Hilton has opened its 100th hotel in China and its second location in Xi’an, Shaanxi province in the Xi’an High-tech Zone but has indicated that the firm has big plans for expansion in China.
“Hilton is committed to growing our presence in China, a key strategic market where we have a robust pipeline that is two times our current portfolio, in the right locations and with the right brands and partners,” said Qian Jin, the president of Hilton for the area of Greater China and Mongolia.
Although Jin did not indicate where new Hilton locations would be opened, this newest location in Xi’an does imply that Hilton is looking to focus on more, relatively untapped markets in China.
Jing Daily has reported on how consumer spending in China’s lower-tier cities will be expanding exponentially in the next decades. These are cities that have attracted relatively little interest from foreign companies looking to expand but nonetheless have large numbers of nouveau riche looking for luxury options in both shopping and hospitality.
Lower-tier cities like Xi’an, Harbin, Chongqing, and Chengdu are cities with metropolitan areas with populations in the tens of millions yet have had relatively little investment in the luxury travel, shopping, or hospitality sectors as compared to cities like Shenzhen, Beijing, and Shanghai.
Hilton’s newest location has standard features to cater to business visitors, including conference rooms and a ballroom. However, it is also being marketed as a high-end option for tourists. The new hotel is only 40 km from Xi’an’s Xianyang International Airport and in close proximity to Xi’an’s famed historical sites, such as the Terracotta Warriors.
One of the notable aspects of this location is a focus on catering to local tastes in a luxury setting. The fine dining options at the new Xi’an location include The Lord’s Home for Chinese, Cantonese, and Sichuan fusion dishes as well as the Big China Noodle King, whose offerings include over 100 noodle dishes from different regions in China. This may be a bid to cater to local tastes of Xi’an as noodles are the staple of traditional Shaanxi cuisine and could reflect a greater interest in localizing Hilton’s offerings and expansion in less cosmopolitan Chinese cities.