Could Kimpton Hotels really be coming to Asia? After an expansion in the Caribbean, and now a soon to open Amsterdam property, this may very well be the case…
Chinese travelers are enjoying some initiatives drawn to woo them when the time is right. This comes as the globally-renowned company, InterContinental Hotels group, launches a Chinese-inspired product for the Asian market.The group, IHG, owns a couple of brands including Intercontinental Hotel and Suites, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Holiday Express. They open doors in Greater China, Zhangjiakou with their fifth addition, the Hualuxe Hotel, marking their 300th property in the country on Wednesday.The company’s chief executive for Greater China, Kenneth Macpherson stated, ““It’s about [finding] the right owners of the property, the right asset in a key global city’s prime location. When we’ve got that, we’d like to announce”. He further told the South China Morning Post that it was important that when a company introduces a new brand to the global market, it is well established and works in its home market. Hualuxe, launched in February 2012, stems from two names; Hua meaning ‘majestic China’ and luxe which stands for luxury. The first of the hotel chain was opened in Yangjiang, Guangdong and three consequent hotels followed suit after its success. The UK hotel giant is promoting the hotel brand in a bid to woo the Chinese consumers.
In 2015, it created a tailor-made service, dubbed the ‘China-ready,’ to specifically tend to Chinese travelers who’d meet Mandarin-speaking attendants at the front office desks when abroad.To illustrate the importance of the Chinese market, the revenue per room grew 3.9% in 2016 as compared to the world’s 1.8%. The recorded RevPAR growth was 6.3% in the first tier Chinese hotels.Macpherson opened up about their expected expansion with a further 22 hotels with the newest opening in Sanya, Shanghai, and Beijing. 240 hotels are expected to open under the whole group in a period of 3-5 years. IHG has managed to penetrate across 130 cities in Greater China, with a larger percentage located in the smaller cities.
In 2015, IHG bought Kimpton which it plans on introducing to the Chinese market. The US boutique brand is known for its boldness and playfulness. Kimpton hotels expanding into Asia promises more versatility for the Chinese market.Macpherson adds that the partners are looking to introduce Kimpton at the right time and location seeing that the Chinese market has increased demand for personalized hotel products.Zhangjiakou, a city 180kms north of Beijing, will be the host of the Olympics come 2022. The new Hualuxe hotel targets Olympic-related guests who can expect to enjoy accommodation, meeting facilities and dining. Richard Solomons, the chief executive of the global chain, insists that the hotel would have been launched even without the games as it was designed before the Zhangjiakou winter games.He further says that the launch of a high-speed railway, 43 minutes away from Beijing, is a more-nearer development that will accelerate their growth when compared to the winter games. While Olympics are important, there is a bigger, more sustainable driver.
I’m excited that Kimpton Hotels could be coming to Asia. Are you?
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