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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Expanding their presence in China

By Elaine Tan (China Daily)

09:06, December 28, 2011

Several Asian hotel chains are ramping up their moves into the Chinese marketplace, pledging to build dozens of properties in the next five years as the country's rapid urbanization, thriving middle class and growing popularity as an international destination make it one of the hottest markets for the hospitality industry.

The China National Tourist Office estimates that China had 26.1 million visitors last year.

Many Asian hotel companies have played a part in the rapid rate of expansion across the Asia-Pacific region, as they seek to exploit the increasing number of opportunities and growing demand presented by the burgeoning market.

Timothy Ford, vice-president of administration at Lodging Econometrics, said that China presents a great opportunity.

"If you look around the world as a hotel executive and you look at the statistics about where I should be, it comes out China, China, China," Ford said.

Kent Zhu, group director of sales and marketing at the Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, couldn't agree more.

"The future opportunities in the hospitality industry relate to the Chinese market, not just domestically but also overseas from outbound travel. Very simply, where the Chinese go, we should go," said Zhu.

Having entered the mainland in 1984, Shangri-La has built up a considerable portfolio of 32 properties and it plans to add 23 more.

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