Louvre Hotels on an expansion shortcut in fast-growing China

Starwood Capital’s Louvre Hotels to speed up its expansion in fast-growing China

Louvre Hotels, the world’s eighth-largest hotelier owned by U.S. investment group Starwood Capital, partnershiped with number one Chinese tour operator for expansion. Louvre Hotels, which so far has three hotels in China, plans to open 25 midscale or luxury hotels in the Shanghai region within five years. Louvre Hotels, which wants to be among the top five global hoteliers mid-term, plans to open 76 new hotels this year, including 51 abroad. It opened 63 in 2011.

According to Intercontinental Hotel Group, which has made expansion in China a top priority, China is expected to overtake the United States as the largest hotel market by 2025, with more than six million available rooms.

“We have been lagging in China where we have not reached critical size on our own but we can do it with a partner, which is also the number one Chinese tour operator,” Chairman Pierre-Frederic Roulot told reuters. “JinJiang and its 800 hotels in China, we could benefit from that. This could be our expansion shortcut.”

“Chinese companies are increasingly interested in finding partners but there are steps to respect. I have a long-term vision of our partnership. I want it to grow progressively,” explained Roulot adding that it is too early to say how the partnership with
JinJiang  might evolve.