TURN­ING POINT FOR THE HOSPI­TAL­ITY IN­DUS­TRY

China Daily (Canada) - - BUSINESS -

In­di­vid­ual busi­ness and leisure trav­el­ers will pro­vide the much-needed growth­mo­men­tum­for Chi­nese hote­liers, even as prospects in the high-end seg­ment con­tinue to be bogged down by the gov­ern­ment’s aus­ter­i­tymea­sures, a newin­dus­try re­port said.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port re­leased by global real es­tate ser­vices firm Jones Lang LaSalle Inc, in­di­vid­ual busi­ness trav­el­ers ac­counted for about 40 per­cent of the over­all ho­tel busi­ness in China in 2013.

“In­di­vid­ual busi­ness trav­el­ers will be the main­stay for the ho­tel in­dus­try this year also,” said Ye Feng, vice-pres­i­dent of Jones Lang LaSalle’s ho­tel and tourism real es­tate in­vest­ment con­sult­ing depart­ment in China.

The per­cent­age of in­di­vid­ual leisure trav­el­ers also grew in 2013 com­pared with 2012, whereas the con­tri­bu­tion from busi­ness groups de­clined due to the var­i­ous gov­ern­ment poli­cies, Ye said.

The LaSalle re­port­was based on re­sponses re­ceived from269 ho­tels and man­age­ment com­pa­nies in China. About 53.9 per­cent of the re­spon­dents re­mained con­fi­dent in the growth prospects for the in­dus­try in China in the long term, com­pared with just 2.6 per­cent in 2013. “This is a pos­i­tive turn­ing point for the in­dus­try,” Ye said.

Sta­ble growth prospect and fa­vor­able poli­cies fromthe gov­ern­ment are the rea­sons cited by­most re­spon­dents for the re­newed op­ti­mism, Ye said, adding that the whole sec­tor­was ad­versely af­fected by the de­cline in high-end con­sump­tion, es­pe­cially in the luxury ho­tel sec­tor.

ZhangRun­gang, direc­tor of the China Tourist Ho­tel­sAs­so­ci­a­tion, said the drop in high-end con­sump­tion­was­mostly due to the re­duced gov­ern­ment spend­ing as a re­sult of the aus­ter­i­tymea­sures. “As a re­sult, the in­dus­try had to make changes to sur­vive,” he said.

Han Ming, head of China HotelAs­so­ci­a­tion, said the mid­dle- and high -end ho­tels saw­busi­ness shrink by 20 to 40 per­cent in 2013, com­pared with the lev­els in 2012.

“Ho­tel com­pa­nies­must change their busi­ness mod­els and­way of op­er­a­tion by in­clud­ing sup­ply­chain, en­ergy-sav­ing and func­tional op­ti­miza­tion,” Han said.

ZHANG MING/XIN HUA

Cus­tomers check out Hil­ton pro­mo­tional ma­te­rial at a global trade show in Shang­hai. The ho­tel op­er­a­tor has 48 ho­tels un­der five brands and 140 ho­tels in the pipe­line in China.

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