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Luxury Four Seasons Hotel to Expand in China


8:47 am
May 19, 2010



posts 215

The luxury Four Seasons Hotel on Tuesday debuted
plans to expand its presence in Asia, where it will open 11 new hotels
and resorts, President and COO Kathleen Taylor told CNBC.

"China is one of the fastest growing markets in
the world, and for us is an area of great new expansion," she said.

This year, the company
will open properties in Hangzhou and Guangzhou—large cities with a
business and leisure mix, Taylor said. It will then open nine additional
properties in cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, bringing its total
to 14.

Taylor said
the company is also planning to expand in India, where it currently has
one hotel in Mumbai.

some investors are concerned China's economy faces a pending meltdown,
Taylor said this wouldn't alter the company's decision to invest in its
brand there, even if it comes to fruition.

"Our business is extremely long-term," she
said. "Our hotels are built to last for 50 to 100 years, and so when we
look at destinations with our major business partners around the world,
we're really investing in the future."

As for Europe, though Taylor admitted that she is
nervous about the volcanic ash cloud that has stalled travel to and from
much of the continent, as well as the struggling euro—which fell to a
four-year low on Monday—she said the currency's downturn has an upside.

"That also brings opportunities for people
traveling to Europe," she said.

Taylor said individual and group business travelers
are coming back, and that RevPAR— irm revenue per available room—will
experience double-digit growth in fiscal year 2010.



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