HAINAN, CHINA, 25-26 NOVEMBER 2010 – China is the world leader in hotel expansion. Currently there are only 1.6 million hotel rooms in China for a population of over 1.3 billion. With a growing middle class, the domestic travel market is increasing rapidly. Hainan, located in China's 'Hawaii', is expanding at a phenomenal rate to take advantage of China's new found wealth in the leisure and business travel sector.
Supported by Hainan Provincial Tourism Development Commission, Sanya Municipal Government and Sanya Tourism Development Commission the China Hotel Expansion Summit took place on 25-26 November 2010 in Hainan, China. Attended by over 150 government officials and industry leaders the summit examined hotel expansion in China and how international and domestic players can come together to create the most advanced hotels for the fast growing Chinese upper and middle class market.
On day one the Vice Mayor from Sanya Municipal Government welcomed the delegates to Hainan and gave a detailed summary of hotel development in Hainan and across Sanya. His speech revealed future growth projections for Hainan and how the government is willing to work with the hospitality industry to ensure that their progressive targets are met. Following this Dr. Yang Honghao, China Tourism Academy, National Tourism Administration (CNTA) gave a detailed analysis of China's hotel industry and future trends. Somfy"Fantastic way to conduct business!" On day one afternoon a dinner was held in the InterContinental attended by both speakers and delegates. The beachfront experience allowed individuals to discuss future collaborations in a more relaxed environment.
Key speakers at the event included Michael Sagild, Managing Director, MGM Hospitality who presented on "Enhancing the Guest Experience". MGM is presently establishing a number of hotels around Asia that are non-gaming and will center on customer service, shows, and restaurants. Michael spoke about how customer loyalty is much more important than customer service. People are who matter in hotels and properly trained staff is most important. Jules Kwan, Managing Director, Urbn Hotels discussed designing and constructing the first carbon neutral hotel in China. Jules argued how it was cheaper for him to build the Shanghai hotel green than it would have been not to. Building green not only saved him money (both in the short term and long term) but also gave him great free publicity. Jules is building a new hotel in Pudong that will be similar to his first.
Following Jules Kwan's speech on how all hotels could go green, a panel discussion was held on "Key Design Elements for Successful Hotels", moderated by Courtney Davies, Director Sales and Marketing, Arquitectonica. The panel discussed utilizing green technology in the design of hotels (integrating PV modules, solar thermal, etc…). This led to a very dynamic Q&A session from the audience wanting to learn how they too could ensure that their upcoming hotels could be eco-friendly. Panellists also included Ben Lui, Group Director Projects, Shangri-la Hotels and Resorts; Tim Gao, President, HNA International Hotel Management; and Lawrence A. Samuelson, Director, MET Hotel Consultant & Design who is of a select few American architects certified to practice in China. Continuing the green theme Garry Croxford, Regional Director, Engineering & Energy Management, InterContinental Hotels Group Asia Pacific also spoke about developing green hotels in Asia and how we have to adapt to secure our future.
There were many interesting unveilings and insights announced at the event. Using the event as a platform Marc Hediger, Senior VP, Product and Development, New World Hospitality introduced their new hotel – New World Haikou Hotel and stated their ambitious plan of expanding into the Middle East and Europe. Nelson Chu, Group Director, Planning and Design, Shangri-la Hotels and Resorts spoke about design elements that are necessary in hotels. In China all hotels have rooms dedicated to government meetings – this is a necessity for the hotels to be the hotel of choice for all government meetings and conferences. Nelson also spoke in depth about a hotels DNA and how Shangri-la hotels are standard – every hotel will have certain elements such as lush gardens, even in the middle of a large city. Barr+Wray, a spa design company, held a workshop on day one attended by 17 delegates. Run by Alister MacDonald, Managing Director, Barr+Wray the workshop focused on designing luxurious Spas to relax your guests. Alister stated that Asia is becoming the major market for Spa development and trends worldwide. Barr+Wray are setting up a new office in Hong Kong in the coming year.
Notable speakers also included Wayne Zhu, VP Development China, Anantara Hotels and Spas who discussed boutique resort development in China; and Massimo Da Lozzo, General Manager of Ali Group China who presented on maximizing efficiency and cutting cost in the kitchen. Both were very dynamic speeches that captured the audiences' attention. Darren Edmonstone, Senior VP, Asia, Outrigger Hotels and Resorts revealed the challenges that many hoteliers meet in Asia and compared them to Hawaii, giving examples of how they could overcome these challenges. From HNA International Hotel Management Co., President Tim Gao presented on site location and design elements from both a hotel operator and real estate developer's perspective; Rudolf Kitzbichler, Managing Director, Asia, Halton Group presented on the topic "Energy Efficient Ventilation Systems for Today's High Performance Kitchens";and Milan Polak, Managing Director of Clartes, a Czech company, discussed luxurious lighting for hotels.
Other topics discussed included "Automatic Control Systems: Keeping your Guests Comfortable while Saving Energy" by Somfy China, "Saving Energy and Water While Keeping your Guests Clean" by Girbau S.A. and from Duni Ltd. "Enticing Guests through Innovative Table Settings". Speakers also came from Siemens Building Technologies, Siemens Business Communication Systems, and Langham Hotels. In addition, Coca-Cola had an impressive booth on-site where they distributed new products soon to be available outside of Shanghai. "Well-organized and international event" Kurt Xu & Associates
Noppen would like to express special thanks to all the event sponsors for their immense contribution to the event. Overall the summit was a great success as it revealed how luxurious hotels can be constructed across China in an eco-friendly nature while still supplying remarkable guest experiences to both domestic and international clientele. Noppen is looking forward to continuing their great success at their many other hotel series events in 2011.