Marriott International has signed franchise contracts for five new Fairfield by Marriott hotels along with management contracts for a Courtyard hotel and a Marriott Hotel in China.
The five franchised Fairfield by Marriott Hotels will all be managed by Eastern Crown Hotels Group as part of the development agreement it reached with Marriott International in early 2016. The new properties are the Fairfield by Marriott, Chongqing Riverside, with 119 rooms; Fairfield by Marriott, Dongguan Changping, with 196 rooms; Fairfield by Marriott, Meizhou South, with 100 rooms; Fairfield by Marriott, Foshan Nanhai, with 248 rooms, and Fairfield by Marriott Nanning Nanhu Park, with 190 rooms.
The new Courtyard by Marriott hotel will be located in Chengdu’s Tianfu New District and will have 315 rooms. Also signed today is a Marriott Hotel in Jinhua, the company's first property in the city. The hotel will have 279 rooms.
In total, these seven new agreements will add over 1,400 new rooms owned by Marriott’s Chinese partners.
“China is a highly important market. Our signing of these agreements reflects our goal to meet the needs of both international and domestic visitors by introducing hotels carrying Marriott’s brands in close partnership with Chinese hotel management and ownership companies,” said Arne Sorenson, president & CEO of Marriott International, on his visit to Shanghai for the signing with Chinese partners. “China is our largest market outside the U.S., and we are very confident in its continued growth, especially in view of the rising disposable incomes of the middle class and development of the consumer-led economy.”
“These agreements represent an important component of Marriott International’s model for growth around the world – to work with local partners who have the right local expertise, knowledge and skills, and who share our own values and culture. This is particularly true in China, where the majority of our hotels are owned by Chinese partners,” Sorenson added.
Eastern Crown Hotels Group is a privately held, Guangzhou-based lodging company that specializes in franchising and operating select-service hotels. It currently has a portfolio of over 900 hotels either open or under development in more than 200 cities in China, Malaysia and Belarus.
Marriott has announced several other hotels for China recently. At the end of August, the company opened the Hangzhou Marriott Hotel Qianjiang in Qianjiang New Town CBD, Hangzhou. Under the management agreement with Hangzhou UDC Group, this hotel is the first Marriott Hotels brand in Hangzhou.
The hotel offers 348 guestrooms, a variety of dining experiences, a fitness center, an indoor swimming pool and a spa. The Hangzhou Marriott Hotel Qianjiang also offers 1,850 square meters of multifunctional meeting space.
Earlier this summer, Marriott’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company opened a second resort hotel on China’s only tropical island of Hainan, signing a management agreement with Hainan Golden Tide Tourism Development Co., Ltd.
The Ritz-Carlton, Nanyan Bay is scheduled to open in 2017 offering 244 guestrooms and suites in addition to 14 private villas. Five dining options include a Chinese restaurant, pool bar and grill, all-day dining restaurant and lobby lounge. The hotel also offers an 800-square-meter Grand Ballroom and the 1,600 square meters of meeting and event venue space. A luxury spa, fitness center, recreation pavilion and multiple swimming pools are among the resort’s private facilities. Completing the ocean view development will be residences, entertainment and luxury retail stores.
Other companies are focusing on China as well, but more on the construction side vs. the management side.
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts plans to open a new hotel in Beijing in January 2017. Hotel Jen will be situated in China World Trade Center.
Stickman Design will design the hotel, which will offer a total of 450 rooms and suites. Instead of a traditional business center, the hotel will have a co-working space, 13 creative meetings spaces and a multifunction venue with space for 300 guests.
Amari Yangshuo, ONYX Hospitality Group's first Amari hotel in China, is under construction and scheduled to open in the first half of 2017.
The 73-room property hotel combines local Oriental influences with Thai-style design and is developed by Shenzhen Yitian Group Co., Ltd. as part of the exciting Yitian West Street development. The hotel will be managed by ONYX Hospitality Group as an Amari property.
While construction is continuing, vigorous hotel development in China may be overblown.
According to Lodging Econometrics' recent "China Construction Pipeline Trend" report, China's pipeline for the first quarter of the year had 2,448 hotels with 549,222 rooms, down 8 percent by projects and 1 percent by rooms year-over-year. This is the second consecutive quarter of year-over-year decline.
A full 68 percent of China’s pipeline rooms are currently in the "under construction" phase with 1,789 hotels and 375,638 rooms. This is a decline of 9 percent year-over-year. "Reflecting concerns about the slowdown in the economy and the availability of financing, announced projects are slow to migrate forward up the pipeline towards construction," the report said. As a result, projects slated to start over the next year (294 projects with 71,471 rooms) and in the early planning stages (365 projects with 102,113 rooms), hit new cyclical highs, and are not advancing toward