The hotel building boom in China is not slowing down.
The international hotel brands are racing to build in anticipation of huge domestic demand. Anticipation is the key word because this demand has not materialized yet. But that has not stopped anyone.
Over 100,000 rooms are under construction in China as of the end of January according to The Pacific Asia Travel Association.
In anticipation of the skyrocketing market, hotel groups are trying to outdo each other.
International hotel brands like Starwood, Hilton and Marriott are fighting for the top spot in China, building one hotel after another.
Hilton, which has been out of the Asian market for nearly 20 years, is introducing almost 100 new hotels in the coming years.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is planning over 80 new hotels in Asia through 2011 and Marriott International is planning to almost double its presence in China over the next five years, including the opening of the Renaissance Sanya Resort & Spa this month.
For Marriott, JW, Courtyard and Renaissance are the key brands in the Chinese market. Shanghai will have up to 23 Marriott brands in 2011.
What ignited this boom is often attributed to the development of new infrastructure and significant events such as the Beijing Olympics and the Shanghai World Expo which China hosted.
But the the key driver to growth is China’s domestic market. The expression “Made in China” is now “Made for China” — there is a huge domestic consumer market reach, both in leisure and business travel.
The key segment of travelers in China is “the Gen X and Y who are way more important [in China] as travel consumers and they definitely have more discretionary income — 80% of wealth in China is in the hands of people under 40,” according to Simon Cooper, President & Managing Director of Asia Pacific for all Marriott brands
Unlike the US, China has very few baby boomer travelers.
image credit: marriott