China’s Wanda Hotels & Resorts has signed a management agreement for a new hotel in Hainan province, as it embarks on a new “asset-light strategy”.
The company, which has previously owned and operated its hotels, is planning to transform into a hotel management company, providing operational services for hotel owners. These hotels will be operated either under Wanda’s own brands or under other international brands.
The first property to be signed under the new strategy is the Wanda Realm Wuzhishan, a 250-room development that is expected to open at the end of 2018. Owned by Baicheng Real Estate Group, the property is located in the city of Wuzhishan, Hainan province, close to the island’s highest mountain.
“Wanda Realm Wuzhishan serves as a significant milestone in our development history. It indicates the company’s first step toward an asset-light strategic transformation,” said Qian Jin, the former Starwood executive who now serves as president of Wanda Hotels & Resorts.
“Since its establishment in 2012, [Wanda’s] professional and innovative hotel management team has created the brands of Wanda Realm, Wanda Vista and Wanda Reign, which have won recognition and trust in the market in less than four years. We are greatly honoured by this.
“I believe Wanda Hotels & Resorts will remain committed to its pursuit of service quality, operation innovation and guest satisfaction, as well as in maintaining its excellent management team performance, so as to create unique and oriental brand experiences for guests at home and abroad, and greater market value for the hotel owner,” he added.
Wanda expects to operate a portfolio of 98 high-end hotels in China by the end of 2016, including 57 Wanda-branded hotels and 41 properties under other international brands. The company is also planning to roll-out its new four-star brand, Wanda Jin, later in 2016.
By the end of 2020, Wanda expects to operate more than 160 hotels around the world, including international properties in London, Chicago, Sydney and the Gold Coast.