Chinese travelers are returning to Banyan Tree Holdings’ hotels, the founder told CNBC.
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A lack of Chinese travelers is “not a cause for concern,” said Ho Kwon Ping, founder of Banyan Tree Holdings.
“They will definitely come back,” he told CNBC’s Chery Kang at the Milken Institute’s Asia Summit on Wednesday.
“China is just a temporary blip,” he said. “Most of us in the hospitality industry predicted about a year ago that Chinese tourism might not pick up again until this year or even next year.”
Nobody expects a quick turnaround from lockdown to mass travel, he added.
For Banyan Tree Holdings – which operates more than 60 hotels in 17 countries – Ho said: “Chinese tourism.” [is] comes back pretty strong.
What’s missing are the “mass group tours that provide numbers, but they don’t come to our hotels anyway,” he said.
“So there are a lot more free individual travelers … and they’re the ones who can pay the higher airfares and so on.”
He is also optimistic about the tourism market in China.
“The Chinese government has made it very clear that they do not want strong investment-led growth, but rather consumption-led growth, and consumption is synonymous with tourism. And tourism, as any economist will tell you, has the best “trickle-on effect,” he said.
China’s real estate market
Ho also dismissed concerns about turmoil in China’s real estate market, which accounts for about 30% of China’s economy.
“The banking system will not collapse because it is Chinese banks that lend money,” he said.
We are comfortable with a property history in China as we had a number of hotels in China, all of which were sold before the property bubble.
Ho Kwon Ping
Banyan Tree Holdings
“That’s why you see things like Country Garden … close to bankruptcy, but not bankruptcy,” he said, referring to the Chinese real estate giant that narrowly missed a default.
In addition, “the proportion of the Chinese population that actually still lives in modern apartments is not half as high as in the Western world. So there is still a lot of demand.”
Regarding his company’s exposure to a Chinese real estate bubble, he said: “We are comfortable with a real estate story in China because we had a number of hotels in China, all of which were sold before the real estate bubble.”
Not just two superpowers
Ho said he believes Singapore, where his hotel brand is headquartered, can help ease geopolitical tensions that have escalated between China and the United States.
“I think Singapore can actually play a very important role in making it clear to the US, and particularly the West, that the rise of China is the rise of an entire civilization – and that it’s not a zero-sum game where they are.” to rise to the point of destroying America and the West.”
The Western psyche had become too absorbed by the Cold War, which was a zero-sum game, he said.
Even though the West has been dominant for the past 300 years, a single globally dominant power cannot last forever, he said.
“I think we’re going back to what I call ‘Back to the Future’ – like in the movies, where the world in 50 years will be made up of different major civilizations,” he said.
“I use the word civilization because it is not about economics. It’s not about military power, not even about politics.” [or] The idea that the only criterion by which you should judge a country’s politics is whether it practices liberal democracy… I think that’s all changing.”
Source : www.cnbc.com