According to the UNWTO Tourism Highlights, Chinese tourists spent $129 billion on international tourism in 2013. This makes Chinese travelers the number one outbound tourism market in the world. As a result, hoteliers should evaluate their properties for a different set of expectations.
Here are a few ways hoteliers can wow their Chinese guests.
1. Equip rooms with tea-making facilities.
In a Cornell report from earlier this year, tea-making facilities were rated as the most essential element of a hotel stay by 51 of China’s top outbound tour operators. Guests expect to have a way to heat water and make tea. They also appreciate hotels that provide Chinese or herbal tea sachets.
Once you have a hot pot or coffee pot in each room, hoteliers can also provide an extra touch for Chinese guests with complimentary instant cup noodles.
2. Up your wi-fi game.
We found earlier this year that disappointing wi-fi is one factor keeping hotels from earning five star reviews on TripAdvisor. Chinese guests in particular are critical of wi-fi, according to the Cornell report. Conversely, if the guests’ experiences with a hotel’s wi-fi is exceptional, or if it is provided as a complimentary service, Chinese travelers consistently mention it as a positive aspect of the hotel.
3. Offer a quality breakfast buffet.
Traditional Chinese medicine holds that heated foods aid digestion, whereas too many cold or raw foods cause imbalance. Additionally, Chinese travelers prefer a buffet for breakfast, as it is a quick way to eat before the day’s activities. There’s no need to change your whole menu, but it does help to add familiar items like rice, noodles, and congee.
4. Provide toiletries and slippers.
Chinese travelers don’t usually pack toiletries. They’ll expect hotels to provide assorted items like toothpaste, toothbrushes, disposable razors, and shaving cream upon request. It is also standard to provide disposable slippers for in-room wear.
5. Translate your reading materials.
Have all reading materials like menus, brochures, and other room information translated into Mandarin. If possible, Mandarin-speaking staff is also rated as an important factor (just as important as free wi-fi!) when choosing accommodation.
6. Be in-the-know about local flavor.
While the Chinese may want a few things to be familiar in their home away from home, they’re ultimately explorers. More than 52% prefer a hotel with local flavor, according to a Hotels.com report. 75% of Chinese travelers say that sightseeing is the most popular activity, with dining coming in as the second most popular. Younger travelers (under 35) are also interested in cultural activities like theatre, concerts, or comedy shows.
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