The Accor (Worldwide) Group, one of the leading hotel and tourism firms in the world, has announced that it plans to more than triple the total number of its chain hotels in China to 180 in the next three years.
By 2010, Accor's network will include about 40 five-star Sofitel hotels and 100 economical ibis hotels in China.
The French group targets to open 62 hotels in China in 2007, and more than 20 hotels have started operations so far this year.
"We believe that the continuous growth of tourism in and out of China and the upcoming Olympic Games will create a huge demand in hotel services," said Robert Murray, vice president for Accor China, at a press conference in Beijing.
Accor will also open three more hotels in Beijing before the 2008 Olympics, bringing the number of its hotels in the Chinese capital to seven.
"There could be a drop in demand right after the Olympics but we are confident in China's booming economy," said Ray Stone, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Accor Asia Pacific.
Since its entry into China in 1985, Accor has opened 50 hotels in Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Xi'an, Chengdu and other major Chinese cities.
The company operates more than 4,000 hotels in nearly 100 countries with 170,000 employees.
(Xinhua News Agency September 24, 2007)