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Hotel chains launch brands for Asian markets

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Four major hotel groups launching new tech-heavy brands in China and India

Experts foresee 35% growth in business travel to India and China in 2011, and new business-hotel brands are being launched in an effort to exploit the market, some of them less luxurious but more tech-savvy versions of existing brands. Four major hotel groups have launched brands in China and India in the last six months, leaving business travellers plenty to choose from.
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts unveiled Kerry Hotel Pudong, Shanghai, in February, a less formal yet still 5-star option, the concept of which is to offer a lifestyle balanced between business and leisure. Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts, meanwhile, is scheduled to launch a new 5-star contemporary-lifestyle brand, VENU, also in Shanghai, in 2011. The aim is to express something of the local soul for sophisticated visitors.
A Chinese chain, Jin Jiang Hotels, will be opening eight to 12 properties carrying the new Marvel brand this year, a brand aimed especially at aspiring businesspeople aged 27 to 45. Another 50 to 100 are planned for 2012. Work-hard, play-hard business travellers are also the target for Vivanta by Taj, a new Indian brand being established by the luxury hotel group Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces. A total of 50 of these are due to begin operations within three years. “This consumer group is well-informed, technology-dependent, design-savvy, ambitious and demanding of themselves and others”, says a strategic brand consultant involved with the Vivanta brand.
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[pictured: VENU Bilgah, scheduled to open in Baku, Azerbaijan]

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