|March 1999: – Accor has signed a management contract to
launch a Sofitel hotel in Jinan, the capital of Shandong Province in China
. The Sofitel Jinan Silver Plaza will be part of the 58 storey Shandong
World Trade Centre complex, which will also comprise commercial offices,
exhibition facilities, retail outlets, restaurants and entertainment. The
complex is owned by the Shandong Commerce Group Corporation.
The Sofitel will comprise 400 rooms, with an executive floor, estensive meeting and banqueting facilities, restaurants, swimming pool and health club.
The signing of the Jinan hotel is part of an expansion drive in China, with the main target areas being strategic commercial centres throughout the country. Accor plans to open three new hotels in the next twelve months and has plans to double its existing network of hotels in China over the next five years.
The opening of the Sofitel Jinan Silver Plaza will follow the opening,
in less than six mid-year opening of Sofitel Zhengzhou, a 400 room
hotel in the capital city of Henan.
Novotel Pudong Shanghai is set to be a flagship for the Novotel brand in China. The 306 room hotel is being developed by COSCO (China Ocean Shipping Company Limited) as part of a 50 storey mixed-use building. The hotel will feature a revolving restaurant and two other floors of restaurants and bars, as well as extensive meeting and banquet facilities.
Novotel Pudong will be the area’s first purpose-built 4-star hotel with 5-star standards. It will service Shanghai’s rapidly growing financial sector and will cater for increased numbers of visitors expected as a result of the opening of the Pudong airport later in the year. The Novotel is scheduled to open in January 2000.
Another Novotel is under construction and scheduled for completion at the end of the year in Wuhan, Hubei Province. Located on the Yangtze River, Wuhan has attracted considerable French and other European investment in recent years, with many foreign engineering companies based in the city.
Novotel Wuhan is situated in a prime business location in the new financial district of Wuhan City, next to the recently opened French consulate. The hotel will have 314 rooms, a variety of food and beverage outlets, function rooms, and a wide variety of leisure facilities.
In addition to the signed hotels, Accor is examining other proposals for hotels in Beijing, Shanghai, and Zhuhai.
Commenting on the expansion plans, Accor Managing Director for Asia, Mr Anthony Young, said that China had shown the resilient nature of its economy over the past few years and prospects for growth in business and leisure travel continued to look healthy.
“Our strategy has been to expand in key regional centres over the past two years, and we will continue this policy while looking to expand the network in Shanghai and Beijing as well,” said Mr Young.
“Novotel has become a well-established name in China, as has Sofitel, but we will also introduce our mid-market brands Mercure and Ibis if the opportunity arises.
“A key advantage that the Accor group has in China is the popularity of the company’s brands in Europe, which is the major growth sector for investment and business travel into China.”
To oversee Accor’s expansion in China, Mr Young has appointed Gerhard Zimmer as Director of Operations for China. Mr Zimmer is also the General Manager of the Sofitel Shanghai.
Accor is the world’s largest hotel and tourism group. The company operates 2,800 hotels across the globe as well as being a leader in car rental, travel agency, catering and other tourism services. In China, Accor’s current portfolio comprises: Sofitel Hyland Shanghai, Novotel Shanghai Yuan Lin, Novotel Hefei, Novotel Hangzhou and Novotel International Hotel Zhengzhou.
|Also See:||Accor Planning New Hotels in Shanghai, Jinan, Wuhan and Beijing / Feb 1999|
|Accor Expands Sofitel Network to India / Nov 1998|