U.S. hotels hoping to attract the growing number of Chinese travelers are investigating Chinese culture to learn what appeals to these travelers most. The staff at the New York Marriott Marquis are invested in knowing the lucky numbers, unlucky colors and which carafes to order for the coffeemakers to court some of Amway China’s 1,500 guests who won incentive sales trips to New York City in April.
The Marquis had already assigned names (Royal, Pinnacle, etc.) to presidential suites on the 44th and 45th floors, because the number 4 is considered unlucky in Chinese culture.
But now that many more Chinese citizens are heading to the United States on business and leisure trips, Marriott International hotels, as well as Starwood, Hilton and many other lodging brands, are working harder to boost brand recognition and make the hotel visit a more important part of the Chinese tourist’s visit.
The target market is big – and getting bigger.
In 2013, an estimated 1.8 million Chinese tourists visited the United States. For 2014, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Travel and Tourism Industries expects that number to rise by 21 percent, to more than 2.1 million, with increases of about 20 percent per year through 2018.
With the number of Chinese tourists to the US increasing dramatically every year, hotels are going to great efforts to accommodate this growing consumer base. Attracts China aims to help out hotels by acting as a database on the in’s and out’s of the Chinese tourist, whose unique tastes differ from other travelers. By using this information hotels will be better positioned to garner their business once they book a trip to the U.S.
Here are the key factors according to Attract China’s research:
What Chinese look for in Hotel Accommodation:
- Free wifi
- China UnionPay
- Translated materials
- Chinese TV channels
- Chinese breakfast
- Mandarin-speaking staff
- Smoking room
- Minibar cup noodles
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
Overall top 10 needs for the Chinese traveler:
- What destinations accept UnionPay?
- Where can I get a great Chinese massage?
- How far is China Town?
- Where can I find Chinese music or literature?
- What universities or colleges can I visit?
- Where can I exchange money?
- How far are the nearest shopping outlets?
- What networks work with my China mobile?
- Where can I find delicious Chinese noodles?
- Do you know a babysitter that speaks Chinese?
When it comes to choosing hotels, the most important factors according to Hurun’s research are:
Top factors when choosing a hotel:
- Brand reputation 59%
- Location 56%
- Transportation 48%
- Service 41%
- Star rating system 32%
- View 25%
- Room size 23%
- Facility 20%
- Catering 20%
- Price 20%
Learn more in our Global Ready China Seminars
Article: Int’l Meetings Review