Hilton and IHG Accelerate Expansion in China

China’s domestic hospitality industry has seen a consistent growth and rising consumption in recent years, providing international five-star hotels the opportunities for further expansion in the Chinese market.

On January 16, 2019, the Hilton Hotels & Resorts brand announced the opening of Hilton Guangzhou Science City. Owned by Guangzhou Tianma Group and managed by Hilton, the opening of this hotel is one of several examples that have marked the confidence of the international hotel brand within the hospitality industry in China.

“Guangzhou Science City is a rapidly growing research center in the Pearl River Delta and a key part of China’s technological innovation landscape,” said Qian Jin, president of Hilton Greater China and Mongolia.

As the first Hilton Hotel in Guangzhou Science City, its opening is of great significance to Hilton’s strategic expansion in the Pearl River Delta in south China’s Guangdong Province.

According to Hilton, they are planning to manage 1,000 hotels in China by 2025.

Hilton is not the only hospitality group that is expanding its business in the Chinese market.

On January 2, Xichang in Sichuan Province welcomed the commencement of a five-star international hotel managed by the InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG). After completion, it will be the tallest building in Xichang and will be the first international five-star hotel benchmark project in Xichang.

The further expansion in the domestic market is part of a great plan proposed by Jolyon Bulley, CEO of InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)’s Greater China region, who revealed in a media interview that they were accelerating their market expansion in China, with the most significant growth in business upgrades, scale and brand expansion in years, according to the 21st Century Business Herald’s report in April, 2018.

Li Bowen, an expert in the hotel industry and professor at the Tourism College of Beijing Union University, told the Global Times that one important factor that boosts the development of the foreign-managed hotel brand is that it’s more attractive to the local governments in terms of drawing foreign travelers and it boosts the local economy and international image.

“Some provincial governments even have clear targets regarding the number of foreign-managed hotel brands that they aim to draw in every year,” Li said.