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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hong Leong plans more Guoman Hotels in China

SHANGHAI: Hong Leong Group (HLG) hopes to open more of its signature Guoman Hotels in China after launching its flagship here.

Guocoland China group managing director Violet Lee said it was eyeing to have five Guoman Hotels in China in the next five years.

Guocoland is Hong Leong Group’s property development and investment arm in China.

“Our hope is to have five – in Shanghai, Beijing which is expected to be ready by next year, Nanjing, Tianjin and Chengdu.

“We are still on the lookout for opportunities to develop more Guoman Hotels in Beijing and Shanghai as the huge population in these two cities are capable of supporting more than one in each city,” she told reporters here on Sunday.

The launch of the first Guoman Hotel in China on Saturday was witnessed by the group’s executive chairman Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan. The 442-room hotel cost around USD80mil.

The renowned hotel brand from Britain already has four establishments in central London – the Royal Horseguards, the Cumberland, the Tower and Charing Cross.

Both the Guoman Hotels in Beijing and Shanghai are located within a mixed development measuring some 600,000 and 500,000 square metres respectively.

Besides the hotels, the development – termed Guoson Centre – also comprises shopping malls, a transportation hub, residences, office blocks and SOHO buildings.

The entire Guoson development in the northwestern Putuo district Shanghai cost some USD600mil.

Lee said the group was confident that Guoman Hotel would find its place among the crowded marketplace in both Beijing and Shanghai.

“The hotels there are located within or near transportation hubs,” she said, adding that Guoman hoped to capture the niche market for businessmen and diplomats who were frequent travellers.

She said the launch was also opportune in view of the city hosting the World Expo, which would run from May until end of September.

The expo was expected to bring in 70 million visitors to Shanghai, she said, adding that Guoman Hotel Shanghai projected a 70% occupancy rate during these period.

By The Star

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