(HONG KONG-Relaxnews) – While much of the tourism industry’s attention has been on the rising popularity of Asia — and China in particular — as a destination, the region’s very own hotel chains have been setting their sights on taking the Asian style of service as far and wide as they can.
American hotel chains such as Hilton and Hyatt might still dominate the market, this year filling eight out of 10 places in Hotels magazine’s annual list of the world’s largest, but Asia’s businesses are rising. China’s Jin Jiang International Hotel Group ranked 12th and the Home Inns and Hotels Management group ranked 13th.
Both companies have major plans for develops outside of China, as indeed does the Hong Kong-based Mandarin Oriental group, currently managing 7,700 rooms through 27 properties but with 14 hotels currently under construction and plans to have 10,000 rooms open for service as its “mid-term goal,” the company told the China Daily newspaper last week.
Hong Kong’s Shangri-Lagroup has meanwhile laid out plans for 37 new pro
Shangri-La opened its first property in Paris in 2010 and has plans for Istanbul and London while Singapore’s Banyan Tree group has its eyes on Greece, Portugal and Montenegro.
“Positioning ourselves as a global niche player steeped in the Asian tradition is strategic,” claimed a spokesman from Banyan Tree.
These chains at the same time have major plans for expansion throughout Asia itself and, of course, into China. The Banyan Tree claims Asia accounts now for 50 percent of its revenue — as compared to just 30 percent in 2006.
It’s all good news for international travelers as more hotels means more options available. And China is a case in point.
Demand for rooms in China has never been greater — with an estimated 30-plus million people visiting the country in the last year — and by the third quarter of 2011 there were 1,385 new hotels opened to serve them.