With one luxury hotel already up and running in Shanghai and five more properties under development there, Jumeirah Group’s Executive Chairman says he’s really excited about China.
“China is really taking the tourism and travel industry by storm,” Gerald Lawless tells CNBC’s “ Access: Middle East ”.
Over 193,000 Chinese tourists checked-in across the emirate in 2011, an increase of 27 percent year-on-year.
The World Tourism Organization (WTO) estimates that China’s outbound tourism will reach 100 million visitors by 2020.
“As people become wealthier, they want to travel,” says Lawless. “They love to come here and [one of] their favorite hotels is the Burj Al Arab."
In the first three months of this year the Jumeirah Group reported a 30 percent increase in guests from China. And as Dubai’s international luxury hotel brand, the company already has 12 properties in operation outside of the United Arab Emirates.
“We want to compete with the big boys, with companies like the Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, Mandarin Oriental, and Shangri-La. We have always looked to be in that space,” Lawless said.
Official numbers showed a 10 percent increase in hotel guests in 2011, amounting to 9.1 million visitors checking in across the emirate.Page 1 of 4 | Next Page