Marriott International has unveiled a new programme offering a range of services to Chinese outbound travellers.
The ‘Li Yu’ scheme, which means ‘serve with courtesy’ in Mandarin, features a range of amenities and services designed for Chinese guests. When booking, guests will receive their hotel reservation confirmation letter or email in Chinese, and upon arrival Chinese visitors will be greeted at the front desk by Mandarin-speaking staff. Chinese dishes will also be included on restaurant and in-room dining menus, and Chinese programmes will be featured on in-room TVs.
Guests will also have a choice of Chinese-language newspapers and complimentary Chinese tea will be provided in rooms. In addition, Chinese electrical adaptors and “Asian-size bathrobes and slippers” will be provided in guestrooms.
“Chinese travellers are visiting international markets in record numbers, and China will be the largest source of outbound travellers worldwide in the coming years,” said Simon Cooper, President & Managing Director of Marriott International in Asia. “We have established Marriott International and our brands as a first choice for domestic Chinese travellers and have seen membership in our loyalty programme, Marriott Rewards, jump to more than a million members in China this year. We want our Chinese guests to know that they will be well taken care of and welcomed at our hotels in key gateway cities globally.”
According to the Annual Report of China Outbound Tourism Development 2012 released by country’s National Tourism Administration and China Tourism Academy, mainland tourists made 70 million trips to overseas destinations in 2011.
This is expected to rise to 78 million in 2012, with Chinese mainland travellers spending US$80 billion overseas. Marriott’s Li Yu programme will be operational at all JW Marriott, Renaissance, Marriott and Courtyard hotels in Asia by early next year, as well as some international hotels in key gateway cities.
“We have been growing our hotel portfolio in Asian markets and serving Chinese travelers for more than two decades. Some of our hotels have taken a pioneering role to fine-tune their services to cater to the needs of Chinese travellers over the years,” said Cooper. “Today’s news is that we are taking a well-orchestrated and holistic approach across the board.”
Marriott Li Yu is the latest move by the world’s major hotel groups to target Chinese travellers. Last year, Hilton rolled out it ‘Hilton Huanying’ scheme, offering a similar range of Chinese-focused services as the Marriott programme, while Starwood’s ‘Personalized Travel’ programme also focuses on the Chinese outbound market. IHG has taken it one step further with the launch of its HUALUXE Hotels & Resorts brand in China, and Accor has tailored its Grand Mercure brand for the Chinese market with a new Mandarin name, ‘Mei Jue’.