StayWell Hospitality Group has formed a new partnership that will accelerate its growth in China.
The Australian company has signed a joint venture agreement with Hong Kong-based Novel Investment Company that will lead to the development of StayWell’s Park Regis and Leisure Inn brands in some of China’s key cities. The properties will be procured by Novel.
“We have entered an important joint venture partnership to form a hotel management company that will operate all StayWell-branded properties in China,” said StayWell’s CEO & managing director, Simon Wan.
“It provides a vital platform for StayWell’s expansion into a market with a population four times that of the US, and an US$8.22 trillion economy with double-digit growth. Using this platform, we will deliver proven hotel management, hospitality service and training skills, and position our new joint venture company to capitalise on lucrative opportunities as China’s hotel market grows and matures,” he added.
The StayWell-Novel joint venture will initially target hotels in tier-one cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Chengdu. Wan said he expects to have agreements for at least three 200-plus-room properties in China within the next 18 months. The first of these is scheduled to open in Beijing in 2014, under the Park Regis brand.
Novel’s co-founder, Alan Feng, also revealed he is already in negotiations with several hotels, with regards to the StayWell joint venture.
“We invest in good potential projects and have been looking for the right professional partner who shares the same vision with Novel to manage the hotels. We are glad to establish this relationship with StayWell,” Feng said.
The Chinese partnership forms part of StayWell’s broader plans to expand in the Asia Pacific region. The company currently operates properties in Singapore and Bali, and Wan recently told Travel Daily that he plans to debut in Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok in the near future. The company also recently launched its first five hotels in New Zealand.
Overall, StayWell is intending to expand its global portfolio from 33 hotels today to at least 100 in three years’ time.