Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc., the world’s biggest hospitality company by number of rooms, said it will add 206 new hotels in China, more three-quarters of the 266 it’s targeting for the Asia-Pacific region in coming years, according to Martin Rinck, Hilton’s Asia-Pacific President. That’s almost three times the 71 hotels the company currently has in China.
“Travel remains strong, both domestically within China and as reflected in the outbound numbers,” with 200 million Chinese estimated to travel internationally by 2020, from 109 million last year, Rinck said in an interview in Singapore. “The underlying fundamentals are positive. Despite the ongoing austerity measures, we are seeing continued positive growth.”
Growing wealth among Chinese travelers is coinciding with a flurry of interest in lodging assets by some investors. China’s Anbang Insurance Group Co. made a $13.2 billion takeover bid for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., owner of brands such as Westin, Sheraton and W, trumping an offer from Marriott International Inc. On Monday, the bidding war intensified when Marriott came back with an improved offer, which Starwood accepted.
Hilton sees opportunity in the mid-scale segment and has entered into a franchise agreement with China’s Plateno Hotels ("铂涛") to build 400 hotels branded Hampton by Hilton in the next 10 years, he said.
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