Asian hoteliers see room to grow stronger

Updated: 2011-12-28 09:29

By Elaine Tan (China Daily)

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Regional groups going global, Elaine Tan reports in HK.

Asian hotel chains are spreading their wings and, slowly but steadily, expanding globally.

Brands such as Shanghai's Jin Jiang International Hotel Group and Home Inns & Hotels Management, Thailand's Dusit International, Singapore's Banyan Tree and Malaysia's Holiday Villa Hotels & Resorts are rapidly expanding to take on their more established foreign rivals such as Hilton and Hyatt.

Asian hoteliers see room to grow stronger 

A Banyan Tree hotel in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. The Singapore-based hotel operator is planning to double the number of its properties by 2013. [Xiong Tao for China Daily] 

The annual list, based on the number of guestrooms and hotels owned or managed by companies, and published by Hotels magazine, is a pointer. It is purely a numerical ranking, with the biggest 300 on the list. Eight of the top 10 in the 2011 list (based on 2010 figures) are from the United States and two from Europe. That's not surprising given that these regions are the traditional "big two".

However, coming hot on the heels of the established giants are two Chinese companies, Jin Jiang International Hotel Group at 12th and Home Inns & Hotels Management at 13th. Of course, quantity isn't everything, but it does indicate potential income. More hotels mean higher visibility and greater brand awareness, leading to higher demand. More rooms mean more income, financial power and the muscle to expand.

Of the top 50 largest brands in the world, four are from China including 7 Days Inn from 7 Days Group Holdings (23rd) and Shanghai Motel Chain Co's Motel 168 (36th).

Outside the Chinese mainland, companies from Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, India and Thailand are also progressing steadily. Currently, Mandarin Oriental operates 7,700 rooms and has 14 hotel projects under development, but said it will increase its portfolio of 27 properties to 41 in the near future. The strategy is to grow and go to all key cities and resort destinations around the world. The mid-term goal is to "successfully operate 10,000 rooms worldwide", said the company's chief marketing officer Michael Hobson. Meanwhile, Shangri-La, another Hong Kong-based hotel chain, which has a 30,000-room inventory, will add 37 new properties by 2015.

Thailand's Dusit International, boasting brands such as Dusit Thani, Dusit Princess and Dusit Residence, has plans for 13 new hotels. And while JAL Hotels, which manages the Nikko, Okura and JAL City brands, plans to add another five properties, Singapore's Banyan Tree Holdings will double its number of properties by 2013. Meanwhile, Holiday Villa Hotels & Resorts in Malaysia is looking to add 50 hotels to its portfolio in 10 years.

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