The Peninsula Hotels hopes to capture a greater share of Chinese travelers both in China and abroad with new initiatives.
Simon Yip, vice president of sales for The Peninsula Hotels, reports that Chinese guests currently account for 10-12 percent of the group’s customers worldwide, but that he expects that number to rise to at least 20 percent across all 9 hotels by 2014.
“The China market contributes 40-50 percent of the mix for Shanghai and Beijing, 16-18 percent for Hong Kong, seven percent for Bangkok, four to five percent for Tokyo, and still a small percentage for Manila and our three US hotels but it has huge potential,” Yip says.
The Peninsula Hotels group is beginning to explore that potential through two new programs aimed at Chinese tourists. One new initiative, called the Lifestyle Academy, will be implemented in the group’s Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing properties. It will teach guests the finer points of menu selection, dinner party hosting, and table etiquette.
“Chinese travelers are fast becoming affluent travelers and want to enjoy the good things in life. Unfortunately, because of rapid growth in China, they might not always get the chance to…There’s a desire to learn,” he explained.
Another program, called The Very Best of America by The Peninsula, is installed at the New York, Beverly Hills, and Chicago hotels. This enables Chinese tourists to have the quintessential American experience in comfortable environs. It is especially popular among families touring American colleges. It provides limousine rides to campuses and translators, but the interest isn’t solely academic: The Very Best of America offers guests tickets to Broadway shows and sporting events and even Chinese breakfasts.
“We are focused on strengthening our Peninsula brand and don’t want to deviate from that,” Yip says. “There is a fine line between being Chinese-friendly and becoming too Chinese.”
photo credit: peninsula hotels