Hilton Hotels & Resorts inaugurated Hilton Jinan South Hotel & Residences in Shandong last week to introduce its full-service apartment concept to China.
Hilton has kept a prudent pace in its development in China. The introduction of its residence-style hotel to China is a step in further diversifying its range of accommodation in the country, in addition to accelerating its expansion in recent years, especially in China’s mid-range hotel category.
Hilton has been operating China for 28 years since 1988, and currently owns and operates 64 hotels, with 181 hotels in the pipeline as of June 2016. The total number is small compared to other international hotel groups – for example, Intercontinental Hotels Group has 271 hotels in operation and 222 hotels under construction 32 years after it entered the Chinese market, and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide entered China in 1985 and has more than 150 hotels in the country as of November 2015.
Marriott International announced in June 2015 that it “expects to more than double its size in Asia in next four years”. The company completed its acquisition of Starwood Hotels on September 23, 2016. This means that Hilton may face more pressure in its future expansion.
The Double Tree By Hilton in Kunshan and in Wuxi lost their licenses in quick succession in January and May 2016. An industry analyst said this highlighted difficulties for international hotel companies to operate in China in ways that fit with China’s market environment. (Translated by Jerry)