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Hilton to Manage New Resort in China

Hilton International is to manage its first resort in China, the Hilton Sanya Resort and Spa on Hainan Island. The 500 guestroom and villa Hilton Sanya Resort and Spa will command a prime position on 746 metres of unspoilt beach front at the western end of Yalong Bay. The resort is expected to open early 2006 and will be based around a stunning concept of a casual low-rise village set in lush tropical gardens with a meandering lagoon running the length of the site. Other facilities include a full service spa, and a detached banquet and meeting facility which incorporates a 1000 square metre ball room. Rooms will start at 48 square metres, with almost three quarters of them overlooking a wide, crescent-shaped sandy beach. The remainder will have aspects of the surrounding hills.

Hilton International President for Middle East and Asia Pacific, Koos Klein said, “Hilton Sanya Resort and Spa fits our strategy to expand in China by working with quality owners on upscale projects. We could not have chosen a better partner than China Jin Mao Group Co., Ltd., one of the foremost developers in this country and a company with a proven track record of building striking architectural developments including the most recognized landmark in modern China, the Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai.”

He Cao, President - China Jin Mao Group said, “We are delighted that the Hilton Sanya Resort and Spa will be the first Hilton Worldwide Resort in China and will significantly strengthen the lineup of resorts in such a beautiful tropical destination. Hainan Island is fast becoming a leading tourist destination in China attracting almost 12 million visitors in 2003. The new resort will leverage from Hilton’s existing network of hotels in China and the company’s global marketing power to attract a greater share of visitors. We will work closely with Hilton and all consultants to make this a truly unique resort.”

Yalong Bay is located on the in the south on Hainan Island and has been designated by China’s State Council as one of China’s 11 major tourist and holiday destinations. Interest in the destination is fuelled by the uncrowded, tropical environment which has earned Hainan the reputation as ‘The Hawaii of China’. The island offers a range of leisure activities including fishing, diving and golf as well as proximity to the mainland and visa-free access. Hainan is served by three airports offering flights to more than 50 destinations. It is linked to the mainland by the recently opened Guangdong-Hainan railway and 13 deep-water berths for passenger and cargo transport.

In 2003, approximately 400,000 international visitors arrived in Hainan, the majority coming from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. Tourism officials are eager to expand these numbers and have introduced development zoning to protect the local environment.