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What tricks to attract Chinese customers in hotels?

As the Chinese tourism market continues to grow, some hotels are trying to stand out with a customized offer. Quality of service as well as consideration for the Chinese culture’s characteristics are thus essential. Focus on a few tips that can make a difference with this clientele.

With 121 million Chinese traveling abroad in 2016, China is the leading country worldwide in terms of number of outgoing tourists. Emerging on this market is therefore a priority for professionals of the tourism and hospitality industry, who are increasingly adapting their offer in order to meet the expectations of this clientele. Taking into account the different aspects of the Chinese culture, in this respect, is a major differentiating factor. The language, values, traditions and customs of the country amount to many elements involved in a tailor-made service.

Omnipresent in the Chinese culture, the symbols should not be neglected. Particular attention should be paid to the allocation of room numbers: it is recommended to avoid number 4, which is considered evil since it also means "dead". The figures 6, 9 and especially 8, meanwhile, are considered lucky charms. Wu Qin, general manager of the Hipotel group, also recommends assign the nuptial room No. 520 to Chinese couples, the number being also read: "I love you" ... A more enjoyable perspective than numbers 513 (“To end a / our relationship ") or 514 (" I want to die ") ... And so make room 522 (" I love children ") a family room, and give room 529 (“I like Alcohol") to wine-lovers or to young people who may be engaged in more revelery.

Particularly demanding, the Chinese also attach great importance to the details and quality of service. Words of welcome upon arrival and the presence of indications in Chinese are generally appreciated. For instance, in partnership with the Chinese group Jing Jiang Co, Louvre Hotels has set up signs and telephone assistance in Mandarin, as well as televisions with a wide choice of Chinese channels in 15 Campanile properties. Aware of the importance of the tea culture in China, the brand also offers green tea bags in the rooms. The presence of a kettle is obviously unavoidable.

To make a difference, some brands also rely on a setting inspired by the Chinese customs and traditions. Tangla Hotels, a chain operated by the HNA group, which launched its first European property in 2016, offers a concept specially dedicated to Chinese customers. The name of the brand refers to the mystical legend of the Tanggula (which evokes a paradise nestled in the mountainous landscape of Qingzhang) and is reflected in the spirit and atmosphere conveyed within its hotels. The latter offer Feng Shui design integrating both luxury and nature, two elements that occupy a prominent place in the Chinese culture. The decoration is inspired by traditional landscapes and motifs such as the plum flower, national flower of China, or diaphanous clouds, a symbol of good fortune. The presence of contemporary artworks made by Chinese artisans completes this decor centered on Chinese elegance and tradition.

In addition to design and the decoration, hotels can also adapt their catering offer. For example, Tangla hotels serve typical Cantonese dishes prepared with foods directly imported from China by specialist chefs in their traditional Chinese-style restaurants. The aforementioned Campanile hotels offer a buffet with Asian dishes at breakfast. As the Chinese also enjoy cooking in their room, the presence of instant noodles is another detail that can make the difference.

Finally, recognition and respect for status, the importance of etiquette and family spaces are also values inherent to the Chinese culture. Launched in 2012 by the IHG group, the hotel chain Hualuxe, specially dedicated to the Chinese clientele, has made Chinese tourists its focus. 

Also Read:

  • Tangla Hotels Brussels, HNA group, a concept dedicated to Chinese clientele
  • IHG launches Hualuxe 

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