MCLEAN, Va. - Hilton Worldwide today announced an exclusive license agreement with Plateno Hotels Group, one of China's leading hospitality groups, to rapidly launch and develop the Hampton by Hilton brand in China. With this agreement, Hampton plans to have over 400 deals signed, with the first hotel expected to open by the end of 2015. Hampton by Hilton is a leader in the mid-priced hotel segment with nearly 2,000 properties in 16 countries. Plateno Hotels Group operates five brands with a portfolio of over 3,000 hotels in 300 cities across China and operates China's largest hotel loyalty program, reaching 80 million members.
"We expect that this partnership will allow us to accelerate our efforts to gain broad geographic and chain scale distribution in China, enabling us to access a large, growing customer base for both in country and outbound business," said Jim Holthouser, executive vice president, global brands, Hilton Worldwide. "Our five existing brands in China are growing at a rapid pace, and after extensively researching the market, we've seen an untapped opportunity to grow in the upper economy to mid-scale category. We're now seizing the opportunity to introduce the Hampton by Hilton brand at scale with an unprecedented partnership with Plateno Hotels Group."
China has a growing demand for the mid-scale hotel market and has a low supply of 3- to 3.5-star hotels. Hampton has designed a 3-star hotel prototype to fit top-tier cities in China, serving value-conscious, quality-driven business and leisure travelers. Hampton by Hilton's portfolio in China will be a mixture of new builds, conversions and adaptive reuse properties. Plateno Hotels Group will lead the development and management of the hotels.
"Our key strategic objective for Hampton is to expand our global footprint in China by offering a very popular hotel product in the mid-scale market, which has not evolved as quickly as in the economy sector," said Phil Cordell, global head, focused service and Hampton brand management, Hilton Worldwide. "Plateno has the largest hotel footprint and loyalty program in China, in addition to being experts in development and management. Our partnership will fuel the growth of Hampton by Hilton in China in addition to allowing us to establish strong relationships with new owners and guests."
Guests of Hampton by Hilton hotels in China will be able to participate in the globally recognized loyalty program, Hilton HHonors. Plateno Hotels Group operates China's largest hotel guest loyalty program with more than 80 million members, which will provide a new source of guests for Hampton by Hilton in China. The partnership will also provide an opportunity to educate Chinese guests about Hilton HHonors and Hilton Worldwide's other best-in-class brands. Combined with Hilton Worldwide's 43 million Hilton HHonors members in 93 countries, over 120 million travelers from China and around the globe will be able to earn rewards by staying at Hampton by Hilton hotels in China.
"We're thrilled to partner with the global hospitality leader Hilton Worldwide to bring Hampton by Hilton to China," said Eric Wu, CFO of Plateno Hotels Group. "There is a substantial demand in China for a quality mid-scale lodging option, and we believe that Hampton is the right product to meet this need. Its enthusiastic and caring culture, together with its sought-after amenities such as free Wi-Fi, clean, comfortable beds and a 100% satisfaction guarantee, will be very appealing to Chinese travelers."
Hampton and Plateno share common views on how best to serve guests. Plateno's focus on a collaborative, fun-spirited brand culture that empowers team members to exceed guest expectations and needs is similar to Hampton's culture of Hamptonality, the brand's friendly and authentic approach to hospitality.
The 100% Hampton Guarantee, an unconditional satisfaction pledge, will continue to be a key pillar and will differentiate Hampton by Hilton in China from its competitors. Room count, product size and on-property and in-room amenities will also be consistent with the Hampton brand, including free Wi-Fi and comfortable beds with duvets washed fresh for every guest.
A consistent interior design aesthetic will distinguish Hampton by Hilton in China as a brand projecting strength, value, fun and comfort. Public areas will share the same look and function as current Hampton properties outside of the Americas, with welcome and gathering zones, bars, communal tables and on-property amenities, including fitness centers, gaming zones and 24-hour snack bars and restaurants.
Hilton Worldwide currently has a footprint of five brands operating more than 17,000 rooms in China with nearly 50,000 rooms in the pipeline.
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