After taking a massive hit during the Olympics and the global financial crisis, reports of China’s hotel industry making a comeback are rife. Most recently, Marriott International announced it would double its China operations within five years, according to the Washington Post.
“China is arguably the world’s most compelling tourism market today,” Marriott chief executive J.W. “Bill” Marriott Jr. said in a statement. “Within the next 10 years, China is expected to be the world’s single largest source of international tourism and its number-one travel destination.”
Marriott is a great example of a business taking a chance to push ahead at the right time. Though the occupancy numbers are rising, they aren’t yet near an ideal level.[more]
China’s promised hordes of travelers aren’t checking in…yet. But they will soon, and when they do, Marriott will have likely established a solid brand reputation for itself in China, simply by being one of the first to have a large number of hotels spread throughout the country.
One of the main problems facing hotel chains in China, especially in terms of luring in domestic travelers, is a lack of brand recognition and marketing.
Hotel chains are such a new addition to the market that Chinese travelers, with the exception of a handful of those with overseas experience, know who’s who, nor what to expect from a luxury hotel chain.
Marriott wants to be one of the first to scrawl its name on this blank slate of the country’s collective psyche, and now–when many hotel chains worldwide are reeling from the effects of the crisis and aren’t thinking of expanding–is the time to do it.