|News from around Greater China.|
Monday, 15th October 2012
Source : HVS International
Hotel, industry and travel news from around the Greater China region - this week: China's high-speed rail, Sanya boosts cruise business, the Goldern Week and more....
HIGH-SPEED RAILWAYS TO COME IN CHINA
China is aiming to construct separate passenger and freight train networks. This may come true in 2015, when a high-speed passenger transport network is expected to become fully operational. According to the State Council, China’s Cabinet, a five-year plan on China’s transport system to create a high-speed railway backbone network featuring four east-west lines and four north-south lines by the end of 2015 have recently been approved. The Ministry of Railways states that the total mileage of high-speed railway will reach some 18,000 km by then. There is a demand for China’s high-speed rails as some 52.6 million passengers travelled on the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway in its first year of operation, which ended on June 30. This averages to more than 144,000 passengers travel on the line daily. However the heavy debt-to-asset ratio of these projects, of as much as 60 percent, inhibits the certainty whether all the projects specified in the plan can be accomplished.
SANYA TO BOOST CRUISE TOURISM BY LAUNCHING MARITIME SILK ROAD ROUTE
The People's Government of Sanya Municipality called an expert meeting to review the Cruise Tourism Development Plan for Sanya City (2012–2022) in September. The experts held that this plan would be of great strategic significance in promoting Sanya’s shift from coastal tourism to marine tourism, creating new forms of tourism, facilitating the development of Sanya as an international tourism island, as well as pioneering the development of China’s cruise tourism market. A cruise route along the Maritime Silk Road is set to be launched, starting from Sanya to Leizhou Peninsula of Guangdong Province, and heading further to Danang of Vietnam, Malacca of Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Mumbai of India, Muscat of Oman, the Gulf of Aden of the Arabian Peninsula and Port Tewfik of Egypt, before returning to Sanya via Singapore. The voyage is expected to take approximately 10 to 20 days. The cruise tour may unveil an adventurous journey for travellers, awaken an interest in domestic and foreign cultures and history, and highlight China’s vision and confidence in promoting marine tourism.
CHINA’S GOLDEN WEEK 2012 SEES DISTINCTIVE TRAVEL PATTERNS
During the Mid-Autumn Festival and China’s National Day holiday from 30 September to 7 October, the country’s 119 major scenic spots received a total of 34.25 million visitors, a year-on-year growth of 20.96%, and the tourism revenue recorded a 24.96% year-on-year increase to reach RMB1.765 billion. From 29 September to 6 October, a total of 55,926 civil flights have served 7.61 million passengers across the country, and 60.95 million passengers were transported by the nationwide railway system, recording a year-on-year growth of 9.4%. Self-drive travel became a major highlight during the golden week holiday and gained overwhelming popularity in a lot of places. Taking Shanghai for example, from 8am on 29 September to 8am on 5 October, the numbers of passenger vehicles entering and exiting the major highways in the city were recorded at 835,900 and 1,165,000, respectively, with year-on-year growths of 41.27% and 71.41%, respectively. During the holidays, a large number of visitors flocked to the scenic villas, resorts, rural home inns and spring resorts located in the suburban areas. Tourist attractions in the rural areas were packed with visitors, and the number of guests in star-rated farm resorts witnessed a double-digit growth. In addition, Red Tourism sites have continued to gain in popularity with large crowd of visitors.
MARRIOTT LAUNCHES THE IMPERIAL MANSION EXECUTIVE APARTMENTS IN BEIJING
Marriott added the group’s fifth extended-stay property in China, The Imperial Mansion, Beijing - Marriott Executive Apartments. The property, situated in the centre of Wangfujing district, offers 220 studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments ranging from 64 to 228 square metres. The Imperial Mansion offers a heated 25-metres indoor infinity pool overseeing the Forbidden City and a 180 square metres of multifunctional meeting space. Marriott aims to open the sixth extended-stay property in Shenzhen by 2013.
PUXI WANDA PLAZA AND WANDA WENHUA HOTEL OPENS IN QUANZHOU
Quanzhou Puxi Wanda Plaza, Wanda’s first A-level flagship project, opened on September 29 in Quanzhou, a coastal city in South China’s Fujian Province. The Wanda Wenhua Hotel, the first super 5-star hotel in Quanzhou, opened at the same time. The plaza has a gross floor area of 1.23 million square metres, with an investment of around 10 billion yuan. It includes a shopping centre, super 5-star hotel, three 5A-level office buildings of 180 metres high, two SOHO buildings, eight well-furnished apartment buildings and a 960-meter-long pedestrian street. Among them, there are 322 luxury rooms and suites, as well as an area of 1,378 square metres of column-free Grand Ballroom in the hotel. Quanzhou Puxi Wanda Plaza is the largest urban complex in the Western Taiwan Straits Economic Zone and will greatly improve Quanzhou’s commercial quality.
DORSETT HOSPITALITY SELLS HK HOTEL AND BUYS LONDON PROPERTY
According to The Standard, Hong Kong-based Dorsett Hospitality has recently completed the sale of its 209-room Dorsett Regency Hong Kong in Kennedy Town to China Construction Bank for HK$800million in addition to the acquiring of a hotel in London. Dorsett has acquired The Matrix Building, a 6,255 square metres property located in the business district of Aldgate, for GBP14million (HK$176million). The hospitality group looks to redevelop the nine-story hotel in 30 months, which will cost the group approximately HK$1.7million per room.