BT: Why is Hyatt so optimistic about growth in the Chinese market?
HO: Chinese consumers are traveling domestically and internationally more than ever before. The potential in this market is huge, and we believe that there are many more opportunities to pursue our growth in the coming years. With nearly 50 years of history in the Greater China market, and plans to double our presence in Greater China, we look forward to caring for more of these travelers in meaningful ways across all Hyatt brands.
BT: How much expansion opportunity is there for Hyatt in China?
HO: We have more than 10 percent of our overall room capacity in Greater China. We see room for a lot more growth because the domestic Chinese travel market is growing significantly. Our pipeline of 22,000 rooms in China represents approximately 30 percent of our global development pipeline, which will create more than 21,000 jobs in the region. We are also stepping up efforts in the digital space as a key part of engaging effectively with Chinese travelers, including enhancing existing technology and mobile platforms, pursuing strategic partnerships, and enhancing payment options.
BT: Hyatt’s new partnership with Miraval is exciting for those interested in spas, health and wellness. Is this something that we will see expand to China?
HO: Wellbeing options including spas are playing an important role in our hotels, especially in resort locations. We are always looking for new opportunities to expand in China and wellness continues to be an important part of our offerings here.
BT: What are some of the latest openings that will appeal to travelers?
HO: Grand Hyatt Xi’an is one of the first hotels in the fast-growing new commercial business district of the city putting it in the neighborhood of more than 200 Fortune 500 companies. It offers some of the most modern meeting facilities in the city and is ideal for leisure travelers wanting to be near the famous terra cotta warriors. Hyatt Regency Beijing Wangjing is the first of the brand in the capital and especially notable for its effort to bring the outdoors inside with a beautiful bamboo forest in the lobby and interior design by famed Japanese designer Kengo Kuma.