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Hotel Project Management – Root Causes of New Hotel Opening Delays in China

Hotel Project Management is a new worldwide emerging discipline. A Cornell Hospitality Report, published by The Center for Hospitality Research at Cornell University – School of Hotel Administration, and written by Gert Noordzy, MBA, CAPM and Richard Whitfield, PhD.

Wednesday 21 May 2014


Hotel Project Management has become a key for the success of China’s economy. China’s massive program of new hotel construction has opened hundreds of properties with thousands of rooms — an unprecedented accomplishment that is projected to continue for the next two decades. The available development pipeline data indicate that at least three new 150-plus room hotels will be opened in China every day for the next 25 years. Because such a rate of hotel growth has never been seen before the methods used to open these new hotels must be focused and methodical.

Given that many of these planned hotel openings are being delayed, this report analyzes the nature and causes of these delays. Interviews of 81 professionals working at 15 hotel chains were assessed using Causal Chain Analysis. This process revealed a large set of proximate causes for those delays, including last-minute design changes, delays in appointing a contractor, and failure to acquire necessary permits. Deeper analysis of these causes revealed that a lack of understanding and adaptation of project management concepts and techniques were the root causes of these issues. As a consequence, the report recommends that major hotel management companies need to strengthen their project management capabilities if they hope to meet their ambitious China growth targets.

Getting this Report

The complete Hotel Project Management report on Opening Delays in China is freely available from The Center for Hospitality Research at Cornell University – School of Hotel Administration. Please click on the link below:

About the Authors

Gert Noordzy is an international hotelier and PhD student. Gert graduated from Hanze College Hotel Management School, Zwolle, The Netherlands, and holds an MBA from the University of Saint Joseph, Macau. He also is a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM®) of the Project Management Institute. He has over 20 years professional experience in Greater China and South East Asia and has been involved in opening over 30 new hotels.

 Richard Whitfield is president of the East-West Institute for Advanced Studies. He has been a professor at several universities in South East Asia and Macau. Richard’s undergraduate and doctoral degrees are in manufacturing from the University of Melbourne, Australia. One of the MBA classes he teaches is Process and Technology Management.

Gert and Richard first started researching hotel opening processes in 2008.