A land­mark project for China’s hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try

China Daily (USA) - - SHANGHAI - By XU­JUN­QIAN in Shang­hai xu­jun­qian@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Sched­uled to open in late 2017, the 226-meter-high At­lantis Sanya si­t­u­ated along Hai­tang Bay in Sanya, Hainan prov­ince, will be a land­mark de­vel­op­ment for the do­mes­tic tourism in­dus­try, ac­cord­ing to govern­ment of­fi­cials.

“This project in Sanya is akin to Dis­ney­land for Shang­hai,” said San ya party chiefZhangQi dur­ing a cer­e­mony on Au­gust 19 that marked the com­ple­tion of the ho­tel’s con­struc­tion.

De­vel­oped by Fo­sun Group, the 11-bil­lion-yuan ($1.66 bil­lion) At­lantis Sanya fea­tures 1,314 rooms that will be man­aged by Kerzner In­ter­na­tional, the same com­pany that op­er­ates famed hos­pi­tal­ity brand One& Only. The ho­tel rep­re­sents Fo­sun Group’s big­gest in­vest­ment to date.

One of the main sell­ing points of this lux­ury es­tab­lish­ment will be its lo­ca­tion amid a 53-hectare com­plex that houses China’s largest aquar­ium, a gi­gan­tic wa­ter park and villas re­served for short-term stays.

One of the most-vis­ited coastal des­ti­na­tions in China, Sanya re­ceived 7.82 mil­lion overnight vis­i­tors — nearly the pop­u­la­tion of Wash­ing­ton in the United States — dur­ing the first half of 2016, up by 8.92 per­cent from the pre­vi­ous year.

Zhang ex­pects Sanya’s tourist fig­ures to con­tinue to rise in the com­ing years, cit­ing the grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity of Tourism 3.0, de­fined by how con­sumers to­day are more in­ter­ested in the ex­pe­ri­en­tial el­e­ment of a hol­i­day in­stead of just shut­tling around a city to catch fa­mous sights.

Li Xin­jian, a pro­fes­sor from the China Tourism Econ­omy Re­search Cen­ter, echoed this sen­ti­ment, say­ing that an in­creas­ing num­ber of Chi­nese con­sumers to­day tend to fa­vor spa, shop­ping and sport­ing ac­tiv­i­ties over sight­see­ing, and this would in turn cre­ate am­ple head­room for growth in the tourism in­dus­try.

Qian Jian­nong, vice pres­i­dent of Fo­sun Group and the leader of Fo­sun’s tourism in­vest­ment de­part­ment, is con­fi­dent that At­lantis Sanya will be a ma­jor money-spin­ner de­spite the fact that av­er­age room oc­cu­pancy rates in Sanya have been drop­ping in re­cent years.

He said that there are about 70 “well-de­vel­oped is­land des­ti­na­tions” around the world that en­joy a 20 per­cent growth rate in visi­tor num­bers ev­ery year, and that Sanya is lo­cated at a lat­i­tude sim­i­lar to these lo­ca­tions. Qian is also con­fi­dent that the ho­tel can help Sanya be­come China’s first in­ter­na­tional leisure-tourism des­ti­na­tion, not­ing that do­mes­tic tourists to the hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion cur­rently ac­count for less than 10 per­cent of the to­tal.

Apart from tourism, the Shang­hai-head­quar­tered Fo­sun Group also deals in prod­ucts rang­ing from in­sur­ance to fash­ion to lux­ury and even sports. The group first en­tered the tourism in­dus­try in 2010 when it ac­quired a stake in French hol­i­day re­sort op­er­a­tor Club Med.

Fo­sun Group has since fol­lowed up with other in­vest­ments in Bri­tish leisure tourism agency Thomas Cook, the world’s largest the­atri­cal pro­ducer Cirque du Soleil and Ja­pa­nese lux­ury ski re­sort Hokkaido Hoshino Ta­mamu Re­sort.


The 53-hectare com­plex that At­lantis Sanya is lo­cated in will also house China's largest aquar­ium.

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