Leisure travel drives growth
Although hampered by slower economic growth and reduced government business travel spending, the hotel category continued to expand and competitors broadened their offerings to gain share across market segments from budget to luxury.
China's middle class, with its increased number of leisure travelers, drove the expansion of the budget and mid-price hotels. To win market share, brands opened new hotels rapidly, through organic growth, franchising and acquisition.
To assure consistent quality across their many locations and segmented offerings, brands managed locations with combinations of central and local control. And they developed loyalty programs to gain and retain customers. Online booking increased significantly.