Project Management

Hotel Opening Processes in Greater China: An Analysis of the Problems and Issues

, and Richard Whitfield

Recent months have seen increasing attention in the international press regarding the focus of major global hotel management companies on the importance of China as a growth market. The number of expected hotel openings is unlike anything the industry has experienced before. A key difference between the United States and China is that U.S. growth has been less steep and has taken place over a longer period of time. Moreover, several major hotel management companies have achieved their current U.S. growth through acquisitions, as well as from organic growth. Although there will be growth through acquisitions, the bulk of the openings in China will be achieved through new built projects. These differences require international hotel management companies to completely rethink the way they open new properties in China. In this article, we argue that the well-proven project management approaches, widely used in engineering and construction, are the best ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of opening hotels in China going forward; however, this will necessitate a significant organizational cultural change.

The Outlook for China


China’s tourism and hotel industries are booming. In 2009, the State Council included tourism as a pillar industry in its 12th Five-Year Plan. Tourism is anticipated to contribute 4.5% to China’s GDP (gross …

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"History may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme a lot."

- Mark Twain