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Luxury hotels moving into Kunming - again

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One decade after moving into Kunming too early, international luxury hotels are once again looking at Kunming as a viable investment destination.

Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, Sofitel Luxury Hotels and Hilton Hotels and Resorts are part of a new wave of high-end hoteliers with plans to enter the Kunming market in the next two to three years.

The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHC) announced on January 9th that it had signed a memorandum of cooperation with Yunnan Tourism Co Ltd to open two luxury hotels in Kunming.

IHC, which owns Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, said that it will open a Taj Hotel and Vivanta by Taj in Kunming Horticultural Expo Garden. Details of the timetable and the size of the investment have not been released.

Sofitel Luxury Hotels, owned by France-based Accor Hotels announced on June of last year that it will be opening a five-star luxury hotel in 2014 in downtown Kunming. The hotel will be a major component of the large-scale redevelopment of the Luosiwan area south of Huancheng Nan Lu. It will occupy the top 24 floors and several lower floors of a 50-story building.

Last July Hilton Worldwide signed an agreement with Yunnan Chengjiang Great Eagle Resort Co Ltd to cooperate on the five-star Hilton Yuxi Fuxian Resort.

The resort, which is scheduled to open in 2013, will be Hilton's first property in Yunnan and will be built at the north end of Fuxian Lake. In addition to domestic and international tourists, the resort is expected to attract wealthy Kunming residents looking for a nearby getaway.

Aside from building new hotels, some international hotel groups are also looking at existing Kunming hotels for rebranding opportunities.

Bank Hotel, built in the runup to the 1999 World Horticultural Expo hosted in Kunming, is currently preparing to rebrand as Crowne Plaza Kunming City Centre, to be managed by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG).

This current wave of interest in Kunming by international luxury hotels is not without precedent. Several international hotels set up in Kunming in anticipation of a tourism surge in the city spurred by the 1999 World Horticultural Expo.

More than a decade ago, companies including Holiday Inn, Hilton and Marriott were all managing hotels in the city in 1999 but ended up leaving Kunming after discovering the hard way that the Kunming market was not yet ready for them.

This time around, it seems that rather than basing their hopes on one event, international hotel chains have decided that the Kunming market has matured enough to deserve a second look.

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hi..good to know this, I'm very interested...
can you send me more info. coz i'm thinking to work in this industry again :)

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