华宇vs洲际,本土酒店业主与国际酒店管理人之间的恩恩怨怨
2017/2/17 14:09:11 点击率[31] 评论[0]
【法宝引证码】
    【学科类别】合同法
    【出处】邓永泉律师的博客
    【写作时间】2012年
    【中文关键字】本土酒店业主;国际酒店管理人
    【全文】

      There has been a fight between Huayu and InterContinental! According to news released by SanyaHuayu Tourism Co., Ltd. (“Huayu”), Huayu gave a formal early termination notice to InterContinental Hotels Group PLC (“InterContinental”), an internationally well-known hotel management company, on August 30, 2011, ending their six-year-long cooperation. The transfer was completed on November 30, 2011, and the former SanyaHuayuCrowne Plaza Hotel was renamed Yalong Bay Huayu Holiday Hotel on December 1, 2011.
     
      华宇与洲际打起来了!据三亚华宇旅业有限公司(“华宇”)公开消息称,2011年8月30日,华宇向与其合作六年的国际知名酒店管理公司洲际酒店集团(“洲际”)正式发出解约通知,提前结束合作关系。2011年11月30日,双方交接完毕。2011年12月1日,原“三亚华宇皇冠假日酒店”正式更名为“亚龙湾华宇度假酒店”。
     
      However, this is only a beginning, not the end. In March 2012, Huayu brought an arbitration application before Beijing Arbitration Commission, claiming damages against InterContinental for losses caused to Huayu due to InterContinental's failure to honor its obligations under the hotel management contract and certain acts of bad faith. Huayu alleges that over the six years under InterContinental's management, HuayuSanya Hotel suffered losses of over RMB 200 million, and suffered from other grievances at the hand of InterContinental, including cheap selling of hotel rooms, misreporting of earnings, tampering with operational data, loss of items due to disorderly management, and inflation of purchase prices.  InterContinental however denies those allegations.
     
      事情远没有就此结束。2012年3月,华宇向北京仲裁委员会提起仲裁,请求洲际赔偿因其未能履行酒店管理合同义务以及某些不诚信行为给华宇造成的经济损失。按照华宇的说法,洲际管理华宇三亚酒店的六年间,该酒店亏损超过二亿元,并且洲际还存在客房贱卖、谎报收入、纂改经营数据、管理混乱致物品丢失、采购价格虚高等诸多问题。然而,洲际对此并不认可。
     
      It's currently unclear who is in the right and who is in the wrong. However, the undeniable fact is that disputes between local hotel owners and international hotel operators are on the increase.
     
      孰是孰非,现在还不得而知。然而,本土酒店业主与国际酒店管理人之间的纷争愈演愈烈却是不争的事实。
     
      The frequent withdrawal of brands by international hotels over the recent years showcases the irreconcilable conflict between international hotel operators and local hotel owners, primarily due to inequality in terms of their rights and obligations. The operators have near-to-absolute rights of operation and management; however the terms setting out operators' obligations are obscure and illusory. Operators do not feel distinctively bound by contractual obligations in its performance of the contract, and feel that in the case of disputes, owners are hard-pressed to quantity operators' liabilities.Are owners really helpless in the face of such unequal arrangements of rights and obligations?
     
      近年来,屡屡出现的国际酒店“撤牌”事件折射出了国际酒店管理人与本土酒店业主之间存在不可调和的矛盾。究其原因,主要结症在于业主与管理人之间权利、义务安排不对等。管理人拥有几乎是绝对的经营管理权,但涉及管理人义务的条款却又含糊不清、遮遮掩掩。在合同履行过程中,管理人感受不到鲜明的合同规束,自觉在发生纠纷之后,业主也难以量化自己的责任。那么,面对这样不对等的权利、义务安排,业主就真的束手无策了吗?
     
      Not quite.
     
      不尽然!
     
      1.Operators should operate in line with the interest of the owners
     
      管理人应当以符合业主利益的方式进行经营管理
     
      Operators are all internationally well-known hotel management groups, and are powerful negotiators at the negotiation table by virtue of top-notch international brands, and rich experiences in managing high-end hotels, and they have the initiative from the outset of the cooperation.Thus, the hotel management contract often accords the operator sole and exclusive (i.e. all necessary rights to operate a hotel, including right of appointment and removal of all personnel, right to select suppliers and vendors, accounting and budgeting, advertising and publicity etc.) and long term (often for 15 to 20 years, and normally no less than 10 years) right of management and operation. However, the owners are at an obvious disadvantage, and to terminate a contract with the operator is hard and costly.
     
      管理人都是国际知名的酒店管理集团,凭借其顶级的国际品牌、丰富的高端酒店经营管理经验,他们占据着优势谈判地位,在合作之初就掌握了主动权。如此一来,酒店管理合同常常会“赋予”管理人唯一和绝对的(包括全部人事任免权、选择供应商的权利、处理会计和预算事宜、广告宣传的等经营一家酒店一切必要的权利)且长期的(通常是15至20年,一般不低于10年)酒店经营管理权。然而,业主却处于明显的劣势地位,要想与管理人解除合同都难,解除合同就得付出巨大的代价。
     
      However, regardless of how all-encompassing the sole and exclusive right of management and operation may be, the operator is not released from its basic contractual obligations of operating and managing the hotel in line with the interest of the owner.
     
      但是,不论管理人的经营管理权是如何的唯一、如何的绝对,都不能免除管理人应当以符合业主利益的方式经营管理酒店的基本合同义务。
     
      Firstly, operating in line with the interest of the owner serves the objectives of the hotel management contract.
     
      首先,管理人以符合业主利益的方式进行经营管理符合酒店管理合同目的。
     
      In engaging an operator to manage the hotel, the hotel owner reasonably expects the hotel to generate top rate earnings via professional management of the operator, and to benefit from the hotel earnings in its capacity as the owner. It is for this purpose and on the basis of this expectation only that an owner engages an operator to operate the hotel. Of course, the operator understands this, and it is the operator who gives the owner this expectation, whether express or not, and out of this expectation, the owner hires the operator. Therefore, the operator should operate the hotel in line with the interest of the owner, and to generate profit for the owner, and this and only this count as proper performance of its contractual obligations. Even if the hotel management contract does not expressly specify how an operator performs its obligations of management, the operator should work in line with interest of the owner, as the operator knows and accepts that this is a reasonable expectation of a rational owner in entering into a hotel management contract.
     
      业主聘请管理人对酒店进行经营管理,目的就是要通过管理人专业的经营管理使酒店产生一流的收益,自己作为业主,从酒店的收益中受益,这是业主合理的期待。也正是基于这种期待,业主才会聘请管理人对酒店进行经营管理。当然,管理人明知这一点,也正是因为它给了业主这种期待,无论是否明确表示,业主才会聘请它。因此,管理人应当以符合业主利益的方式进行经营管理,为业主实现盈利目的,才算适当地履行了合同义务。即使酒店管理合同没有明确约定管理人如何履行其经营管理义务,管理人也应当以符合业主利益的方式履行合同,这是管理人明知的并已认可的一个理性业主订立酒店管理合同的合理期待。
     
      At the same time, in accepting owner's engagement, the operator intends to generate top rate earnings for the hotel through its professional management, and to benefit from such earnings as an operator of the hotel. Therefore, operating in line with the interest of the owner also accords with the interest of the operator itself.
     
      与此同时,管理人接受业主聘请,目的也是要通过自己专业的经营管理使酒店产生一流的收益,自己作为管理人,从酒店的收益中受益。因此,管理人以符合业主利益的方式进行经营管理,也是符合管理人自己的利益。
     
      Secondly, operating in line with the interest of the owner is required by the principle of good faith.
     
      其次,管理人以符合业主利益的方式进行管理是诚实信用原则的要求。
     
      The principle of good faith is a fundamental tenet applicable both during performance and after completion of a contract, and it is also one of the generally accepted norms of business conduct in international arena. Operating in line with the interest of the owner, and only this, counts as proper performance of an operator's contractual obligations.
     
      诚实信用原则,是合同双方在合同履行过程中,乃至之后都应当遵守的基本原则,它是国际上通用的商业行为准则之一。管理人只有以符合业主利益的方式进行经营管理才算是恰当地履行了合同义务。
     
      Finally, operating in line with the interest of the owner also serves the best interest of the operator itself.Operating in line with the interest of the owner will generate more earnings for the hotel, and bring in more compensation for the operator in terms of management fee. The operator normally will agree with the owner a basic management fee in the hotel management contract expressed as a certain percentage of the earnings of the hotel. In addition, the operator will also ask the owner to pay an incentive management fee which is calculated as a percentage of the gross earnings of the hotel. The parties obviously have common interest, and by operating in line with the interest of the owner to generate higher income and earnings, the operator could also bring in higher management fees.
     
      最后,以符合业主利益的方式进行经营管理,也是符合管理人的自身利益。从管理费用的计算方式来看,以符合业主利益的方式进行管理,使酒店产生更大的收益,才能获取更高的管理报酬。在酒店管理合同中,管理人通常会与业主约定一个基本管理费,它是以酒店营业收入为基数按照百分比计算的金额。此外,管理人还会要求业主按照酒店毛利润的一定比例,向其支付提成作为鼓励性管理费。可见,双方的利益是一致的,管理人以符合业主利益的方式进行经营管理,提高酒店的收入、利润,自己也能获得更高的管理报酬。
     
      2.The burden of proof is on the operator to demonstrate that it properly performed its contractualobligations.
     
      管理人应当举证证明自己适当履行了合同义务
     
      An operator normally would not agree to expressly specify a profitability target in the hotel management contract, and it often agrees to a composite measurement, including comparative data as compared to a local competing hotel. The parties evaluate the operator's quality of operations and determine the amount of management fees on the basis of the composite measurement. As this composite measurement onlyprovides a means of calculation instead of a specific figure, the owner and the operator are likely to differ with regard to relevant data used in the calculation, in which case, the operator is obligated to prove with evidence that it satisfied this measurement and it properly performed its contractual obligations.
     
      在酒店管理合同中,管理人通常不会同意明确约定经营管理应达到的盈利指标,而是约定一个复合性的指标,其中包括与当地竞争酒店的比较数据。双方根据这个指标考量管理人的经营管理质量、确定管理费用金额。由于这个指标只提供了一种方法而不是具体的数据,在计算过程中,业主与管理人就很可能会对相关数据产生分歧。在这种情况下,管理人有义务举证证明自己达到了这个指标,以证明自己适当履行了合同义务。
     
      Firstly, the operator needs to provide the data required for evaluation purposes, such as the monthly or annual occupancy rate, the hotel earnings, the earnings of local competing hotels, and analysis of the hotel's earnings etc
     
      首先,管理人应当提供评定指标所涉及的各种数据,例如,酒店当月/ 年的入住率、酒店收益、当地竞争酒店的收入、酒店收入分析报表等。
     
      Secondly, the operator needs to prove that its method of collecting the data is legitimate and scientific.
     
      其次,管理人应当证明其所提供的证据采集手段合法、科学。
     
      Thirdly, the evidence produced by the operator should meet a high probability standard, meaning a probability of over 50%, which require that the evidence produced by the operator to support the claimed facts constitute an integral chain of evidence without gaps and holes, to fully substantiate the authenticity of the claimed facts. Only when the evidence of the operator meets a high probability standard should the judges/arbitrators require the owner to rebut the challenges of the operator.
     
      第三,管理人提供的证据应当达到高度盖然性的证明标准,即管理人所提供证据能够证明待证事项存在的概率超过50%.高度盖然性的证明标准要求管理人对其所主张的事实举证达到一个完整的、没有漏洞的证据链条,以充分证明其所主张事实的真实性。也只有当管理人的举证达到了高度盖然性的程度,法官/仲裁员才应该要求业主对管理人的异议提出反证。
     
      What the owners need is self-salvation.
     
      业主需自救!
     
      In the face of the halos surrounding an internationally well-known hotel operator and the intimidating poise of the operator demanding sole and absolute right of operation and management, local Chinese hotel owners could only emerge from an adverse position as the disadvantaged by collective efforts.
     
      面对光环笼罩下的国际知名酒店管理人,面对管理人想要索取唯一和绝对管理经营权的强势态度,中国本土业主只能通过集体努力,才能扭转被动不利的态势。
     
      Each owner should insist on a fair and reasonable contract with commensurate rights and obligations, and fiercely defend against any unreasonable terms of the operator. The reason that the operator is at an advantage in all aspects of a negotiation is primarily because the parties both believe that demand for high-end hotel management services outstrip supply. The operators always think that there are other owners if this particular owner does not sign the contract in my way, while the owners likewise think that the other owners will always sign the contract, and so should I. Such belief gives rise to cut-throat competition. Most of the owners think this way, the operators naturally have its day. To emerge from a position as a disadvantaged, the owners need to say NO. The owners need to say no when the operators manifest lower quality in an effort to expand extensively in China. The owners are in a position to say no by virtue of fierce competitionamong operators trying to expand business in China.Chinese hotel owners need to set up a trade association or organization, to strengthen exchanges and cooperation, and in the process collectively empowering itselfto say no to operators.
     
      每个业主都应该坚决追求一个公平合理、权利义务对等的合同,对于管理人提出的不合理的条款,要坚决予以拒绝。管理人之所以在谈判中占尽优势,主要是因为双方都认为高端酒店管理服务供不应求。管理人总是想,这个业主不按照我的意思签合同,还有别的业主呢。而我们的业主也同样会想,我不签,别的业主也会签,我还是签了吧。业主的这种想法就等于是行业内部恶性竞争。多数业主这么想,管理人也就自然可以各个击破。为了扭转业主不利的局面,业主需要说不。管理人在中国大举扩张,管理质量下降,业主需要说不。管理人在中国大举扩张,相互竞争趋烈,业主也可以说不了。中国酒店业主应该组建行业协会、公会,加强交流与合作,共同提升对管理人说不的力度。
     
      In the long run, the Chinese hotel owners need to gradually improvetheir management credentials, and the government also needs to foster and support development of local hotel management companies, whereby elevating the overall competitiveness of the Chinese hotel industry as compared to international hotel management companies, and gradually weaken the monopoly of international hotel management companies in China's high-end hotel management market.
     
      从长远来讲,中国酒店业主需不断提升自己的管理水平,政府也应该扶持发展本土的酒店管理公司,从而提升中国酒店业对国际酒店管理公司的整体竞争力,逐渐削弱国际酒店管理公司对中国高端酒店管理市场的垄断。

    【作者简介】
    邓永泉,律师,大成律师事务所高级合伙人、北京仲裁委员会仲裁员、中欧仲裁委员会仲裁员,《商法》(China Business Law Journal)“法律精英100强”(China's Top100 Lawyers)。

    本网站文章仅代表作者个人观点,不代表本网站的观点与看法。
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