News

IHG launches Hualuxe brand for Chinese travellers

19 Mar 2012

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has unveiled details of its new luxury hotel brand, Hualuxe, which as reported earlier (see story here) is tailored specifically for the affluent and increasingly mobile Chinese traveller.

A statement from the hotel group explains that Hualuxe aims to tap into three growth opportunities – the growth of demand in both outbound international travel and domestic travel within China, as well as  “consumer demand for an upscale international hotel brand that demonstrates pride in Chinese customs and reflects local tradition.”

According to IHG, domestic travellers is projected to reach 3.3 billion in 2015 while outbound trips will go from a total of 10 million to 100 million in the next 10 to 15 years. Initially, the hotel brand will launch in tier 1, 2 and 3 cities across Mainland China and some resort destinations, with the first property scheduled to open at the end of 2013, before opening in major cities around the world. 

The upscale Hualuxe hotels will focus on four service areas, namely “tradition”, “rejuvenation”, “status” and “familiar spaces”, which are meant to answer to all the fundamental needs and requirements of Chinese travellers. In order to meet traditional values and priorities, the hotel will offer authentic Chinese experiences, such as a late-night noodle bar.

The hotels will feature abundant natural surroundings and relaxing elements to help guests rejuvenate and “break away from the pressures of their busy lives.” The third aspect of the brand will answer to the cultural expectation of recognition and respect, by offering, for example, VIP arrival facilities.

Finally, familiar spaces mean a range of public and private areas throughout the hotel for “a wide range of social interactions and business meetings”, such as a multifunction business suite where guests can dine and talk shop at one location or a teahouse catering to the Chinese way of doing business deals over small bites and tea.

Keith Barr, chief executive of IHG Greater China, said: “IHG was the first international hotel group to enter China nearly 30 years ago, which gives us a deep understanding of the market and its consumers.” The group will apply this know-how to the Hualuxe brand to ensure its success.

Several hotels are trying to meet the unique needs of the growing number of Chinese travellers, such as Hilton Worldwide, which launched the Hilton Huanying programme (see story here), Starwood’s “Personalised Travel” programme (see story here) and, more recently, Grand Mercure’s new Mei Jue brand (see story here). 

For more information, visit www.ihg.com 

Alisha Haridasani

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