Hyatt announced this morning that it will be forming a strategic joint venture with a major hotel group in China — potentially expanding the World of Hyatt loyalty program’s footprint by thousands of properties in Asia over the coming years.
Hyatt and Homeinns, a Chinese hotel chain, will create a new hospitality brand in China that is aimed at younger travelers in the upper-midscale segment. It describes the travel experiences that the new hotel will provide as “premium,” so it’s likely these properties will be higher-end than the current Homeinns’ mid-tier economy offering.
“All of our brands are positioned at the high end of every segment in which they operate, and this joint venture will be no different,” said Stephen Ho, president of Greater China, global operations, Hyatt in a release.
BTG Hotels owns Homeinns, which is a large economy hotel brand in China itself — the conglomerate owns and operates more than 3,900 hotels in 400 cities under the Homeinn banner and through additional brands like Yitel Premium.
Hyatt has a much smaller, but still significant footprint in China with 70 hotels currently in operation and another 100 plus in the pipeline, and this partnership could potentially lead to more Hyatt branded hotels in the longterm. However this new, still unnamed hotel, will not include the Hyatt name in its brand.
“Hyatt is committed to a long-term strategy of purposeful growth in the region,” said Ho. “This collaboration is expected to provide Hyatt with deep China insights, build brand awareness and grow loyalty with a new set of travelers.”
Hyatt and BTG plan on opening hotels under the new brand in large gateway cities like Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and others in the next five years.
This is Hyatt’s second strategic partnership announced in recent months, after a deal with the Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) was made allowing travelers to earn and redeem Hyatt points at more than 500 SLH hotels around the world. The hotel chain is planning on other expansions to the brand including a goal to double its hotel footprint in Africa by 2020.
The move brings up questions surrounding award opportunities at the Chinese properties. Will travelers be able to earn and redeem Hyatt points and enjoy elite benefits at this new brand? Will the partnership spread to other BTG properties?
We’ve reached out to Hyatt for comment on these questions but have yet to hear back by time of publication.
Featured image of the Park Hyatt Beijing by Katie Genter / The Points Guy.