MALAYSIAN hotel group Holiday Villa Hotels & Resorts is looking to increase its presence in China by opening hotels in second-tier cities, participating for the first time at this year’s Guangzhou International Travel Fair to suss out business opportunities.
Seow Kok Boon, director, business development-China division, named Xi’an, Chongqing and Chengdu, as well as cities accessible with AirAsia and China Southern Airlines as targets to clinch new management contracts.
Holiday Villa is represented in Chenzhou in Hunan, Sanya in Hainan, and Guangzhou in Guangdong, part of its 33 property-strong portfolio that spans 12 countries across Europe, the Middle East, and South-east Asia.
“GITF is relatively reasonable in terms of cost and is a good starting point to assess the potential of business opportunities and existing competition,” Seow said, adding negotiations with two potential owners had begun.
This year’s GITF features 750 exhibitors, with 450 from 42 countries, occupying 22,000m2. Exhibitors from Brazil, Peru, Romania, Israel, Fiji, and Switzerland are participating for the first time.
The ratio of overseas visitors has risen to 62 per cent from 58 per cent in 2013, and a 700m2 Smart Travel pavilion focusing on new travel products using smartphone app technology also made its debut this year.