Frasers Hospitality unveils plan to double portfolio in China by 2021

The 354-unit development, which ups the count to 12 properties now, was one of 14 properties slated to capture the burgeoning domestic and international travellers in the country.
The 354-unit development, which ups the count to 12 properties now, was one of 14 properties slated to capture the burgeoning domestic and international travellers in the country.PHOTO: FRASERS HOSPITALITY

FRASERS Hospitality, a division of Frasers Centrepoint, on Friday (Nov 3) unveiled its plan to double its operating properties in China to 25 across 15 cities by 2021.

This expansion plan has kickstarted with Friday's opening of Modena by Fraser Changsha in the capital of Hunan province.

The 354-unit development - which ups the count to 12 properties now - was one of 14 properties slated to capture the burgeoning domestic and international travellers in the country.

The plan involves both opening new properties in its existing markets - mostly first-tier cities such as Shenzhen, Shanghai, Tianjin, Nanjing, Chengdu and Wuhan - and forays into new cities such as Dalian, Nanchang, Sanya, Haikou and Hefei.

Mr Choe Peng Sum, chief executive officer of Frasers Hospitality, noted that China is the group's fastest-growing market.

"The international and domestic travel markets are expected to expand on the back of China's robust economic growth and rising incomes," he said.

According to the International Monetary Fund's outlook, China's economic advancement is likely to continue at an expected average rate of 6.4 per cent between 2017 and 2021.China's economic progression has also given rise to a large middle-class population with higher income levels.

World Bank figures shows that per capita GDP in China has risen from US$959 (S$1,304) in 2000 to US$8,123 in 2016.

With rising income levels, Chinese travellers have become one of the biggest global spenders in the tourism sector, led especially by the millennials.

Frasers Hospitality recently commissioned a study to better understand the mindset of Chinese millennial travellers, and found that 93 per cent of this demographic demand innovation in products as well as smart hotel services.

To cater to this group, the group launched a Frasers serviced residence in Shenzhen under the Capri brand in July this year.

The property comes with e-concierge services, specially curated e-travel guides, high-speed Wifi, a dedicated Chinese website, and Fraser's signature 24-hour laundrette fitted with the latest games consoles and other recreational amenities that encourage socialising among travellers.

In September this year, the group also soft-launched its Fraser Place Binhai Tianjin serviced residence.

Going forward, it plans to open Fraser Suites Shenzhen by the year-end; Fraser Suites Dalian, Fraser Place Nanchang and Modena by Fraser Nanjing in 2018; and Modena by Fraser Hefei in 2019.

Currently, Frasers Hospitality's portfolio in China includes serviced residences in 10 cities, namely Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hunan, Nanjing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Wuxi and Wuhan.

Parent firm Frasers Centrepoint closed flat at S$2.06 on the stock market.