Booming China outbound travel is changing the global tourism landscape. In 2014, China surpassed the US to become the world’s largest outbound tourism market. Chinese travellers have also emerged as the largest travel spenders worldwide.
Given the growing importance and great potential of the China outbound travel market, IHG is capitalising on over three decades of operating experience in China to launch “Zhou Dao”, a tailor-made programme designed to prepare its hotels to welcome Chinese travellers with a home-away-from-home experience.
“Zhou Dao” integrates IHG’s Chinese name “Zhou”, with the Chinese philosophical concept, “Dao”. The term delicately, yet explicitly, conveys the attentive, thorough and considerate courtesy that will be offered to Chinese travellers when they stay at IHG’s China Ready hotels abroad. Over 10,000 IHG employees globally have already undergone the “Zhou Dao” service training in Chinese etiquette, culture and hospitality to support the programme.
A variety of Chinese services, food and beverage offerings and amenities will be made available at IHG’s China Ready hotels to meet the needs of Chinese guests. These include: Mandarin-speaking staff working on front desk or via 24/7 phone support, acceptance of China UnionPay cards, a Chinese welcome pack, complimentary Chinese tea available in the guest room and Chinese channels available on in-room TVs.
Nearly 100 hotels across the globe are already participating in the “Zhou Dao” programme, and by the end of this year, the number is set to more than double, to 250 hotels.
Kenneth Macpherson, Chief Executive Officer, Greater China IHG, said: “In order to offer Chinese travellers a more confident, satisfactory and intimate travel experience, we are launching ‘Zhou Dao’, our meticulously developed China Ready programme globally. Upon entering the Chinese market over 30 years ago, IHG has become the largest international hotel company in China and has amassed a deep understanding of Chinese consumers. With our unparalleled scale and distribution, as well as IHG® Rewards Club, the world’s first and largest hotel loyalty programme, we are ready to welcome more Chinese travellers to enjoy the ‘best ever’ lodging experience that they are familiar with at home.”
IHG has been an industry pioneer in terms of innovation and proactively explores new trends in the global tourism industry. In March 2015 IHG partnered with Oxford Economics to publish a new report called The Future of Chinese Travel of the most comprehensive studies into the Chinese travel market ever undertaken. The report reveals London is estimated to be the largest European market for Chinese room nights. London will double the number of Chinese visitors it receives between 2013 and 2023, accounting for over 60% of all Chinese arrivals to the UK.
Hotels in London featuring the Zhou Dao China Ready Programme currently include:
InterContinental® London Park Lane
Crowne Plaza® London Kensington
Holiday Inn® London - Commercial Road