IHG has launched the first upscale, international hotel brand designed specifically for the Chinese traveller – HUALUXE Hotels & Resorts.
HUALUXE translates from Hua, which means majestic China and luxe, representing luxury.
The HUALUXE brand has been developed in response to three core growth opportunities that IHG is tapping into in the country.
Firstly, IHG has recorded consumer demand for an upscale international hotel brand that demonstrates pride in Chinese customs and reflects local tradition.
Secondly, IHG is targeting the domestic China opportunity, whereby the number of domestic travellers is expected to reach 3.3 billion in 2015 and the China hotel market is projected to grow by five to eight per cent annually by 2030.
Finally, the international opportunity will see outbound trips from China are projected to grow from ten million to more than 100 million in the next ten to 15 years.
Richard Solomons, chief executive, IHG, said: “Building on our proven ability to build, develop and nurture brands, we are very proud to be launching HUALUXE Hotels and Resorts - a genuine first for the industry and a unique brand developed by our Chinese team that we know will resonate with the very important, fast-growing, Chinese consumer base.
“HUALUXE takes the best aspects of renowned Chinese hospitality and applies IHG’s international scale, powerful systems and unparalleled insights into the Chinese market to deliver a traditional high-end consistent experience.”
IHG is already the largest international hotel operator in China, with more than 160 hotels across 60 cities and sees the opportunity for this brand to be in over 100 cities in China in the next 15-20 years.
IHG has already signed over 20 letters of intent which are now being converted into contracts and we expect the first hotel to be open in late 2013 or early 2014.
Keith Barr, chief executive IHG Greater China, said: “IHG was the first international hotel group to enter China nearly 30 years ago, which gives us a deep understanding of the market and its consumers.
“We have had great success over the years with the five brands we already have in this market, and we will now leverage our experience, and the strong relationships and reputation we have with customers and owners to establish and grow HUALUXE.”
HUALUXE will offer guests a more traditional experience based on four priorities that Chinese travellers want from an upscale hotel:
HUALUXE will launch initially in Tier 1, 2 and 3 cities and resort locations in China and in time, will open in major cities elsewhere in the world so that Chinese travellers can have the same experience abroad.
With a multi-million dollar investment behind brand development, HUALUXE will follow IHG’s managed operating model, similar to its other IHG brands currently operating in China and will be supported with brand development and marketing funds in the first few years.