After tripling its presence in China over the past few years, Fairmont Raffles Hotels International appointed on Tuesday a new vice president of development for China.
In his new role Gao Zhi Xiong will be responsible for growing the portfolios of the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Raffles Hotels & Resorts and Swissôtel brands in China. Gao joins the Toronto-based Fairmont Raffles from Carlson Hotels Asia Pacific, where he served as director of development and vice president of development, China.
The Fairmont brand currently has three properties in operation in China, Raffles has one and Swissôtel has four with one more set to open in Chengdu 2014.
Meinhard Huck, Swissôtel’s president, said his brand’s expansion in China is typically done via third-party management deals with government-controlled development companies on multi-use projects.
“In China in particular, you find that a developer builds multi use developments that include hotels,” said Huck. “Ostensibly we are a management company only, although we can put small amounts of equity in strategic locations.”