Avis Car Rental announced March 8 the official opening of its newest car rental location in the People's Republic of China. The new facility located in Jinan (Shandong Province) will open next month and brings the total number of Avis locations in China to 70, which the company states is the most of any international car rental company.

"China has a rapidly growing domestic demand for vehicle rental services, and according to the World Tourism Organization, is on track to become the world's foremost tourist destination in the coming years," said Patric Siniscalchi, president, Latin America/Asia-Pacific, Avis Budget Group. "Demand for rental vehicles is high and growing and with the expansion of our already extensive network in China, we are delivering against one of our key strategic initiatives while ensuring that we are well-positioned to capture incremental volume and revenue within this fast-growing travel market."

In 2011, the revenues of Avis' 50%-owned joint venture in China grew 17%, to approximately $90 million. The company expects to open an additional 40 to 50 jointly-owned rental facilities across China in 2012.

Avis is operating in more than 35 cities in China, including Beijing Capital International Airport, Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, Shanghai Pudong International Airport and Shenzhen Baoan International Airport. Avis provides travelers in China with a wide range of late-model vehicles, including the compact Volkswagen Gol, the Buick GL8 minivan and the Ford MiniBus for large groups. Luxury vehicles such as the Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series are also available for rent.

"The opening of this newest location illustrates our commitment to serve the growing China market and bring Avis' premium service to visitors as well as residents in need of temporary transportation," said Xavier Gernaey, general manager, Avis Asia Pacific. "Visitors to China will appreciate the benefits of renting from a trusted brand, whether they are traveling for business or leisure."

Avis China is operated through a joint venture with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp., one of the largest car manufacturers in China, and was the first joint venture car rental company in the country. In addition, Avis was recently recognized as "Asia's Leading Car Hire" at the World Travel Awards, chosen by more than 200,000 travel professionals in 160 countries. Avis has held the title for six consecutive years.