International Hotels groups attacking China

In a fast-growing market, what are the actions of large hotels groups to assert their presence in China?

The growth of supply in China has been very important in recent years: from 2012 to 2017, the Chinese hotel market grew by 47%, a very strong figure that is also measurable in the light of the growth in attendance . And if domestic customers explode, international demand is also dynamic: in 2016, the number of international tourists visiting China is estimated at 59.3 million, an increase of 4.2%. If supply increases even faster, the outlook is still very favorable.
In this context of strong growth in supply or tourism revenues (up 12.5%), what are the actions of the largest groups in the Middle Kingdom?

Marriott: a partnership with Alibaba

In 2017, the American hotel group and the Chinese e-commerce platform Alibaba formed a joint venture. The goal for Marriott: to make its offers more visible to domestic customers and an opportunity for Alibaba to develop its travel agency Fliggy.
As a first step, the Fliggy platform has decided to offer the Chinese market the 124 establishments in the country and 600 American establishments in the Asia-Pacific region. In a second step, the platform gave access to the reservation to all Marriott hotels (more than 6000 hotels)
The collaboration between the two giants continues with the deployment of Alipay payment services in nearly a quarter of hotels. This payment solution already present in institutions in China will develop mainly in Europe and the Middle East considered as high demand markets.

Hilton: Strong Expected Development at Hilton’s Hampton Inn & Suites

The Hilton Group, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year, opened its 100th hotel in China in 2017. The American hotel group is continuing its development in the Middle Kingdom with its Hampton Inn & Suites brand, which has 164 hotels and more than 25,000 rooms in its pipeline.
The mid-range Hampton Inn & Suites brand thus posted a very strong growth in 2017, with the addition of 14,220 rooms worldwide, a growth of 6.4% followed in the group by Garden Inn which grew by 8,652 rooms an evolution of 8.4%.
Also noteworthy is the partnership established this year between Hilton and the Chinese hotelier Country Garden Hotels Group; among the first acts of this combination: 6 hotels owned by Country Garden were passed under Hilton flag.
IHG: Extra Day Guide to Engage Customers to Discover Chinese Cities
The British IHG allows guests of its Holiday Inn brand in China to have access to a free guide tailored to the location of the establishment. The concept of the “Extra Day Guide” is to encourage business guests to stay one more night in the hotel to discover the city where they stay.
Another highlight for the British group, the strong development of its Holiday Inn Express brand in China with the ambition to open 131 hotels for more than 25,000 rooms in the coming years. This year’s economic brand is the fastest growing IHG in terms of rooms with 15,389 new keys, an increase of 6.2%.

Jin Jiang / Louvre Hotels: Opening for Kyriad in China

Announced in 2014 and finalized in March 2015, the acquisition of French Group Louvre for 1.3 billion euros was accompanied by the development of French brands that settle in the Middle Kingdom. In 2017, Golden Tulip and Campanile established themselves there, in March 2018 the first Kyriad hotel opened in Yangzhou. The group aims to open 22 establishments by the end of the year for the economic brand.
The Campanile development plan provides for the opening of several hundred hotels (pronounced Campo in Mandarin) in China. The organic growth of the group accelerates in its domestic market which continues to equip itself in establishments with international standards

AccorHotels: partnerships with Ctrip and alliance with Huazhu

While Marriott has formed a joint venture with Alibaba, AccorHotels has strengthened its partnership with the Chinese travel agency Ctrip in order to increase the visibility of its hotels for Chinese customers.
Also worth noting is the Huazhu Hotels Group’s AccorHotels capital increase. In 2016, the two protagonists signed an agreement for the development of the Grand Mercure, Novotel, Mercure, ibis and ibis Styles brands in China, Taiwan and Mongolia. This already successful agreement led to the announcement of the development of 200 hotels under the Accor banner by 2020. The merger continues with a 4.5% stake in the group’s capital, resulting in the purchase of 10 , 8 million shares for an amount of 489 million euros on May 11th.

The battle of the Middle Kingdom of the giants of the hotel industry is just beginning…

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