THE hotel arm of All Nippon Airways (ANA), the leading chain in Japan, has its sights set firmly on foreign shores. ''We want to grow into an international chain,'' said Shigenori Miyagi, director of sales in Asia and Oceania for ANA Hotels International. The first hotel in the network, in Sapporo, was bought in 1974, and in less than 20 years the number of properties either owned or managed by the company has grown to 38. This growth has mirrored expansion by the airline, and is part of its strategy of providing an all-in-one air and accommodation package. Originally a domestic chain, with properties running from Hokkaido in the north to Okinawa in the south, ANA Hotels International is now involved with 11 hotels abroad. These are mainly in Asian cities, among them Bangkok, Beijing, Guam, Manila and Singapore, but also in San Francisco and Washington, DC. The company began expanding overseas only when ANA won its first foreign routes. ''The first priority when considering where we want a hotel is that it is a city served by ANA,'' Mr Miyagi said. Where the company had a hotel, it had to be one of the best in that market; most were considered five-star, he said. ''These are mainly aimed at business travellers, except in tourist centres, such as Xian in China, Okinawa, and on Australia's Gold Coast.'' One glaring omission in the chain is Hong Kong, but Mr Miyagi said: ''We are eager to have a hotel presence in Hong Kong. ''In the past, we have been involved in negotiations to buy a hotel in the territory, but, unfortunately, a deal could not be concluded. I think it is now very difficult to buy a hotel here, so we are looking at the possibility of a management contract. ''ANA has daily flights from Narita Airport in Tokyo to Hong Kong, and next year we will have flights from the new Kansai Airport near Osaka, so there is a need for an ANA hotel in the territory.'' China is another market where the chain would like to raise its profile. At present, it has a hotel in Beijing and Xian, but Mr Miyagi said he hoped others would be opened ''as we fly to other destinations there, such as Dalian and Shanghai''. ''I understand hotels in Shanghai have the highest occupancy rates in the world,'' he said. But before the doors open on a new ANA hotel on the mainland, a spectacular new addition to the chain will begin welcoming guests next year. ''In September 1994, we will be opening our first hotel in Europe, in Vienna, Austria,'' Mr Miyagi said. ''The building was constructed as the Grand Hotel about 100 years ago, and was used more recently for offices. It cost about six billion yen to buy, but we have spent probably double that on renovation work.'' Next year, the company has hotels scheduled to open in Wakkanai, on the northernmost tip of Hokkaido, and at Kansai International Airport. But these are not the best of times to be involved in the hotel business in Japan. ''The recession in the country is affecting the hotel business there, but overall we are doing okay,'' Mr Miyagi said. ''Analysts are predicting that the economy should pick up in the middle of next year.''