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Hotel Rooms up for Sale or Rent
The real estate market in Guangzhou,the capital city of South China's Guangdong Province, is looking up as a new wave of cash is invested into a unique hotel property business, experts said.

Unlike traditional hotel rooms paid for by customers wishing to stay for only a few weeks at a time, the new type of hotel aims to rent or sell rooms to customers.

Though it has become somewhat a banal concept in the West dating back to the 70's, this is still a relatively new concept in China, and is being regarded as "a fourth investment force" in the real estate market, together with residential buildings, office buildings and commercial booths.

In big cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Qinhuangdao and Hong Kong, property hotels have emerged.

In Guangzhou, the first property hotel, Ocean Plaza under the COSCO Property Group, is expected to be completed by May. The Plaza, a combination of business offices and hotels, provides customers with a wide range of business facilities and superb hotel services, as well as providing features that will appeal to families, said He Jianliang, director-general of the Ocean Plaza.

Tailored services are the key to business hotels, such as intellectual office automatic systems, elevator parking lots and customized interior designed kitchens, offices, bedrooms and sitting rooms, He added.

In just two months, over half of the suites were sold at a price of HK$14,000 (US$1,795) per square metre.

This new type of investment in the property hotel with its modern interiors, has a low risk and high profit return, and has broken the traditional structure of property investment in Guangzhou.

Despite its popularity, "the property hotel is a brand new concept, a break from traditional residential or business buildings, that needs to invest in market research in order to precisely target potential customers and perfect hotel services," noted Zhao Honghong, vice-director of the Architecture Institute of South China Technology University.

Buying property hotels for self use or investment is growing in the city, said Ren Linwei, deputy general manager of Yalan Property Company in Shenzhen, pointing out the phenomenon in the Pearl River Delta that people have a growing interest in spending weekends and holidays with family, friends or clients. "That's where a resort-like or business-oriented self-owned hotel room comes in."

(China Daily October 24, 2001)

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