Shanghai will need another 100 hotels over the next three years to cope with an increasing number of visitors, the Shanghai Daily reported.
Citing projections by Chen Xueyu, a Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administrative Commission official in charge of the city's hotel industry, the report said that 104 mln visitors are expected to visit in 2005, up from 90.33 mln this year.
The report quoted Chen as saying that this would imply demand for 31.35 mln room nights where existing hotels could only provide 26.03 mln room nights at the end of last year.
"Each year's additional demand can be translated into opening 36 new hotels annually, each with 200 rooms," Chen was quoted as saying.
The report said that demand was being driven by an increasing number of exhibitions being held in the city, with 400 medium to large-sized international exhibitions expected in 2005 compared to the current 272.
The report said that this has not gone unnoticed by international hotel groups, 17 of which have introduced 30 "facilities" into the Shanghai market to date. Ten of the world's 15 top hotel operators have a presence in the city, the report added.
Ritz-Carlton, Hilton and Lufthansa are in discussions to expand their brands in the city, while the Ford Group has recently signed to operate a luxury hotel on Nanjing Road under the name 'Le Loyal Meridian'.