Hard Rock Expands in China to Tap Growing Leisure Industry

Hard Rock Expands to Tap China's Growing Leisure Industry
  • Company to open new hotels, cafes, sponsor music festival
  • Chain plans to open casino resort in Central Vietnam

Hard Rock International is expanding in China with new hotels and restaurants to tap the fast-growing leisure and entertainment demand in the world’s second-largest economy.

The Florida-based chain is opening three hotels in China’s coastal cities, including a 200-room oceanfront resort in northeastern Dalian city due to be completed in 2018. The others are in Shenzhen and Haikou in the south. Three restaurants will also be opened in some of China’s richest cities this year, the closely held company said in a statement Tuesday.

“With the Chinese travel industry quickly changing as leisure demand grows, we feel the music-centric programming at Hard Rock Hotels will resonate well with Chinese travelers who visit Dalian each year,” said Leong Wy Joon, senior vice president of hotel development at Hard Rock International.

Chinese’s rising average wages over three decades have spawned a working and middle-class with more discretionary cash to spend on films, travel and other entertainment. Millennials -- typically born after 1980 -- grew up in a more stable China than their parents and are exposed to Western culture, which will make them the prime consumer group to drive spending on leisure, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has said in a report.

Hard Rock will also sponsor China’s popular Strawberry music Festival for the third year this year, according to the statement.

The company also plans to open a casino in Central Vietnam with Banyan Tree and expects to open the project 24 months after its partner receives a license, according to Daniel Cheng, vice president of Asia business development in a Hong Kong interview.

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