Executive At Hong Kong-Based Hotelier Optimistic About Year Ahead
Wealthy Chinese may have established themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the art world and auto market, but their growing influence in the global luxury industry — which has seen some of the world’s top high-end marques create China-only products and even China-focused sub-brands — is “only the tip of the iceberg”, according to an executive at the Peninsula Hotel chain.
Speaking on his company’s prospects for growth in the year ahead, Peter Borer, Chief Operating Officer of The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Ltd., told the Associated Press today that business has been strong at the Peninsula’s historic flagship Hong Kong location, “driven in large part by the increase in Chinese travelers from the mainland, who have overtaken European travelers to become a mainstay.”
From carmakers to watches and handbags, global firms are increasingly looking to tap the Chinese luxury market, as the economy there balloons and makes portions of the population wealthier. Upscale shopping districts around Asia are actively competing to woo the country’s shoppers.
Borer has good reason to be optimistic about his company’s prospects in the mainland market — the Peninsula’s opulent Shanghai hotel had its soft opening last fall and grand opening this spring. The Peninsula Shanghai, which holds the distinction of being the first new building to open on the main strip of the Bund in some 60 years, has by all accounts been a hit among traveling businesspeople and tourists, with the Los Angeles Times saying the hotel “harks back to Shanghai’s ‘Paris of the East'” Jazz Age heyday.