Challenges ahead for hospitality sector

SHANGHAI: China's hospitality industry represents tremendous potential but may face a number of challenges, a group of chief executive officers and industry watchers said on Monday at the 17th CEO roundtable, with the theme "Hotel and Tourism Development in China," organized by China Daily.

The most-cited challenges at the roundtable included talent recruitment and retention, inadequacy of infrastructure and a lack of travel-related policy support.

Facts and figures

"I believe that China is addressing a number of the issues we are talking about," said Christopher Bachran, president of Jin Jiang International Hotel Management Co Ltd and the honorary chairman of the roundtable.

In the mid-1980s, the international hospitality market was brand new in China with Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou as the primary locations, Bachran said.

Two decades later, in 2004, the revenue generated by China's tourism industry was estimated at 289.2 billion yuan (US$35.6 billion), accounting for 2.3 per cent of the country's gross domestic product, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

In the same year, 109 million overseas tourists came to China, an increase of 19 per cent from 2003, and the number of Chinese travelling overseas was estimated at 28.85 million, an increase of 42.7 per cent, official statistics show.

The WTTC predicts that China will be the world's fourth-largest tourism market in the years to come.

The Beijing Olympics in 2008 and Shanghai's World Expo in 2010 are expected to bring even more impetus to China's hospitality industry, Bachran said.

Given the tremendous potential, the American Chamber of Commerce recently formed a travel and tourism committee to look at aspects of the market that need to be addressed, he said.

A common topic of discussion was how to do more business particularly at weekends, said John Northen, general manager of JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai & Marriott Executive Apartments.

"What we need to do is to look at ways to improve existing facilities that are available right now and people's awareness of those," Northen said.

Another common topic of discussion was airports, specifically delays in international arrivals of up to two hours in getting through customs.

"I know physically there are some challenges there, but I think still there can be an improvement in the human aspect of the service," Northen said.

To help the hotel industry grow, Ralph Grippo, vice-president and area general manager of the Portman Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, thinks it needs more people.


China Daily CEO Roundtable


About China Daily CEO Roundtable

As a service by China Daily for the global business community, China Daily CEO Roundtable is a by-invitation network of government leaders, CEOs and senior executives of FORTUNE 500 and China's largest companies, for the collective learning and sharing of executive insights on China's strategic issues relating to its economy, business and social developments.

Discussions will be given prominent coverage on China Daily.

Sixteen roundtables have been held in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong over the past year on various issues such as the macro economy, China's regions, China-Asia Business partnership, Hong Kong's future role, entertainment, lifestyle, automobiles, branding, the next generation MNC, corporate social responsibility in China, etc.

Upcoming Roundtables:

The 18th China Daily CEO Roundtable:

Capital Market Reforms in China: Visions, Process and Imperatives

Honorary Chairman:
Mr. Kevan Watts, Chairman, Merrill Lynch International Inc.

November 18, 2005, Grand Hyatt Beijing

The 19th China Daily CEO Roundtable, Co-host with The Illinois Institute of Technology:

Design for the New China Markets

Honorary Chairmen:
Mr. Victor Chu, Chairman, Far Eastern Investments
Professor Patrick Whitney, Director, Institute of Design, IIT

November 30, 2005, Palace Hotel, Beijing

The 20th China Daily CEO Roundtable:
Sustainable Development in China

Honorary Chairperson:
Dr. Jane Goodall, UN Ambassador for Peace, Founder, The Jane Goodall Institute

December 6, 2005, Grand Hyatt Beijing

For enquiries on invitation, speaking opportunities, sponsorship, strategic partnership and customized events, please email Alexander Wan, Executive Editor, China Daily CEO Roundtable at:

For more information about our precious
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Previous Sessions

No. Topics Date
1 China's Regions: Towards Balanced Development April 20, 2004
2 Taking Pulse of China's Economy Growth May 25, 2004
3 The Role of HK in Building China's Financial System July 19,
4 Entertaining the Nation August 26, 2004
5 Globalizing Chinese Brands August 31, 2004
6 Life Style China Nov. 12, 2004
7 China:2005 and Beyond Dec 3,
8 Road Ahead for MNC Feb. 25, 2005
9 China-Asia Business Partnership: Implication for Multinationals March 29, 2005
10 Auto Sector Growth Sustainable April 28, 2005
11 Corporate Social Responsibility in China May 13, 2005
12 2020 The World's Shanghai June 17, 2005
13 Economic integration drives growth in Asia June 24, 2005
14 Nation's healthcare reform examined August 26, 2005
15 CEOs view digital entertainment puzzle September 30, 2005
16 World-class event offers a ride in the fast lane October 14, 2005


Copyright 2004 by
All rights reserved.

The 17th China Daily CEO Roundtable

Honourary Chairmen

Christopher L. Bachran
President, Jin Jiang International Hotel Management Co. Ltd

  Mr. Alexander Wan
Executive Editor, China Daily CEO Roundtable
List of Delegates
Name   Campany   Title  
Niger White Avis China General Manager  
Tina Wu Central Hotel Shanghai
Director, Room Division  
Ellen Jiang
CYTS Cendant International Travel Ltd Assisstant Director, Hotel Department  
Ronald Chao

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Partner, Corporate Finance  
Peter Weber Four Seasons Shanghai General Manager  
Karel Hujiser
GE Infrastructure President & CEO, Asia-Pacific  
Judy Zhu
Hannover Fairs China Ltd Vice-General Manager  
Bertrand Courtois
  Sofitel Hyland Hotel Shanghai   Executive Assisstant Manager  
Jerry Huang InterContinental Hotels Group Vice-President, Development, Greater China  
David Travers
  International Branded Hotels Shanghai/InterContinetal Putong Vice-Chairman/General Manager  
Mu Qing International Air Transport Associated General Manager, Business Development  
Athony Leung Jin Jiang International Hotel Management Co. Ltd Senior Vice-President, Finance  
Michael Meade Jin Jiang International Hotel Management Co. Ltd Senior Vice-President, Sales & Marketing  
Joseph Toh Jin Jiang Towers Director of Sales & Marketing  
John Northern JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai & Marriott Executive Apartments General Manager  
Brent Zheng Peace Hotel General Manager  
Eric Rufer Ramada Plaza Pudong Shanghai General Manager  
Roger Fung Renaissance Shanghai Putong Hotel General Manager  
Dennis Lalinde Renaissance Yangtze Hotel Shanghai Director of Finance  
Wu Chenglin Shanghai Conference and Exhibition Industry Association Chairman  
Yu Ruhe Shanghai Foreign Economics Relations and Trade Commission Director, Sevice Trade Division  
Gerhard Hecker Shanghai JC Mandarin General Manager  
Yang Shenqing Shanghai Media Group Managing Director  
Dai Liu Shanghai World Expo (Group) Ltd Chairman  
Sun Xiaogang Shanghai Yuantai Communication Co, Ltd President  
Guido Milner Sofitel Jin Jiang Oriental Putong Hotel Resident Manager  
Paul Woodward The Global Association ofr the Exhibition Industry Regional Manager, Asia-Pacific  
Ralph Grippo   The Portman Rize-Carlton, Shanghai   Vice President and Area General Manager  
Peter Alasas The Westin Shanghai General Manager  
Huo Yongzhe Eastern China Office, China Daily Director, Circulation Department