China’s Greenland pursues APAC expansion with new regional hub in Singapore

Greenland Hotel and Tourism Group (GHTG), the hotel and tourism arm of China-based Greenland Group, has picked Singapore as its springboard for regional expansion with the launch of its overseas operations centre (OOC) in the city-state earlier this month.

The centre will serve as the group’s Asia-Pacific hub for providing hotel advisory and management services to real estate entities in the hospitality segment.

Lau: Singapore chosen as Greenland’s APAC hub due to its close proximity to the company’s priority markets

“Singapore is known to be a regional hub with connectivity to the rest of the world that appeals to many multinational companies; it offers a complete range of financial and legal services and has sophisticated infrastructure that will certainly facilitate regional and international travel,” said William Lau, general manager of the OOC, on the reason for choosing to set up base in Singapore.

He cited the Republic’s close proximity to the company’s three priority markets of Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as the presence of many major asset owners, developers and potential partners in Singapore as other key factors.

Lau said that as vaccination rates accelerate and restrictions ease, now is an “opportune time to pursue new hospitality and tourism opportunities in the region”.

He noted that pipeline data from Tophotelprojects showed that in South-east Asia alone, both 2021 and 2022 will see 121 new hotels open; with another 88 properties lined up for 2023, and 238 projects already on the books for 2024 and beyond.

This significant expected growth of hotel assets will lead to an oversupply, resulting in a highly competitive market and increased demand for hotel management services like GHTG, explained Lau.

He said that property owners and developers can not only tap into the group’s expertise in full life-cycle asset management, but also its “one core, two wings” developmental model, where its core hotel business is supported by its tourism and exhibition wings.

This will enable them to gear up for quicker recovery, and to optimise real estate yield and value by driving tourists and exhibition traffic to properties, he added.

The group, which operates more than 50 hotels in 60 cities across the world, aims to grow its regional footprint by launching its three signature brands – the luxury-focused Primus, upscale business brand Qube, and lifestyle brand Q-Box.

Lau said the company’s growth pipeline focuses on key gateway cities with an initial focus on its priority markets, and an aim to expand to 15 gateway cities by 2024. The group is also set to open two properties in the region come 1Q2022 – the Q-Box Hotel Johor Bahru in Malaysia and Qube Hotel Tasmania in Australia.

In addition, the group also specialises in advising on the integration of hotel assets into “Hotel+” destination concepts, and managing such micro-destinations, given its experience operating hotels within integrated complexes in various cities across China.

With the pandemic causing long-lasting shifts to travel patterns, Lau stressed that hospitality and tourism businesses will need to innovate and rethink their offerings, such as creating micro-leisure/holiday destinations.

“As demand for domestic travel increases, both for leisure and for work, demand for ‘Hotel+’ experiences will also intensify,” said Lau. “Businesses will need to pivot towards creating ‘Hotel+’ micro-destinations to cater to evolving demands.” He cited examples such as the integration of business events offerings or a leisure park with hotel assets.

Lau added that the group’s advisory services on managing such micro-destinations “will enable businesses to tap into the anticipated rebound of tourism, maximising the value of their land and emerging stronger from the pandemic”.

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