Duan Qiang has become a legendary figure in China’s tourism industry; the hotelier and government official received widespread acclaim this month when he unveiled the country’s first homegrown chain of luxury hotels. Qiang spearheaded the design and development of the 2 billion yuan ($307 million) NUO luxury chain, whose hotels will open across the country throughout the next five years. When Qiang, now 56, set out to to develop this homegrown project, he was adamant about incorporating traditional Chinese influences in addition to the typical high standards of any international luxury hotel. As a result, NUO hotels are not only beautifully opulent; they also represent the history of the country, incorporating details from historical era such as the Ming Dynasty into the theme and design.
As the Chinese economy continues to gain steam, more and more families are looking to adopt a luxury lifestyle concurrent to their newfound wealth, and what better place for them to stay than the homegrown success story that is the NUO hotel chain? Qiang, who is also head of the lucrative State-owned Beijing Tourism Group (which holds about 35 billion yuan in assets), recently sat down with the state-owned China Daily newspaper. “[Previously] international hotel brands overwhelmed us. But we are now standing at a crossroads. It’s the right timing to create a Chinese luxury brand, which is demanded by both Chinese consumers and the world market.”
With the NUO chain’s first hotel set to open in Beijing, Qiang has no intention of stopping now, with plans to develop more hotels in collaboration with the Beijing Tourism Group and German partners Kempinski Hotels.
Above, a luxury suite at the soon-to-be-opened Beijing NUO hotel. Source and photo courtesy the China Daily newspaper.