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Regal Hotels Group acquired the luxury hotel project at Hong Kong International Airport based on the belief that mainland Chinese tourists are returning to the city, a company executive said.
Regal, one of the largest hotel operators in Hong Kong, announced its purchase of a HK$2.19 billion hotel project as the city’s tourism sector shows signs of recovery.
Donald Fan Tung, executive director of Paliburg Holdings under the group, said he was confident Hong Kong would see a rebound in mainland travellers.
“Hong Kong is safe, the weather is nice, and the goods are of high-quality,” Fan told reporters on Tuesday. “The anti-mainland protests have become [a thing of the] past.”
Safety concerns over overseas travelling triggered by recent terrorist attacks would also prompt many to travel and shop in Hong Kong, he said.
The number of visitors to the city was down 4.5 per cent in 2016, the worst year-on-year drop since 2003. But the December visitor numbers saw a rare pickup of 5.4 per cent compared to the same period in 2015, according to the latest official data.
The new airport hotel, which will have 1,000 guest rooms and suites along with retail and dining facilities, is expected to be completed by 2020, the company announced on Thursday.
The project is part of SkyCity, a hotel, retail and office complex which will occupy 25 hectares at North Lantau Island – approximately two-thirds the size of Causeway Bay.
“No other airport in the world is backed up by such a huge shopping mall,” Fan said. “I think it will become a destination for visitors, so our hotel has very large potential.”
After the completion of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge and the Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok link, the airport complex would see an influx of visitors from nearby cities, he added.
Regal is also building a shopping mall in Ma On Shan that targets young, middle-class consumers, according to Fan.
The shopping centre is expected to be completed at the end of the year.