Hyatt’s New Milestone

The company has opened its first property on Hengqin Island, marking another step in its China expansion program.

Hyatt Hotels Corp. has added a new property to its offerings in China with the opening of Hyatt Regency Hengqin in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province. The 493-key hotel marks the hotelier’s debut on Hengqin Island.

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Hyatt Hengqin is located within Novotown, a new integrated tourism and entertainment hub that will ultimately encompass 15.5 million square feet of offerings. The hotel, the only lodging destination at the Novotown complex, features six restaurants and bars and 40,400 square feet of event space. Come early spring 2020, the property will also offer a state-of-the-art fitness facility, a spa and three more food & beverage outlets.

China remains high on Hyatt’s list for expansion. In early 2019, the company established a joint venture with BTG Homeinns Hotels Group to create a new hospitality brand, UrCove, targeting young travelers in the upper-midscale segment in China. And in May of last year, Hyatt revealed plans to open 21 new luxury hotels under the Park Hyatt, Grand Hyatt, Andaz and Alila brands by the close of 2020.

Challenges in China have impacted Hyatt’s portfolio fundamentals, but they have not dissuaded the company from pursuing its growth program in the country. Hyatt RevPAR in Hong Kong declined approximately 36 percent in the third quarter. However, removing Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan from the mix, Hyatt’s RevPAR in Greater China actually increased half a percentage point in the third quarter and occupancy rose 200 basis points. “While there is uncertainty as to when the disruption in Hong Kong may end or when the trade concerns will dissipate, we continue to have great confidence in the long-term prospects in Greater China,” Mark Hoplamazian, president & CEO of Hyatt Hotels Corp., said during the company’s third quarter 2019 earnings conference call on October 31. “We’ve seen no pullback in interest from developers, and our pipeline and pace of new signings in Greater China remains strong.”

Common goal

Hyatt is just one of the world’s hotel chains seeking a greater presence across China. Last spring, U.K.’s InterContinental Hotels Group celebrated its 400th hotel opening in China, having introduced 100 of those properties within the preceding 12 months, and Dubai-based JA Resorts & Hotels announced plans to expand into the country with 30 or more hotels targeting Millennials. More recently, as 2019 drew to a close, Marriott International Inc. continued its ambitious Asia-Pacific expansion plan, half of which is focused on China, with the debut of the 160-key JW Marriott Sanya Haitang Bay in Sanya.