Radisson Hotel Group has launched its first co-branded property with Jin Jiang International since being acquired by the Chinese hotel giant last year.
The Radisson Blu Hotel in Frankfurt is the first of more than 1,100 hotels set to be co-branded by the groups.
New features have been added to welcome Chinese guests, including menu and welcome card translations, the ability to pay with China UnionPay and new Asian dishes served at breakfast and dinner. Rooms will offer a choice of Chinese teas as well as Chinese television channels and newspapers.
Employees including chefs and reservation managers attended three months’ training in Shanghai, while a Chinese team is spending time in Europe to learn about differences in hospitality.
The property was chosen due to the popularity of the German city with Chinese tourists, and the availability of direct flights to China.
Minnesota-based Radisson was acquired by Jin Jiang and private equity firm Sino-Ceef last November. Sino-Ceef says it focuses on projects within China’s much-discussed Belt and Road initiative, which is seeing the country invest in development, construction and business projects around the world.
Shanghai-based Jin Jiang has grown rapidly over the last two decades to become the fifth largest hotel group in the world. It has 8,700 hotels in its portfolio, while Radisson has around 1,400.
It has acquired a number of significant hospitality brands in recent years, including Louvre Hotels, and has a 12 per cent stake in Accor.
Following the takeover, Radisson said its shareholders had “identified several opportunities to realise the true potential of the Chinese market.”
Co-branded hotels were highlighted as “a critical element of the project.”
From June 30, more than 50 Radisson Hotel Group properties will be featured on Wehotel, Jin Jiang’s booking platform. Its remaining properties will be available by the end of the year.
Radisson Rewards and Wehotel Prime, the groups’ loyalty programmes, are collaborating on “localised, in-hotel benefits to members of both programmes.”
Radisson CEO Federico J González Tejera said: “We are keen on offering the leading hotel brands from Radisson Hotel Group to guests, owners and talent around the world.
“The launch of the first co-branded hotel with Jin Jiang International is an important milestone in reaching this goal. The co-branded hotels have a bright future, with the potential to extend to more than 30 properties across EMEA – including five Radisson Collection hotels in key destinations for Chinese travellers.”
Chen Liming, vice chairman of Jin Jiang International, said: “We are thrilled that we will now take the next step in our journey together after the acquisition.
“China has become the world’s largest travel market, offering a wealth of opportunity and potential. Co-branded hotels are positioned to not only improve awareness of our Chinese and Radisson brands in EMEA and China respectively, but also promote people-to-people exchanges between China and the rest of the world.”