Canton Fair

Hotel sector outlook in China remains strong

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 October, 2012, 2:21am

The outlook for the hotel sector in China is expected to remain strong as the tourism industry will grow rapidly in the next few years despite the gloomy global economic outlook, according to Knight Frank.

Robust economic development and growing numbers of tourists will ensure that the mainland remains an attractive hotel market in need of more rooms, the property consultancy said in its latest hotel report on five major cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macau.

"International hotel operators, such as Club Mediterranee, Richfield Hospitality, and Starwood Hotels & Resorts are expected to further pursue their aggressive expansion plans in China," said Thomas Lam, director and head of research, Greater China at Knight Frank.

Encouraged by the mainland's strong economic performance and the rapid development of second and third-tier cities, international hotel operators have shown strong confidence in the market and are pursuing aggressive expansion plans, said the Knight Frank report.

Among the expansions on the drawing boards, it noted, were plans by Accor's up-market brand Pullman to add 25 hotels in China by 2015 to its existing portfolio of 14 hotels; and Club Mediterranee's intention to open five new resorts on the mainland by 2015, which would make China its second largest market in the world.

Richfield Hospitality, meanwhile, has formed a joint venture to operate two hotels.

Of the five major cities it surveyed for the report, Guangzhou was the most active market in the first half of 2012, with more than 300 rooms added in the city, Knight Frank said.

"The bi-annual Canton Fair is the largest trade fair in China and attracts over 400,000 visitors every year. Given its position as a major Asian business and exhibition centre, Guangzhou should continue to generate a steady stream of business visitors, " the report said.

Shanghai's hotel market is expected to benefit from the completion of tourism projects, such as Shanghai Disneyland in 2015.