Chain Foresees Opportunity In Chinese, Foreign Business Travelers and Tourists Throughout The Mainland
The American hotel chain Wyndham Worldwide has opened the doors of its first Chinese 5-star hotel in the coastal city of Xiamen, one of China’s most important port cities and the location from which millions of Chinese emigrated and explored the world starting in the Song Dynasty. Since the 1980s, however, Xiamen has gained notoriety not for being the place from which people left China, but where foreign and government investment money flowed. As one of China’s first Special Economic Zones (SEZs), Xiamen was one of the first cities in China to be allowed to experiment with capitalism since 1949. Over the past 30 years, the city has transformed from a typical port with limited infrastructure to China’s second most livable city, and an increasingly important business and trade locale for foreign and Chinese businesspeople alike.
Wyndham’s choice of Xiamen as the first location from which to gain a foothold in the Chinese mainland, then, is not surprising. Already, a host of other luxury or mid-range hotels are located in Xiamen, including Sheraton, Sofitel, Crown Plaza, Millennium and Marco Polo. As the newest entrant in this market, Wyndham will have to set itself apart — and the company plans to do this by offering a 5-star experience that appeals to its guests’ cultural and/or luxury sensibilities. As USA Today writes,