Two years after it bought Louvre Hotels Group, China’s Jin Jiang International has created Jin Jiang Louvre Asia and put the French chain’s CEO, Pierre Frédéric Roulot, in charge of the new entity to grow Louvre’s brands and four of Jin Jiang brands in Asia.
“By entrusting us with the development of Asia and with its historical brands, Jin Jiang acknowledges the expertise of the Louvre Hotels Group team, which gives us a great sense of pride. As the Asian market is very buoyant, the aim is to open more than 1,200 new hotels within the next three years,” said Roulot.
The four Jin Jiang brands are Metropolo, Jin Jiang Inn, Bestay and Goldmet Inn. Entities Vienna and Plateno, of which Jin Jiang is also a shareholder, remain independent. Louvre’s brands meanwhile include Première Classe, Kyriad, Campanile and Golden Tulip. It also acquired India’s Sarovar recently, whose brands include Sarovar Premiere, Sarovar Portico and Hometel.
Roulot: 1,200 hotels in three years (Photo credit: Julien Cresp)
Interviewed on the sidelines of the International Hotel Investment Forum in Berlin recently, Roulot said Jin Jiang wanted to increase its network of hotels and introduce the western brands Campanile and Golden Tulip in Asia.
The first Campanile opened last October in Shanghai, following renovation and rebranding of the Jin Jiang Inn located on the Bund.
“Since the conversion, we doubled the RevPAR of the property. We plan to add more than 600 Campanile hotels throughout China. The first step is to show that you can get good results with this brand,” Roulot said.
Outside China, there are also huge opportunities, he said. The first Campanile hotel will open in Vietnam in Danang this August. The hotel owner, Empire Group, also plans to open a Golden Tulip in Vietnam.
But the “big” markets will be China, Indonesia and India. “In Indonesia, for example, we started with one brand, Golden Tulip and later introduced Kyriad when we had critical size. Soon, we will introduce Campanile, as the Chinese will now be familiar with the brand through the Campanile in Shanghai and there are lots of Chinese travelling to Indonesia.
When asked if Chinese domestic brands such as the four Jin Jiang brands could be brought out of China, he said: “Yes. One of Jin Jiang’s famous brands in China is the Metropolo. It is very Chinese but it is a good brand and I want to export Metropolo everywhere in the world. Perhaps the first will open at the end of this year in Paris, or another city in Germany.”
As to how he is able to drive Jin Jiang Louvre Asia from Paris, Roulot said he would divide his time equally between Paris and Shanghai and will have two CEOs in charge of Europe and Asia reporting to him.
Roulot has appointed Joël Guiraud, Louvre’s vice president operations, as CEO of Jin Jiang Louvre Asia. Replacing Guiraud at Louvre is Krystel Blondeau in charge of France and Andreas Tscherning in charge of Europe.
– Jin Jiang’s Louvre affair, read the View From the Top with Pierre Frédéric Roulot, TTG Asia, May 2017