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People's Daily Online>>China Business

China to be hotbed of luxury hotels


10:39, March 17, 2012

Phoenix Island, in Sanya, is one of many large-scale developments providing luxury hotels and boutique apartments. (Source: China Daily)

BEIJING, Mar. 17 (Xinhuanet) -- Sanya, the southernmost city in China, is trying to make itself into the Miami of the East as part of a plan to attract more tourists from home and abroad.

Judging by its hotels, though, Sanya may already be a step ahead of the city of pink flamingos and South Beach.

Plans now exist to complete 40 five-star hotels in five years in a 19-kilometer stretch of Haitang Bay in Sanya. According to reports, half of them will be operating before 2015, almost doubling the number of hotels in the city.

The massive construction project in the coastal city is a prime example of what's happening throughout China, as international and domestic companies move quickly to build luxury hotels.

According to, a web portal for the hotel industry in China, the country now has 660 five-star hotels and another 500 that are either under development or waiting for five-star recognition. Many large international hotel companies have recently announced development plans for China, not only for the largest cities but also for places that are slightly smaller.

The InterContinental Hotels Group Plc now manages 154 properties in China and has another 142 in its plans. The number of hotels under development in China, which accounts for a quarter of the company's total in the world, is the highest for any hotel group, said Keith Barr, chief executive officer of InterContinental Hotels Group Plc Greater China.

"As the first international hotel company to have entered the Chinese market, we arrived here first and we want to stay," he said.

Hilton Worldwide, meanwhile, plans to quadruple the number of hotels it has in China by 2014, bringing it to 100. The move will make China the company's second-most-important market after the United States.

Marriott International Inc also has big plans. Every month in the next three years, one hotel under the Marriott brand will be opened, said Simon Cooper, president and managing director for the Asia Pacific division of the company.

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