Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has announced it has added online booking capabilities in Chinese to all of its Starwood-branded websites, including its loayalty programme site, www.SPG.com. Now, Chinese speakers can use double byte Chinese characters to search for a hotel, make reservations, retrieve booking information or enroll in Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG).
China is already Starwood’s second largest hotel market with 70 existing hotels and more than 80 in the pipeline. One of every three new Starwood hotels is slated to open in China now through the end of 2011, including new brand flagships for eight of its nine brands. Meanwhile, China is the second largest market for SPG.
“It is essential that we provide a seamless experience for our Chinese customers, especially at a time when China’s heightened appetite for our high-caliber global brands is having a phenomenal impact on our business,” said Phil McAveety, Chief Brand Officer for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. “Starwood is the world’s most global hotel company with more than 80% of all future hotels opening outside the United States. By communicating directly with our global customers, we make it easy for them to connect with our brands.”
Starwood also operates the largest Customer Contact Centre of any international hotel company operating in China, in 2009. Located in Guangzhou, the centre employs more than 160 staff to support Chinese-speaking customers. Starwood is also the only hospitality company in China that provides 24-hour customer support, 365 days a year, for its Chinese-speaking customers.
“Due to the strong growth of our online customer base in China, we have enhanced our branded websites to offer a superior online experience for Chinese speakers,” said Miguel Ko, Chairman & President of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Asia Pacific. “Our mission has always been to listen to our customers and to stay ahead of changing trends and needs.”
With the addition of Chinese, Starwood now offers websites in eight languages including English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Italian, French and Japanese.