PHOTO: Waldorf Astoria was purchased by Chinese company Anbang Insurance. (Photo courtesy Ed Schipul/Flickr.com)
Chinese companies are buying up hotel brands and investing in properties around the world. What was once a focus on luxury is now broadening to include a range of holdings around the world.
Investments in Hilton and the purchase of the Waldorf Astoria have made headlines, but other moves showcase changing habits and a focus on new destinations, Forbes reports.
“Earlier this month, a subsidiary of Jin Jiang International Hotel Group, known as Plateno Group Europe, said it was expanding its lower-cost hotel presence in countries like the Czech Republic,” writes Kenneth Rapoza.
Budget hotel brand owner Plateno is expanding into Europe to meet Chinese demand.
“Most of our hotels are in Austria and Germany, but the next phase is going to be Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary because this is actually where we are seeing the biggest increase in Chinese outbound travelers over the last year,” Roland Paar, regional vice president for Plateno in Berlin, tells Forbes.
These destinations are popular with Chinese travelers because they provide more value.
“Vienna is cheaper, Prague is cheaper. They can buy three to four times more than they buy in Milan or London,” says Paar. “Plus there is intense economic ties between these countries now and China.
Another change in the Chinese market is that these travelers are now heading out on their own rather than with tour groups.
“That’s become a new business opportunity for Chinese firms who can tap into the way local Chinese search for, recommend, and book hotels online through services like WeChat, the China version of Whatsapp,” writes Rapoza.
To find out how Chinese growth in the travel industry will affect the hotel industry, read on here.