Top Hotels Look to the Next Frontier
LIJIANG, China ? Tourists from China?s crowded coasts have long considered this city of 1.2 million in the Himalayan foothills to be a scenic getaway.
Its hotel choices are still predominantly low- and mid-range properties, but a few of the world?s top luxury hotel brands are putting the final touches on properties here in hopes of attracting the country?s growing ranks of extremely wealthy travelers.
As economic growth has slowed in Europe and the United States, Asian locations now dominate lists of the current and projected hot spots for luxury hotel and resort growth. And Asia-based planners from leading luxury hotel groups say China, the world?s second-largest economy after the United States, is the top regional priority.
?There are several hot spots there because China is so massive,? said David Spooner, vice president of sales and marketing at Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts, which opened Lijiang?s first international-standard luxury property in 2006. And, he added, the country?s luxury sector is flourishing because ?a growing market of Chinese travelers is much more sophisticated.?
In April, 253 of the 458 branded luxury hotel projects under construction or in the final planning stages were in the Asia-Pacific region, according to STR Global, a hotel research company.
And of all such Asia-Pacific projects ? branded and independent, and across all economic categories ? 58 percent were in China, the company said.
Click here to read more.
Source: Mike Ives (2013). Top Hotels Look to the Next Frontier, The New York Timeshttp://travel.nytimes.com/2013/06/06/travel/top-hotels-look-to-the-next-frontier.html?_r=0?published Jun 05, 2013. Viewed Jun 07, 2013.