the fast-growing mainland hospitality market.
The Frankfurt-based company plans to have 75 Worldhotel-branded hotels across the country in the coming decade.
Worldhotels' ambition is the latest sign that global brands are beefing up expansion in China, betting on long-term buoyant growth in the tourism sector.
The company has signed an agreement with Juna Hotels Group allowing it to use the Worldhotel brand for its newly completed hotel in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, marking the debut of the brand in Asia.
'The branded hotel solution was developed in response to demand from hoteliers for support and services from a global name with significant recognition while still allowing them to keep their own character,' said Robert Hornman, the managing director of Worldhotels.
Worldhotels has 450 independent upmarket hotels and offers business and leisure travellers access to the affiliated properties through its global reservation and sales network.
Worldhotels has a portfolio of 36 affiliated properties in China including those in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau.
All the independent hotels now use their own brands.
Roland Jegge, a vice-president of Worldhotels Asia-Pacific, said it would seal deals with three to five more hotels in China that would use its brand. The branding strategy reflects the firm's long-term bullishness on the mainland market as it brushes aside concerns about a short-term glut in the sector there.
Internationally branded guest rooms are expected to rise 53 per cent by 2013 to 160,000 across the mainland, according to property consultant Jones Lang LaSalle.
Jegge said business in Asia-Pacific grew about 60 per cent this year, partly because of the appreciation of local currencies.