IHG signs Shanghai ski complex pair

Pictured: signing ceremony for IHG’s Shanghai Yaoxue Snow World Complex hotel pair. Image © IHG Hotels & Resorts
IHG Hotels & Resorts has signed two hotels as part of the upcoming Shanghai Yaoxue Snow World Complex integrated sports-entertainment-tourism resort.

Crowne Plaza Shanghai Snow World and Shanghai Snow World Hotel, Vignette Collection – the first Vignette Collection hotel in Greater China will be key constituents of the complex, which will include the world’s biggest alpine-themed indoor ski park.

Luxury and premium sites

Scheduled to complete in H1 2024, the two hotels are positioned as a luxury and boutique and premium resort hotel respectively in the project area. There are over 270 rooms in seven variations in Shanghai Snow World Hotel, Vignette Collection, and 375 rooms in seven varieties in the Crowne Plaza Shanghai Snow World.

The two signed hotels will be located in the downtown commercial centre of Lin-gang New Town. The resort is expected to become a major tourist destination in Shanghai after opening.

Long term commitment

IHG believes the signings demonstrate its long-term commitment to the China market – closely cooperating with owners and accelerating brand expansion, in line with the market’s national and regional development policies.

In 2022, the group steadily grew its Chinese presence. Despite the pandemic’s resurgence across the country, IHG has remained committed to a long-term ‘in China for China’ strategy and reached the milestone of its 600th hotel opening in Greater China, up from 500 in just one and a half years.

Second home market

Jolyon Bulley, CEO, IHG Greater China, said: “As IHG’s second home market, Greater China is positioned as a significant growth engine for our group’s development. This year marks the 48th anniversary of IHG in Greater China and 39th in the Chinese mainland.

“Despite all the great hardships of recent years, we are delighted to witness a monumental time of nationwide reopening and loosening of travel restrictions, boosting our confidence in the sustainable and high-quality development of the Chinese economy. Looking forward, IHG will continue to invest in expanding our network here and promoting cooperation across the industry, forging ahead on a new journey with the local market.”

Pent-up demand

Daniel Aylmer, MD, IHG Greater China, remarked: “We see lots of opportunities to tap pent-up travel demand in the post-pandemic era, especially with the increasing number of high-net-worth consumers and rapid growth in domestic tourism. The demand for personalised and high-quality travel experiences should not be underestimated and drives our confidence in the huge potential in China’s luxury hotel market.

“Closely following China’s national development strategies and regional policies, IHG is committed to meeting evolving consumer requirements through an enriched brand matrix. As the brand’s first opening in the market, the Shanghai Snow World Hotel, Vignette Collection will lay a solid foundation for IHG’s luxury expansion in China. Guided by our purpose ‘true hospitality for good’, we are ensuring more travellers in Lin-gang have access to the unique lifestyle experiences they desire.”

Winter sports growth

Kent Sun, chief development officer, IHG Greater China, added: “As one of the first international hotel groups to enter China, we’ve always closely followed local market trends to meet the diversified needs of both owners and consumers. Driven by the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, China has become the fastest-growing market for winter sports tourism.

“For consumers, the project owns the world’s largest indoor ski resort, enriching the demand for tourism and accommodation in the area. We are delighted to introduce two of our proud hotel brands to the Shanghai Yaoxue Snow World Complex as we work with other parties to advance the tourism market in-depth in Shanghai and China.”

First Chinese Vignette

Since its launch in 2021, Vignette Collection has focused on growing in the world’s first-tier cities and world-class tourism destinations. In the next decade, IHG will leverage its market insights and expertise in the luxury and lifestyle segment to attract more than 100 hotels to join the Vignette Collection brand worldwide.

The signing of the Shanghai Snow World Hotel, Vignette Collection marks the brand’s first appearance in Greater China, after entering Brisbane, Vienna, Bangkok, Austria, and other landmark cities. IHG currently has 12 out of 18 brands in operation in China, covering luxury and lifestyle, premium and essential segments.

Positive pipeline

IHG has built a strong domestic business in China with 618 hotels and another 474 in the pipeline with a total footprint of over 1,000 hotels, reaching more than 200 cities. With the recent optimisation of pandemic control measures and macro policy support, IHG is embracing economic revitalisation and recovery in China’s travel industry.

Looking ahead, IHG will continue in its commitment to the China market by actively responding to national development strategies and capturing consumer demands for ‘bleisure’ travel (combining business and leisure travel). Upcoming sites include Indigo Jiayu Ningbo, a 200-key luxury hotel due to open in Q4 this year; completing in the same quarter, Fuqing Hualuxe Hotel will add 280 rooms within the Lijia Center located in Fuqing, a small city near Fuzhou; while the luxury Kimpton Resort Sanya Haitang Bay will deliver 251 keys in Q1 2026.