Jin Jiang International, the little-known Chinese behemoth which has over 8,500 hotels in its portfolio, has added the first Radisson Hotels to its We Hotel global booking platform.
Over 1,000 hotels will be added after the trial of an initial 53.
From the end of June, 53 Radisson hotels are on We Hotel, with the intention for the remaining 1,100 Radisson Hotel Group properties to be added in the coming months.
As part of the collaboration, Radisson Rewards and We Hotel Prime, the loyalty program for Jin Jiang’s high-end hotels, are working to provide “localised, in-hotel benefits to members of both programmes”.
Radisson and Jin Jiang have already announced their first co-branded hotels, starting with the Radisson Blu Frankfurt.
New features have been added to the hotel to welcome Chinese guests, including menu and welcome card translations, the ability to pay with China Union Pay and new Asian dishes served at breakfast and dinner. Rooms 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.
In addition, by being added to We Hotel, Radisson Hotel Group’s hotels will receive exposure to the more than 140 million members of We Hotel Prime, including local language booking options, Chinese digital payments and more.
In return, We Hotel Prime members will be able to book Radisson Hotel Group properties through the We Hotel platform, while also earning points and elite qualifying nights for all eligible stays. When staying at hotels outside China, We Hotel Prime members will enjoy localised, in-hotel member benefits provided by Radisson Rewards.
Of the 53 Radisson Hotel Group properties that have gone live on We Hotel as of the end of June 2019, 18 are in China, with others located in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Fiji, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, UAE, UK, USA and Vietnam.
Interviewed by Business Traveller in Frankfurt, president and CEO of Radisson Hospitality, Federico J. González, said that while it was an eventual aim to merge the loyalty programmes of the two companies, that was a long way off.
“There are different avenues that you need to explore so you have a concrete timeline and merging the programmes is not an easy thing to achieve,” he said.
“There is a lot of work to leverage this, but systems integration has to be right and it requires that we go step-by-step. So we will start with this pilot. And then we will start with fair exchange between the loyalty programmes so you get the same benefits in one and the other. They have two tiers in We Hotel Prime, but there’s more to putting the programmes together than that.”
Instead, Gonzalez said, there are four big opportunities for the new ownership of Jin Jiang:
- There is potential for Radisson Rewards to become the host of “Chinese delegations and big companies”.
- The two companies will look at co-branding: “[H]ow can we, while respecting what Radisson is, benefit from the Jin Jiang name to target those customers who would like to come to Europe”.
- There is a “significant opportunity” for Jin Jiang to help Radisson grow in China since “they have a powerful team who can help us sign and operate hotels”.
- Finally, González sees the new ownership of a way of “enriching our people in the organisation to learn from the Chinese and them to learn from us”.