Luxury hotel brand Langham plans expansion in Asian region

Luxury hotel brand Langham is doubling the number of hotels in its global portfolio to 50 within the next five years.

The hotelier said year-to-date, its revenue has grown by over 20 per cent compared to a year ago.

And it’s looking for more room to grow, including in the Chinese market, which Langham said will be driven by domestic demand.

A night’s stay at the Langham hotel in London will cost at least US$500 (320 pounds).

And the hotelier believes there’s a growing demand for its high-end offerings in the region.

Currently, it has three hotels in China and plans to open five more in the near future. They will be located in Dalian, Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.

“We see a real excitement particularly in China, about European luxury and European hospitality. You only have to go to the shops in Hong Kong to see the Chinese shopping for Louis Vuitton bags or Gucci or Prada. The Chinese love European luxury so there’s a real hunger for that in China,” said Bob van den Oord, VP of Sales & Marketing, Langham Hotels International.

Looking ahead, Langham wants to grow its global footprint to comprise 50 hotels in five years, compared to its previous target of having 24 hotels in three years.

There is also increased optimism with room rates and occupancy levels returning to pre-crisis levels since the beginning of the year.

Other markets like the Middle East, India, and the US are also appealing to Langham.

In Southeast Asia, the operator said it is holding out for better buying opportunities in Singapore.

“It’s a very competitive market here in Singapore. Many new hotels have opened here in the last two years and we just haven’t seen the right opportunity for our group but I’m very confident we will be able to sign a hotel over the next few years,” said van den Oord.

“But first of all, it has to fit our brand in terms of quality. Secondly, it has to be the right location, and thirdly, it has to make economic sense.

Langham has about US$1 billion set aside for acquisitions, and expansion will include new management contracts.

Langham Hotels International is wholly-owned company of Great Eagle Holdings, which was founded in 1963 and listed in Hong Kong in 1972.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 7 Sep 2010

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