Minneapolis Hotelier Forms Partnership in China

Carlson Hotels Worldwide, acting through its Singapore-based Carlson Hotels Worldwide-Asia Pacific division, has formed a strategic partnership with Beijing’s Sunshine100 Group for the development of 10 hotels in thriving markets across China. The new properties will carry Carlson’s Radisson, Park Plaza and Park Inn flags. “There’s a transformation in China

Carlson Hotels Worldwide, acting through its Singapore-based Carlson Hotels Worldwide-Asia Pacific division, has formed a strategic partnership with Beijing’s Sunshine100 Group for the development of 10 hotels in thriving markets across China. The new properties will carry Carlson’s Radisson, Park Plaza and Park Inn flags. “There’s a transformation in China and all predictions indicate it is going to be a huge growth area for the hotel industry,” Tom Polski, vice president of global communications and external relations for Carlson Hotels Worldwide, told CPN today. Carlson and Sunshine100 have identified a bevy of cities–including Tianjin, Chongqing, Shenyang, Yantai, Changsha, Nanning, Liuzhou and Guilin–as prime markets for its new hotels. “We’re really going to be looking at second and tertiary cities, where there is tremendous opportunity,” he added. “There are cities in China that people haven’t been heard of that have five million people. As these cities grow and develop their infrastructure, they will present great opportunities.” The partnership will allow Carlson, which will ultimately manage the properties, to double its presence in China. The company has increased its focus on China over the last few years and presently manages nine properties there, including the 500-room Regent Beijing and the 511-room Regent Shanghai (pictured). One of the company’s most recent efforts to further penetrate the market took shape last October when it joined forces with Lotus Hotel Investment to create a $1 billion fund for the development of hotels not only in China, but in India, Thailand and Vietnam, as well. According to the China Tourism Industry Analysis (2007-2011) report by research firm RNCOS, tourism receipts will soar to $85 billion three years from now, a growth pattern that is already placing immense pressure on the hotel industry, particularly in less developed cities. Needless to say, China has moved up higher on the radar of many hotel companies in recent years. In 2007 alone, RREEF and H&Q Asia Pacific formed a $550 million joint venture to develop over 25 Hilton Garden Inn properties; Hyatt Hotels & Resorts revealed plans to open 15 new Park Hyatt, Grand Hyatt and Hyatt Regency hotels; and Accor announced it would open 62 hotels by 2010.Minneapolis-based Carlson Hotels Worldwide is active in 71 countries with 955 properties featuring the Regent Hotels & Resorts, Radisson Hotels & Resorts, Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson, and Park Inn brands. The Sunshine100 Group, Carlson Hotels Worldwide – Asia Pacific’s cohort in the newly formed strategic partnership, is one of China’s largest real estate entities, having established itself as a startup in 20 different programs across China’s biggest cities.