Welcoming programmes rolling out across global networks to cater for boom in Chinese outbound travel
Many of the world’s leading hotels have already introduced specially designed services and products aimed at providing a warm reception for their Chinese guests. Hilton Hotels group, for example, has its Huanying (“Welcome”) programme and Marriott has Li Yu (“Serve with courtesy”), and the Hyatt group’s programme is entitled “Nin Hao”.
HUANYING BY HILTON EXPANDS GLOBALLY
In 2015 , Hilton Worldwide announced the expansion of Hilton Huanying (huãn yíng) – a programme that offers Chinese travellers a customized hospitality experience during their stay – to more than 110 Hilton Worldwide properties globally.
With this expansion, Hilton Huanying – deriving its name from the Chinese word for “welcome” – now greet guests at participating hotels under brands including Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts and DoubleTree by Hilton in more than 30 countries and 65 cities popular among Chinese travellers.
“Huanying is an essential part of the Hilton hospitality promise, welcoming Chinese travellers with a level of service and personalisation we know they expect and enjoy,” said Rob Palleschi, global head, full service brands, Hilton Worldwide. “Since being introduced in 2011, Huanying has empowered more than a million Chinese travellers to explore new destinations with the comforts of home. We are very proud of this program, and the benefits are clear. Chinese travellers who stay at Huanying properties express a greater overall satisfaction in their hospitality experience.”
Huanying program offerings have been expanded to include additional locations, expanded traditional breakfast options and a 24-hour interpretation service that Mandarinspeaking guests may access during their travels. These offerings were added while maintaining Huanying’s focus on three signature hospitality touch points: the arrival experience, guest room amenities and the breakfast experience.
ACCORHOTELS AUSTRALIA – “MONKEYING ABOUT” IN 2016
With visitor arrivals from China growing at an exponential rate, AccorHotels in Australia decided to celebrate the “Year of the Monkey” at over 50 AccorHotels across the country from February 8.
The two-week festival saw AccorHotels, from ibis to Sofitel, decorated with tea stations, red lanterns, monkey paraphernalia and floral displays. Many hotel teams dressed in traditional costume and gave out red envelopes with gold coins and various properties hosted events for guests such as dragon dances and kids’ activities.
AccorHotels Chinese New Year celebration is an extension of the “Optimum Service Standards” programme, which enables hotels to better cater for the growing Chinese inbound travel market.
Chief operating officer Accor Pacific, Simon McGrath, said: “Pleasingly, the trend of strong inbound growth from Greater China continues, now surpassing one million visitors, and as a result we have seen a healthy increase in room nights, up by 12.9% for year ending Dec 2015, versus 2014. One in eight Chinese travellers stay with us an average of 3.5 nights and that is across both major cities and regional areas.”
The OptimumService Standards programme includes training for AccorHotels staff in cultural differences, Mandarin speaking staff, translated welcome kits, Chinese dishes included on menus and mini-bar products, Chinese location maps, newspapers and television channels. UnionPay is also accepted at 27 AccorHotels to enable guests to conveniently settle their room account with their domestic bankcard.
MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL GIVES A “LI YU” TOUCH TO CHINESE TRAVELLERS
“Li Yu” means “Serve with Courtesy” in Mandarin. Chinese guests visiting Marriott’s portfolio of brands are able to experience this personalised hospitality prior to their arrival and throughout their stay at the company’s hotels, first in Asia and eventually in key gateway cities around the world.
The Li Yu experience starts even before a guest’s arrival at the hotel as they receive their
hotel reservation confirmation letter or email in Chinese. Upon
arrival, they are greeted at the front desk by a Mandarin speaking hotel associate. To make Chinese guests feel more at home, Chinese cuisine and delicacies are featured as standard items in restaurants as well as on in-room dining menus. Chinese programming is available on in-room TV, Chinese newspapers are available, and Chinese tea is also provided in guest rooms.
Some of the touches are nuances that are subtle but thoughtful, such as assigning room and floor number with “6” or “8” to Chinese guests as these are considered as auspicious; ensuring adaptors are suitable for Chinese electrical gadgets; providing Asian-size bathrobes and slippers in guest rooms; and including popular Asian sauces in condiment offerings of all 3-meal restaurants and in-room dining.
HYATT CLAIMS NIN HAO PROGRAMME IS WELL RECEIVED BY CHINESE GUESTS
Nin Hao, which means “a warm welcome with respect” in Mandarin, offers Hyatt Hotels and Resorts’ signature authentic hospitality to Chinese guests by providing the tastes and comforts of home, as well as destination-specific information to help enhance their stay.
Chinese guests have access to a Chinese-speaking guest services officer, guest room amenities, a television channel with Chinese programming and an in-room menu featuring Chinese comfort food. There is a 24hour Mandarin hotline for in assistance navigating to their destination or for any additional questions they may have. The Hyatt Regency in Chicago, having run the programme already for over two years, reported that their Chinese guests appreciated the attention to detail and the extra services being provided, particularly by their tour group visitors.