Revitalization of industrial buildings into hotels: Anatomy of a policy failure

Lianping Ren, Louis Shih, Robert Douglas McKercher

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Communities are faced with the conundrum of what to do with obsolete industrial buildings. Revitalization through adaptive reuse is seen as one option, with many buildings being converted to hotels. This paper analyses the policy by the Hong Kong government to encourage adaptive reuse of under-utilized high rise industrial buildings. It was launched over 20 years ago, with hotel conversion permitted since 2000. To date, though, few successful hotel redevelopments have occurred. Through in-depth interviews with key informants, secondary data analysis, and multiple site visits, the paper analyses why the policy has failed. Informants identified four broad themes, including core weaknesses of the policy itself, pragmatic development complications, building-specific reasons and various contextual issues.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-38
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Hospitality Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Hong Kong
  • Hotel
  • Revitalization
  • Underutilized industrial buildings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


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