Preferred Hotel Group has unveiled a major new programme aimed at increasing its share of the lucrative Chinese market.
Rolling out next week, the ‘China Ready’ scheme is a range of initiatives designed specifically for Chinese guests, including a new simplified Chinese website (preferredhotelgroup.cn), new marketing and social media campaigns, the addition of new distribution channels, and a range of Chinese service standards for member hotels.
“Preferred Hotel Group is proud to declare its readiness for the Chinese traveller,” said Ananya Narayan, Preferred’s executive vice president of Asia Pacific, the Middle East & Africa. “China is a key focus market for our brands and for our hotels, and the launch of China Ready is designed both to support the country’s outbound travel needs and to bring new exposure to our members in China and around the world.”
All of the Preferred’s 650 member hotels will be represented on the new Chinese website, which is hosted and managed in China. This site will also connect to the Sina Weibo social media platform, in an effort to encourage customer engagement.
In addition, Preferred will make its hotel content available for booking via China’s TravelSky GDS and major online travel companies, Ctrip and eLong. The company has also registered Chinese language brand names for Preferred Hotel Group and its brands, Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Preferred Boutique, Summit Hotels & Resorts and Sterling Hotels.
Member hotels wanting to cater to Chinese travellers can also choose to offer Preferred’s new Chinese service standards. These include roll-out of new facilities such as Chinese tea and kettles in guestrooms and employing Mandarin-speaking reservations and front desk staff. Preferred revealed that several of its member hotels in US, UK, Europe and Thailand are currently in the process of being certified.
The roll-out of the new Chinese programme follows the opening of the company’s new sales office in Beijing, in addition to its existing Shanghai office. Preferred Hotel Group currently operates 18 properties in China.