Hospitable place for new arrivals
Xiamen, a long-established base for tourism and exports, has seen an influx of new hotels in recent years, nearly doubling the supply of hotel rooms, and more are expected to enter the market in the next few years.
'The past two years were very successful for Xiamen's hotel industry. Occupancy and average room rates were growing 10 to 15 per cent each year,' says Achim Brueckner, general manager of Crowne Plaza Paragon Xiamen. 'This year is difficult to forecast [because of] the global economic [crisis]. However the first two months of the year topped last year's performance and I am quite confident that 2012 will also be a great year, despite the economic situation and new competition.'
He says guest satisfaction, a safe and clean hotel, and a motivated and friendly team are the ingredients necessary to stay ahead of the competition. 'Our monthly food and beverage (F&B) highlights are tailor-made to suit our guests' preferences and surprising them with culinary art in all of our five fine F&B outlets. Not to forget our conference facilities with one of the biggest ballrooms in town is complemented with eight additional meeting rooms and serving for all kind of MICE [meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions] functions and weddings.'
At Sheraton Xiamen, general manager Maged Louis welcomes new players. 'We believe that more competition is always more fun; also we respect all our competitors and plan to co-operate with them to promote the city more. We hope that the demand keeps increasing at the same pace as the supply.
'Our hotel is well known for its great service, which will always make us the best choice, and we do have some plans to bring interesting ideas to the market.' Le Meridien is the only international hotel in Xiamen's city mountain park, surrounded by lush vegetation and open spaces. A hotel spokesman expects increased competition, but says the city government is doing much to develop Xiamen into a leading MICE and travel destination.
'From the very beginning of our hotel construction, we foresaw the huge MICE market here. Therefore, our pillarless grand ballroom features a 10-metre ceiling, the highest in Xiamen, and beautiful design, providing a stunning atmosphere for any banquet.'