Marriott launches Li Yu programme

5 Jul 2012 by ReggieHo

Marriott International introduces a welcome programme named “Li Yu” (meaning "serve with courtesy" in Mandarin) for outbound Chinese travellers, offering customised amenities in suites and tailored services. The programme will first be introduced in Asia at all JW Marriott, Renaissance, Marriott and Courtyard hotels by early next year, and eventually at selected properties in major gateway cities in the rest of the world.

In hotels with “Li Yu”, Chinese guests will receive hotel confirmation letter or email in Chinese. At the reception desk, Mandarin-speaking staff will welcome guests upon arrival. Guests may enjoy Chinese cuisine and delicacies at restaurants and in-room dining with popular Asian sauces. There will also complimentary Chinese tea available in the guestrooms. A selection of Chinese TV programmes will be available on the in-room TV and Chinese newspapers will be provided. Chinese guests will be allocated to rooms and floors with numbers “6” or “8”, which are considered auspicious in Chinese culture. The rooms will also come with adaptors suitable for Chinese electrical gadgets as well as Asian-size bathrobes and slippers.

Simon Cooper, president and managing director of Marriott International, Asia, said that China would soon be the largest source of outbound travellers worldwide. According to the Annual Report of China Outbound Tourism Development 2012 released by National Tourism Administration and China Tourism Academy, mainland tourists are expected to make 78 million outbound trips in 2012, 12 per cent more than last year’s 70 million. The hotel group's room occupancy record showed the US as the most favoured destination for outbound Chinese travellers, with Thailand coming second and followed by Singapore, South Korea and France.

Marriott International is not the first to eye the expanding Chinese pie. Many other major hotel groups have already launched customised services for Chinese travellers. Recent examples are Fairmont's launch of Chinese Menu programme last month (see story here) and Accor's rebranding of Grand Mercure earlier this year (see story here). Last year, Hilton launched Huanying (see story here) whereas Starwood introduced home comforts for Chinese guests (see story here).

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Michelle Fong


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