Starwood Hotels & Resorts has launched a programme of services, catering to Chinese travellers. Dubbed "Starwood Personalised Travel", it recognises the unique preferences of the fast growing outbound mainland China market, which is predicted to grow to 100 million by 2015.
Chinese guests staying at participating hotels will receive the following:
In-hotel Chinese specialist – to help with everything from check-in to translation services and transport;
Comforts of Home –each hotel will have tea kettles, slippers, instant noodles and toiletries either in-room or available upon request;
Translated Collateral - Upon arrival, guests will receive a packet of local area information translated into Chinese;
Familiar Foods- Hotel restaurants will introduce menu items such as congee, noodles and rice.
The programme has been rolled out at 19 Starwood hotels as part of phase 1 and is expected to feature in all properties by end of 2012. Included in the list of 19 are: including Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers; W New York - Times Square; Le Méridien Piccadilly, London; Sheraton Maria Isabel Hotel & Towers, Mexico City; Westin Paris - Vendôme; Westin Tokyo, W Seoul Walkerhill; Sheraton Waikiki, Westin St. Francis, San Francisco and Sheraton Buenos Aires Hotel & Convention Center.
“As Chinese travellers begin to travel beyond their borders en masse, they, like their Western counterparts before them, will gravitate to the hotel brands they know from home, and with Starwood’s leading footprint in China, this gives us a great advantage,” said Frits van Paasschen, President & CEO, Starwood Hotels & Resorts.
The launch coincides with the finalisation of the company’s entire Senior Leadership Team to China. China is now the group’s second largest hotel market outside of the US and the fastest growing.
One day after the Starwood announcement Hilton Hotels & Resorts announced that it too would introduce a global programme for its Chinese guests.
The Hilton Huanying (meaning welcome) programme includes: Front desk staff fluent in Chinese, tea making facilities and Chinese tea in rooms, dedicated Chinese-language TV programming, welcome letter in Chinese, familiar foods such as congee and dough sticks served at breakfast, and the availability of Chinese eating utensils.
Thirty hotels have already joined the programme, which will launch on August 16 in properties in North America, London, Tokyo and Sydney. Once launched further details can be found at www.hilton.com/huanying For our coverage on the hotel group's growth in Asia-Pacific and, particularly, China, click here.