China’s Home Inns to enter upscale business hotels segment

SHANGHAI Home Inns & Hotels Management Inc. is preparing to enter the upscale business hotels market.

The rapidly expanding company, which operates more than 700 mostly economy hotels in China, plans to open three or four business hotels in the midscale and upscale categories by next year. Home Inns targets as many as 50 such properties open within five years.

To oversee the expansion, Home Inns has appointed a new chief financial officer. May Wu will oversee research, concept development and business planning.

During the third quarter, Home Inns opened 55 new hotels, 40 of which are franchised or managed.

The occupancy rate for all Home Inns properties reached an astounding 96.7% last quarter, which is actually down from the 97% in the same period in 2009.

Home Inns ranked 19th on HOTELS’ 325, the annual listing of the world’s largest hotel companies that was published in the October issue.