(Yicai Global) June 25 -- Hotel giant Hilton is expanding its presence in China despite COVID-19's toll on the hospitality industry.
Qian Jin, the area president for Hilton Greater China and Mongolia, said the expansion plan is based on the company's firm confidence in China's hotels and travel industries.
Hilton announced on June 23 that it plans to introduce a new sub-brand to China. It will work with Funyard Hotel Investment, a subsidiary of Chinese real estate developer Country Garden, to build more than 1,000 Home2 Suites in the country. Funyard says China's infrastructure development and increasing urbanization will drive demand for midscale hotels. Hilton expects China's domestic tourism to be a key pillar of the hotel industry.
Industry insiders are wondering about the timeline for building these 1,000 Home2 Suite hotels in China, especially because the hotel giant made such an ambitious announcement now that the hospitality industry is still reeling from the pandemic.
During the signing ceremony, Alan Watts, the president of Asia Pacific of Hilton, said, "As our second largest market globally, China has consistently seen rapid growth and is forecast to become the world's largest lodging market."
"Hilton is very confident and committed to the China hotels and travel industries," Qian also echoed.
Qian bet on even stronger potential to be released after the pandemic, "We strongly believe and anticipate that after COVID-19, the demand will bounce back, particularly on the upper and middle-skilled segment. And over the last five years, we see the up and middle-skilled market increased by 10 percent annually."
He added, Home2 Suites, which is the mid-high end brand newly brought to the market, is to "serve the customers with the diversity and richer options, both for families and business travelers.”
Editor: Chen Juan