Thursday, July 8, 2010

Luxury Hotel Chains To Ask Hong Kong Government for More Land

Hong Kong Luxury Business TouristsSome of the biggest luxury hotel operators in the world are putting pressure on the government of Hong Kong to release more land for development.

The move by Starwood Hotels and Resorts and other luxury hotel chains has been prompted by the fact that over the last few years high-end luxury hotels in Hong Kong have been demolished rather than built.

Stephen Ho, Vice president of aquisitions in Asia for Starwood Hotels, told the South China Morning Post “We obviously want to get into Hong Kong island but unfortunately it has limited land supply. Hopefully with reclamation there we could bring the Westin and St Regis brands to Hong Kong.”

In the heart of Hong Kong’s business district, a host of big luxury hotels have stopped operating as developers and real estate agents realise that turning these plush buildings into luxury office space will earn them much more money in rents.

Luxury hotel Hong Kong Central DistrictConsidering Hong Kong is one of the business capitals of the world there are actually very few hotel rooms available. In the whole of Hong Kong island there are 60,000 hotel rooms and 14,700 of them are luxury hotel rooms in hotels like Hong Kong’s CDB.

Back in 1995 the Hilton was the first major luxury hotel to bow out of the market, leaving Hong Kong with 750 less hotel rooms. In 2001 the Furama Hotel which was bang smack in the middle of Hong Kong closed too, along with it’s 517 rooms. Just last year the Ritz-Carlton hotel also closed and that lost Hong Kong another 216 rooms.

With the Hong Kong tourism board keen to lure more business to the island it’s likely that the government will be pleased to hear of the big luxury hotel chains’ interest in building in the city. According to the tourism board business travelers stay longer in Hong Kong and their luxury lifestyles mean they spend more than leisure tourists.

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